Reviews

Reviews

 

"... hands down the closest the game industry has come to exceeding the quality of the Hollywood soundtrack scene."  (Daily Game)

 

"Duane Decker opens the ambitious music for the game with something between Hans Zimmer and Ennio Morricone, The Mission meets Gladiator..."  (Music From The Movies)

 

"The soundtrack is scored so flawlessly that at times it feels like you're watching a movie, not playing a game."  (Tom's Hardware)

 

"A great score lifts a title's action, and Rise of Nations's helps this one reach some very high places."  (Avault)

 

"The music is excellent, with some pieces that strongly remind me of the excellent score from The Rock."  (GameStats)

 

"Editors Choice-Superior Product.  Sound: 10/10"  (Gaming Illustrated)

 

"... its music is quite epic..."  (Game Power Australia)

 

"The score is something of pure beauty."  (AceGamez)

 

"Decker has done a stunning job."  (Gamespy)

 

"It is intense and beautiful."  (Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper)

 

"... composer Duane Decker conjures an epic orchestration of world-class musicians that both inspires and touches the soul."  (Cosmic Clutter)

 

"The music is stirring and evocative..."  (Games Domain)

 

 

Awards

Defense Grid: The Awakening

PC Gamer -- Editors Choice Award

Game Industry News -- 2008 Game Of The Year: Puzzle

BusyGamer.com -- Perfect 5 out of 5

GameCarbon.com -- Perfect 10 out of 10

 

Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution

BAFTA -- Strategy Game Of The Year

G4 -- Strategy Game Of The Year

IGN -- Game Of The Month

GameSpot -- Editors Choice Award

Game Chronicles -- Editors Choice Award

Game Vortex -- Top Pick

 

Rise of Nations: Rise Of Legends

PC Zone -- "Classic"

Gamezone.com -- Editors Choice Award

 

Rise of Nations

Gamespot -- 2003 PC Game Of The Year

Game-Revolution -- 2003 Strategy Game Of The Year

Gamespy -- 2003 Strategy Game Of The Year

Tech TV -- 2003 Strategy Game Of The Year

PC Gamer -- Editor's Choice Award & 2003 RTS Game Of The Year

Gaming Illustrated -- Editors Choice - Superior Product

Tom's Hardware - THG Editors Choice Award

ELiTeD -- Editor's Choice Award

Worth Playing -- Editor's Choice Award

PC User (Australia) -- Top Buy Award

 

Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots (expansion pack)

Gaming Illustrated -- Editors Choice - Superior Product

GameSpot -- Editors Choice Award

G4 Tech TV -- overall score - perfect 5 out of 5

 

Mech Assault:

IGN -- Best Xbox Sound of 2002 Nominee

Gamespot -- Best Xbox Sound of 2002 Nominee

 

 

More Press Clips

 

Defense Grid: The Awakening

 

PC Gamer -- Editors Choice Award

 

Game Industry News -- 2008 Game Of The Year: Puzzle

 

BusyGamer.com -- "This one scores high on the value charts, my friends. I would recommend picking it up if you haven’t already. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Crashers to school before they make it to my cores."  Overall: perfect 5 out of 5

 

GameCarbon.com -- "Defense Grid is an amazing game that will keep you addicted for a very long time.”  “The graphics are great and the sound is just right.”  Overall: perfect 10 out of 10

 

GamePro – “It's amazing what a little touch up in graphics and sound can do for a tower defense gameplay-based title. And Hidden Path Entertainment's Defense Grid: The Awakening is a prime example of that sudden transformation of taking an unoriginal, well-known style of video game and turning it into a masterpiece for your PC.”  Overall: 4.5/5

 

GamerTell -- "All in all Defense Grid: The Awakening is a very fun game with little to complain about. If you like tower defense style games this one will take up a lot of your time.”  Overall: 90/100

 

GV GamerVision -- "I'd Buy it a Drink, if I Could...”  Overall: 8/10 – BUY IT

 

BC Gaming – “The presentation is another way Defense Grid differentiates itself from its competitors.”  Overall: 4/5

 

VGBlogger.com – “The overall presentation is excellent - the game and levels load quickly; voices, sounds and visual effects are excellent and immersive; the controls and user interface are generally very well done.”

