Saturday, March 10, 2007

Video Games Live

Last night was a great show, much better than last years. Koji Kondo was definitely a nice touch, the guest of honour for the evening. Martin Leung played several pieces which was phenomenal, that guy is a machine. He also has improved since last year, although that might be because of the piano, he had a real one instead of a digital one from last year.

I wanted to stay for the meet and greet but after an hour the line moved 3 feet and I wasn't able to stay awake until 3am. I was with two other people who probably wanted to go, I guess next time I'll just have to go myself so I don't feel bad being a hardcore geek :D

The show started off with an arcade medley, which really brought back some old memories. Metal Gear Solid was next, I can't get over how amazing that score is. During the piece a guy with a machine gun came out, including a person in a box. Apparently in the game you can hide as a box? It was pretty amusing. You don't find out until after the next piece that Tommy Tallarico is hiding in there.

Jack Wall played music from Myst III and IV and then there was a Space Invaders break where they got some cosplaying guy to come up on stage to play. He was being tracked so he had to run back and forth to shoot. It looked pretty hard, but the prize would have been cash if he could get the bonus blimp.

Next the original LucasArt composers played Monkey Island, Outlaws and Grim Fandango. Monkey Island was great because it was the only one I've played. I LOVED that game, and I kept getting stuck in this one section so I spent many hours as a kid listening to the music.

Medal of Honor was next, and it was the same as before. They showed WWII footage. Next came Civ IV which was new, and it was incredible with the vocals. Dee Baker, a well known voice actor came out to demonstrate what monsters and insects would sound like in various situations. His baby sounds were really good.

Liberi Fatali was next, unfortunately SE wouldn't let them show images on screen (boo) but it was still amazing to hear live nonetheless. It was the first piece I've ever heard live back at Dear Friends and even now, after hearing it 4-5 times, I still get goosebumps.

Koji Kondo came out before the intermission and we were given a rousing rendition of the Zelda themes. It was amazing to see another video game composer legend.

After the break was the Frogger competition. Between a man dressed up as Mario and a little kid, the kid won the $2500 laptop. Go figure ;) Chris Kline aka “vertexguy” who is an incredible guitarist, played the Jungle Theme from Contra.

Kingdom Hearts was next, then Sonic, World of Warcraft and then Martin Leung and his Final Fantasy medley.

Tommy's work, Advent Rising was played, which I thought was really good with great scenes from the game. Koji came out to play a Mario medley and the voice actor for Mario was there as well. When encore time rolled around, we were given Halo and Halo 3 with Tommy helping out with the guitar. Martin came back to play the good old fashioned Tetris music as well as Pac man, DigDug, Mario and more.

Chris Kline came back out to help Tommy with the guitar when they played One Winged Angel from Final Fantasy VII as the big finale. I'm not sure why this one is so popular, I think it's because people like Sephiroth mostly, I don't think musically it's one of Nobuo's better pieces.

Overall it was a nice evening in the city, although my beef with San Francisco is that nothing is really open past midnight in terms of lounging around unless you're at a bar, club or diner. At least in LA, a lot of restaurants are open until 2. That's enough of San Francisco for a week. Going in 3 times has exceeded my city quota for the month :)

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