10/03/2015

Symphony of the Goddess Interview - Talking Zelda Music


It's no secret that good music can make a average game great and a great game legendary. Case in point is the Legend of Zelda series - a wonderful and frankly magical series of games which are beautifully complimented by a tremendously memorable and captivating soundtrack. I recently had a chance to ask a few questions of Jason Michael Paul of his self titles production company who are currently producing the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddess concerts.

Jason Michael Paul is an American-born concert producer, promoter, and entrepreneur. Paul produced "Dear Friends", "More Friends: Music from Final Fantasy", "PLAY! A Video Game Symphony", the "25th Anniversary Legend of Zelda", and "Legend Of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses", currently touring the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia. He has worked with co-producers and contributors such as Luciano Pavarotti & the Three Tenors and video game manufacturer Nintendo. 

MS: Have you got a favourite Zelda game?
JMP: Ocarina of Time. I have even sat painfully in front of the computer screen and watched You Tube videos of David Ramos, a famed Ocarina expert “DocJazz” and still fail.


MS: How has it been converting videogame music to a full scale orchestra?
JMP: It has what I have been doing for many games for over a decade. It is made easier with a great collaboration with the original composers. In 2004, Square Enix asked me to produce Dear Friends- Music from FINAL FANTASY concert. At the time, it was the first of its kind in the world. From that I created and produced another show entitled, PLAY! A Video Game Symphony. It was at that time that I was performing music from Super Mario Bros. and Zelda. At the premiere concert I invited Mr. Koji Kondo to the concert and to perform music which he did. It was there that I began to work closely with Mr. Kondo and Nintendo on music related presentations.

In 2010, Nintendo asked me to produce the opening for the E3 press event at the Nokia that same year. At the press event they made the announcement that I would be producing three concerts in London, Tokyo, and LA as part of the 25th Anniversary series of concerts. It was also announce that I would be producing the Orchestral CD that was included as part of the bundle with Skyword Sword. After the success of the 25thAnniversary concerts, I came up with a touring show, Symphony of the Goddesses and the rest as they say is history.

MS: Have the fans been mostly positive about the concerts?
JMP: Extremely positive!


MS: Do you have a favourite song?
JMP: The new Majora’s Mask Suite and A Link Between Worlds segment I produced for Master Quest.

MS: Would you recommend the concert to non-video game fans?
JMP: Absolutely! It is also a very beautiful orchestral and symphonic performance and experience, that music lovers will enjoy as well.

MS: Are there any other games you'd like to work on in the future?
JMP: Yes, many!

It's clear that Jason has an inate passion for music and a taste for excellence with his work. I'm personally looking forward to hearing the Symhony of the Goddess concert later this year in London and will be sure to offer the most honest and heartfelt reaction I can.

This interview was conducted via e-mail 

09/03/2015

Twi-view: Oddworld New 'n' Tasty (PC)


21/02/2015

Are you sure you’re a gamer?

"Are you sure you’re a gamer?"

It should make me sad to hear anyone say those words but in the last week I’ve had three people ask me that very question. My wife even made a passing joke about me not being a Gamer anymore. In the past that kind of comment would have hurt me; I would have felt like I lost some sense of self identity. But nowadays? I’m not so sure…
Over the last year the identity of being a “Gamer” feels like it’s been lost – buried in pseudo-political ranting’s on Twitter and shameless glorification in website articles. As an actual subculture we’ve either forgotten how to be decent human beings or we’ve perverted the meaning of Gamer so much that personally, I’m glad I’m not identified as one anymore.

Twi-view - Possibly the future



What the fuck is a Twi-view?
Well I'm super glad you asked! A Twi-view short for Twitter Review, see what I did there?) Is a bite sized review of a game. The Twi-view should contain enough information so that followers/readers can make their own decisions on the game without trawling through a 10 minute video or 1000+ words.

Why would you do this?
People are going to click on this link and think "But that's just lazy" and maybe that's partially right. After working in the games industry for nearly a decade now I've been cursed with the ability to make and form opinions about games which are usually pretty accurate to the people who follow me, my audience, you guys! By condensing this information into a single bite of information I can easily rate games which would otherwise I would spend dozens of hours on making a video or creating a written piece which - in this current media climate people would be less inclined to read.



What's the point?
Games journalism and essentially all of games media is in a bit of a state of flux at the moment - people are trying new things, new ways of delivering their media to their audience - it's shortsighted and frankly archaic to believe that 'traditional' methods of content delivery will remain the only popular ones around. Only a few years ago YouTubers weren't considered to be part of the 'main' gaming media and now that outlet is taking over in leaps and bounds. So why not try something new? If it fails, it fails. Life is nothing without risks.

The fuck is wrong with you?
That's an excellent question and one that people have been pondering for years. I'm utterly obsessed with videogames and creating content about them - I love both of my jobs and find they both give me incredible pleasure - so much so that I'm always thinking about new ways of enhancing what I do and making it slightly different from the standard fare.

16/09/2014

Being drafted...


So I’m sat there, roughly three weeks ago and I receive an e-mail from a ‘talent scout’ from some YouTube network.

02/09/2014

#thankyouvideogames


Yeah, I know. It’s a hashtag.

Release Day embargos and why they scare me


“We want you to review our game, but you’re not allowed to say anything until it’s already been out for half a day - deal?”

01/09/2014

Rogue Legacy (PS4)


The Roguest of Legacies

So this isn’t the first time I’ve attempted to write about Rogue Legacy. Probably about a year ago now (so that’s August 2013) I bought Rogue Legacy on Gog.com for the PC, played it for what felt like days and then tried to write my impressions about it. I wasn’t being commissioned by a website to do the piece nor was I making myself do it for any reason other than that I wanted to. Roughly half way through my review I realized that it was a terrible attempt at explaining my feelings and promptly deleted it.

21/08/2014

Early Access Review - Crypt of the NecroDancer - PC


The idea of having a rhythm based roguelike game sounds ridiculous! The very concept sounds doomed to failure! But here I am, tapping away on a controller to insanely addictive dance music hopping my way through a pixelated dungeon trying to outmaneuver the enemies whilst desperately trying to stay on the beat.

Review - The Last of Us Remastered (PS4)



What could I possibly say about The Last of Us Remastered which hasn't already been said both in other reviews and my own piece for This is My Joystick?  Somewhere inside of me I know I’m just stamping up and down on old ground by writing this.  And yet, here I am.