 

Rock, Paper Shotgun – “Defense Grid is beautifully presented and absolutely solid in every way.”

 

TheBBPS.com – “The production value is leaps and bounds above anything else we’ve ever seen in the genre.”  “08 was a fantastic year for tower defense games. Off the top of my head I can name four games in the genre that should easily have met with universal acclaim, and Defense Grid: The Awakening is amongst them.”

 

 

Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution

 

Gamasutra Column – Saling The World: “Civilization Revolution Makes Chart-Topping Debut”

(First week of release) #1 Xbox 360 North America; #2 PlayStation3 North America.

 

Tom’s Games – “… Civilization Revolution is without a doubt a true masterpiece among the Civilization games, and a nearly flawless gem full of strategy in a sea of cookie cutter console games.”  “Value Meter: A must-buy title for any Civilization fan as well as any 360, PS3, or DS owner.”  Overall: 9.5 out of 10

 

Gaming Nexus –  “The music also provides a grand score, anthemic even, and definitely sets a world-spanning tone”  Overall A

 

Console Monster –  “The audio is very Civilization-esque which tense music during a battle or nice calm music during a quite period adding to the experience.”  Overall 8.9/10

 

XBoxZone –  “The audio in the game is very well done. Adding troubling music when you are being attacked and cheers of joy when you defeat the opposing forces.” “The game does support In-Game Dolby Digital and it shows when using a surround sound set up.”  Overall: 9/10

 

Eurogamer  --  “It's the pop song that ends after 90 seconds - being an eight-minute epic would surely rob the joy from it, but dancing your heart out to just one more chorus would have made all the difference.” Overall: 8/10

 

TeamXbox –  The music is really nicely done and doesn’t grate on your ears across a long play session, as it can be in some strategy games.”  “The advisors’ gibberish is fun, but might not sustain the entertainment. Mostly, though, CivRev’s sound portion is a nice complement and unobtrusive.” Overall: 9 /10; Audio: 8.9/10

 

Gamestyle –  “…and if we retold of all the fantastic battles Gamestyle experienced, then this would turn into a million word review, each word gushing praise.”  “Controlling a civilization has never been so fun.” Overall: 9/10

 

Manchester Evening News (UK) – “It's all delivered with next-gen cartoon panache and atmospheric audio, making Revolution one of the must-have strategy titles on the 360.”  Overall: 4/5

 

IGN – “[The audio is] subtle, but clear and altogether top-notch.”  Overall: 8.8/10; Sound: 8.5/10

 

GameSlave (UK) – “Civilization Revolution is an absolute stand-out title on the Xbox 360 and I applaud Firaxis for bringing Civ to a wider audience.”  Overall: 8.5/10

 

Wonderwall – Overall: 9/10; Sound: 9/10

 

Gaming Age – Overall: A

 

Game Industry News – Overall: 4.5/5

 

Gameplanet – “Simply awesome!”  Overall: 9/10

 

Game Informer – Overall: 9/10

 

Official Xbox Magazine – Overall: 9/10

 

Worth Playing – Overall: 9/10

 

Cheat Code Central – Overall: 4.5/5 “Must Buy”

 

DVD Feed (Australia) – “Custom soundtracks are a bonus here.”  Overall: 8/10

 

Entertainment Weekly – “In the world of PC gaming, Sid Meier has created a brand name as recognized (and admired) as Mercedes or Apple. He's been crafting best-selling titles for the mouse-and-keyboard crowd since the early '80s — and they know his name above the title guarantees a satisfying and intellectually challenging experience. His strategy-simulation series Civilization is one of the industry's most successful franchises. Now he's bringing its ''one more turn'' addictiveness to console gamers with his latest creation: Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution.”

 

Xbox World Australia – “PROS – great graphics and music”  Overall: 8.5/10

 

Los Angeles Times – Grade: A (awesome!)

