Jan 282014

Heya, Kaushik here again this week, with a video game! This time it’s the demo for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, generally known as FF13-3. The demo was released on PSN earlier this week, so that’s the version I’ll be covering. I know a lot of people dislike the series (that may be putting it lightly) and I can understand their frustrations with the direction Final Fantasy has taken in recent years. I liked FF13 more than most I think, but even I’m getting a little sick of this universe and these characters. Still, I’ll approach this demo as impartially as possible! So without further ado, let’s go~

Lightning Returns cover

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Mar 052013

Video games have used a plethora of different musical genres over the years, and I tend to find that I’m always pleasantly surprised when they remember to pull from Jazz. After all, Jazz can be eccentric, soothing, sad, etc, but it’s always wildly imaginative and improvisational.

Saxophone - TRAVIS - 1

It’s too bad, then, that solid video game jazz is so rare. With a tiny pool to pull from, I think I’ve done an alright job at compiling some of the very best video game jazz ever written. Once again, I hope you enjoy my podcast celebrating the greatest video game music of all time, Tuesday Tunes.

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Feb 052013

Hello, anyone and everyone. I am your humble host, Travis, and this is the very first episode of an audio series on the history, examination, and celebration of video game music both celebrated and underrated.

Every other week, I will upload a new segment on a different game, series, genre, or specific compilation, and you’re encouraged to seek out and support the artists and composers covered (purchase links provided at bottom).

For today’s episode, I considered a number of well-deserving options but ultimately decided on Final Fantasy as the introductory focus. For self-evident reasons, the music of the Final Fantasy series has been active in my life long before the games themselves, and ultimately any games I did end up playing I chose to hear specific tracks in their original contexts. Of course in the interest of keeping the episode succinct, I’ve neglected some beautiful, thrilling music, and so expect that someday I may return to Final Fantasy for a second go.
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Dec 052012

I’ve always been a passionate fan of video game music. From my early days tape recording themes from Pokemon Gold and Super Smash Bros. Melee to my more recent adventures at Distant Worlds and Video Games Live, music has always been an area of gaming that I enthusiastically enjoy and cherish. Many of the older games I discover I do so because of hearing a tune I like by chance (it’s certainly the reason I decided to go back and pick 9 out of all the Final Fantasies to give a play) and I cite the music as the driving force behind Journey‘s incredible power.

To celebrate some of my favorite game music (and to encourage readers to introduce me to other hidden gems I’ve never found on my own), I’ve decided to go on an expedition through my iTunes to find my favorite game soundtracks that are often left without the praise they deserve, whether it be because of underexposure, underappreciation, or the natural passing of time. These aren’t necessarily my favorite soundtracks of all time, but I consider them worth a little appreciation. Hope you enjoy.

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Oct 032012

As I discussed last week, a number of factors in games can lead to endless splurges, often at the cost of personal health. Of course, I’ll always be one to recommend a policy of moderation with everything. But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t broken that code every now and then. And just like many self-control-challenged college students, I too have binges. And the single most alluring element games use to keep me tied down to them is exploration.

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Jan 142012

There was a game that was highly anticipated by our (hero?). He even got a PS3 over a 360 knowing full and well that it would be on this console. Eventually that game came out but it was painful enough for him to put down. Now its sequel is upon us. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Okay, when it comes to Final Fantasy I’m a typically 2D era fan; most of what I have ingrained for the series comes more from the SNES era than the PS1/PS2 era. That said, I knew XIII would be like neither “generation”, and it kinda let me down. And when I saw the announcement for a sequel, I literally groaned and kept begging for XIII Versus. “Could this just be more of the same? The audience has spoken, they’ve had enough!” Well, as a response, yes and no.

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