(Videogame) Music & Me
Channeling that awesome Nate Dogg album? Naw, double R here and what’s been on my mind. Like the top of the blog says, as a couple of old dudes(we in our 30s yo!), we’ve seen gaming go through some serious transformations. If you’ve heard us on the podcast(we hope you have), you’ll know I’m big into the audio, music, etc. of gaming. We’ve seen games go from the simple bleep-bloops, to the NES days which has music known as chip tunes today. Super Nintendo rolled around and brought “CD quality” sound as the box put it. Then once games were stored on disc, there was no limitation to the music quality of games. Sure, sound effects may not have been up to snuff all the time, voice acting too, but bigger and better chips were put in the consoles. So here we are today, where if you play a lot of games with your eyes closed, you’d think you were watching a big hollywood movie.
Back in the 16-bit days, once I got a feel for the game’s sound, I could just throw on a Wu-Tang Clan CD and zone out. Effectively killing 2 entertainment birds with one stone, but today’s a little different for me. Real world and all that good stuff, free time is precious, and we have to really balance our entertainment options, what I usually call my ‘eff off’ time. Because really, talk to some people, and god forbid if I’m not doing anything productive in my free time. You know the type, where it’s okay to sit and read a book for an hour, but if you sit and play a video game for that time, there’s something wrong with you. Okay, I’m veering off topic here, that’s another subject for another day. Anyways…
I may not consume nowhere near as much new music as I did when I was 15, but I do like to listen to podcasts. Looking at my weekly rotation, I got 9 of them on that plate….now that’s alot. I’ll get back to that in minute. With today’s games, audio cues and sound effects are pretty important to listen to. In Gears Of War, when the music starts to pump, you know shit’s on. Then you get the sound that tells you the area’s clear and you can breathe again. In shooters, surround sound is awesome, not just in quality, but adding to the gameplay. Hey, if there’s a dude behind you to the left, you’ll literally know it because of the surround sound. Sound has to invoke emotional response too sometimes, take horror games for example. The sound plays a big part in instilling fear into the player. And then there’s the actual music quality. Man, I appreciate some good musical scores I tell ya…the Halos, Bioshocks, and Silent Hills are few franchises that come to mind.
So what I’m basically saying is, that how I used to play aurally when I was 15, I can’t really do as much anymore. Obviously by choice, but I’d really hate to miss out on the awesome work that goes into videogame audio. But today’s gaming does give me a compromise, in the way of downloadable games. Check out my reviews and you’ll know I go through my fair share. What’s great is, with most of them, I can hear what they have to offer, but since they’re small experiences, you don’t have to monitor the sound the whole time. And I can throw on that Wu-Tang album…I can listen listen to one of those podcasts…I can hold a conversation with someone without missing an important cue. Videogame sound is great and I love it. I get that there’s cats out there who couldn’t care less. Hey, it’s all good, different strokes for different folks and all that good stuff. But to the peeps who have any kind of appreciation for videogame sound, how do you guys like to rock it?
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