Sorry for not having a new post about FFXIII-2 as I had said in a prior post. I am currently in the process of writing a Game Audio book as well as creating new apps. I have decided that this website will now be devoted to the Audio of Video Games as the name suggests.
Hey all, It has been a long time since my last blog, a year almost it looks like. Well I will have to change that. First off, I am writing a book about video games. Next working on a few iPhone apps. So things will be hopping on this blog. Next week, I will have a write up on FFXIII-2
All mediums should play off of each other to some extent and because of this, games have the luxury of keeping in crew with three other very powerful mediums (i.e. literature, music, film). The tools those mediums present should be questioned before anything. However, when a cutscene’s length rivals the game’s actual duration of playtime, a very dangerous line is crossed and presents issues we’re going to get into now.
Monty Goulet in Video Game, tags: arcade, game, Legend, mggsound, Movie, music, nintendo, review, video game music archive, Video Games
I suppose I could apologize for the extended hiatus, but we all know that wouldn’t be very sincere—now would it? The holidays were full of weird things on my end, and the most prominent of them was that there was actual paying work floating around so I snatched it. Any of my spare time was obviously spent buried in my work shouting obscenities and firing off random sparks of hatred. The good news is that I actually played quite a few things between November and now, certainly more than enough to gallantly ride straight into 2011 here. I’ll open with the first in my next post. I just wanted to use tonight to metaphorically burst my hand from the ground in front of the gravestone that’s been ‘Video Games Music Archives’ for the past few months (though my views have surprisingly stayed consistent for whatever reason).
Demon’s Souls never explicitly states that it’s a hard game (which is already a lot less boastful than most titles), yet everyone has resigned to parroting their collective frustration with it. This also applies to those singing praises in its name as well (I include myself in this category). There’s even a consistent tendency to announce what an acknowledgement it is to older games too. While I don’t think the game itself is an embodiment of older game design tenants (which would require an abundance of mentionable intent on From Software’s part), I do think that any one player’s interpretation of it now is proof that games are simply not changing as fast as their players are. Not only that, but the players are oblivious to this fact (which is key here). It’s in this respect that such a game should be viewed, not simply analyzing whether or not it’s too hard and/or if its difficulty should take precedence in any kind of useful analysis. Read the rest of this entry »
Hardly, I mean yes, we could spout off some quick numbers and irrelevant facts that would seem to suggest as much, but I can guarantee you each and every one of those claims are made by a person who most likely has passed some sort of twisted and hedonistic event horizon, rendering all their opinions as amusing conjecture at best.The claim that things have been the same however, has far more of a lasting significance here (even if that’s somewhat fallacious as well). The growth in this industry is akin to that of a human being. It’s easy to long for childhood (i.e. retro games), and it’s just as convenient to pretend like ‘times are so much better now!’ (i.e. hop on XBL every night like a dumbass and refuse to question anything else).What’s difficult though? It hardly ever gets seen enough so it might not be that recognizable; its the appreciation of a overall continuum and not just ‘this is better, but this is worse!’ This means that we respect everything that comes along with it, both good and bad (as well as what it means to even perceive as such as well). People have trouble with such this antinomy, especially when trying to decipher meaning from it. This is particularly prevalent in the United States, as people have perverted happiness here as some type of end-game idealistic goal (and the morons think they can actually claim altruism at the same time with this attitude too). Here’s a quick napkin-list of why people commonly think we’re living in such great times now with the bold text just highlighting my thoughts.
1 – “These games look so great now!”
2 – “I can play with my friends online!”
3 – “So much work goes into them, it’s a thriving medium, it’s an art!”
If you’re honestly going to take the the money route (i.e. ‘games are a major financial force now!’), then we’re in more trouble than even I thought. I refuse to acknowledge that one beyond these two sentences.
The ‘Westernization’ of video games is a bigger problem than people are letting on at the moment and it expands well beyond what I’ve been bitching about with the likes of Dante and whatnot.
What’s not addressed is what’s actually relevant, the rather selfish tennis match that Japan and America have been playing with video games for over twenty years now. One very easy example would be concerning narrative thematics; with all the incessant whining about religion and its origins now, this planet is full of a lot of wacky ass mythologies that extend well beyond the limits of what Odin and his friends can offer us. That said, Europe has surely become a bigger factor, but it’s still akin to the second string quarterback in a football game, appreciated by not necessarily always needed.
Monty Goulet in Video Game, tags: arcade, game, hedgehog, nintendo, ps3, sega, sonic, the, video, xbox
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is an interesting game in quite a few contexts, I mean that. Before I start ranting though, I should open up with a few things. After completing it for the first time today, I’m even more adamant that Sega either has absolutely no idea what they ever had with the series to begin with, or their perspective has developed into a radically sick sense of humor. I personally ‘gave up’ on Sonic a few years ago, as even if I got the game I actually wanted, my apathy would likely take precedence anyway. I’d much rather learn how to make my own ripoff of it than complain too righteously about Sonic Team these days.
Monty Goulet in Video Game, tags: mggsound, Movie, music, nintendo, review, starcraft, video game music archive, Video Games
First off its been far too long since my last post, I apologize
— Tom Chick
It wasn’t the game itself that inspired this post, but rather a recently released podcast featuring Rob Zacny, Tom Chick, Chris Remo and Troy Goodfellow talking about it on a podcast this week (good listen by the way).