 

GameSpot – “Editors’ Choice Award”  …audio effects and background music are more appropriate, and the dramatic flourishes of victory or wonder creation are quite invigorating.”  Overall: 9/10

 

GameZone – “Fitting right at home on the console, Civilization Revolution is a genuinely addictive simulator that will not fail to impress and please fans of the Civ series”  “The music is actually quite charming and changes depending on any given situation that just pops up during gameplay.”  Sound: 8.5  Overall: 8.9

 

Gamervision – “The simple fact is Civilization Revolution is one of the most addictive games I’ve ever had the opportunity to play, and I could barely pull myself away from trying to take over the world to eat, let alone write a review.”  Overall: 9/10

 

Family Circle (nov.1.08) -- Rated as one of the top 10 "brain builders." "... a blast to play and mentally stimulating too."

 

Hooked Gamers (DS version) -- Music is another fine feature of the game. Background music is unobtrusive, but during talks with AI leaders, the music becomes peaceful when peace agreements are made, but becomes more like a war-drum beat when peace talks break down and war arrives on the agenda.”  Overall: 8/10

 

 

 

Rise Of Nations: Rise Of Legends

 

Digtal Entertainment News -- "The sound in this game is also quite excellent. As your warriors move across the screen the ground rumbles and the music swells as the battle rages. When you are just exploring, the music is questing and quite subtle. Its hard to explain, but quite the joy to listen to."  "...the sound is wonderful and its just plain fun."  Overall 9/10

 

Entertainment Depot -- "The sounds, music, and vocals were also handled well..."  Overall 8.5/10

 

Gaming Horizon -- "The opening cinematic alone is nearly worth the price of admission, and although it's obviously never a true indicator of the quality of game behind it, this one really set the game off on the right foot. Play it at a LAN; in no time, you will have a crowd oooh-ing and aaah-ing behind you."

 

Game Chronicles -- "The music, sound effects, and voice acting are all solid if not exceptional. The music is great..."  Overall 8.6/10

 

Game Helper -- "...the music sounds appropriately epic without ever feeling cheesy..."  "The game is practically swimming in style.  A lot of what made Rise of Nations great can be found here."

 

VG Pub -- Overall 9.4/10

 

Game Planet -- "The unit effects and animations are superb. Muskets fire in a cloud of smoke, huge steam-driven cannons fire shells that are visible throughout their trajectory, and area-effect weapons pulse and blaze away. Combine this with good music and clanking, chugging sound effects and you have quite an absorbing gaming experience."

 

Gamerz Edge -- "A good instrumental soundtrack compliments the action..."

 

Computer Games RO -- "...a serious contender for the title of 'Best Real-time Strategy Game Of The Year' award."

 

Gamers Temple -- "The Gamers Temple Award Of Excellence"  Overall 9/10

 

Game Axis -- "The sound side is ably done with some evocative music..."

 

Worth Playing -- "The sweeping orchestral score with brass and strings adds a touch of epic to the proceedings..."

 

Action Trip -- "Coupled with the excellent visuals, Rise of Legends also features an assortment of catchy tunes and a solid range of sound effects to boot."

 

Bytesector -- "The audio in game is just as detailed and has many subtle nuances that you'll never really notice unless you're looking for them. The biggest example of this is in some of the peacetime music, while you're building a base. The music goes from the hard symphonic music of battle to a much softer, more relaxed piano tune. The transition is subtle, but things like this are the little details that can make the aural experience go from good to great."

 

Game Industry News -- "Legends will get your blood flowing. Not only is it a lot of fun to play, but actually has a good story that will also keep you coming back. Unless something radically better comes along in the last few months of 2006, I think we are looking at the RTS game of the year."  Overall 10/10 -- Audio 10/10

 

 

Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots

 

Gaming Illustrated -- "Gaming Illustrated Editor's Choice - Superior Product."  "MICROSOFT and BIG HUGE GAMES did a great job in producing an expansion pack that is significantly better than the original. As stated in the Introduction, This is a MUST HAVE game! ENJOY!"  Overall: 9.4/10 -- Sound: 10/10

 

NetJak -- "The soundtrack provides some scintillating background music... The tracks themselves are the stuff of summer blockbusters and really set the mood of the game."  Overall: 9.5/10

 

Avault -- "Thrones and Patriots' music is expertly composed to blend fluidly with what you see on the screen."  Overall: 4/5 -- Musical Score: 4.5/5

 

GameSpot -- "GameSpot Editors' Choice"  Overall: 9/10

 

G4 Tech TV -- "Thrones and Patriots is a must have expansion pack..." Overall: 5/5

