When we analyse a game, we often rely upon an agreed set of parameters for talking about how that game is good or bad. These parameters include categories such as visuals, difficulty, and narrative.
Important to this conversation, but not made incredibly explicit as it’s own category, is the parameter of immersion. Immersion is arguably how all of these components come together to create player experience.
I bring up the point of immersion today because the way in which modern gaming seems to be handling this particular parameter is to not only create an expansive lore, but to also create a world where that lore is physically manifested and can be interacted with by the player. This adds to the illusion that the game world is real by virtue of vastness.
But there comes a point in which we know something is a game and that suspension of disbelief can only go so far. Some games acknowledge this reality immediately and compensate by creating worlds that are comfortable with their size.
Even if you haven’t played the game, I’m certain that you can hear what I mean:
… really just the entire thing
There are few situations more difficult than having to select which Shoji Meguro composition is his best.
I include “To be, or not to be” not within this category (The hopeful translation of this being that the decision to exist is easier).
Simply put, this guy is really, really good.
In a genre of gaming (the Japanese Role Playing Game or JRPG) where redundancy is not only normalized, but an integral component that characterizes the genre, it can be difficult to set experiences apart.
Simply put (again), this guy just does it with music alone.
Though he has gone on to compose OSTs that showcase far more mastery of style, Persona 3 is what I consider to be his most breakthrough sound:
You may know Eiffel 65 from song such as Blue (Da Ba Dee)-
and possibly Who Let the Dogs Out.
But what you might not have known (I am banking on this assumption quite heavily in order for this post to have any appeal whatsoever) is that they do, in fact, have other song.
“My Console” features lyrics that one might expect to see on the exterior of a white van:
Metal Gear Solid,
All over the world.
Simply put, EA has excellent taste in music.
(Also excellent taste in studios.)
While the FIFA OSTs have received the most amount of widespread recognition (perhaps due to it being one of the highest selling console games like ever according to statistics that I have never seen but know to exist), SSX 3 is less mainstream- and that is cool (much like the snow that you are in- that one was for me).
Until everyone finds out about it.
Even reading about it has decreased it’s value just now.
Jerk it Out – The Caesars
Poor Leno – Röyksopp
Being ambitious in game design is often analogous to risking the alteration of one core component in the development process (i.e. visual style, primary mechanic, narrative concept)- so I’m not entirely certain where Katamari Damacy fits on that spectrum because it is a game that came from nothing, yet changed everything.
Katamari Damacy is like a compilation of the most obscure and unpopular risk-taking innovations in Japanese gaming that had never seemed to gain traction prior to (I refer here almost exclusively to the developments of Love-de-Lic). The audio component of this is the use of… I’m not even quite sure what to call it… distorted A Capella?
It’s very brave in it’s use of something so blatantly different:
10. Wanda Wanda