Monty Goulet in Video Game, tags: game, Metal Gear Solid, mggsound, nintendo, review, video game music archive, Video Games, Zelda
I’ll go into my take on E3 and the press conferences next week but for now I want to address two specific games I noticed that interest me
A sort-of recurring complaint of mine these days is that not nearly enough games make use of the in-play camera. There’s a sort of tendency for this to be ignored in a larger context for quite a few reasons. A big contributor is that PC gamers always have access to this in one way or another (and the progeny of all PC gamers still affect consoles significantly). The second extends into ‘real life’ and is indicative of how shallow most people have become now. One can learn quite a bit about someone by giving them a DSLR of any type and demanding that they ‘go take pictures’. An instant reaction to my complaint here usually runes along the lines of:
“Well wtf am I supposed to do with a camera? Take pics? That’s not fun!”
Anyone that writes about their experiences with games will/should easily be able to empathize with my demands here, as the simple relation of a one’s vision through a photo is like — I don’t know, photography? There’s a tendency to avoid the mere notion of ‘art’ and photography is one of the biggest proponents of this ignorance. This is to say, the willful avoidance of craftily organizing one’s one sight of the world. Yes, it makes you an artist, no it does not make you special. It’s one of the most easily accessible forms of art there is, but at the same time it isn’t, as the craft is DAMN expensive. That in itself kind of bolsters my case for more in-game cameras, as developers can build a simulation of even the most expensive DSLRs in their titles; if there’s one thing gamers are actually good at, it’s the fanatics making use of the tools they’re given. How about an achievement that unlocks such a feature/upgrades (instead of some dumbass trophy)?
Given that so many games are quickly becoming so visually dense, it only makes sense to capture some of those moments using the digital age we live in. It means more to me as a single-player experience, but I’m aware that the social-bugs can make just as much use of them (take a look at Halo 3 for example). Outside of some of the more well-known titles, simply having a sliver of one’s experience can be thunderously rewarding. Gamers are always raising endless arguments for their personal creation of context (and also how the developers are meant to communicate to them that context). However, when push comes to shove, asking them to actually display a piece of themselves in that argument is equal to hurling dirt clods at a house and expecting it to fall over.
Oh, and don’t even get me started on trying to find a decent screencap of a game (sans the horrific watermarks you sites sometimes plaster on your images) either. This would easily kill off that not having a decent shot of a game. I don’t mind the developers watermarking an image, but game sites doing it is just an obnoxious and unnecessary filter I’m tired of veering around.
I was linked to an ‘Iwata Asks‘ segment of Nintendo’s E3 site. Amidst the conversations on several of their revealed projects at E3 was the one I’m obviously most interested in, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. There’s a conflation with my complaints in terms of what Twilight Princess did/did not do and it’s one both Aonuma and Miyamoto admit to in this video. The density of play in Twilight Princess for example, was very —- for lack of a better term, erratic. It ended up becoming far more counterproductive and it simply didn’t help that another title had launched right alongside it. Admitedly, had not Okami launched in the same year, I probably never would have even noticed something like that (but let’s avoid that comparison today). However it did, and it has affected the Zelda franchise in general to some extent, at least to an extent we all should pay attention to now. It’s almost admitted by them in the video that the Wii individually was meant to communicate their ideas of a ‘better way to play’. I among many have a knee-jerk reaction to the mere utterance of that, but there is a certain train of thought explained that I can respect (and by extension, give a chance too).That admittance was the portion of the video where Miyamoto comments on the Wii MotionPlus, which essentially turns the Nintendo Wii into what we were all hoping for to begin with. The control which Skyward Sword now grants the player over their weapon is significantly more resolute than that ofTwilight Princess (i.e. waggle). The problem now is that Nintendo squandered its reserves by launching Twilight Princess to begin with. That’s not meant to bash the game but rather point out the degree to which it will deflate the actual prominence and awe the new sword palatability is meant to communicate. Many of ‘us’ will end up taking it for granted simply because we’re familiar with and complacent to the Wii’s entire visage now. This means that Shiggy & Aonuma’s excitement in design becomes layered behind yet another slab of ‘language’. It also means that at the end of the day, granting Skyward Sword’s most idealrelease, its greatest muscle becomes ‘lost in translation’.Concerning the game’s new visual path, I’d have to say I’m a bit torn in two. First and foremost, I’m not a fan of Impressionism. Even given its proxy toRomanticism, it’s a bit too proud of being an excessive tangent spawned from that movement (liking the parent doesn’t mean I have to enjoy their bratty child). On the other hand, there’s a distinct factor I’m willing to admit excitement for towards the game’s release: use of movement and light (both very key to Impressionist works). Only those at E3 have actually seen how the game moves up close, but this also sheds light (no pun intended) on a darker side of the game’s visuals as well; this is that I think only a few (even Nintendo here to some extent) will look at the game’s usage of such a period beyond the general gist of:
“Omg cool! It’s using a relatively popular 19th century art period as inspiration! I shallowly feel a bit more cultured now!”
They’re actually more likely to just say ‘cool! art!’ these days, but you get my idea…
The way this game moves and feels is going to be immensely important now. The way its landscapes are rendered, the way those polygons move, and everything the light touches will become subject to intense scrutiny to those such as myself. Color is also an extremely important factor, but my detesting of it as an artistic ideal renders my opinion here a bit — unstable. I don’t like the colors that were shown in the trailer and I don’t expect that to change over the next year. I will however, easily get over them, granted the game efficiently makes use of any of the above factors in relation to it. If there’s a way to make the models ‘bleed’ to some extent, Nintendo might be on to something huge. As it stands though, I expect the Ueda games to remain one of the few (if not only) Impressionistically visualized games in existence (and I don’t think those guys really did it on purpose either).