Tag Archives: Eminence Symphony Orchestra

Project Phoenix coming to PS4 and PS Vita

Previously reported as being Japan’s first indie Kickstarter development featuring AAA talent such as Hiroaki Yura from CIA and Eminence Symphony Orchestra and Nobuo Uematsu from Final Fantasy fame, Project Phoenix has now reached a new milestone.

Project Phoenix Logo

Apart from appearing on Windows, Mac and Linux, the massive milestone that has just been announced is that the game will also be appearing on PS4 and PS Vita. Very exciting news for a Japanese indie title coming across to such a mainstream platform with the Sony console and handheld. The game is still a while away, not due for release until 2015. But if you want to contribute to the Kickstarter program and snag some awesome goodies along the way then click on the link below and join the cause. As of writing there are 70 hours to go before the deadline and some massive incentives to do so!


Project Phoenix director mentions Nintendo “Interesting…Not Exciting”

Project Phoenix marks Japan’s first indie Kickstarter project which reached its initial funding of $100,000 in just under 8 hours which is an impressive feat. The project features some of the best AAA talent from Western and Asian gaming with Hiroaki Yura spearheading the title as Director and Producer and Final Fantasy composer, Nobuo Uematsu, on board just to name a couple of the talent on board. Hiroaki is the man who created the Eminence Symphony Orchestra, responsible for many game and anime soundtracks and also the Director of Creative Intelligence Arts, or CIA.

Hiroaki has recently gone on record regarding Project Phoenix and the possibility of the title making an appearance on a Nintendo console when the game is completed in 2015. Specifically speaking, while Yura san is a fan of Nintendo, he doesn’t believe that Nintendo of Japan look towards indie developers as far in supporting their titles on Nintendo hardware.

The problem with Nintendo… You know, I like Nintendo and everything…but not a lot of people buy it. I know a lot of fans buy it, but there are so many restrictions with Nintendo, and also the fact that Nintendo in Japan does not accept indie games.

We think Nintendo is taking a wrong approach towards games like ours. I think maybe it has to do with the Kyoto culture…very old companies. Nintendo itself in Kyoto is not that old, because in Kyoto there are companies that survived for hundreds of years, and compared to them they’re relatively young, but in terms of video game industry they are very old. They have a set of rules that does not fit with the core values of our game, basically.

They have interesting hardware, but it ends at “interesting”. It’s not “exciting”.

Project Phoenix site is live tomorrow

Project Phoenix is a hugely ambitious kickstarter incentive which is about to kick off very soon. The aim of the project is to bring to life a JRPG with RTS elements to PC, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android. The project is being spearheaded by Hiroaki Yura of Eminence Symphony Orchestra and Creative Intelligence Arts, or CIA, fame. Japandaman recently obtained a press release for this exciting kickstarter project which is bringing together some AAA talent from both Western and Japanese gaming scenes. Just as an example, one of the name’s working on the music: Nobuo Uematsu. Yeah, it’s that big.

Project Phoenix Logo


Official press release for Project Phenix:

August 8, 2013

Contact: info@projectphoenix.info

TOKYO… Project Phoenix today announced their intention to set up a Kickstarter to develop a Japanese role-­‐playing game (JRPG) combined with Real Time Strategy (RTS). Uniting top developers from the East and West, Project Phoenix is the brainchild of game developer Hiroaki Yura, the founder of Creative Intelligence Arts. This fresh take on the JRPG genre featuresthe art direction of Kiyoshi Arai,
who brings experience from Final Fantasy XII and XIV, and music headed up by Nobuo
Uematsu,the legendary composer of the Final Fantasy series, marking Uematsu’s first-­‐ever commitment to an independent game project.


“For 25 years, I’ve been working on a lot of video game music like the Final Fantasy series. This is the first time I’ve worked on an  independent game,” says Uematsu, Project Phoenix’s lead composer. “Although it’s fun to create a game within a large company,  I’ve always been interested in being able to work in a small, passionate independent games team. I’m really looking forward to it.”

