Archive for the ‘Music/Soundracks’ Category

And I’m back. Sorry about that – was struck by an odd case of writer’s block… didn’t really feel like talking about anything, and writing just for the sake of it doesn’t really get you anywhere. For my triumphant return though, I shall be talking about that most special of events – The Eurovision Song Contest!

I’ve been watching this yearly event for as long as I can remember… my mum probably introduced us to it, and some years we’d even throw a little party, sometimes with fancy dress… although not so much in recent years. I’m not sure what it is about it, to be honest – The voting process is long and can drag a bit, as well has being riddled with politics to the point where it’s ridiculous, but I’m mainly there for the music.

This year shows some promise though, for a couple of reasons: It’s in Germany, which is good because it’s been in Eastern Europe (with the odd break in Scandinavia) for a good few years now. This has inspired some Western European countries, like Italy, to make a comeback to the show. Up till now, the countries around Europe tended to vote in Blocks, which made it tough for anyone else to win. Don’t get me wrong, it will probably happen this year too, but last year’s result at proved at least that there were exceptions.

On top of that, our entry this year isn’t that bad either. It may be Blue, but as boy bands go, they’re not terrible, and it shows we’re starting to take everything a bit more seriously for once. If you want terrible, just go look at Ireland’s entry… who told them fielding Jedward would be a good idea!?

Anyway, just a short one today. I’ll try and get back into the swing of things, especially regarding gaming related posts but as I said, I don’t post just for the hell of it.

Oh, BTW, the first semi-final was on tonight, and there’s another one on Thursday. Grand Final is Saturday, as always.

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So, I can only apologise again for the lack of postage. Boss #2 is on holiday, which means I have to look after his stuff as well as my own. Boss #1 is not really involved in the day-to-day editorial task, so even though he is around sometimes it doesn’t really make much difference. Add to that the events I have this week, and the deadlines I need to meet… not a lot of energy is left for posting :( I should be better though after tomorrow, so I’ll try to catch up on all of the topics I said I was going to talk about.

It’s been a good week for releases – naturally I’m sure many of you will have got Portal 2 by now (I haven’t yet), but if you’re a fan of Battlefield-like FPS gameplay (as opposed to COD’s brand) and are looking for a cheap new game to get into, I recommend Section 8: Prejudice, which should be hitting the Xbox Live Marketplace sometime today. You can read my official review here, (9/10)  but I really can’t recommend this game enough. Single-player is a tad cliché and cheesy, engine is looking dated, but multiplayer is the most fun you can have in an FPS outside of the market leaders. If that’s not enough, then I’ll leave you with this: You spawn by hot-dropping down onto the map.

Just so you have some entertainment whilst you’re purchasing and downloading Prejudice, anyone remember this trailer for Metal Gear Solid 4? It’s very early footage, but the backing track used is one of the best I’ve heard. It’s simply called ‘Love Theme’ and it’s by a woman called Jacki Presti, apparently. It’s on the official MGS4 album. Enjoy!

Seriously, go buy Prejudice.

P.S. Eugh… just came back to this post and noticed all of the spelling mistakes. Late night posting when you’re tired is never a good idea…

I’m not going to lie, one of the highlights of this job is the random stuff you get through your letter box. Ethically speaking, the receipt and acceptance of gifts is kind of frowned upon because it constitutes a conflict of interest and lays possible grounds for bias. This is true, there’s no escaping it, but where I tend to argue differently is that there’s no guaranteed cause-effect here. It’s not like when you switch of the electricity, or pour salt onto a slug – if you choose not to let gifts affect your judgement, it won’t.

Anyway, usually it’s my Editor who gets all the weird and wonderful PR stuff anyway. As a truly internet based company, we have no central office, so his house is used as the main mailing address unless something needs to be sent to me specifically (although even then, the odd piece of mail addressed to me has been sent to his house, and he still opened it the bastard). It seems though that I’ve been getting my name and address about enough though that I’m starting to get my own stream of random, which is nice. There’s been instances in the past before mind, but they were very specific and one-off – for example, one pr woman who I have a laugh with often saw me mention my love of Oreos over twitter. A few days later, I received a small tub in the post. I was secretly very chuffed, I’ll admit.

