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Episode 89 – The Best & Worst of Gems Driver Songs (w/ special guest Dya)

Episode 89 – The Best & Worst of Gems Driver Songs (w/ special guest Dya)

The Sega Genesis GEMS Driver is often considered one of the worst drivers created for video game music. However, we are optimists when it comes to most chips, so today, we’re taking a deep look into the GEMS driver. Who created it, why it was important to Western composers, the benefits of it and the downfalls. Justin and Mike aim to examine the good AND bad parts of it, to unearth some game music that you might not have known about. Aaron Hickman of the Genesis Gems podcast is also known as chiptune and VGM composer DYA. He joins us on this episode to help explain some of the nitty gritty details regarding GEMS and the Sega sound in general. From bad Sylvester Stallone impressions, to Mike absolutely losing it whenever Captain Salty is discussed….to a surprise phone call from someone claiming to be Tommy Tallarico, this episode of XVGM Radio has it all!

Episode 88 – April Fools!

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Episode 88 – April Fools!

It should be pretty obvious if you’ve heard the show before that Mike and Justin LOVE comedy. So on this episode, which just so happens to release on April Fools for no specific reason, the guys get deeply personal and share never before heard stories before. Listen to some wacky tunes about sunflowers, finding secrets, slippery little things that taste so good all the time, all while learning about Mike’s porn music career, Justin’s pet rock collection and his unofficial name change, Mike’s shocking political affiliation, Justin’s composer obsession and many more secrets revealed! This is an episode you won’t want to miss!

Episode 87: Super Nintendo: ORCHESTRATED with Orchestral Fantasy

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Episode 87: Super Nintendo: ORCHESTRATED with Orchestral Fantasy

The Super Nintendo is known for having some of the most lush compositions in 16 bit history. But have you ever wondered what these tracks would sound like with real instruments? Our guest today is Andrew Thompson who runs a musical project where he answers that very question and the results are EPIC! Mike and Justin sit down with Andrew to discuss and compare his orchestrated versions with real instrumentation, while mostly staying faithful to the original compositions. If you’re a fan of JRPGs on the SNES, this is NOT an episode to miss!

Episode 86: Dances with Nikos!

Episode 86: Dances with Nikos!

It’s that time of year again! NikoTengoku joins us for his third return as the unofficial “third host” of the show…and he’s ready TO DANCE! We let Niko pick the theme this time around and he wanted to get down! We’ve all picked a variety of dance tracks to listen to from all walks of dance music. From almost gabber-like songs, to borderline industrial, progressive trance and more! You’ll be ready to get outta your seat and join us on the dance floor in no time! Prepare for an insane amount of Alzadick jokes, stories about Mike’s dad hating VGM and much more!

Episode 85: Dimo’s Quest CD-i Spotlight

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Episode 85: Dimo’s Quest CD-i Spotlight

While single games have been covered before on XVGM Radio, never before have we went into a soundtrack without hearing it period. Taking a page from our pal Ed Wilson over at The VGMbassy, we’re doing a “Blind Listen” episode where we pick tracks we haven’t heard, and learn about the game as we go along. The end result is a hilarious episode where Mike and Justin try to figure out PCM samples’ origins, listen to a totally radical soundtrack we’ve never heard before, deal with an explosion in the studio…and take a caller request from…Janine?! It’s all on this very exciting episode of XVGM Radio!

Episode 84: Yakuza Games w/ Alex From A VGM Journey

Episode 84: Yakuza Games w/ Alex From A VGM Journey

On XVGM Radio, we generally are pretty knowledgable about the subject matter of both game music and the game series we discuss. But what about when we’re not familiar with a franchise or its tunes? We bring in someone who’s played them all and in this circumstance that would be patron saint of video game music podcasts and leader of his own show, Alex Messenger of A VGM Journey. Together, we discuss Alex’s history with the Yakuza series as Justin and Mike experience the franchise through Alex. From misheard vocal lyrics “Can You Hungry – Just Brillo!” to Mike’s experience growing up listening to whatever his parents played in the car and of course Justin had to jokingly give Mike a hard time about a track! Come along for the trip to Japan as we chat about one of Sega’s newer yet most prominent IPs of the PS2 era and beyond! This…is a journey through the Yakuza franchise’s video game music!

Episode 83 – Spookyfest 2021

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Episode 83 – Spookyfest 2021

It’s that time of year again! Spooooooooooooookyfest has returned for it’s 2021 festival! Join Mike and Justin (and lots of zombies) for the most ghoulish “live” music event of the year! We’ve picked some really devilish tracks for you to sink your teeth into this Halloween season! From brand new Sega Genesis games to creepy crawly C64 classics, the XVGM Radio guys are making sure your late October festivities are at their most haunting of levels. With plenty of brand new “sponsors” for this event, coupled with some hilarious chats, you’d better check yourself before you Shrek yourself on this shriek of a good time…ONLY on XVGM Radio!

Episode 82 – An Evening with Barry Leitch

Episode 82 – An Evening with Barry Leitch

Barry Leitch is mostly known for his compositions on the Top Gear racing game series, and more recently, Horizon Chase Turbo. But if you dive deep enough, you’ll uncover a wealth of video game music magic from a man who was inspired by the greats of the C64 era. Starting out as a teenager, his earlier creations aren’t as fondly remembered by the composer himself but the journey to how they became what they were is the path that we have taken on this interview. In this episode, Barry tells us all about working with the limitations of retro systems, the time a tiny TV made a massively negative impact on his Utopia SNES port and what it was like to cram big samples into tiny audio chips. He chats about what it was like working with other notable composer Dean Evans and the process he goes through to write music. Mike shares some ridiculous nostalgic memories regarding Gauntlet Legends, Justin shares a tale about his Rush 2 N64 experience and more on this in-depth interview with VGM Legendary composer, Barry Leitch!

Episode 81: Consoles VS Handhelds (Same Song Different System)

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Episode 81: Consoles VS Handhelds (Same Song Different System)

The difference between consoles and handhelds can be immense…..or….there’s not much of a difference (if we’re talking about redbook audio, at least.) But what happens when we DO compare these two regarding the same composition, but different arrangements? What sacrifices need to be made to make the underpowered consoles stand out? Today on XVGM Radio, Mike and Justin compare several handheld tracks with their console counterparts and determine which they like more…and the answers may shock you. Between Mike’s nerdy ramblings about lyrical differences in Luna’s Boat Song, Justin waxing nostalgic about his mind being blown regarding Lethal Weapon NES’ switching characters method, controversial anti-war songs and plenty of balls jokes to go around, it’s pretty clear these guys are Nutz for VGM!

Episode 80: Free Picks 解き放たれた第四 (The Fourth Unleashed)

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Episode 80: Free Picks 解き放たれた第四 (The Fourth Unleashed)

The XVGM Radio guys go WILD…..with their fourth rendition of their Free Picks series of shows! Every 20 episodes, Mike and Justin pick whatever tracks they want to showcase, plus they flip a coin to determine the order of who introduces the episodes and picks the first tracks. How exciting! With a wide assortment of music at their fingertips, Mike blows Justin’s mind with an epic modern Genesis track, Justin revisits a game discussed on the Vanillaware episode while also posing a question about a specific track to the listener, and Janine takes the night off to let the boys do as they please. Strap yourselves in, grab a pair of headphones and crank this one up to 11, it’s Free Picks: The Fourth Unleased

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