Recent coverage of divides and shifts in the gaming landscape has got me thinking extemporaneously again, this time about how quickly plenty of us can rush to idolize and admire a person or collective who churns out something marvelous to us. In lieu of stardom sought, I become the star maker. Really, the concept of celebrity likely predates scribed society itself - at least, to me, it's not so farfetched to envision a pack of the earliest hunter gatherers appreciating one of their strongest to an embarrassing extent. That's not so bad by itself. It takes a base of both humans and resources to fuel any grand venture, and visionaries earn their keep by both originating and replicating grand successes, whether for personal gain or for the broader benefit. What has become startling to me, perhaps, if ever slightly, has been what I at least perceive as a quicker rush to coronate anyone with a smash hit of something-something. It's not overly startling, mind, since it's more understandable in the era of instant-reaction social media. Something happens, something releases, and we can spill our morphine praises in a flurry of cheers before the ink's even hit the Twitter. (Condemnation, as it were, can flood just as swiftly.)
I'm not singularly opposed to the adulation and recognition of victors; if I ever purport to be, it's merely a tired, exaggerated response to the tug of raw emotion. I do gently suggest a spot of caution simply out of bulwarking against the crash. The yo-yo from veneration to extreme disappointment and dismay slams like a mighty hammer, smashing dreams and followings in what is perhaps a like excessive reception. It's mesmerizing to feel the fun of hype and anticipation. It's the inverse reaction which concerns me, here. Each star, from starlet to supernova, must groom and tidy up and perspire; each visionary may tremble, mistrust, or question; each person who succeeded holds the starter for tomorrow's triumph or the spark plug for a future flop. So follow your followees, and trust your trustees, yet let it be known that every star burns - may they burn out brightly.
For my purposes, I was never much for fanboying TV or radio celebrities. Game company names likewise zoomed past my youthful head as I focused instead on the content within the cartridges and disks. No, the first of any stars I can safely state I followed out of interest were composers - true to my reputation, VGM artists. Of the four below, two burst onto scene only to flicker and dim as I drank in more of their melodies, while two others continue to bless and impress mine eardrums. I can only hope the former two return to the prominence I once knew of them while the latter two maintain a successive string of juiciness.
Kenji Ito's sneaked afoot as one of Square's B-side composers, behind heralded talents like Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Mitsuda. His dated yet diverse and solid score for SaGa Frontier, on PS1, threatened to change that - and, for me, it did, for awhile. Alongside the FF7-9 OST trio, the Frontier OST I've spun several times over. The remake of Romancing SaGa on PS2 brought hard-hitting rock glitz to Ito's trademark dynamic slap bass, and I eagerly awaited more I'd cherish from him. No such delights have blossomed since. Most disappointing was his timid, tepid score for SMT: Devil Survivor 2, which I rank the fiercest of Megami Tensei disappointments (the game and music both). Perhaps the upcoming SaGa on Vita will dispel doubts, but I've got a number of them that need dispelling.
Sonic Adventure 2 remains the only game whose soundtrack I purchased prior. See, I'd stopped into a GameStop in western Pennsylvania en route home, and I spotted SA2:B for my shiny new GameCube among the store's offerings. Pleased, I snatched it up and dashed to the counter to buy it, nabbing the 75%-off OST CD on display at the counter in the process. Alas, the game case was not only empty but misleading, as a previous employee had inadvertently sold off the store's last remaining SA2:B disc yet failed to pull the display case. I exited store with heart lowered from the loss of the game, yet the meaty rockin' tunes of Jun Senoue's roaring soundtrack blitzed me back alive. I darn near wore out the CD across the next year, and I held hope that Senoue would recapture his SA2 magic. SA1 and Heroes sounded fine. Post-Heroes, nothing has come close to vitalizing me. It's as if Senoue traded in melodic rock licks for generic power-chord baloney, and it's been no fun at all.
Conversely, Daisuke Ishiwatari blew open the doorway to my mind with his power-rock surge for the first two BlazBlue titles, then exceeded himself with his scorching heavenly-hellish bliss that is the Guilty Gear Xrd soundtrack. I can claim without deceit I've yet to sample a full soundtrack from him that even moderately disappointed me. To this day, the Xrd tunes power through speakers and airspaces in the Larx vicinity. Here's hoping he maintains momentum!
Here is a composer almost unknown. A German by birth and trade, Rafael Dyll has composed for various indie projects such as the Soldner-X shmup duology and Ghost Blade HD. His deft blend of electronic soundscapes and bright pianos fills me with delight, and I've been pleased to discover his independent musical releases likewise captured my attention. With new projects on the horizon, Dyll looks to expand his repertoire and catalog, and I'm certainly expecting good things to come along.
Who're your gaming stars? Flameouts? Who rose unexpected to snatch a piece of your heart. Who crashed and damaged your perspective. Tell me, tell me, tell me the truth or lies (truth's favorable) as we run into the recaps of the blogging realm's renown.
Forever status. Zodiac Age is entrapping as FF12 original did. Class system's neat, although a couple classes are...uhh, useless. Wholly.
S - Jiraya continues his mighty display of owning quadrillions of video games, and here, PS3 sees full attention. From Tales and Yakuza to El Shaddai and Resonance of Fate, this collection spans a bundle. He's in possession of several games I hadn't even realized had reached PS3, yet astoundingly, I'm in possession of a couple of physical PS3 releases he lacks. Clearly, he should purchase them from me for maximum dollars.
B - Indonesian wonderman Ricky Namara strives to make any sort of halcyon sense of the labyrinth of plots that imbues BlazBlue. He really tries, darn it. It's a formidable attempt. Honestly, the series began discernible enough. As it expanded, the scope and perplexity exploded, then super-exploded, like a super-collider. One sitting through a "Teach Me, Miss Litchi!" lecture encompassing the tangly series would be sitting through one's concluding event in any length of life.
No More Contests. You're not stupid, though. B-baka.
C - The invincible Marcel Hoang, aka our main man Strider, community Archbishop, and a fighting guru far superior to any skill level toward which I could aspire, asks the broader Dtoid community how each of us feels about the various implementations of permadeath and fail states. Go answer for yourself! I'm just gonna claim that, if ever I can play against Strider in Guilty Gear Xrd, I'll doubtless be inhabiting a perma-fail state. He's *that* magical.
In terms of 2017 games at which I took a blind stab yet they joyously surprised me, Tales of Berseria shoots straight up to the top. Main cast thoroughly delighted me. Here, we spy a rare Plat that Larx earned which Gaj didn't, because Gaj toils after all Plats great and small, yet even he cannot become Chris Carter v2.0 yet. #PrayForGaj
Rafael Dyll, whom I credited in the Larxism, really must compose personal soundscapes more often. I would pay all the cash, then more.
Salad stock photos upgrade to sandwich stock photos starting now. Fun(?) fact: this was returned as the first GIS result for "voracious," which is a word of esteem and dignity. Dawg.
Yeah, you tell 'em, Sonic!...wait a tic...*gasp*
Larx out, homeslice~
Never let your troubles twist your stay.
Today's title track: The Star Maker
Vocaloid: Kagamine Len