 

Game Zone -- "Editors Choice"  "The music used in the game is also really good because it will move you to continue to play..."  Overall: 9.1/10

 

Daytrum -- Overall: 5/5

 

PC Gamer -- Overall: 9/10

 

Computer Gaming World -- Overall: 4/5

 

Computer Games Magazine -- Overall: 4/5

 

Game Informer -- Overall: 9/10

 

eToyChest -- Overall: 9/10

 

Yahoo Games -- Overall: 9/10

 

Armchair Empire -- Overall: 9/10

 

Daily Game -- "Even the soundtrack, while adding some new sounds, has stayed within the original confines of excellence established in Rise of Nations".  Overall: 9/10  Sound: 9/10

 

Game Axis -- Audio: 9/10

 

Telefragged -- "It's the music, though, that I enjoyed the most"...  "I found T&P's music to actually be better than the original game's - and that's a nice surprise.  It's all a bunch of high-brow classical stuff, but it certainly fits with the rest of the game's mood."  Sound & Music: 9.1/10

 

Gameshark -- Overall: 4.5/5

 

UGO -- Overall: 9/10

 

ActiveWin -- "In conclusion, Thrones and Patriots makes a great game greater, simply put."  Overall: 9.1/10 -- Sound: 9.1/10

 

 

Rise of Nations

 

Daily Game -- Quick Review: "Rise Of Nations" DVD Soundtrack  "...Sumthing Distribution's DVD soundtrack for Rise Of Nations is hands-down the closest the game industry has come to exceeding the quality of the Hollywood soundtrack scene."  "I've heard the recent crop of gaming soundtracks, and as solid as many of them have been, none matches the quality of the Rise Of Nations DVD.  The music is enthralling, to be sure, but the 5.1 support just pushes the "wow" factor over the edge.  If you like movie soundtracks and don't consider yourself a gamer, you should still add this DVD to your soundtrack stash.  You'll even be able to watch the game's opening cinema on your TV to make you feel like you've watched some form of movie.  Looks like you've run out of excuses."

 

Gameplay -- "A final mention must go to the outstanding soundtrack. Sound effects are as realistic as you could want, but it is the beautiful orchestral soundtrack, as usual specifically recorded by Microsoft for the game that will steal your attention. From calming, oriental melodies to pumping African war songs and even Epic sounding accompaniments that would not sound out of place during one of Gladiators more touching moments."  Overall: 9/10

 

Gamers Depot -- "The audio in the game is just as varied and detailed as the visuals. The game has a wide variety of music that fades in and out depending on what's going on, and the music contains everything from serene/melancholy piano solos to the ominous war drums during large scale battles."  Overall: 5/5

 

Avault -- "A great score lifts a title's action, and Rise of Nation's helps this one reach some very high places. The music is finely composed and recorded, ranging from subtle background pieces to driving battle marches. All are appropriately themed based upon your civilization's circumstances, shifting in character as the action alternates between tense peacetime and warfare. By default, it's seemingly set to play very quietly, as if the developers did not wish to fill gamers' ears with Rise of Nations' tunes. However, the music volume slider won't disappoint."  Musical Score: 4/5

 

Gameguru Mania -- "Sound: 5/5 - excellent, I really enjoyed some of the soundtracks."  Sound: 5/5

 

GameSpot -- Game Spot Editors Choice Award  Overall: 9.3/10

 

PC-Zone UK -- "If you're looking for an endlessly entertaining, bold new direction in strategy gaming then look no further than Rise Of Nations."  Overall: 9/10

 

Next Level Gaming -- "Big Huge Games definitely sweated the details"...  "Background music sounds ominous and fits the cinerary from fanfare marches to flute and oboe chamber music."  Overall: 9/10

 

Action Trip -- "The sound is just as excellent as the rest of the game."  Overall: 9/10

 

Games Domain -- "The audio matches the graphics. The music is stirring and evocative and audio cues let you know instantly if you are suffering attrition or if a battle is raging."  Overall: 5/5

 

Nuclear Gaming -- "There is even a good collection of musical scores playing and changing with what is happening on the map."  Overall: 9.6/10

 

Gamespy -- "It all looks fantastic. The sound is even more impressive. "  Overall: 9/10