Today though, I received another odd parcel in the form of this small cardboard tube. Intrigued, I opened it to find a leaflet and two bags with some kind of chip or crisp in, kind of like a fortune cookie just already broken up. There was even paper inside that had the location of the press assets on it. Not the most exciting thing in the world, but hey, I appreciated it.

Also in the mail was the copy of The Sims 3: World Adventures that I ordered, and the Doctor Who Series 5 Soundtrack. Which is awesome, by the way, Murray Gold has really out done himself this time… even if you didn’t particularly like this series, you should definitely check it out, some very good stuff here. Overall, I liked Matt Smith’s portrayal of The Doctor. Considering he had to follow on from David Tennant, he did far better than I thought he would. The series itself wasn’t that great, as the middle episodes were kind of boring, but hopefully that’ll get better in the next series. Anyway, tangent over. Back to Work.

Until next time.

Typical

Posted: October 31, 2010 in Gaming, Music/Soundracks
Tags: , ,

Naturally, having spent most of the day installing Premier Pro, trying to remember what I’d learned, capturing my footage and crudely trying to get the lip-sync,well, actually in sync…  Then having to wait ages for the video to upload on YouTube, I find that there are, in fact, at least two videos online that have the same footage I do in English.

Oh well, getting Premier Pro installed and signing up to YouTube are things I should have done ages ago anyway. I’ve also yet to use the Fraps subscription I paid for, so it’s not like I totally wasted my time or anything…

“Mum, can I go join The Red Army?”

“I suppose, why?”

“They have awesome music.”

“Why don’t you just join a choir or something?”

“I can’t sing.”

One thing you’ll learn about me is that I have this peculiar OCD when it comes to music. If I hear a good backing track to an advert, or a TV show (At the moment, I would have to say my favourite ‘genre’ of music is in fact official Anime soundtracks, I’ve acquired a few now), or even a game, I won’t rest until I’ve found it. I also have a separate thing where I just listen to the same song over and over again on repeat, but that’s not relevant here.

My latest OCD-fuelled search revolved around one of the opening cinematics for World in Conflict: Soviet Assault. I’d only purchased this recently, having known about it but not really bothering to check it out until it was going cheap on Steam. I’d always heard though that despite its flaws as a strategy game it was actually well balanced, and the online especially helped promote a lot of teamwork.

Anyway, upon starting the campaign, here’s what confronted me during the first mission**:

Honest to god, I almost went and joined the Red Army there and then… well, you know, if it had still existed. You could say I’m easily swayed by a stirring scene or a good piece of music, but I really do a feel a certain buzz when the right combination of sound, visuals and atmosphere is presented to me – always sends a shiver down my spine. This video in particular I think can help you appreciate concepts like Propaganda, National Pride, even how people used sheer charisma to manipulate a crowd. Naturally, having seen this I had to go and find out what the song was called that was playing in the background.

Turns out it wasn’t a song created for the game (as it wasn’t on the official WiC: SA soundtrack) but rather an actual song made in the 1930’s called Polyushko Polye, which translates as O Field, My Field*. There’s a few versions I found, the original acoustic version, and then the version the Soviet Army used post-World War 2, this one and this one being the best (I think the latter is the one that’s used in the video).

It’s rather sad though, reading through the comments in these videos, that more people argued about the likely hood of the USSR invading Europe and America (As that’s what happens in WiC) then just appreciated how excellent the song was. But yeah… that’s what I’ve been doing this weekend – any backing tracks you’ve found that have really struck you? Feel free to share!

Until next time…

* I think, anyway. Don’t quote me on that.

** The lip-sync is off with my version of the game for some reason. Not sure why but I tried to clean my capture up as much as possible in Premier Pro, although it’s still not perfect and I also ended up cutting off the edges. What can I say? I’m rusty. A better version of the scene can be seen here, although it’s in French.