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< Piro >

kawaii ne?

"that cheezy MIDI music."

Saturday - August 26, 2000

[Piro] - 22:36:00 - [link here]

One of the weird things about anime and simulation/visual novel games in general is what it does to your taste in music. Five years ago, I wouldn't have been caught dead listening to what I can only describe as 'lizard lounge music', or 'elevatormusic'. Not long after getting into anime, however, I was eagerly hunting down Original Soundtracks and listening to diskslike Kimagure Orange Road's "Ano Hi Ni Kaeretai" - a decidedly 'elevator music' like soundtrack. I did not loose my taste for Industrial, Techno, Hard Acid whatever-genre-you-wanna-call-them music - It became very easy to me to switch from NIN to"Nine Floors of Elevator Bliss".

I've seen this in action, too. A good friend of mine was just starting to watch anime, but still felt that he didn't like the music. After giving him a tape full of Ah! Megamisama! music, it wasn't a week that he was gleefully filling his collection with cheezy soundtracks and Japanese pop tunes. I still joke with him about his comment "Oh, i don't really like the music." heheh, sucker. gotya. :P

what's worse tho is when you start collecting midi files - the ones that typically play the themes and mood music for games in the background while you play. From years back, having MIDI files that played via the synth on the soundcard (and you know how cheezy those have been over the years) created a style of music that is very much like those cheezy Casio keyboards we used to play with when we were kids. I have megs (yes, many megs) of MIDI files that have been made by Japanese game fans of their favorite songs from various games. If you are curious, head over toSurfer's Paradise and do a search for MIDI files - you'll be surprised how many will turn up. Or, better yet, head over to Computer Music Center - one of the best midi sites around, and this one, the Game Music Library.

I find that these cheezy, cute little soundtracks are very enjoyable. Now, I have a SB Live, so they sound better than they did before I got this card - but believe it or not, i keep the sound fonts pretty much off to listen to these files. I suppose there is a corner of my mind that can't handle these files being played in a higher quality.

An odd thing I came across recently is on the Leaf game Magical Antique. Perhaps computers are getting too good at playing midi files - because for this game, the midi files are actually CD tracks on the game disk. I suppose that the makers of the game didn't want the cute cute atmosphere of the game to be ruined by a midi file that might be played -too-well.

(ps: isn't Rian-chan cute? I love Leaf character designs...:P)

< Largo >


"girls who kick ass."

Friday - August 25, 2000

[Largo] - 01:13:00 - [link here]

First off, yes, I know the strip is a low-blow, and its just plain wrong to kick someone when they are down but well, you have to understand that Piro and I are bastards, even if Piro refuses to admit it.

Now, to the rant!

There have long been a growing number of games which feature strong willed female heroines. This is something I'm happy to see, from Joanna Dark to Claire Redfield, gamers have been given a seemingly endless variety of characters whose shoes they can jump into, if even for just a short while.

The question I'd like to ask our readers, is what draws you to want to see a strong female lead in a videogame? If you were to ask Eidos executives (and if they were dead drunk enough to give a honest answer) they'd tell us that gamers simply want the eye-candy, they want to see women with unrealistic dimensions run a gauntlet of challenges that seems to produce a lot of bouncing, and in some cases, they'd be right. Still, I would like to believe there are enough people out there who want a main character with a more realistic persona.

Now, I'll be the first to admit I don't want the characters to look unattractive, If I'm going to spending the next week playing a game, I'd like it to be filled with a pleasant looking lead character. I do however feel there should be a balance, I'd like some realism in the designs, at least when it comes to body proportions (Core/Eidos, you listening?) I'd like the character to represent the best qualities of a plausible real person in terms of physical form and personality, rather then a unhealthy fantasy that can't be attained without major surgery, and support beams.

I am, and always will be a big fan of Biohazard's Claire Redfield. When Capcom designed Claire, a lot of things were finally done right. Lets exam Claire for a moment; she's in the age range of the average gamer, she begins her career in the Biohazard series as a newbie which gives the player the ability to grow with her character as she does throughout the game, she is given a realistic, yet attractive body, and most importantly her personality presents her as intelligent, determined, and yet still very fragile and therefore human. These are qualities I'd like to see more of in our female leads. The rest of the gaming industry should take the clue given to them by Capcom, and give us a little reality to go with our fantasy.

Having given this some thought, I've decided the next girl I get into a relationship with will first be required to be able to dispatch zombies with a crossbow.


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