During the PSN sale that went down during the PAX week (or around then) I had the pleasure of picking up Journey, made by the same people behind flOw and Flower. While I've only played flOw before (spending about 30 minutes on it), I'm willing to bet Journey is thatgamecompany's most ambitious and fullest project yet. Journey came out last year and received much attention for its aesthetics and "emotional investment". It was an indie title that won many GOTY awards and top honors throughout 2012. An "art" game, if one would want to use a pretentious term.
I'll keep this review a bit short, not just because the game itself is short but because there isn't really much to say about it in text. Journey is basically a "journey" through a series of ruins and environments that almost imply a post-apocalyptic setting. You play as a nameless bipedal/cloaked creature with two eyes, but it's clear that you aren't the only one of your kind. The goal is seemingly to reach a distant mountain with a shining beacon sprouting out of it. It's cleverly the very first thing the camera points to you when you're given reign of the controls. Another thing about Journey's narrative is that it's all showing, not telling. This may raise concerns about the difficulty to interpret the meaning of its embedded world, but in my view it's perfectly fine to see the story however one wants. I believe the only words in the entire game are at the title and the credits (unless of course, you pause the game). While there are cutscenes, they are brief and simply serve as a break between what could pass as "levels" in the game. Overall, Journey's narrative is not about revelation or drama, which takes the pressure off its true strength: place.
Journey's locations should probably go down as among the most beautiful environments the gaming medium has yet seen. I shouldn't have to argue that the visuals are one of the main attractions of Journey and do a great job to keep the player engaged throughout the entire adventure. The game consists of less than five "acts" (or at least what I label them as) but the quality of the architecture and terrain help the game's imagery become unforgettable. While I doubt the polygon count is high at all by PS3 standards, thatgamecompany has done a splendid job at melding impressive draw distance with spectacular lighting control. Play this game on a big HDTV with good speakers, and Journey will put most AAA games to shame in terms of aesthetics.
The other half of the aesthetics part is the audio, and it doesn't necessarily take a backseat to the impressive visuals. The sound effects and music blend seamlessly into the graphics, creating a comfortable synergy. Austin Wintory's grammy-nominated soundtrack isn't exactly composed of videogame-ish melodies that stick in the brain, but that's not a bad thing as the orchestral ambiance will occasionally give players goosebumps at just the right times. A smart use of percussion and strings complement fast and slow sections of the gameplay. I'd recommend the soundtrack for anyone reading, studying, or driving in smooth traffic.
The gameplay consists of jumping, flying, and walking. Besides those basic actions, the protagonist has a "sing" ability that functions as an action button. The "sing" ability is used to interact with various flying cloth objects around the environment, all of which seem to feel alive and friendly to the player. While I won't say too much about the gameplay design, I should mention that these interactions are generally used for charging one's leaping/flying power (which may appropriate Journey as a platformer). After one understands that, it's smooth sailing from then on.
Journey is about two hours long, roughly the length of a film, which means it can and should be played in one sitting. I didn't know this and therefore played 70% of the game in one sitting before going off to work. I wish I started at a time that didn't hinder the perfect pacing of the adventure, so I highly recommend scheduling a playthrough with a couple hours to spare. The only instances where the length could extend is if one goes off searching/exploring for certain glowing lights that upgrade the protagonist's flight capacity. Even with the short length, I can see myself replaying this game once next year and maybe a year after that, as long as my PS3 is still active.
The last aspect of the game I'd like to touch on is the online component. Journey innovates in neat fashion by making the connected players anonymous. From time to time, players may encounter one another in a level as they turn the corner, and depending on mutual feelings they could play through the game side-by-side. Two players may help one another via the "sing" ability to recharge flight, or simply by showing each other the way forward. No traditional communication methods are enabled, so the journey remains quiet and peaceful.
Quiet and peaceful isn't absolute in Journey however, as the levels do make time to mix up the highs and lows players experience. Journey is surprisingly engaging and diverse for the minimalist style it appears to exude. While I won't spoil it for those who haven't played the game, be assured that there are other familiar game pleasures at work besides the usual run-and-jump aspects. What I love about this game is its delight in showing players the joy of "drifting" and interacting with the game world, and it does so in a pure sense that few titles demonstrate. Traversing a wide, almost barren landscape toward a mysterious destination would bring me back to the days of riding around in Shadow of the Colossus or certain Zelda entries.
