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1:19 PM on 03.21.2012  

Video Game Soundtracks: Then versus Now



I read an article called: Where did the Groove Go? by Jim Sterling. It's about how and why video game soundtracks used to be better. While agree on them being amazing I don't think it's as simple as saying "Old soundtracks were better". I started writing a reaction on Dale North's tweet about the article on Facebook but it turned out to be a little longer than a simple comment. I don't have a sound and clear answer but I do think it could bring forth an interesting discussion.

I think it's way more complex than the writer of the article makes it out to be. Are the older tunes really better or is it nostalgia? I love the old 8-bit tunes but for a large part because it brings me back to the days I was playing those games. Also, it's the way we played games back then. Not a million hours of game-play. Just a handful of levels which you needed to play through again after being game over. Which made it so you heard the same tune a gazillion times. No wonder I still remember the Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack. I would probably get really annoyed if soundtracks today were handled in the same way as before. "AGAIN THIS @##$!@%**& SONG?!" Which kind of happened with Burnout: Paradise. I've played that game for many many hours and can't stand "Paradise City" by Guns 'n Roses anymore. It is different of course since I already knew that song. But it will remember me of the (amazing) Burnout: Paradise until I die.

As the writer pointed out it isn't all bad nowadays. Unlike him I do remember the Killzone soundtrack very well. Full orchestra, modern but I still think it's amazing. Just like the Metal Gear Solid and Assassin's Creed series (all of them). I know every single song. What about Shatter? That was some gorgeous soundtrack. It made the game and really sticks. Halo has an amazing soundtrack. Everybody here will instantly hear the Gregorian choir in the mind. There are many many more recent soundtracks we can come up with. Although I don't know what the deal is with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare[i/] because, just like the author of the article, I don't remember anything of it. But I do know the [i]Call of Duty: World at War soundtrack by heart. Might have to do with the fact I beat that on Veteran which was a nightmare. Many hours of replay. So yeah, that could be it.

Overall I think soundtracks nowadays are more mood pieces than actual songs. And when they are we remember them more easily. Everybody knows Portal's "Still Alive" and can sing along or at least hum along. It's an easy, simple and catchy tune and we heard it a million times. Which is the same with older soundtracks. Which evidently proves the whole point.

So okay, let's change those "mood pieces" to some quirky 8-bit tunes and it would destroy the game. I'm guessing here because it will never happen. Maybe it's actually a good thing you don't remember the soundtrack. How often do you find yourself shopping in a grocery store without noticing the music playing? There is some solid science behind that. Maybe nowadays it's more like Elevator Music? In that case the author of the article is right. We won't remember it. But is that always a bad thing? If the music blends in with the game it at least fits.

It also has to do with our brains of course. Just a few beeps and bops to remember. That's quite a bit easier than a whole orchestra. Add the fact you heard them over and over again and it's no surprise you will remember them till the day you die. It's the same with shitty pop music. Simple, easy and usually stuck in your head whether you want it or not. But you do remember them. But wait a second, does it really have to do with it being a full orchestra? I'm pretty sure every body and their mom can hum a few classical orchestrated pieces written by Beethoven, Mozart and the like.

What about the amount of games and music in general? I didn't have as many games as I own now. Just the few games I bought after saving for months. So when I played Super Mario as a kiddo all I listened to was that. For a hell of a long time. Over and over again. Today we take our music with us and listen to many different songs throughout the day. Put a single modern soundtrack on your iPod and I will guarantee you will be able to remember them.

What would happen if I let a 10 year old boy listen to the Sonic soundtrack without ever having heard it before? The kid might think it sucks. To be really sure the soundtracks from this day and age are forgetful and rubbish we should ask this generation again in 10 years.

In conclusion, I think older soundtrack were awesome but not necessarily better. We played games and therefore listened to the soundtracks in a different way. There are always exceptions to every rule which isn't different with video game soundtracks. Some of them really stand out, no matter if you hear them more often or if they're easy to remember. Nobuo Uematsu for instance really is that much of an amazing composer.

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7:21 AM on 04.13.2010  

Great memories of Destructoid (in response to Mxyzptlk's blog)

I got a bit over excited and posted too many pics. Maybe not too many but certainly too big. By doing that I almost raped the forums so I've decided to post the pics in this blog. Now if you haven't already, please check this epic forum post.

Warning: A lot of pics of great memories.

