Sea of Stars is coming to Switch later this year, and it’s heavily inspired by classic RPGs of the SNES era. That influence extends to its soundtrack, which even has contributions from Chrono Trigger composer Yasunori Mitsuda. The majority of the score however is being composed by Eric W. Brown.

Brown recently sat down for an interview with Game Informer, in which he discussed the joys and challenges of emulating a retro style for a modern game.

“For this, during the pre-production phase, I was experimenting, and I think initially, I wanted to do a more hi-fi type of thing. But ultimately, what we landed on was something that doesn’t take you out of the moment, in a retro sense. It’s the same thing that we’re doing with the visuals. None of that would work on a Super Nintendo, necessarily. Not the way that it looks.”

“I think part of the reason that retro soundtracks were so catchy is because they had so little to work with. The hardware was a very limited sound palette. On the Super Nintendo, for instance, you only had eight channels. Whereas nowadays, you have essentially infinite channels,” Brown says. “To me, it just feels like the compositions were so much stronger because they had such limitations – the classic saying that ‘limitation breeds creativity.’ But yeah, I think that a staple of retro games was just really strong hooks.”

[Eric W. Brown, Game Informer]

Click here to read the full interview with Eric W. Brown, in which he talks about the game’s sound effects and how he worked to make the battle music less repetitive.

Sea of Stars will be available on Switch August 29, 2023. You can try the game for yourself and listen to a sample of its soundtrack by playing the demo, which is available right now on Switch.

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