I'd say Journey is quite worth the price listed on PSN, especially in the event that it's on sale. The game is accessible to anyone, from young children with plenty of time on their hands to casual or older adults with little time on their hands. Pick it up, play it, and let friends/family give it a try. Even if it doesn't emanate the same level of emotional punch for some players that more centrally story-focused games do, it will certainly remain one of the most unique gems in the medium.
Recently I finished the somewhat controversial Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, a title from 2010 that some may be picking up now that its “ultimate edition” is on steam. I played the PS3 version which, I heard, overcomes some of the xbox 360 problems in stutters for the most part.
I’ll admit I’m not a big Castlevania fan, but I have played through all 3 of the Nintendo DS titles and enjoyed their balanced platforming, action, and Metroid elements. For additional measure, I’ll mention that I’ve played every God of War game except Ascension, which is important considering that LoS is probably more GoW than Castlevania. Apparently the series has had a hard time transitioning into 3D, but Konami’s stayed more reserved with the series than say, Sonic Team. While I wouldn’t call LoS a failure of a 3D transition, I have a hard time calling it a proper evolution when it barely resembles its franchise.
The game is divided into 12 chapters, each with a few sub-chapters inside. The story revolves around Gabriel Belmont attempting to revive his murdered wife and defeat the 3 Lords of Shadow, who each have a piece of the God Mask which holds great power (and may be able to bring her back somehow). The process and tribulations he must endure take a toll on his mental state and there’s a nagging feeling of corruption as he proceeds through the game with new powers and relics. If this sounds like Shadow of the Colossus, it won’t be the last time.
The narrative is told through a mix of cutscenes and Patrick Stewart’s narration preceding each sub-chapter. The former are pleasant simply because important stuff happens, and they are well-directed with admirable voice-acting. The latter is neat at first but quickly becomes unnecessary since not much actually occurs between most sub-chapters. Having Stewart read a paragraph or two every single time seems like a necessity they burdened him with instead of genuine development of the plot. Stewart plays the role of Zobek, a fellow Brotherhood member who probably spends more of his time stalking Gabriel with telepathic clairvoyance than actually helping the man out. I don’t have much insight into what exactly Zobek does on the side, but it’d all be a lot less risky for both of them if they stuck together. Maybe I’m just missing something about the gravity of the Brotherhood’s split duties/paths. His narration also implies that he feels Gabriel’s violence and anger quelling up inside toward the latter half of the game, yet the game barely ever shows evidence of this. Showing-over-telling apparently isn’t a priority in LoS.
This bleeds into the gameplay design. LoS is a self-explanatory action hack-n-slash game for anyone who has touched one before. It’s fine to help out with the controls and such during the first couple chapters, but the messages just keep on coming. Some messages are so blatant that they ruin the excitement of experimentation with a new mechanic, or make you feel treated like a child during puzzles. “Looks like crow flocks don’t like to share their posts….The crows flew somewhere else” stand out as a couple dumb messages late in the game. If the designers were unconfident in their ability to communicate some things, they should make it clearer visually so that players can feel smarter for inferring things above the 1st-grade level.
That said, the combat is the game’s tightest gameplay aspect. It speaks God of War everywhere from the use of a whip-chain in 3D space and grab fatalities, to upgrades that mirror gorgon eyes and phoenix feathers. This isn’t a bad thing if one hasn’t played a GoW game in a while, or just wants something a bit different to kill than Greek monsters. Gabriel can swing his “combat cross” directly for stronger moves, or in a sweeping motion with lesser damage. Combining these two buttons in various ways, both aerial and grounded, leads into the game’s extensive combo system. These can be bought in a menu with EXP, and it’s nice that if you have sufficient points, the cursor will default to the Skills page at the end of each level. I never looked back on the controls for these combos because I honestly got by just fishing/mashing techniques I knew I purchased (but hadn’t memorized). Players will find ones they like and stick with them. Gabriel’s moves are more extensive and less streamlined than those of Kratos, yet still visually satisfying.
Gabriel also has access to the item button, which can activate one of four different items. He begins with boring daggers but later acquires “stun” fairies that home in on enemies, as well as water flasks that vampires are weak to. The final item is a dark crystal that must be assembled before being used, yet summons a very powerful creature that can obliterate a screen of enemies depending on their health. These items are what Gabriel commonly receives after killing enemies or smashing things in the environment, so you’ll never lament using them up.
