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Gaming Music

I was thinking I would speak of a variety of subject that deal with gaming, such as my assessment of the importance of graphics(see my first post).

This time around, I wish to speak of the Music and Sounds of Gaming.

Now these have evolved tremendously since the Atari(or in my own memories, the NES, which sported some the best gaming tunes of all time)
Ask any true gamer if he could whistle these:
Super Mario Bros. Theme
Zelda Overworld Theme,
MegaMan boss Jingle
Chocobo music
FF combat victory jingle,
Castlevania game tracks(who hasn't heard Vampire Hunter at least once?)
The Brinstar theme of Metroid

I could go on nearly forever...and simply mention SNES or Genesis games(although I thought Genesis music sucked compared to SNES, but that's my own opinion, yours is as valid as mine, but this is my blog, aint it?) for those gamers who grew up on those consoles.

all this to say that if it wasn't for some of those tunes, Gaming would not be what it is today.  People like Michiru Yamane(CastleVania), Nobuo Uematsu(Final Fantasy), or Koji Kondo(basically all Nintendo tracks) are (and were) as vital to the industry as master game developers such as Shigeru Miyamoto or Hideo Kojima.  Without such interesting music, the old 2d games would have grown stale much quicker, especially since most 2d platformers were about memorising sequences to get past a certain area and how to beat some enemies...once that was done, the enjoyment was in repetition, and the music.  Geez, I nearly ignored games without sound tests, and regularly bought OST's for some of the greatest games of my youth.

And now, the game music is evolving.  as much as we're thrown endless remakes of old tracks we've been hearing as mono bleeps since 1985, some new music is being made, orchestras are being hired to make game music in some instances, other times you have actual bands, and well, music in games has become this commercial monster.

Personally, when I play games, I don't wish to hear tracks from real-world artists, but again, that's me.  I hate EA with all my heart, and their EA trax, to me, is a way EA found to reduce development costs by not hiring anyone to manage a soundtrack.

Gaming music is great, and it should keep going this way, but let's forget genre music in games, please.  I HATED fight night because I HAD to turn off the intro music for my boxers, the menu music, etc, because whenever I heard music that sounds even remotely like rap/hip-hop/r&b, I just feel like getting away from the source of the sound.

Anyway, Let the music composers keep their reign on that department of games,  they know how to make us like games more than we should XD

Nintendo in french Canada (province of quebec)

It should be known by anyone who read my posts on news comments or my previous post here, but I'm a Canadian.

That being said, I'm also a French Canadian, which happens to also fluently speak english.

Now, In Quebec, the province I live in, Nintendo is nothing less than already DEAD in console gaming.  I can count the people I know that own a cube on one hand, and the ones who actually PLAYED the console on both of them.

The reason is simple:
                                65% of the population in Quebec speaks                                 French as their only language.


Now people who only speak english, or those who speak both languages, like me, do not have this problem, but since the crowd is much smaller than the actual 7 million population, it causes a serious issue.

more than half the gamers can't understand ANYTHING about the story of the game, except with guesses.   Man, that seriously lowers anyone's capacity at completing a RPG...

This changed a few core factors as to why people play games.
The major shift made gamers here become complete addicts on graphics(see previous post)  and on uber violence.  About that, a friend of my roommate actually told me he hated Ocarina Of Time because it lacked blood and there were no cinematic cutscenes...

This made Nintendo lose the battle before it even began.  I understand they made mistakes this gen(hell, I'm a Nintenfreak, i have been a member to Nintendo Power Magazine for 15 freaking years and I can see it), but here it's to the point that Nintendo died so much that the DS I own is thought to be a phone, a pda, and people actually realise it's a game console when you turn it on.  I mean, hasn't the DS been released in October 2004?  after nearly 2 years since the console release, it's just BAD.  I don't have stats available on sales in my area, but i'm pretty sure the PSP outsells the DS here...  I seriously believe that, because other than myself, I have NEVER seen ANYONE with a DS, but i've seen a few psp's though...(and I take the bus daily)

Seriously, Nintendo needs to wake up its marketing in canada, and work on the population here a bit XD


Game Graphics...

I guess the title is fitting.  I have been a gamer for nearly 20 years (now being 23 years old).  I first held a NES controller back in 1986 and back then, of course, I was too young to be a serious gamer.  But four years later, in the end of the NES glory days and the advent of the Super NES, I was a gamer that required respect.

I would say that I have begun to lose interest in gaming since 2003.  I have noticed that most, if not almost all, games are remakes of older titles, with shinier graphics.  Nowadays gamers are more interested in seeing a huge amount of blood gush out of a sword wound, or seeing the sweat on Shaq's face while playing NBA 06 on their xbox 360.  Honestly, I think most gamers my age would agree, Graphics don't make a game.

Yeah, Graphics are a PART of the game experience.  I mean, FF X did not actually make money with the story(it's generic beyond compare, aside for a few interesting twists, but it's so predictable you feel you're watching TV animé)  but with it's utterly kickass videos and also with its detailed combat engine(I still scratch my head looking at that sphere grid)

Nor would half-life 2 had gotten so much attention if graphics weren't a key part of the game.  But I'm talking about shooters now, and well, if ONE type of game REQUIRES good graphics, it's them.  

The thing is, looking at games with uber-gorgeous graphics with no interesting play elements is a bore.  Here's an example.  Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean.  The in-game grafs are incredible, but the V-O is atrocious(seems they have a fishbowl on their heads for god's sake) the story is generic, the puzzles aren't that complex and the beautiful décor often distracts one from actually noticing where their character is on screen.  

here's another good example.  Fable.  Fable had very good facial animations and gameplay grafs, but the game itself was so much of a letdown that the graphics didn't save it from being the most overrated game of 2004.  

I'm looking at the next-gen stuff, and while I'm impressed with the new gameplay graphics available, I still fail to see anything new.  

Besides.  I have no HDTV.  now if I consider the budget needed to enjoy a ps3 to the fullest..(even an xbox 360 for that matter).:

-2000$ for the 42 inch LCD tv (im in canada, prices a bit higher)
-750$ for the PS3
-100$ for a game
------------------------
2850$  Total


with that 2850...I can take half of that away, so 1425$, and boost my PC instead, and the upgrades will make it last about as long as the next console cycle, i may need to change vid card half-way through, but thats just 200$, bringing my total spending to 1625$.

And since PC's have better graphics than a PS3, why would I play twice the price, just to be able to enjoy a console to its fullest?  

Here's something simple.  For shooters and graphic intensive games, I'll play on my pc.

For console gaming, I'll get a Wii.