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Battles $5.99
Average Rating:4.0 / 5
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Battles
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Battles
Publisher: Toxic Bag Productions, Inc.
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/28/2012 16:34:42
There are really two things to consider when evaluating this collection: quality of execution, and usefulness at the gaming table.

In terms of execution, this “album” is top-notch. For each of the four different genres represented, you get an introductory track, a loopable main track, and a fade-out track. Each track captures the genre extremely well, and creates a good immersive experience. You can easily picture yourself or your character being right in the thick of the action. Sound effects (swordplay, gunfire, and so on) dominate, enhancing verisimilitude.

I’m less enthusiastic about the collection’s usefulness at the gaming table. Most of the tracks include very distinct dialogue that may distract you and your players from the action going on within your own story. On the whole, the tracks seem too busy, too intrusive. They could easily overwhelm your back-and-forth discussion with your players.

In the end, I don’t think I’d be too likely to use these tracks to score role-playing scenarios, though I might very well play them in the background of a skirmish-type game. I think these tracks serve board/miniatures gamers more than role-players.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Battles
Publisher: Toxic Bag Productions, Inc.
by Dennis S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/05/2011 22:44:37
I've always wondered about ambient collections for games, and this one delivers a pretty solid but indeed very targeted product. The introduction and fadeout tracks of each set are forgettable, but the main battle tracks offer a bevy of sonic texture. They are chaotic and use appropriate sounds to convey what they purport to, but they are low-key enough that they won't overcome your speech or be a bother (unless you blast them at enormous volume). You will get clashing blades, screams of the dying and the grunts of beasts in the fantasy battle, and clatter of horses and blast of guns in the civil war. The science fiction one sounds like someone's squeezing the trigger of that ray gun until it hits empty, and feels a bit campy.

There is a weird musicality to the loopable tracks if you listen to them enough, but they are really not meant to be listened, so much as to be played. There is one track which is musical in construction, the "Battle theme" which is an acceptable but not terribly exciting orchestral drum-and-string, of the sort you might hear in a fantasy movie nowadays. This is a very utilitarian soundset – appropriate to play over a big warfare setpiece of the appropriate period, where hundreds of blades are clashing or dozens of rifles are discharging, but not really for anything else. If you are in need of such a product, you might consider this.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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