Light and Shadow magic are two separate modes that Gabriel can activate his body with. Attacking with light magic on drains your blue meter, yet each hit on enemies restores Gabriel’s health. Shadow magic drains the red meter, but each hit deals extra damage. There are also bonus benefits to these modes, such as exclusive attacks for each mode, or a modified effect on the items. All in all, these modes aren’t game-changers to the familiarity or fun of the combat, but they are definitely something players need to utilize throughout the game.
Then there’s the other obstacles, like puzzles and platforming. True puzzles are few and far between, and rarely tested my noggin for more than a minute of thinking. If the player hates these sequences, they can opt to “buy” their way out with EXP, yet it just shows unconfident game design in blatant ways. I’d much rather “buy” my way out of the platforming. The game has a fixed camera, which doesn’t help the case that these sequences are often the most tedious in LoS. Gabriel’s jumping feels too stiff and not designed for these types of challenges. The game gives him a double jump eventually, but it happens way too late in the game and could’ve had much more potential if done with variety. I’m still surprised LoS didn’t imitate the function of the Icarus wings from God of War 2. Platforming often consists of climbing, which I can usually get by even if they aren’t challenging at all (like in Uncharted). However, the rappelling function of the whip-chain includes a major flaw: it doesn’t make clear what Gabriel’s threshold for climbing down is. I often rappelled down a step too far only to let loose and fall to my doom. I know this is all LoS trying to add some variety to its 15-20 hour linear design, but the developers should refine these extra aspects before trying to implement them, especially when gamers have high standards for these conventions nowadays.
Lords of Shadow is almost at its best with boss fights. Oddly enough, I enjoyed the fights that focused less on size and more on fighting/dodging. I’ve never cared for boss sizes in action games mainly because they usually aren’t any harder than smaller ones. Lords of Shadow splits its boss fights into two types: the duels and the titans. Duel bosses, as I like to call them, are fit for the GoW style gameplay and feature some excellent thrills (the Evil Butcher stands out). There are only 3 titan bosses, but I found them rather dull compared to their immediate inspiration. While Shadow of the Colossus bosses felt organic and puzzle-infused, Lords of Shadow’s titans feel like automated climbing with clear button prompts that tell players when to grip. Nevertheless, both smaller and bigger bosses are Lords of Shadow’s most memorable points when it comes to action.
The greatest strength of the game, however, is its graphics. There are lush greens, rocky ruins, and massive towers to look at, among many other areas. If the gameplay started to bore me, I’d keep going just to see what lies around the next corner. One of my biggest gripes with God of War 3 was its art and environments not matching up to God of War 2’s locales, even with the massive polygon count it gained. Lords of Shadow combines the best of graphical power and artistry to create one stunning canvas after another. Sometimes the camera is perfectly placed to let players admire the scenery, and I love it when downtime is used that way.
The sound is decent, but nothing to write home about. Castlevania’s music is well-known for being one of gaming’s heavy hitters in composition, but you won’t find much in LoS except some dynamic orchestration that does its job and not much else. The sound effects are fine but could’ve used a bit more punch (other than the gauntlet attacks, which are awesome) in violent situations. It shouldn’t bother anyone though, as the visuals are what kept my eyes distracted from my ears.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a decent action game with stupendous visuals and an occasionally intriguing story. The epilogue is truly excellent and might just tempt me to check out the upcoming sequel, where they will hopefully have fixed the many issues present in this first entry. If you’re a Castlevania fanatic, think twice before getting this game unless you’re also a God of War, Devil May Cry, or hack-n-slash fan. There’s a bit of backtracking shoehorned into the game, but I was never intrigued to go back and acquire bonuses since I knew this wasn’t Metroidvania anyways. The game starts off slow but thankfully becomes better mechanically toward the last third. Overall, Lords of Shadow’s eye candy prevents it from being entirely obsolete in its genre, and I can only hope LoS2 imitates less and innovates more.
Assassin's Creed IV. I'm really starting to hate this game even before playing it after that Shark news the other day, an announcement that was revealed as if it was cool or something. The hunting and poaching of sharks for petty, unnecessary ingredients is the primary reason why they are going extinct so fast after millions and millions and millions of years of evolution. If this attitude toward them keeps up, then they will be gone in a decade or 2 in our lifetime. That's just sad.
