Saturday, 14 April 2012

Mac At PAX East: Video Game Orchestra

     Sorry for being late. The dreaded PAX Pox has hit me bad. Gonna try and keep a better update for Monday 

     Today on Mac At PAXEast, it is time for the orchestra. So sit back, enjoy the show and don't forget to tip the usher.

     Here is my article for Video game Orchestra. Go buy it now. Stop reading and go buy this CD now. I'll wait.

Got it? Good. Now lets talk about the wonderful, but criminally short album. Clocking in at just under 40 minutes, this album is nothing short but fantastic. But sadly it is short and does clock in at 39:24, making this one of the shortest albums I own to date. But as they say, it's not the size, that's important, but the content, and the content here is over flowing with greatness. Much like Kate Covington, Lindsey Stirling or Jillian Aversa, I often find myself speechless with how great this orchestra is.

While normally I would count down the top 5 in an album, or discuss key tracks, because the VGO Soundtrack has only 8 songs I will be doing a quick rundown on each song.

Song 1: Fight Bombing Mission

Final Fantasy VII, the game that brought Square into the mainstream. With a semi decent graphical engine, a solid story, great music and great characters it is no wonder this game is well loved. So it is no surprise that the VGO chose this song to be their first on their album.

The song is a splendid mix of the Battle Theme and the Bombing Mission theme and kind of makes me want to buy the game again on the PSN. The song hits the ground running and is fast paced and full of energy. This is how you start an album. It starts and doesn't stop.

Song 2: Theme Of Laura

I have not played Silent Hill as I am not a fan of the Horror Genre so I would not be a good judge for the game or the soundtrack. For what it's worth the song is put together nicely. If i were a fan of the genre I may be able to talk about the song more but sadly My own ignorance of the song however prevents me from enjoying this.

Song 3: The End Begins to Rock

I am not a fan of te God of War games. I find them repetitive and boring so I never really gave the music a chance. However the VGO seems to like it so they gave one of the songs a Orchestra remodelling. The results are...less then seller.

Obviously these guys tried, but I feel a bit of a lack of effort with this song. It doesn't really grab me like the other tracks on this album which is kind of a shame. When I compare this song to Metroid Metal or The Protomen, it feels uninspired and generic. Obviously Kratos needs to take some pointers from Apollo when it comes to music.

Song 4: Super Mario World (Big Band Version)

If you were a gamer growing up in the early 90's you cut your teeth on one of two systems. The Super Nintendo or the Genesis. If you were of the Nintendo camp, then you probably have the Super Mario Theme ingrained in your memory.

This song has been covered from classical to heavy metal covers so the VGO went a different method. Going Big Band was a nice touch and gives the song a fresh spin. The jazz piano and horns make the common song feel fresh and new.

Song 5: Vampire Killer

Now this is a cover I can get behind. Vampire Killer is a take on the classic Castlevania theme and is instantly recognizable to any fan of the game. The added guitars give the song a boost and make it more epic. A fun tune to sink your teeth into.

Song 6: Kingdom Hearts Suite

The Kingdom Hearts Suite is the longest song on the album clocking in at ten and a half minutes. Instead of one singular song, it is infarct 4 songs combined into one long suite and it works. From the fast paced Overture to the more emotion filled Hikari and everything in between, this song is my favourite on the album.

Certain songs can easily make me weep and this song is no exception. It is beautifully arranged and with the vocals by Courtney Swain, it really sets this song above. I would love to hear more from her.

Song 7: Chrono Cross

Time's Scar is one of the more popular songs out of Chrono Cross and I cannot blame them. It's soft melodies really put some at ease, until the song pics up, but even then it's not super intense. This version of Time's Scar is no different. The more intense parts feel like a dance then anything. The instrumental work is fantastic and really captures the original. With a unique blend of instruments from violins to flutes this song does the original justice.

Song 8: Radical Dreamers

It seems that the VGO has a soft spot for Square enix music seeing as 4 of the 8 songs are from Square games. Some people may not be fans, but I like it and have no complaints.

Radical Dreamers is the VGO take on the song, The Girl Who Stole the Stars. Keeping the same emotive feeling as the original, the sing feels very melancholy. The group behind the song did an excellent job keeping the original feel of the song. If not the Kingdom Hearts Suite, then this song would be considered my favourite.

There you have the 8 songs of the VGO. As I stated earlier I do wish this album was longer as I would love to hear more of their covers. Maybe next time.

In the next album, it is time to go to the Opera and prove once and for all that hope does not need to ride alone. This has been Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music

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