The development team members have an impressive array of credits, including the Final Fantasy seriesHalo 4, Crysis 3, L.A.  Noire, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Soulcalibur VDisappearance of Haruhi SuzumiyaSteins;Gate Fuka Ryōiki  no Déjà vu, and much more. Several of the members are yet to be announced, including a secret designer from a leading anime  mecha title that changed the course of Japanese pop culture’s influence in the world.


The Project Phoenix Kickstarter is seeking $100,000 to fund the programming and artistic development of the game. Backers have the opportunity to secure digital and limited edition physical copies of the title, along with the chance to be featured as non-­‐playable characters such as a bar owner with their own personal musical theme composed by Uematsu. Stretch goals also include the creation of additional areas, graphics and cinematics, as well as the talents of Grammy Award winning sound engineer John Kurlander (Lord of the Rings trilogy, Skyrim, The Beatles) and the Eminence Symphony Orchestra bringing the music of Uematsu and his co-­‐ composers to life.

Players will follow the story of the amnesiac angel, Ruffles, who has landed in the world of Azuregard and encounters the troubledTemplar, Marcus Stern. Together with
the elven princess Sylrianah, who is reserved but curious to see the world beyond the forest, and Zarum the Lost, a battlemage with his own internal conflicts,
they form an unlikely bond. These four heroes must discover their place in a world brought to war by misunderstanding and ignorance, and perhaps ultimately even save it from itself.

Project Phoenix is a sprawling adventure where you will travel and battle enemies across Azuregard. The game departs from  traditional JRPG conventions through its use of RTS elements, yielding a combat system that is fast-­‐paced and dynamic. Furthermore, players can have their characters interact with environmental terrain features, be it rope bridge or boulders, to create tactical advantages.

Project Phoenix is scheduled for release in mid 2015 for PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. Excited fans can venture to  http://projectphoenix.info to learn more about the game’s development and join the community forums. Game director Hiroaki  Yura and team members will be there to answer fan questions about the development of Project Phoenix.

About Project Phoenix

Project Phoenix is Kickstarter’s first Japan-­‐based video game project that brings in top talent from around the world. Founded in Tokyo, Japan in 2013, Project Phoenix will be working on its squad-­‐based real-­‐time strategy game combined with Japanese RPG design influences, with the goal of releasing it to worldwide audiences by mid  2015. Visit http://projectphoenix.info and http://twitter.com/PhoenixJRPG for more information.

Review: Soul Calibur V OST

Before I start this, I just want to preface it by saying that I’ve never reviewed music of this kind before so bear with me if I start to ramble on 🙂

Soul Calibur is game series with deep roots and a rich heritage, starting from Soul Edge in the arcades before being ported to the Playstation, right up to the latest incarnation in the series, Soul Calibur V. One thing that has remained a constant throughout the series has been the in-game music, or the soundtrack. But it’s in SC V that the music has really come into its own, thanks to the involvement and contributions of some of the heavyweights of the music world.


This soundtrack is literally a who’s who of the music scene with Junichi Nakatsuru (Soul series), Hiroki Kikuta (Secret of Mana), Tomoki Miyoshi, Andrew Aversa, Cris Velasco (God of War series), Inon Zur (Prince of Persia), Jillian Aversa, Eminence Symphony Orchestra, Hiroaki Yura plus loads more taking part in the production, composition and/or performing of the pieces. The soundtrack is spread out on three discs with the first two discs containing themes for each character in the game totalling 28 in all with some amazing highlights coming to mind. In particular Samsara: The Wheel of Eternity (Kilik’s Theme), The Invincible Blade (Mitsurugi’s Theme) and Venice Rooftops (SCV mix) (Ezio Auditore’s Theme). This is not to take anything away from the other tracks as all the themes are absolutely exquisite conveying drama and the emotion behind the character. The instrument sections themselves from the strings to brass and percussions are at their best and show the experience and professionalism of the musicians.

