Review: OCRemix – Mega Man X: Maverick Rising

The X series is home to some of the most intense and captivating music in the entire Mega Man franchise. Every game has its own feel to the soundtrack. The experience wasn’t like the classic series with the same 8-bit tones just arranged differently. Okay, to be fair about that, there really wasn’t much else to do with it back then. However, when X hit in 1993, that all changed for the Blue Bomber. The first soundtrack was an absolute marvel. Every track captured the stage theme and the intensity of the story’s conflict. It all culminated with a beautifully written track for Sigma’s first stage. After all either Mavericks and their stages were defeated, we finally made it and the track was smooth. It wasn’t meant to be heavy or anything like that. It was just a low-tune beginning with a small ramp up to signify the intensity X felt getting this far when in the intro stage he was defeated so easily. It is moments like that in the X series that make the music so amazing.

Some can’t get into game music like that. They see it as background noise to their gameplay and nothing more. Some of us see it as great tunes that can be pleasing to listening and a nice hype up if your in the need for one. Others see it like the contributors to OCRemix’s newest compilation album. They see it as wonderful work that defined the games they were in. With Maverick Rising, a collective group of artists have tackled the Mega Man X series to put their own twists, spins, and drops where they felt necessary.

What is great about this is that you can get it for free off of their website here. They give you the option of downloading individual tracks and album art, all of the MP3’s with art, and a massive torrent file that includes the MP3 work, album art, and all of the music in the crystal clear FLAC format. For those who aren’t used to FLAC, I suggest Winamp as your player of choice as getting Windows Media Player to playback these is extremely tough.

Is the album worth your bandwidth? That depends. Are you a fan of Mega Man? Absolutely download it. Are you fan of catchy sounds and a variety of different genres? Download it. Maverick Rising is a wonderful set of tracks that range from faux 8-bit remixes to dubstep to metal. Personally, I have to thank the deities that there are only about two dubstep tracks but that just goes to show you how varied this album is. There is bound to be something you like here. There are four main discs with two bonus ones attached. The main four are dedicated to the four main characters in the X series: Mega Man X, Zero, Vile, and Sigma. That doesn’t mean that the discs are themed for each character. You’ll find a random assorted of tracks on all four with maybe one or two tracks specifically chosen for that disc’s figurehead. The “bonus” album is dedicated to Dr. Light but only contains four tracks. The “special” disc is an absolute treat. This disc is labeled The Grand Maverick Remix Battle 2010. In there you’ll find 28 tracks of hybrid remixes for two Mavericks. An example would a mash up between The Skiver from X5 and Blizzard Buffalo from X3.

One game you won’t find much of anything from is X7. There is only one track for that game that is remixed here and that is Our Blood Boils, which is arguably the best track in the game. I can’t blame this group for staying away from X7. If you head back in time to some of the first posts here on the site you’ll find my Mega Man franchise reviews. In those, I rated X7 one of, if not the, worst Mega Man game ever. However, I gotta admit that the soundtrack wasn’t half bad. There are plenty of decent to great tracks that they could have worked on to include the game more here. Our Blood Boils is a great track but so is Palace Road, Infiltration, Relation, Decisive Battle, and Underground.

Aside from the X7 omission, you’ll find a few from X8 which I found that game’s soundtrack to be more bland than its predecessor. They did include my favorites from the last numbered entry into the X series, though. The Lumine battle themes are in and expertly done as well as Primrose. Primrose was my favorite track in X8 but it was held back due to being so short on the OST album. Maverick Rising’s version by M-H is actually better than the original and full-length. That is something that I have to thank this album for greatly. Every other X game from one to six is properly handled and given plenty of room on each disc. I was surprised to see them include Vile’s stage theme from Maverick Hunter X. There are a bunch of surprising themes as you make your way through this album.

This album is a Mega Man fan’s godsend for the X series. Nearly every track is masterfully done and a joy to listen to. The large list of contributors really put their hearts into this project and it is very easy to tell. I must admit that Torzelan’s Iron Will March, his remix for Lumine’s first battle in X8, is absolutely amazing and captures that fight way better than Capcom did. I find myself listening to that song the most followed by Metal Man’s ridiculous 10 Minutes of Hypothermia track which covers X1’s Stage Select, Stage Start, Chill Penguin’s Stage, Dr. Light, Boss 1, Boss 2, Get A Weapon, and Password tracks in an amazing medley.

I definitely recommend a download of Maverick Rising. As a lifelong Mega Man fan, I have never seen a better collection of music dedicated to the Blue Bomber. Kudos to all those involved in this project and thank you for seeing it fulfilled. In days like these when Capcom takes a crap on one of my favorite gaming series, it is nice to see those who still put effort into the franchise.

 

Contributor’s List: http://maverick.ocremix.org/artists.php

Download Links: http://maverick.ocremix.org/music.php



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