The Exigent Duality
Birth and Death of Art - 17:01 CST, 12/01/23 (Sniper)
This is one of the funnest videos I've ever watched. The guy's presentation is a little cringey-- after all one needs to cater to the Gen Z'ers these days-- but the content is incredible. I can recognize that there is some crazy stuff going on, but to hear a master break it down systematically and explain it in music theory terms is extremely rewarding.

You know what would really blow his mind? Explaining to him that Koshiro not only had to compose the music, but that he had to program the music in assembler, to magically bend the waveforms, to produce the sounds he wanted. And on top of that, he was programming and getting-to-work-together two different chips: the FM synth YM2612, and the PSG. Koshiro isn't just a master composer: he's a superb computer programmer as well.

Regular readers will know I've been desperately trying to explain to everyone that video game music is dead: anyone who reads my reviews knows that I continually bring up how game tunes from the 80s and 90s were composed by geniuses who learned classical piano at ages four and five, whereas today the "songs" are "composed" by jokers with zero talent, who make television commercial music-- there's just no comparison.

My point being, it wasn't just "Streets of Rage 2" which had a soundtrack of this caliber: there are dozens of games from that era I could recommend to him, which have remarkable compositional complexity.

If he likes the dance stuff, how about tracks like this from "One Must Fall: 2097"? Or anything from "Shinobi III"? The "Star Control 2" music does a huge amount of thematically interesting things. Returning to Koshiro, what would this guy make from the opening progression in this track? Or how about what I consider to be the single best video game song of all time, compliments of Tim Follin?

Favorite Metal Albums

While we're on the subject of music, I figured I'd update my favorite metal albums of all time list. I love this stuff for the same reason the aforelinked musician went nuts listening to Yuzo Koshiro: metal has incredible compositional sophistication. But not only that, it produces such an intensely bombastic sound:

  1. Rising Force - Yngwie Malmsteen (1984)
  2. Resurrection - Galneryus (2010)
  3. Invictus - Virgin Steele (1998)
  4. Angel of Salvation - Galneryus (2012)
  5. Rust in Peace - Megadeth (1990)
  6. Dust to Dust - Heavenly (2004)
  7. V: The New Mythology Suite - Symphony X (2000)
  8. Epica - Kamelot (2003)
  9. Images and Words - Dream Theater (1991)
  10. Trilogy - Yngwie Malmsteen (1988)
  11. Hall of the Mountain King - Savatage (1987)
  12. Land of the Free - Gamma Ray (1995)
  13. Crystal Logic - Manilla Road (1983)
  14. Destiny - Stratovarius (1998)
  15. Ecliptica - Sonata Arctica (1999)
  16. Sign of the Winner - Heavenly (2001)
  17. Dawn of Victory - Rhapsody (2000)
  18. Defying the Rules - Hibria (2004)
  19. The Black Halo - Kamelot (2005)
  20. Chapters from a Vale Forlorn - Falconer (2002)


Speaking of art which resonates with me, how about this piece from Akira Toriyama?

I wonder if there is a name for the style: it juxtaposes disproportionate "chibi" characters with realism-- in this image, I get the chills contrasting the driver with the rich detail put into the car itself. Imagine lifting this car and characters, plus a whole slew of corresponding world art, making ultra high-resolution "billboard" sprites out of them, then placing that into a rally driving game with realistic physics?

This is what I mean about modern-day game designers having nothing to offer: I can think of a million ideas like this, which have never been done before-- and I'm not even a generally creative person. Sometimes I think I should start my own game development company. I'd go solo, but I'm a terrible artist so minimally I'd need help with the graphics.

Crime and Race

Here is Vincent James with an excellent breakdown of the relationship between crime and race. This doesn't mean that people should ill-treat individuals poorly simply because of their race-- but the data does suggest which races, if any, should be considered for immigration, and which shouldn't.

On that very note, here is Geert Wilders with a superb explanation as to why people voted for him. He brings up the importance of shared religion, shared language, shared values, and so forth. You can always tell which leaders prioritize their own voters-- Wilders, Nigel Farage, Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orban, and so on-- by how often they invoke this telling argument. They understand that they are the employees, while the citizens are the bosses.

Clot Shot Fallout

I recently saw a clip from a female doctor who, no longer able to contain her conscience, spoke out against the damage the clot shots were causing, based on the explosion of things she and her colleagues were seeing in their practices over the past couple of years, weighed against their prior decades of experience. I can't find that clip at the moment, but this article discusses some of the same material.

Winbloze 12

The combination of the Steam Deck being such an emulation box hit for me thus far with the fact that, for the first time in forty years of playing video games, I don't have any titles I'm looking forward to, means that I'm on the verge of just handing over my gaming PC to the wife and calling it a day.

Now I'm reading that Winbloze 12 is going to be "AI"-based, which means it will have a woke chaperon built right into the OS, probably monitoring all of your documents, deleting stuff off of "OneDrive" if the "AI" system doesn't like it. I've also heard that Winbloze 12 will be subscription-based. Now seems like a good time to bow out of PC gaming, and probably all other contemporary gaming as well.

"Is it weird that I'm worried that I'm failing at being bi if I wind up liking a guy? Like coming out, in my mother's words, was so 'bleeping dramatic' and then I'm just gonna be in a hetero-normative relationship and then I feel guilty about participating in 'bi-erasure'? I'm a mess."

-Actual quote from a modern video game ("Spider-Man 2", on the PlayStation 5)

Death of Xbox, Continued

This is an interesting thread, lots of charts and analysis from the various posters. Some of the comments which jump out at me the most:

  • "The scary thing is they haven't been able to create a new, big IP to match Halo, Gears, or Forza. Starfield was the big chance, but failed spectacularly."

  • "how do you even hope to exist in the console market if your last successful exclusive ip was created in 2006? i mean, that's just genuinely nuts. it almost seems like the odds'd be that they'd've just accidentally come up with one over all that time..."

  • "I don't know how they're going to sustain memberships for another 6 months on the backs of Starfield and Halo Infinite. Honestly, I don't know how GamePass hasn't already imploded except that a lot of people probably have months/years stacked up."