Great moments in pics chosen at random from my Photobucket:

Blennon:


This pic of me made by Haxan:


Me and Pew making fun of Germans:


Revealing Dale's true identity:


Re-creating Jimbo's bathroom in LBP:


Making fun of Pikeman:




The adventures of Chad:


Making the Destructoid.com LittleBigPlanet level. It still blows my mind thinking about it:


Being loved:


Jimbo's Seal of approval:


This guy:


James Ewing (aka Ha-Puken) wanting to send me a bottle of tequila but sending me his US PS2 with Front Mission 3 and 4 cd's full of epic music instead:


TheGHost making me (and a million other Dtoiders) a card:


This:


Best game ever:


Sadistic and Sadie:


Raping fail-blogs with Sadistic:


Christopher Walken:


My PS3 kicking the bucket (originally a video with sounds and all but I'll post this pic to make it easier):


Dan Clancy sending me his Killzone 2 T-shirt (the one on the left):


Vixen:


The ApocalyPS3:


Wanderingpixel making me a motivational poster:



So there you have it. I could've added more but this is a bit too much already. All these things are making me wear my Dtoid T-shirts with pride!



I love you all.

EXTRA SPECIAL PIC:





[EDIT: Here are my other memories I shared in the forums as well, just to make it complete]

Great moments in words:

Finding out that Hamza changed my name into "Mr. Sadistic's Sex Slave". It only lasted 2 days. He changed it back because it got scary.

Endless chat sessions on PS3 video chat with Jimbo, James, Shipero, Pikeman, Moosehole, Haxan and several others. Basically having our own private Destructoid PS3 vodcast with ever recording it.

Writing themed FNF blogs.

Meeting James Ewing (Ha-Puken) in person. Which is possibly the best thing ever.

The frontpage article that got raped with SFW porn pics. (Randombullseye already mentioned it)

The generosity from several Dtoiders. Moosehole, James, Shipero, Jimbo and Dan Clancy in particular.

Trophy whoring with Moosehole.

Singing along with 90's Euro dance hits for hours and hours with Shipero.

Daily video chats with Shipero.

Meeting awesome people online in general.

The Killzone 2 Destructoid Clan and playing that game All Night Long while singing "All night long".

Foxtoid

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5:29 PM on 03.01.2010  

Attention Fatty PS3 owners! It looks like the apocalypse has ended...

Quick Blog is Quick!



Yes, I've got good news. People with borked PS3's are succesfully being able to sign in again. We're checking things out right now. But it seems that the problems are over. I'm actually in a video chat with Shipero right now. But do mind, some people still can't sign in.

I wish you all very happy games.

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3:12 PM on 03.01.2010  

Slim Jong-Il got the dreaded PlayStation Network Error too...


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2:46 PM on 12.04.2009  

PS3 Friday Night Fights: Hot Chocolate Edition.



It's cold outside. Rain and snow hammering the streets. Wind blowing from every direction, determent to knock you off your feet. The way home from work is miserable. The sound of your wind screen wipers on your car is hypnotizing. "Flick flack flick flack." You've already closed your eyes multiple times behind the wheel, nearly dozing off. Then finally you can see your house in the distance. You collect all your strength to stay awake and make it to the save haven you call home.

You take off your cold wet clothes and change into something warm and comfortable. After making yourself some hot chocolate you settle yourself in your favorite, supposedly leopard print, chair. Closing your eyes for a second. Upon opening your eyes again you see it. Shiny or matte, fat or slim, it doesn't matter how it looks. It is your one and only Playstation 3. Suddenly you don't feel so exhausted anymore. The sound of the rain and wind outside fades away into nothingness. You take one last big sip of your hot chocolate, wipe off your brown and creamy milkstache and get ready for...

FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS






Wow, that's a lot of Hot Chocolate. Now, let's see what we're going to play tonight. I'll guarantee you that it was worth getting home for. Makes you forget all the bad shit happening outside. Embrace the warmth of the PSN.




8PM EST: Marvel vs. Capcom 2 Host: Santanaclaus89 (PSN: Moosehole)

Serv-bot. That's all you need hear in order to get excited for this game. Pick that little yellow cute looking fellow and punch people with plates and table cloth. And potato's even? I don't know but he sure is awesome.




9PM EST: Tekken 6 Host: JackofNoTrades(PSN: JackofNoTrades85)

Join Jack and pick Jack. That robot, not the real Jack you dummy. Show him and other what you're made off. Or get punched to pulp by some bear or any other animal. It's all good. And a lot of fun too!




