Monday, 10 December 2012

Lost in the Music ~ Dust: An Elysian Tale

     One of the things I love about this generation of consoles are the downloadable games you can purchase. Prices can range between 5 dollars up to 15 dollars and for the most part, the games are a great source of entertainment for a few hours. On more then one occasion, I found them to be equal or even better then Mainstream games. The PSN/XBLA games are a proven example that quantity does not equal quality.

     Dust: An Elysian Tale was released on the XBLA a few months back and I had heard good things about the game itself so I picked up the soundtrack. Sadly, I do not have an Xbox 360 so I cannot play the game, but I do take comfort that PSN owners get games like Journey. Although I do not have the game itself, I still wanted the soundtrack to add to my collection.

     I have difficulty reviewing a soundtrack for a game I have not played. I don't know the context of the music being played. I don't know who the characters are and I cannot embrace the story from just reading a summary on Wikipedia or TVTropes. I need to play the game itself so I can get involved with the story. I have no idea who these characters are and what is going on. However listening to the music has made me care. I want to get involved in their characters. I want to be there when the characters fall and watch them rise up to become heroes. This soundtrack could very well be a marketing tool for the XBLA saying “hey look, we Xbox Live Arcade) have great indie titles.”

     The soundtrack for the game is a real gem. The music seems to feel more mystical, more ethereal in feeling. It is a wonderful fantasy soundtrack that more fantasy games should aspire to. This is music the reminds me of classic Square games. For what Dust is, this soundtrack seems to fit the album perfectly. I love what HyperDuck SoundWorks did with this soundtrack. This game and its music almost makes me want to get a Xbox just to play the game. It is not the Halo franchise or Gears of War series that motivates me to get a 360, but a 15.00 XBLA game.

     I love games from the PSN. It allows smaller, independent studios showcase their creations to the world. It gives gamers a greater library of games, exposing them to new genres that they may not have found otherwise. The games you find on the PSN are more simple. They favour story telling over visual effects and on the rare occasion, the graphics are very minimal which adds more to the story being told.

     As I have said, I have not played Dust: An Elysian Tale as I do not have an Xbox, but that did not stop me from getting the soundtrack. I wish to support original artists and their work as they do it more out of love and passion then just getting a paycheque. I feel that the music from the more mainstream games have lost that personal touch. While a few of the songs to evoke feelings of grandness, the rest of the time it just feels phoned in. There are of course exceptions to this, but they are few and far between.

     To the people who say there are no good games on the XBLA or PSN Store, I reply that they are wrong. The games are there, you just have to look for them. Try something new, you may be surprised at what you find.

     If you are interested in the album, you can purchase it from HyperDuck SoundWorks bandcamp page for about 7 dollars.

     This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.

Late Edit: Lost in the Music does not support missionary groups such as Gospels for Asia.

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