Didn't think Ubisoft would stoop this low, but I was half-expecting some sort of shark "danger" element after i knew there was ocean swimming in the game. It's fine if you have to fend off the occasional curious attacking shark with a punch, or swim stealthily without the thrashing that obviously excites sharks. There have been tolerable gameplay elements before in games, especially more cartoony ones. But harpooning and murdering sharks on a boat for its skin and "crafting" is NOT cool, and anyone who is down with this mechanic should be ashamed. These are some of the most graceful, sleek, and evolved animals of all time, and celebrating shark hunting (especially during shark week Ubisoft) is monstrous and destructive to our ecosystem.
Even if you don't lovingly dedicate a large portion of your life to the study of sharks and marine life (like me), you can objectively know that sharks are vital to the Ocean food chain and balance as apex predators. Sharks are supposed to coexist with humans at the top of the food chain of their respective environments. They do not intentionally hunt us and we should not intentionally hunt them for fishermen's pride and useless material. They reproduce extremely slow and are dwindling faster than they ever deserved. Jumping into a boat and stabbing them until death is uncalled for and perpetuates the notion that these are man's enemies/trophies (when they are not). I know that this is just fantasy and not real life. I get it. But this is art and it has the power to change or accent existing notions especially as a AAA release worldwide. Back out of this gameplay aspect Ubisoft. You should know better.
Am I the only one who feels the franchise peaked with the 2nd game? I mean, this series has a place for me, but its mostly the fresh feeling I got from the PS2 games back when it was new. GoW2 is in my top 50 favorite games ever, in fact! God of War 1 was bought because I heard good things and cuz I was craving an Action-adventure with combat and puzzles and quality presentation. The unrelenting angry mood was innovative and the music was 1st rate.
GoW2 came out and took the level to 10. The kills were cooler, there were finally more bosses, big and small, you could wield multiple weapons, the music was even better, and the puzzles were tighter. Two things to note - For one, the plot introduced a higher stakes goal of changing fate, when I heard I was supposed to go after the Sisters of Fate of all mythological beings, I was like "oh shit just got real". Also, your new enemy was Zeus and Olympus, while you sided with the mothafuggin Titans of Greek mythology. All the while Athena was kinda on your side just to spice things up. Simple plot, but awesome stakes for those with even the slightest knowings of Greek mythology.
The 2nd notable thing was that the locations of this game were better than all other GoW games before and since. You start off at Rhodes in the series' trademark great openings. Then we get a flying sequence, to pitstop at the Ice Titan's lair. We even fight the dude, sorta. Then we do another flying sequence to the Isle of Fates. While this Isle was basically the rest of the game, it had more diversity in visuals and tasks than Pandora's Tower from GoW1. Plus, a detour to Atlas underneath for a portion of the game. In GoW3, I felt Mount Olympus just wasn't as compelling, and I think they stuck in Hades Underworld for the 3rd (?) time just to add a little more diversity. The handheld titles' areas were fine (and had good final acts), but didn't come close to GoW2.
To top it off, after going through boss battles with several notable names including Perseus and the Barbarian King and the Sisters themselves, we get one of the best (if not the best) cliffhanger endings in gaming. A very literal cliffhanger, but still, that scene was done so well, just rewatch it on youtube to see what I mean. Maybe it's the magic rainbow that sprinkled upon basically every game that happened in 2007, but I was seriously impressed by GoW2 above the other entries. I hope Ascension brings back the diversity of areas found in GoW2, and even if Kratos doesn't travel much, I hope the location he spends time in is comparable to Isle of Fates.
Also, with Ascension being the 3rd/4th entry to go "backwards" in the timeline, why haven't they made a game with Kratos as a normal Spartan, before he slaughters his wife and child. If they're gonna make a prequel, I'd want to play that chapter. Have him slightly disempowered, an above-average Spartan human who leads an army, doesn't use Blades of Chaos for once, swears to Ares at some climactic point in the Barbarian battle, gets the blades and we're in business, does stuff for Ares, meanwhile conquers lands for the glory of Sparta, then ends in a tragic slaughter of wife/child...and possibly have the player do it themselves...even better if the game finds a way to make you do it on accident. I mean, GoW3 did succeed in tricking me into beating up Zeus for 3 minutes straight out of primal rage, not giving him a chance to breathe and making sure I do the most damage I could (damn I feel horrible typing that). I think it could work if done right. A prequel before the family slaughter would have a much different tone, and a less powerful Kratos who only grows more noticeably superhuman throughout.