The third disc is made up of the music that is played out during the battles and in-game cinematics which are breathtaking and a joy to listen to. Some highlights for me were Home is Faraway with its sweeping sounds that take you away, Holy Requisition with beautiful choral arrangement and, the last three tracks of disc three deserve a special mention. These being The Last Wish, The Siblings’ Destiny and the amazingly sublime, The Breeze at Dawn. Jillian Aversa’s stunning ethereal vocals are laid out over an amazing composition that brings together string, brass, percussion with an amazing vocal arrangement. This track really gets me every time. Jillian is a standout on this track.

The soundtrack comes spread out across three discs in a gorgeous box with an impressive booklet containing previously unseen artwork and a credits list while the three cd’s come bundled in two attractive cases. This soundtrack is nothing short of amazing for the fan and for someone just getting into the world of gaming music, this is a package that will whet the appetite and leave you wanting more.

Don’t wait any longer, hunt this soundtrack down and get it into your player. This recording is a testament to CIA, the Eminence Symphony Orchestra, Project Soul and everyone else who was involved. A world-class piece of music.

[starreview tpl=16] Absolutely amazing soundtrack that will transport you to new levels.

Katamari Damacy Boss & Eminence Boss To Hold Ustream Broadcast

Quick post to alert people to the news that Hiroaki Yura, from the Eminence Symphony Orchestra and CIA, will be holding a Japanese only broadcast with the man in charge of Katamari Damacy via the CIA Ustream channel, Tokyo Thunder. The event will be taking place at 1900 hours JST, today the 15th of January so for Melbourne viewers, that makes it 9:00PM AEDST.

Tokyo Thunder Ustream Link

Japandaman Snags Exclusive TGS Interview

I mentioned via Twitter the other day that I was working on something TGS related that I would hopefully be able to reveal in the next few days. Well that time is now so I can reveal that Japandaman Dailies has managed to score not one but two interviews while at TGS with a couple of major players in the music world, both video game and anime world.

Hiroaki Yura, the recently announced new Music Supervisor of upcoming Soul Calibur V and Hiroki Kikuta, composer and video game designer of some undeniable influential games ranging from Secret of Mana through to Seiken Densetsu 3, Soukaigi and Koudelka.

Hiroaki Yura

Hiroaki is also the Director of the Eminence Symphony Orchestra responsible for some classically beautiful scores such as The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya and the more recent Wii release, Xenoblade Chronicles.

Hiroki Kikuta

Japandaman Dailies’ Senior Art Editor, Stephanie, will be in attendance covering all four days and will be interviewing in an exclusive one on two interview which promises to be a highlight. Stay tuned to Japandaman Dailies for all your Tokyo Game Show updates!

The iDOLM@STER 2 PS3 Bound

Japanese simulation fans will be ecstatic at the news that popular simulation game, The iDOLM@STER 2 is heading to the PS3. The first game released on the Xbox 360 back in 2007 revolved around a producer taking his girl band and trying to reach dizzying levels of success with them which garnered it great scores in Famitsu and other publications at the time. Three years later, the sequel was released once again on the Xbox 360 without news of a PS3 port. Well that has now changed with the PS3 version due to hit Japan stores on October 27th 2011 in two different editions. First off there’s the stock standard edition which will retail for ¥7,980, however if you fork out ¥19,800 you get quite a few extras for your buck.

As well as the game, you’ll also be receiving a Blu-Ray of Volume 1 of the “The iDOLM@STER” anime, the soundtrack to “The iDOLM@STER 2”, a cd called Idolmaster Gravure For You! Volume 1 (it’s supposed to be able to let you take pics of the idol girls at the beachside?), a container box that will eventually allow you to hold all the “The iDOLM@STER” anime discs and lastly, you’ll also get the latest copy of a magazine for fans of the idols which may or may not be called Monthly Idol Pix. So as you can see there’s heaps on offer there for those lucky enough to nab themselves the limited version which any self respecting Otaku would go for, if anything for the enclosed soundtrack. Hopefully the soundtrack will feature a memorable tracks as the first one did but none more so than, “Tonari ni…”, one of my personal faves which I was lucky enough to see live performed by Chiaki Takahashi with the Eminence Symphony Orchestra, sublime. Check the preview clip below to see what I mean 🙂