Sep 27, 2013

Wicked Video Games OST's: Part 2

Hello again!

I'm horrible at updating, I know, allright? :)  The second part of Wicked Video Games OST's is coming your way right about right now!

 As everyone who ever played a computer game knows, the sound of a game has a huge impact on one's experience.  In this series I am showcasing what game soundtracks (or sound in general) I was personally moved by, this is not necessarily another 'best VGM OST' list, though.

#1 World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Gnomeregan

This is the second known case for me where I've had to just stop playing to listen to the music.  (The first one would be the title theme for vanilla Civilization IV.  If you don't know WoW gnomes, they are basically child sized inventor geniouses who consider safety a distant second consideration in the face of progress.  In WoW, their race was nearly wiped out completely in a rebellion that caused their capitol city to be completely irradiated with chemicals that killed or mutated most of the population.  This lore was unfortunately never put ingame in a proper way until the Cataclysm expansion was released.  In WoW: Cataclysm, Gnomes were finally given a more meaningful introduction and this music piece that I will finally post is one of the many fantastic musical artworks WoW was updated with when Cataclysm was released:

Cello, clockworks and wazoo (!) in harmonic powerplay!

#2 World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade - Lament of the Highborne

Night elves in WoW are nowhere as treehuggy as their bouncy appearances may first look.  They live so close to nature they are generally avoided and often considered feral by the other Alliance races, and have a strict caste system topped by powerful huntresses and archdruids of Elune with immense power. They have been and still suffer their fair share of hardship, for example they are no longer immortal.  This next piece is sung by Sylvanas Windrunner who heads the Forsaken undead faction of World of Warcraft.  She was a night elf ranger captain slain and then resurrected as a banshee by Arthas Menethil, later known as the Lich King.  She may be an elf originally but the forsaken faction comprised mostly of humans all share the pain and loss in her lament, of the extinct highborne and follow her without question as their freakish race fights for their continued survival (such as it is):

Banshees may look hideous but damn can they strike a tune...

#3 World Of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - Way of the Monk

Pandaren as a race were largely ridiculed (and still are, I suppose) when Mists of Pandaria was announced, I'll admit I was quite sceptical as well hearing the news.  I have to give praise where its due, however; Blizzard did one hell of a job fleshing out absolutely everything in rich detail storywise, to the point I now see Pandaren as one of the most legit races in WoW (Of course it helps having a whole expansion themed around them).  Pandaren in WoW are one of the races that lived for ages under Mogu slavery.  The Mogu allowed a caste of Pandaren to form to create herbal remedies to combat slave fatigue.  Over the years they rose in power, unknown to the Mogu, to become skilled healers, leaders, unarmed combatants but most importantly a symbol of hope for the slaves that finally granted them the power to rise up against the Mogu and rebel, eventually freeing themselves from slavery. That caste was the first of what is now called the Monk class in WoW.

Too much epic strings and horns to begin getting into, just listen.

I could list more great music from the game, but I'll stop here. If any of this was of interest then the rest of the soundtrack is just a youtube search away.  World of Warcraft has been a part of my life for many years now, thanks to the great fantasy world it has immersed me in, and the music of the game has been a large part of that.  As a bonus, if any of the pieces above were good for you, or you are just interested in some story on Mists of Pandaria, here is the link to the first of a great seven part storytime video series made by Blizzard:

Sep 21, 2013

I don't know if anyone is reading this blog anymore, but here goes.

I've been slack as hell at updating here, I've made a few attempts at picking it up but it's all gone to the dickens, I'll admit that.  One thing I never do though, is give up.

So here's a filler post of sorts with select videos I've posted on Youtube since my last stint here, and I hope you'll find something interesting!  As usual, if your embedded video player doesn't let you go 1080 or 720p fullscreen I recommend clicking the Youtube button on the videos and watching them there instead.

To get the pace going, here's a test video I made on the not so recently released anymore Need for Speed: Most Wanted, still a fun game, despite a few dire issues on the PC version (I play mostly on PC exclusively these days btw)

I've been playing a lot of strange and wonderful games over the years. One of them that has charmed me more than others is the rather simple mechanically but very challenging Bit.trip presents: Runner 2, Future Legend of Rythm Alien. This is a game that fits into the 'endless runner' category, except this game has production value, actual levels that end at some point and online leaderboards and all that good stuff.  This next clip is from a (after some practice) pretty decent run on a level played on hard difficulty.

If there's one thing I got a nerd soft spot for its oldschool pc games. A perfect example would be.. Doom, for example.  As it happens, Doom is still kicking despite popular belief, and it's gotten rather bad ass thanks to faithful modders.  This next clip is the last level of Doom 1 episode 1, freely downloadable in shareware form still I believe (but still worth your money).  Oh yeah, mods.  Have a gander at Brütal Doom!  And Doom Metal level music remakes, and high quality texture packs! And a really challenging game, I actually recommend saving before opening any door on this game unless you're familiar with the levels.  Also, funny thing I found out while making this post, the instructions I posted in this video got stolen to the extreme by various other youtube uploaders. Not that I mind too much, its rather amusing, also if it gets people back into this game its a win across the board.

Speaking of really challenging games, I had a C64 back in the days, and one of the most played games on it was the Great Giana Sisters.  It's back!  Okay, it has been back a while, since there has been remakes for handheld devices already, but now it is also on proper systems in a very lovingly created reinterpretation of the original game.  I say that, because it plays very different than the old C64 game I loved back then.  The original was a blatant copy of Super Mario Brothers, this remake keeps the charm of that game and the difficult platforming, borrowing some gimmicks from more recent 2d platformers but also adding the 'twist' mechanic that changes your abilites, and the levels themselves, which is rather novel.  Also, the music is freaking sweet.


Speaking of sweet music, and in the same genre to boot, Rayman Legends is no longer a WiiU exlusive and has spread its limbless limbs over all current platforms.  I'm just going to drop this bombshell.  Ubisoft got better at 2D platform games than Nintendo. Rayman Legends is SO much more than any version of the Mario games we've seen the last decade, I really hope it inspires the good people over at Nintendo to get a bit more original with their next Mario stuff.  Anyway, this game has the sweetest 2d/3d visuals I've seen in a long time. The animation quality is so good (and that's saying something, we're animating a character without arms or legs here).  And the music?  Well, instead of trying to explain it let me show you 'Castle Rock', one of the musical levels you can unlock at the end of each world in Rayman Legends:

So that's a bit of content on this blog again after all this time.  I haven't forgotten about writing completely, I just don't have the drive lately.  I'm still about, though.  And I will yet again try to get back into this!  I hope some of these clips were enjoyable and if you like what you're seeing here, there's a bit more on the channel they lead to.  For now, thanks for reading and see you next time!