James M. Potter

writings on music, games, and culture

Month: November, 2013

What games can do – BioShock & Genre

For a while now, there has been talk of what a ‘Citizen Kane’ moment might look like for video gaming. So much so, in fact, that an amusing tumbr has been set up to document mentions of it. Last week a review compared a game to Bach, James Joyce, and the aforementioned movie in the same sentence, seemingly without irony. Every week, it seems, somebody writes about whether Citizen Kane: The Game has been made, whether it should be made, or whether Citizen Kane was any good anyway (general response: it was fine). What they’re referring to is a sort of singularity – one game that will prove to the non-gaming world the validity of the medium. A game that will show the mainstream that, far from sitting in a dressing gown engaging in morally dubious virtual activities, gamers are in fact engaged in the contemplation of ART.

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Final Fantasy X HD’s audio remaster – or is it a remix?

Since my last post concerning the HD remaster of Final Fantasies X and X-2, Square Enix have announced that the visuals won’t be the only aspect of the games to get a makeover. The game’s audio is being remastered as well, to the tune of (pardon the pun) about 60 tracks from its compendious soundtrack. This is sure to delight many fans, but I’m slightly more cautious. FFX came out at the tail-end of the use of disc-space-saving synthesised music, so in some ways it’s natural that they’d want to update it to something more organic. On the other hand, there’s a charm to MIDI music, and the synthetic nature of FFX’s score might be part of what lends it its unity and beauty.

Well, they’ve released some snippets which provide tantalising hints that this might be no mere audio clean-up, but more of a remix project. Let’s have a look for ourselves.

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