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View Full Version : SA Special - The Art of Music Levels



Shining Aquas
01-12-2009, 05:43 PM
Music levels have always been present on LittleBigPlanet, most of which are for the most part ignored. Yeah, players will stumble across them eventually, but I think there might be a large amount of people out there that don't like music levels because they are boring and because there is nothing to do but listen, but that's where I believe that music levels shine. People offer up well made artistic pieces that can be appreciated if you are willing to put at most a minute of patience and be willing to just sit back and listen.

Also I know I shouldn't have to state it, but I want everyone to be aware of how much work goes into making a music stage, and especially a really good one at that. I know because I've tried before, and it takes hours to get the notes right and create the correct timing and get the BPM correct and blah blah yada yada (granted mine should be taking longer since I'm making an original piece and not a premade one). So, I honestly hope there are people out there who can look at music levels and still respect them as normal levels, because in all honesty they probably require about as much work as a standard level would.

So, without further ado, here are a couple of my personal favorites amongst the musicals:

To Zanarkand, in Colour, by calibur7
Okay, technically the song isn't called "To Zanarkand", I'm pretty sure it's called "The Skies Above", but regardless this piece is pretty much hinging on near 100% accuracy as far as timing, notes, and general feel of the song is definitely there. It's a beautiful piece done very well and I recommend taking a listen.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Main Theme Song, by Rike255
I'd say a lot of god came out of the Metal Gear Solid pack. By using some of the materials and stickers from the MGS pack, this author was able to add a definite sense of coming straight out of the game. Not only that, but the piece is designed to last, as it manages to do so for a very long time. The method for creation on this one I also found very innovative and the song amazing, so yeah it's a big winner.

Spirited Away music, by cavalryaki
Do NOT look for the name of the song, look for the author. Otherwise you won't find it (the actual name contains lots of Kanji and other things I can't make on an American keyboard). This is probably the most beautiful piece I've seen so far, it carries a perfect atmosphere, the song is amazing, and the amount of detail put into the level is staggering. Anyone who's a fan of this breathtaking motion picture will undoubtedly love this piece, and anyone who isn't a fan of the movie (WHY!?) might still enjoy it.

Music "ICO -You were there-", by mushroom_samba
This song comes from a very under-appreciated jewel of the PS2 era, and one of it's earliest games "ICO", which I don't know if many people realize is also the prequel/spiritual precursor to the ever well known "Shadow of the Colossus". Anyways, this song is full of deep emotion and really captures the right amount of passion to it. On top of this song level, I also recommend the author's actual ICO level as well.

Roll Over Beethoven, by smearedink
I'm pretty sure everyone is familiar with Beethoven's famous piece "Ode to Joy", and this author has played it perfectly, but all in all that isn't what makes the level spectacular. It's the method by which he did it that blew me away. He created a life size piano, probably from scratch, and programmed the notes to play their respective notes. Once you hit the switch, you will be amazed at the mechanical wonder that is this piece.

NUSUNDE, by CHOBBY
Ain't gonna lie to ya, this level is just generally weird. As far as music levels go, this one is probably the strangest, but it's also pretty darn good and is much better if anyone is able to catch the game series it's referring towards. For anyone reading this, I'll take any additional work off your hands by revealing that the series is indeed Touhou, a curtain fire shooting game made deep in the heart of Japan and has in itself developed a bigger fanbase than I would like to admit. Other than ROB, this level has probably the best use of applied mechanics in a music stage, and I have to say overall it was fairly impressive.

There are plenty more music levels out there, so don't be afraid to explore a little. After all, they are levels worth looking at and in my eye, and deserve any amount of attention you'd be willing to give a normal stage.

Ace
01-12-2009, 06:46 PM
I think probably the best musical level I've played was No Surprises. (I can't remember the PSN name, sorry).
I wouldn't necessarily the music was the best I've heard in a level, but the way he made a musical stage that had an actual gameplay element rather than pushing a block along, or standing on a button, was something I think would be cool to see a lot more of. I think Alex Evans himself brought it up a few times as one of his favourite levels.

For anyone who hasn't played it, it's automated, and you can choose just to stay put listening to the music and watching the scenery without doing anything else, but there's platforms and point bubbles along the way for anyone who does want to go for a high score, or just doesn't want to sit around twiddling their thumbs for 2 minutes.


I'm into music levels in general anyway, interactive or not, but having a bit of gameplay was a nice touch.

Just one more thing, the To Zanarkand In Colour level (the song is called To Zanarkand btw, it was the Black Mages version that was The Skies Above), it's a copy of someone else's level (PSN Kirithian I think?) from the Beta but with decorations and a vehicle added. I think they may have got permission, but I'd still rather have credit given to the original author.

Shining Aquas
01-12-2009, 09:56 PM
Just one more thing, the To Zanarkand In Colour level (the song is called To Zanarkand btw, it was the Black Mages version that was The Skies Above), it's a copy of someone else's level (PSN Kirithian I think?) from the Beta but with decorations and a vehicle added. I think they may have got permission, but I'd still rather have credit given to the original author.

Oh really, I thought the colour version was done by the same guy.

My bad.

misterwonderloo
01-20-2009, 05:57 PM
i'm one of the sackperson non music fan........ the levels use to be bored.... i recognize the effort and the merit but ...................................

Shining Aquas
01-21-2009, 03:54 AM
i'm one of the sackperson non music fan........ the levels use to be bored.... i recognize the effort and the merit but ...................................

To each his own, right?
No worries man, we aren't gonna eat you alive for it.

Everyone has different tastes for the types of levels they enjoy, and that's part of the beauty that is LBP's custom levels, as you are guaranteed to find something for anybody and everybody.

RSL
01-25-2009, 04:40 PM
That To Zanarkand level has been copied a million times.

I love music levels and I'm trying to create my own. I guess I don't see why people would hate them. To each their own, I guess.

Snrm
01-25-2009, 07:10 PM
those were some sweet tunes!
your an amazing reviewer!

xkappax
01-26-2009, 05:56 PM
I found an absolutely BEAUTIFUL music level by CutieKabukichan ... it was the music from Howl's Moving castle... it was one of those things you'd have to see to understand why it was so amazing. If anyone likes music levels they should definitely check it out. (oh, and it's not my level, just to clear that up)

TheJollyRajah
01-29-2009, 12:08 AM
Music levels can be amazing sometimes, but I see them as a bit repetitive nowadays... even though I've made about nine of them. My favorite music level has to be the one where you ride through all this castle scenery... I forget the name of it. But it was awesome. Of course, my second favorite is Starfox... because I made it. :)

Gondito
01-31-2009, 11:54 PM
Spirited Away music, by cavalryaki
Do NOT look for the name of the song, look for the author. Otherwise you won't find it (the actual name contains lots of Kanji and other things I can't make on an American keyboard). This is probably the most beautiful piece I've seen so far, it carries a perfect atmosphere, the song is amazing, and the amount of detail put into the level is staggering. Anyone who's a fan of this breathtaking motion picture will undoubtedly love this piece, and anyone who isn't a fan of the movie (WHY!?) might still enjoy it.


Agreed, this is my favorite music level, and one of my favorite levels, period
the music is perfect, and the whole experience was very nostalgic for me. its one of my favorite movies, and listening to this level just makes me want to wtch the movie again. good thing i own it!