 

Game Zone Online -- "The music in Rise of Nations is pretty well varied depending on the situation that the gamers are in. If they are in the heat of battle, the music will pick up and the opposite happens when it is a time of piece"... "Rise of Nations is awesome! There are no other words to describe it."  Sound: 9.2/10

 

Thunderbolt.be -- "The audio is fairly well done, with some very good music"...  Overall: 10/10

 

Gaming Illustrated -- Editor’s Choice-Superior Product  Sound: 10/10

 

Tom’s Hardware -- "The soundtrack is scored so flawlessly that at times it feels like you're watching a movie, not playing a game."  "Rise Of Nations is a 'best in class' RTS title with exceptional graphics, sound, and game play. I highly recommend this title and award it a 'THG Editors Choice' award."

 

Game Spot AU -- Sound: 9/10

 

Game Over online -- Overall: 9.2/10

 

SF Chronicle -- Overall: 5/5

 

UGO (UnderGroundOnline) -- Overall: A-

 

The New Zealand Herald -- Overall: 5/5

 

Gamer.TV -- "...a triumph of both design and content."  Overall: 9/10

 

Loaded Inc. -- "Rise of Nations features an excellent score of various orchestral tracks. They do a great job of setting the mood and they give your small cities some personality."  Overall: 9/10

 

ELiTeD -- Editor's Choice Award  Overall: 10/10

 

Firing Squad -- "Music is impressive in an understated way. It often sounds like the incidental music from a Merchant-Ivory flick, a real relief when you consider how often the tunes in these sorts of games come off like a John Philip Sousa wet dream."  Overall: 8.8/10

 

Worth Playing -- "The usual orchestral flair is present during battles, but a nice, haunting little ditty shows up during the games more progressive moments. All good stuff."  Editors Choice Award  Overall: 9.3/10

 

Strategy Informer -- "...you get a game that looks, sounds and IS very impressive."  Overall: 9.4/10

 

Computer & Video Games  -- "One of the most original and playable RTS's ever." Overall: 9/10

 

Game Planet -- Overall: 5/5

 

Tech TV -- Overall: 5/5

 

Frag Land -- Sound: 9.2/10

 

Games First! -- Overall: 4/5

 

Earth Village -- Overall: 4/5

 

PC Format (UK) -- Overall: 9.3/10

 

The San Diego Union-Tribune -- Overall: 4/4

 

Globe Technology -- Overall: 4.5/5

 

In The Mix -- "This game is a must for all gamers out there."  Overall: 4.5/5

 

Daily Game -- "Rise of Nations' soundtrack is great, as you'd expect from a game for which they're releasing the score on DVD".

 

netjak -- "Sound is equally impressive. Background music varies by civilization and adds a lot to the ambience without taking away from gameplay."  Overall: 9.3/10

 

PC Gamer -- Editors Choice Award  Overall: 9.3/10

 

Eurogamer -- Overall: 9/10

 

Maximum PC -- Overall: 10/10

 

Game Informer -- Overall: 9/10

 

Total Games -- Overall: 9/10

 

Computer Gaming World -- Overall: 4/5

 

Daytrum -- "The graphics and audio are excellent."  Overall: 5/5

 

Armchair Empire -- Overall: 9/10

 

PC User (Australia) -- "PC User Top Buy Award"  Overall: 10/10

 

Entertainment Weekly -- Overall: A-

 

Game Power (Australia) -- "...its music is quite epic, and reacts dynamically to the events in-game."  Overall: 9.5/10

 

Game Industry News -- Audio: 5/5

 

Gamers Temple -- Overall: 9.5/10

 

Videogame City -- Overall: 9/10

 

PC Format UK -- Overall: 9.3/10

 

Australian IT -- Overall: 5/5

 

AceGamez -- "The sound is something of pure beauty.  The score is beyond compare to any Microsoft RTS title and will keep you humming along with the game for ages to come.  Certain tracks are better than others but there is not a bad one amongst them and the best are stirring, emotive pieces that deserve some obscene level of volume behind them."  Sound: 9/10

 

 

MechAssault

 

Game Zone Online -- Sound: 9.6/10

 

GamePro -- Sound: 4.5/5

 

IGN.com -- Runner-up, Best Xbox Sound of 2002  Sound: 9/10

 

Next Level Gaming -- Sound: 6/6

 

Gamespot -- Nominee, Best Xbox Sound of 2002  Sound: 9/10

 

 

MechWarrior 4

 

Gamespy -- "Even if you are not a MechWarrior fan, you owe it to yourself to check out this soundtrack. Decker has done a stunning job."