So am I alone in loving GoW2 the most? Or was the 1st game's freshness more valuable than the sequel's improvements. Or did the franchise figuratively "Peak" with the 3rd game's journey up Mt. Olympus?
Ok so I'm a complete noob at blender, and I should've posted this earlier, but I hope it looks good enough for a novice effort. Any constructive criticism in the aspects would be appreciated, but hopefully nothing that would take 5 hours to do or anything. I used Blender because it is free open-source or whatever and because I took a basic 3D modeling course haha
I tried to get the geometry as accurate as possible while looking at screenshots of the game, since i didn't have the game with me during creation. The lighting tends to differ in areas, but I mostly tried to get the shadows of the window frames projected onto the floor by the light...something the original game didn't do. And I drew the window frames as accurate as I could squint at the low-res textures of OoT. Also, sorry for the weird lens choice, I forgot it might look distorted when the camera pans.
This was probably my favorite area in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and I bet others share the same sentiment. Give feedback if you can!
Includes: crude model of young link, a hookshot (my favorite item though it doesn't belong in child era), Navi, 3 spiritual stones, Master Sword, courage, power, and not enough wisdom.
Isn't it Wonderful? It's great to think that when I think of "Final Fantasy", the first thing to come to mind is the music of the franchise. And somehow, this isn't a knock to the rest of the franchise's often stellar storytelling, tactical gameplay, and stunning visuals. Not many names in the gaming industry resonate with music as much as Square's famous series. After purchasing a physical copy of the FFVII 4 disc soundtrack and the giant sheet music book back in my teen years, I soon found myself obsessed with the music of other Final Fantasy games that I had played. I'll be the first to admit that I haven't played nearly all of these games, but the ones I have experienced will stick with me via my ipod if anything. My experiences revolve around FFI, FFIII, FFIV, FFVI, FFVII, FFVIII, FFX, FFXIII, and Dissidia & Crisis Core & Advent Children. However, being a fan it's impossible to have not heard (via the net) some of the more infamous tunes from FF games I haven't played.
I have no shame in saying that the controversial Final Fantasy VIII is my favorite FF game so far. Something about the game just seemed righteously different from the series that would've become stagnant had it kept following the formulas established by the SNES entries. FFVIII, for me, holds the position of being the most impressive FF from an audiovisual perspective (considering the time) and it truly showed me how much presentation matters in enhancing the single-player experience. Aside from the hugely improved visuals, the soundtrack represented Uematsu at his peak. The synth in FFVIII sounded much more authentic and realized, while the orchestral tracks acted like their own aural FMVs...moments that technologically highlighted chosen story sequences. The game's music was even played at the 2004 Olympics during American Synchronized Swimming. "Liberi Fatali" remains my favorite videogame track of all time after all these years, creating a stunning opening cinematic that has never been matched. The "Eyes on Me" motif is heard throughout the game, from Julia's gentle piano performance to the "Love Grows" instrumental rendition. The actual vocal song, in my opinion, is romantic without being cheesy. It is enhanced by the fact that the character Julia wrote it for Laguna, and Faye Wong brings her voice to life while applying it to the former couple's respective offspring: Squall & Rinoa. "The Extreme", in another brilliant twist, triumphantly brings back the classic FF battle motif after an extensive intro.
Oddly enough, my favoritism of FF games seems to align with my favoritism of their respective soundtracks. Final Fantasy VIII, then VI, then VII, then X, etc. If I were to make a list of my favorite overall videogame soundtracks, FFVIII and FFVI would be number 1 and number 2 respectively, with FFVII somewhere behind the Chrono scores in the top ten. In my downtime, I listen to many game songs including Final Fantasy OSTs (of the games I did play), Final Fantasy remixes, and official rearrangements. When I find that I have free time, I usually decide to take up a videogame song on piano. Despite my slow learning abilities, One of Jeremy Parish's blogs on 1up regarding Final Fantasy music had me desperate to learn another FF theme on the instrument. This particular song, Beatrix's theme, was from a game I never even finished (nor did I get very far). I'm intentionally holding off on FFIX until the day when I'm older and truly start missing the classic Final Fantasy journey - the place I'll return to someday. As my friend put it, I'm probably just waiting until I become FFIX's target audience.
