James M. Potter

music, games, and culture

Tag: VGM

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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In honour of the HD remake, a Final Fantasy X audio mash-up

It’s good news that Final Fantasy X is getting an HD makeover. It’s good news because another generation will get to experience one of the series’ most cohesive and beautifully-made entries, and it’s going to be all glammed-up for the HD TVs and whatnot. I sank many hours into it when it first came out, and since then I’ve regarded it as particularly unified in terms of art design – and that extends to sound as well. After the jump is something that illustrates that quite neatly (or if not, is just quite fun). Read the rest of this entry »

Jedi Outcast, or, Why Licensed Music Isn’t Always a Good Idea

Jedi Outcast (or to give it its full, ponderous title, Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast) is enjoying a little nostalgic attention this week, with the sad news that publisher LucasArts is closing its doors, causing magnanimous developers Raven to release the source code for the game. People have been rightly praising how much Raven got right with JK2 – the lightsaber combat was satisfying (not an easy thing to achieve), the level design was pretty good, and the storyline didn’t jump the shark. Being a product of that golden sequence of Quake III-engine games, it was endlessly mod-able to boot. I and many others were tinkering with it for a long time after it came out (and with the source code now floating around, it might be here a while longer). It wasn’t perfect though, and what this week’s news also reminded me of was one of the first things I did to the game when I got my hands on Pakscape – I changed the music.  Read the rest of this entry »