 

MusicFromTheMovies.com -- "Duane Decker opens the ambitious music for the game with something in between Hans Zimmer and Ennio Morricone. The Mission meets Gladiator"...  "The huge melody, the atmospheres and the driving percussion are all perfectly in balance"...  "I like this work. Games are very much the future of entertainment for us all"...  "Our Rating: MMMM - Excellent" 4/5

 

mgon.com -- "The sounds of MW4 are superb.  That is an extremely strong statement, but I feel it's a well deserved one.  MW4 combines the Mech sounds, ambient sounds, a great musical score, and sufficient dollops of voice communication between your lance mates to really bring the game alive.  The music in each mission really sets the scene.  It changes pace as you do, and contributes immensely to the atmosphere."  Sound: 10/10

 

FiringSquad -- "Sweet Sound: Sound effects and music are cream of the crop."  "The sound effects and music are beyond - way beyond today's typical game."

 

Gamepen -- "Audio is excellent.  Special mention goes to the music -- there are some great, evocative themes in this game.  No turning down the volume here.  MechWarrior 4 is a great game."

 

Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper -- "There's nothing like the sound of pounding drums, seething guitars and trilling violins to get you in the mood to march an 80-ton robot into battle...forget what you think you know about video game music"...  "It surges and soothes, wails and pulses. Classical, rock and techno elements weave seamlessly together.  It is intense and beautiful."

 

GamesXtreme -- "The music is well done and entertaining."  "GamesXtreme recommended."

 

ESC Magazine -- "The music is a blend of epic orchestral tones mixed with military marches and complimented with a liberal bit of electric guitar, which all in all makes for a perfect backdrop to the large-scale battles waged in the game."

 

EuroGamer -- "The music and sound effects fit the game very well; the sweeping soundtrack fits the pace of the game's battles perfectly, and while the effects do not break any new ground they do add immeasurably to the atmosphere."

 

Cosmic Clutter -- "An assault on the senses, the MechWarrior 4: Vengeance Soundtrack is an ambitious score that embodies the honor, bravery and courage encompassing the BattleTech universe.  Capturing the pure essence of the game, composer Duane Decker conjures an epic orchestration of world-class musicians that both inspires and touches the soul."

 

PCGamerWeb -- Sound: 9.5/10

 

gonegold -- Sound/Music: 9.5/10

 

corpnews -- Sound: 4.5/5

 

Starlance -- Soundtrack: 5/5

 

IanStorm -- Sound: 4.9/5

 

 

MechCommander 2

 

GameZone.com -- "A great score complements the gameplay perfectly, serving to only heighten the atmosphere, and you will find nothing less here."  Sound: 9.1/10

 

GameStats.com -- "The music is excellent, with some pieces that strongly reminded me of the excellent score from The Rock.  The music helps create a strong sense of atmosphere and is appropriate for the events in the game that it accompanies.  It makes you feel anger, sadness, and excitement as the game progresses."

 

Gone Gold -- "...the music is excellent and dynamic"...  Sound/Music: 8.9/10

 

Multi-Player Online Gaming -- "How does is Sound?  The sound and music in MechCommander 2 are excellent.  The soundtrack delivers an emotional punch and creates a great sense of atmosphere."

 

VoodooExtreme -- "I love the music in this game"...  "...the music fits the mood of the game perfectly"...  Sound: 8.6/10

 

Media and Games Online Network -- "The sound and music in this title is spot on"... "The music is pretty much a perfect match for the game as well. Atmospheric and hyped in just the right places"... "The music was a major asset to the game and went a long way to help set the overall atmosphere."  Sounds: 8/10

 

Neo Seeker -- "The music adds quite a lot to the atmosphere as well, and changes along with the situation and you'll definitely know when something is about to happen when the music suddenly starts getting tense and foreboding."



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