9PM EST: Uncharted 2 Host: FalconReaper (PSN: FalconReaper). Possible other Backup Host: Takeshi (PSN:JohanHin)

This game has even more rewarding fight mechanics than the fighting games. *Punch in the dick!* What a gorgeous game. Every PS3 owner should own this game. So if you do join us




10PM EST: Modern Warfare 2 Host: Santanaclaus89 (PSN: Moosehole)

Got banned on the 360? No worries, you can join us any time. Don't overdo it or face FNF's own cute little banhammer. So cute it hurts.


Takeshi. Smashing things since 1981




Well that's it for this weeks festivities. Punch and shoot your way through endless hordes of Dtoiders.
Yours,

Takeshi

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2:00 PM on 11.15.2009  

Fare thee well my big black darling. I'll miss you.

I can never treat Friday the 13th in the same light hearted way as before.

You might have noticed by reading the FNF post, Friday was a bad day for me. It was only just the 13th when it happened, as if it was waiting for it that sarcastic bastard. I was just playing a video game when I heard 3 short beeps. It was my black shiny beast. It was sending out Morse codes in a desperate manner trying to get rescued. It never got further than the "S". I couldn't just say "Oh well it's dead. Let's buy a new one.". No sir. That's why I made this short reconstruction of how it happened and how I tried to rescue it.



As Shipero noted I kept the Dtoid tradition of having credits longer than the actual video. But I still pretty sure that I have missed someone. You see, I've got no video editing skills and no PC who could handle a program which could actually do something. So I had to use Windows Moviemaker. It wouldn't let me add more text. I couldn't even mention the second partial song was: Starsailor - Way to Fall. So don't be sad if you're not on the list. You'll always be in it's heart. It's cold dead heart but still.

It's no secret that I love the PS3 very much but this exact one was special to me. I don't blame it for dying but a warning would be nice. I guess it was too proud to give up. But with a slight suggestion of being ill I could at least save all my data. I don't care about the songs, the movies and game data. But I do care about some save files. Actually just a single one. LittleBigPlanet. I will enjoy playing all the other games again, that's why I bought them in the first place, but LBP is a different story. The published levels are still stored on the servers of course but what about those unpublished levels in progress? All gone. That was a lot of work and something I can never recreate. So Haxan my friend, consider yourself lucky, you're the only one who has seen them all. Maybe I can recreate one of them. But that's only if I can find all the calculations I made.

Only one of you has actually played on it but many of you have played with it. Show me his death wasn't in vain.

Farewell CECH04. I will miss you forever.

Much love,
Takeshi.

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3:05 PM on 11.13.2009  

PS3 Friday Night Fights: It truly is Friday the 13th. Boooo this day edition.



Damn this day. Damn it to hell. I'm not even going to describe it for you because you would punch your PS3. You'll see soon enough what I mean. Although. It is Friday the 13th so you'll never know what else might go wrong. I've had my fair share.








8PM EST: Marvel vs. Capcom 2 Host: Santanaclaus89 (PSN: Moosehole)

Beat each other in the nuts for me will you? Nice and hard and with a lot of aggression!




9PM EDT: BlazBlue Host: JackofNoTrades(PSN: JackofNoTrades85)

Nice another game to let off some steam. Once again beat and kick each other to pulp!




10PM EST: Uncharted 2 Hosts: FalconReaper (PSN: FalconReaper). Possible other Backup Hosts:InfraredChimera (PSN: InfraredChimera) barcaxavi06 (PSN: barcaxavi06)

This game has even more rewarding fight mechanics than the fighting games. *Punch in the dick!*




10PM EST: Modern Warfare 2 Host: Santanaclaus89 (PSN: Moosehole)

Shoot everything that moves. Do it for rage, do it for TAKESHI!!!!
(p.s. you might want to tell everybody if you want to be a back-up host.)
(p.p.s. I haven't got a clue what that pic is. But it looks cool. So don't shoot me if it isn't actually MW2)




12AM EDT: Socom: Confrontation Host: Santanaclaus89 (PSN: Moosehole) or y0j1mb0 (PSN: k0wb0y-b33b0p)

If there might be some anger left let it all out on your team mates. STAB EVERYBODY! In the face, in the groin, in the back. EVERYWHERE.