A) Rose of May
Often called "Loss of Me", which is probably a mistranslation that stuck, this song is a character motif for Beatrix in FFIX. While the piano collections version sounds nice, the original is faster and catchier at least to my ear, so I stuck closely to that. Still, the definitive version of this song for me is katethegreat19's cover titled "The Rose General".
B) Life Stream
I'm truly not the best piano player, but back when I recorded this I tried to capture the gentle mystique as best I could. This particular FFVII tune represents the planet, giving off a simple mystique that adds sympathy to something the party is ultimately trying to protect. It may not translate as well to piano, but with the right touch the tune still sounds calming to me.
C) Aerith's Theme
One of the most memorable character themes of all time, Aerith's theme has been played many times in orchestral, synth, and solo arrangements. It was the first FF song I ever learned on piano, but I'm betting I'm not alone in that regard. The tune made #16 in the 2012 Classic FM Hall of Fame (I voted for it!) which brought Uematsu to the attention of many "classical" music fans. Whether or not you consider a song like this "classical", Aerith's theme still stirs emotions that will be eternally tied to sacrifice and flowers. Also, there are noticeable nods to the opera song from FFVI!
D) Tifa's Theme
The theme to one of my favorite characters in FFVII! While Tifa kicks major ass as a fighter, her theme never forgets her humble roots in Nibelheim and 7th Heaven. This tune gives off a nice home-sweet-home feeling, especially when the piano collections version plays briefly in Advent Children.
E) Cid's Theme
A short theme, but one with a lot of depth. Cid Highwind's greater objectives and personality are heard by players when this theme begins. He's definitely the best Cid in the FF series, and his strength truly shows through this tune and the song "Sending a Dream into the Universe" (a calmer rendition on the same motif).
F) Listen to the Cries of the Planet
This song caught me off-guard, but it remains one of the most underappreciated pieces in FFVII. Also known as "You can Hear the Cry of the Planet". An unsettling masterpice, this atmospheric track truly haunted me through the Forgotten City areas. The uneasiness was well-placed, as the shock of Aerith's death afterwards resulted in a greatly effective climax of emotions.
G) Mark of a Traitor
It's essentially Barret's theme, but for some reason I always favored this rendition of the motif. It plays in North Corel while the story reveals unfortunate events in Barret's past. Not the most popular tune, but quite catchy in my opinion.
H) Desert Wasteland
Often called "Sandy Badlands", this slow tune is one of the best examples of Uematsu's scoring abilities. It plays in the Corel Desert Prison, setting the mood that FFVII does so well with junky areas. Now I just need to learn this on my ocarina someday.
I) Aria di Mezzo Carattere
The main opera piece from FFVI's delightfully memorable scene. I love how this song and "Celes' Theme" carry the same motifs, even though one track is diegetic and the other isn't. It goes to show how significant the performance was to Celes' overall character arc. My favorite part of this song has to be the end, after the main melody wraps up.
These videos don't represent my absolute favorite FF tunes, but they are still fun to play and hum along to. I'll eventually get to more tunes from this wonderful series in the future, since youtube is a more reliable archive than my hard drive. In fact, my all-time favorite song to play on piano is the FFX Ending Theme, as the song has incredible buildup while bringing back memories of FFX's best scene. I'll have to find time to make a worthy recording of that song and all the FFVIII tracks I want to learn.
Final Fantasy titles, even the games without Uematsu's presence, have always made sure to delight the ears with expertly composed videogame background music - and in some cases diegetic music. I hope this remains a priority in future titles as well as in any spinoffs/remakes that come along. Nobuo Uematsu, the man responsible for some of the best soundtracks I've ever heard, stands with (and above) other top composers like Koji Kondo, David Wise, and Yasunori Mitsuda. I wish I could learn to be a Black Mage like him and conjure up so many awesome compositions. When asked about his inspiration for his music, Uematsu replied in an interview with Asia Pacific Arts "Rather than getting inspiration from listening to other music, I get inspiration while I'm walking my dog".