bioshock & voices from the lifestream

Finally, I’m in a position to give some authoritative feedback on Bioshock.  It’s fantastic.  It is not a perfect gaming experience, it certainly suffers from what 1up called “the uncanny valley of storytelling”, the actual killing of enemies is a tad rudimentary, the Vita-Chambers are kinda new-school, and some of the sound feels weak and stock.

But it’s fantastic, a ton of fun, and, for the most part, totally awe-inspiring.  I’ve watched 4 people boot the game for the first time.  Each one of them watched the opening cut scene, and then waited for a good 15 seconds after gameplay had begun before saying “Oh.  Shit, this is gameplay.”  Then, those same people played through the opening level and cringed, shivered, and jumped in all the same, right places.  This game hits its beats like heavy-metal drummer on speed, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Voices From The Lifestream is a huge undertaking by the good people at OverClocked, for the 10-year anniversary of what I would call the first mainstream vidoe game event.  Looking back at FFVII now, it looks ass-ugly and plays well, but in a a somwhat unsophisticated manner.  However, it hit the zeitgeist with such force that, 10 years later, video games are still vibrating to its frequency.  And, of course, Nobuo Uematsu did the score.  Voices From The Lifestream is fourty-five remixes, reworks, and reinterpretations of various parts of the score, over 4 CDs, in a huge range of styles.  Some are obscure, some are classic, and some will give you goosebumps and flashbacks of when you were there, 10 years ago.  If you enjoy game music, the Final Fantasy series as a whole, or the fine art of the remix, you should check this out.