Have fun tonight with all those new kick-ass games! It's truly a good year to be a gamer. Except if your name is Takeshi.

I'm going to bed.

Yours,

Takeshi

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2:34 PM on 10.23.2009  

PS3 Friday Night Fights: Nothing but awesomenessnessness Edition



Guess what? You wont see anything fancy from me this week. "And why is that son?" Well I've bought this game with some dude blowing his brains out on the cover. I need to hurry and get back to it. I've also been teasing some of you about a really awesome FNF post. It's turning out to be amazingly big and too much for FNF. Keep an eye out for it in the coming weeks, it's going to be rather cool. Sully approves, that's all I can say at the moment. Now where were we?

This one is for you Shipero. Enjoy it!







8PM EST: Marvel vs. Capcom 2 Host: Santanaclaus89 (PSN: Moosehole)

Moose wants to punch you in the face and you want to punch old man Jimbo in his face. C'mon admit it. I would totally join but Borderlands, yeah, that's it.




9PM EDT: BlazBlue Host: JackofNoTrades(PSN: JackofNoTrades85)

Jack wants to know if you're interested in [b]Tekken 6[/i]. He's gonna pick it up next week if you want we can change BlazBlue with Tekken 6 or host them both or whatever you crazy fighting game lovers want. But for now you can beat Jack up in BlazBlue. Do it!




10PM EST: Uncharted 2 Hosts: Santanaclaus89 (PSN: Moosehole) and FalconReaper (PSN: FalconReaper). Possible other Backup Hosts:InfraredChimera (PSN: InfraredChimera) barcaxavi06 (PSN: barcaxavi06)

I can't even begin to describe the awesomeness of this game. I think Corak's PSN comment should be sufficient: "Holy Mother Uncharted". Join pretty much every goddamn PS3 owner on the planet and have a great night!




12AM EDT: Socom: Confrontation Host: Santanaclaus89 (PSN: Moosehole) or y0j1mb0 (PSN: k0wb0y-b33b0p)

Join up with Moose, Jimbo, Pikeman and others to snipe, shoot, stab everyone who tries to harm any Dtoider.



SPECIAL ENTRY



This game is great. That's all you need to know. It's is going to be quite hard to organize anything here because of the way the game is set-up. There is a thread about who wants to play with who and stuff. It is called: Borderlands Squads or whatever you want to call it Check it out if you want. I've decided on my squad so you can stop sending me money and naked pics of your sister and mum.


Have fun tonight with all those new kick-ass games! It's truly a good year to be a gamer.

Yours,

Takeshi

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3:46 PM on 10.14.2009  

I would like a moment of silence please...

Captain Lou Albano July 29, 1933 – October 14, 2009

There isn't much info.

Let's all do the Mario one more time. I think Captain Lou will watch us from somewhere and love it...


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2:19 PM on 10.02.2009  

PS3 Friday Night Fights: PSP GO Edition



The PSP®go is out. I've heard it's so awesomely powerfull it can actually play PS3 games. Might be a rumor though . Follow me to see if we can play FNF on the Go tonight.

Oh yeah, these guys think is such a bad ass hand-held they wrote a song about it. I think they bought 3 in one go (yes is just made that joke). Because the song is called Go Go Go!






8PM EDT: BlazBlue Host: JackofNoTrades(PSN: JackofNoTrades85)

Well, I guess you could play it if you have enough fingers to spare. Free cramps included but no problems here.




9PM EDT: Marvel vs. Capcom 2 Host: Santanaclaus89 (PSN: Moosehole)

As you can see it's totally playable... If you choose Serv-Bot... Don't select any other characters... and play it in single player. Yup, you're good to go because Serv-Bot is all you need.




10PM EDT: Killzone 2 Host: Elsa (PSN: Elsa)

No worries here. We're just gonna play Killzone: Liberation. Which is a zillion times better than Killzone 2 anyway. There is only one server still active up so you have to be quick about it. I'll be playing this all by myself because the servers are region locked. That's why Elsa is hosting for all you Americans and I'm making her a sandwich.

Oh yeah, the password is 'TOID' in all-caps.




11PM EDT: King of Fighters XII Host: JackofNoTrades(PSN: JackofNoTrades85)

You might have to put your PSP down and stand half a mile away but I can totally see the outlines of Terry. Or is it Athena? No, no. It's Shen Woo. Yup, totally. So this means it closely resembles it's PS3 counterpart so you'll feel right at home here.




