JRock3x8's Life Musings

Friday, August 29, 2008

Inexplicably pleased.

Second Draft :

We're supposed to be working on a DJ project for this month's Muzik compo contest and I just haven't been feeling real great about my previous work (see previous blog entries) so I started over with the music that I know better than any other - EIGHTIES MUSIC BABY!

A while back I found a computer program that will figure out what tempo your songs are and put that information into the file that iTunes reads. Anyways, the point is that I was able to compile a list of songs with similar tempos all from the 80's with minimal effort.

Sadly, one of my favorite songs of all time is the Go-Go's "Head over Heels". "Head over Heels" was the inspiration for the whole track. The rest is just finding songs with similar sounds and tempos.

I just love the vicious pace of the song and the rather blatant rip-off of Prince's snare hits from just about all of his 1980's hits. Yes I understand that's from a Linn drum machine but whatever - it was still popularized by Prince and ripped off by the Go-Go's.

Anyways, I went and found the source for that drum hit and there's actually a section of Raspberry Beret (the very beginning) which is drums only and made for a real nice clean drum set. So I took those drum hits and played with the songs you hear for a bit and VI - O - LA! :)

I think its a fun little song - hope you enjoy.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

August Muzik Project - Second Draft - Ugh.

Ugh. Just. Ugh.

I have to confess I am really not enjoying this project at all.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Star Wars : The Force Unleashed Demo

Ok, so I've read two types of opinions of this demo so far.

#1) ZOMG! This is the coolest game EVAR!


#2) The controls are REALLY screwed up.

And ya know what? They're both right. I played the demo for aobut 3 hours this morning and it is both incredibly fun and amazingly frustrating. Why is it that I can't cycle through targets to use my force powers are. The target selection all seems to be this bizarre where you're looking almost random system.

Still, the core gameplay is a LOT of fun and it looks very much like a true Star Wars adventure.

Last comment - the AT-ST battle at the end? completely unsatisfying...felt like I was jacking a mech in MA2. booooring.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

First Draft - New Project

Ok, so this month's challenge is to create a DJ mix. I have to be totally honest - this is not my thing. I spent a lot of time listening to B96 as a kid and while I thought what those guys did (and I have no idea who "those guys" were) was very interesting, I've never really enjoyed doing it myself.

My aforementtioned college roommate and I tryied to do our own version of NIN's "Ruiner" that just came off sounding not very good. I've never had a lot of success emulating others. I don't know if it's because I don't understand Music that well or what but I've only ever been able to write original stuff that sounds halfway decent to my own ears.

So to start this project I started going through my iTunes playlist and ripping out all my favorite parts out of my top rated songs. Before long, I had an awful mess of mismatched crap. Finally, I came to The Crystal Method's "Roll It Up" in which I found six different clips that I liked. And I started to figure out this was going to have to be a slightly different project than I initially had in mind.

I was amazed at how some of these songs seemingly go out of their way to provide you with the material that you need to remix them while others are next to impossible because of all the weird noise effects thrown in (I'm looking at You, Michael Cretu).

In any event, here's my first draft. I don't have transitions, a few of the samples need to be re-done and some of the song needs to be ripped out entirely, but it's a start and that will have to do for now.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Resistance : Fall of Man Impressions

So, it's been about 8 months since I played a serious videogame, and I'd been getting the itch lately. Fortunately for me, Sony just dropped the price on it's first "must-play" game of the current PS3 generation, Resistance : Fall of Man.

It's a sci-fi horror game set in the 1950's - a bit odd, but in a nice way. The game doesn't have the graphical wow of Gears of War or the epic story of Halo 3, but what it does it does well. It's a bit like The Matrix meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers with those nasty beetles from the first Mummy movie thrown in for good measure. I'm not sure why but Zombie-like creatures make for great videogaming. It's a bit of a tired formula since Resident Evil, but it still works.

The controls were solid. I even liked that you had to use the motion control to shake of the baddies if one of them ever caught you. The zoom, the grenades, the weapons, the movements were all very much up to par. No visible framerate issues, no stutter.

The only beef I would pick with this game is the lack of difficulty. "Normal" difficulty felt like I was playing Halo 2 on easy. I was blasting through waves of enemies with little concern for my own safety and I would literally have to walk into an ambush of 10 or more in order to die. 3 or 4 with weapons all aimed at me and I'm coming straight at 'em? No problem.

Oh and more oddity - this is the only game I've ever played where the first level is arguably the hardest. To go into any more details would reveal singificant story spoilers (so I won't) but the first level is really really hard and after that, it's very much downhill run and gun.

Still, the game does manage to capture the visceral thrill of a shooter without feeling too much like it's "on rails" - meaning you never have any choices on how to complete a mission. Ghost Recon : Advanced Warfighter is the absolute worst at this. It may have been a cleverly disguised illusion but I always felt like I had tactical options for attacking the enemy without ever getting lost on the level.

Very good solid game, not a genre defining title by any means, but extremely playable and enjoyable.