Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Some thoughts on LBP, Patapon, Beck, Brahms etc.

Some thoughtful insight on my recent catalogue...

-I received LBP as a early Chanuka present exchange with my lady friend/fiance. To tell you the truth, I was originally resistant to the idea of LBP. It just seemed like such a polarizing idea for a game that was meant to further community and creation. I just couldn't imagine myself spending a considerable amount of time on a game that was encourages creation instead of narrative. However, I eventually broke down when it become a cultural phenomenon. 

It really is something to behold...

What really had me hooked was the simple "mood" of the whole experience. I loved how they slowly introduce you the games language with that cheeky British voice-over. It is quite quirky and really puts a smile on your face as the narrator details the intricacies of LBP's tools. I have to spend some more time with it before I can make a clear deduction, and if my Internet connection didn't cop out every 10 minutes or so, I would probably really delve into the online play.

-I finally came back to Patapon after pulling my PSP out of "storage". A friend of mine got the new 3000 and it kind of inspired a Renaissance and some thoughts on my current PSP archive. 

Patapon is fun, cute and wholly lovable. It's a game you want to get be a part of and really details the graphical strong points of the PSP unit. It does colors and textures so brilliantly, particularly with games of sharp contrast. 

My only real complaint with the experience is the way it drives playability through incessant replay for the simple purpose of upgrading your forces. I have had similar experiences with games of the same nature. It is in that category games that encourage grinding because of the vision of that next reward. That Castlevania/The World End With You category.

What happens is,  the charm fades away and you are left just feeling the "need" to finish. I chose not to complete the final boss battle, simply because I did not care for the ending and because I felt I had gotten the necessary experience that the game had originally offered.

I look back on it fondly. Even without the completion under my belt.

-Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad is a anime of rare form. I don't even want to genre-fy it by offering it as an anime, because it does so much more for simple serialised drama then it does for anime aesthetic.

If you haven't heard of it, Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, is a 26 episode Japanese animated series based on a Shonen Manga and written by Osamu Koboyashi. The story centers around a young Japanese boy of 15 who discovers the raw emotional power of independent rock and music in general while learning to play guitar and becoming part of a rising indie band. If you have ever done any of the previous, the nature of the characters and story will have you waxing nostalgic in the genuine nature that it explores the experience. 

The hunger and innocence in which protagonist Koyuki approaches the guitar is so clearly founded in the realism of the experience. The story intentionally speeds and slows with rarity seen in anime, where often as much as possible will be crammed into overwrought soliloquies of pure drivel while things slowly come to light over a 50 episode arc where a good chunk of the content is hit or miss in regards to its emotional honesty. Beck knows exactly when and where to focus its lens in order to capture the most important parts of the narrative while still the entire arc to flow organically.

It comes highly suggested if you like the careful construction of Shinchiro Watanabe's work or the visionary aptitude of something like Fooly Cooly.

-I am trying to spend my 5 week Christmas vacation getting some music work done on a consistent basis. My main goal is to create a schedule that I am able to stick to which involves specific hours of the day relegated to particular goals. This is partly in reaction to my inability to spend a extended amount of time focused on one task. In this case, I spent 5 solid hours yesterday in the library, partly working on some of my own work (which I am hoping to have performed next semester) and also doing a thorough analysis of Brahms Symphony 3.

What I essentially am doing, is inserting the complete score into a Sibelius file so I can hear how specific sections work independently from the whole piece. My first reaction is to the subtle nature of Brahms' harmonies. I suppose a better knowledge of the orchestral process would allow me further insight, but I initially noticed how carefully contrived choral movement can enhance the melody in a purely understood direction.

The problem, I suppose, is rooted in my lack of direction both artistically and actually. 

I hope that administering my ideas to this blog will help me to create more concrete ideas that I can use in the future.

More to follow soon....

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