11PM EDT: Resistance 2 Host: Clockwork-Zombie(PSN: Clockwork-Zombie)

It's time for a golden oldie. You can probably find a used UMD in the bargain bins somewhere. So no probl... Fuck. No UMD is no Resistance 2 then. Sorry about that. Let's just forget about this and play the next game then.




12AM EDT: Socom: Confrontation Host: y0j1mb0 (PSN: k0wb0y-b33b0p)

Oh dammit. By the time we get to play Socom the battery is sucked dry, out of juice and all other words you Americans use. We completely forgot our chargers and Sony, cheap they are, didn't include and extra batter. Socom = Nocom tonight.



There you have it. We're totally gonna play about one and a half game tonight. It's gonna rock! Leave your PSN behind and maybe we can get our PSP's online. If everything fails, I'm playing Uno on my PS3, just send me a message. Use Skype to send that message because the PSN is free but laggy as hell.

Have fun tonight with your new purchase!

Yours,

Takeshi

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10:30 PM on 09.14.2009  

PS3: Firmware 3.01 now live and a question for you while you're downloading.




(Obviously a short-blog. You weren't expecting me to write a novel about a firmware update now did you?)

Just mere minutes ago Sony release the new 3.01 Firmware. I've downloaded and installed it. And that about all I can say because I don't know what the changes are.

For those who are about to get into cardiac arrest: Fear not the nice gray friendlist is still in tact. And the bigger fonts too. In fact there aren't any changes we can see. Which can only mean Uncharted: Drakes Fortune is now playable for everybody. At least that's what I'm guessing. I myself didn't have any issues with the game. So maybe the ones that had problems can enlighten us if the game now runs as smooth as before.

Now while you're updating your PS3 I want to ask you something. Can you tell me what feature you would like to see in the next Firmware? Try to keep things a bit sane will you? We all know people really enjoy typing that "those guys over at Sony are a bunch of fags". But then in all-caps and with more grammar errors. But I'm just curious about your ideas and most of all why you would love that feature.

Forgot somethin: I personally would like to see two things.

1. I would love to be able to have full control over all the features on the XMB while in a video-chat. For those that never use it, you can't look at your trophies for instance. It's great to discuss the trophies in a chat room. "How did you get that one?" "How many more trophies do you need in that particular game?" etc.

2. I would also love to have full in-game XMB while playing PS1 and PS2 games and while watching a DVD or Blu-ray. Right now if you're playing a PS1 game you will remain logged in and can receive messages and sorts but you have to quit the game to read and reply them. This is obviously a bit harder to implement but it would make the PS3 much friendlier in use.

That's all I really want. I give the PS3 a 9.5 now. If it had those functions it would get a round and sold 10.


EDIT: Sony updated their blog and it says:

"Hi everyone, PS3 system software update 3.01 is now available for download. This is an optional update that improves system stability during use of some PlayStation 3 format software."

So yeah, that's Uncharted for you.

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2:00 PM on 09.12.2009  

PS3 Saturday Night Shooter: WARHAWK





Ladies and Gentlemen, it's Saturday again. Which means we get together to play one single kick-ass shooter for the whole night. Or at least for a long time. Last week we had a blast playing Resistance 2 CO-OP. Which also means SNS was a success. This week we're gonna check if Warhawk is still the great shooter we all know (spoiler: it is!).


WARHAWK

Game name: Dtoid-SNS Password: TOID Time: 9:30 EST Host: Elsa (PSN: Elsa)


I'm going to mold SNS into something a bit different next week. Maybe let people vote whatever Shooter they really want to play on Saturday. Because honestly I don't really know who will play with us tonight. And I certainly don't want to be the guy who decides what we're gonna play and cram a game down everybody's throat. But I know out of experience that people are a bit lazy and rather want to see someone else create something and decide for them.

There are a couple of other things too. I know a few people would rather play on Sunday. Elsa is always having romantic dinners with an Old Snake look-a-like. Shipero is usually doing something else and I don't really care but I have to stay up 'till 9 am two days in a row rendering my well earned weekend almost completely useless (meaning I can't play on Sundays).

Now I need to shave my head and face because I look like a Gibbon. So if I don't show up at 9, I might have drowned myself in my imaginary bathtub.

Dtoid, get your games on! But most of all have fun!

(p.s. I couldn't create a theme for this week because I kind of did that yesterday already. I got a great idea for next week so keep your eyes peeled).

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