Just a Quickie

February 20, 2009

Not to sound too much like I’m justifying the fortnight since my last post, but I’ve been working a lot on trying to craft the newest expansion of quest lines for www.DomainofHeroes.com. We’re having an overhaul of gear and tying in lore pieces, so the work is a bit extensive. Along with that, I’ve been grinding out character bios and thinking of story lines for a casual game we (www.TandemGames.com) hope to release in May. All that to say that though I’ve been less than diligent with my blog posts, I have been writing…which is the goal, right? Oh, and that reminds me! My newest Smallville blog should be up by noon today.

As for actual gaming, I’ve been sneaking a few hours of RockBand 2 (PS3) in whenever possible. The truth is, I have very little actual musical ability (although I’ve been applauded for my karaoke skillz) and this is even more apparent on RockBand. I’m addicted to drumming on those plastic/rubber pads, but as of now, I’m a Medium drummer at best. The song that will probably be the death of me is Lazy Eye by Silversun Pickups. I can 95% it on Medium, but I step up to Hard and the syncopated notes jump out of the screen with billy clubs and beat me into submission. Here’s to you, real-life drummers. You deserve the women! 🙂

Drew as The Real Slim Shady

Drew as The Real Slim Shady

Friday night in Austin, TX, Video Games Live put on a show like no other that I have seen. My girlfriend and I arrived around 6:30 for the preshow festivities at the Long Center on Riverside (for those of you familiar with the Austin area). Unfortunately, there was little going on (the following day, I ran into one Julianna who ran the hosting of VGL and she told me that she was disappointed in what VGL actually brought with them as opposed to what they said they would bring) but we grabbed a bag of Razer gear, chatted with some friends also in attendance and went to be seated. As luck, or oddness, would have it, they would not allow us to sit in our designated seats, so we were moved closer to the action.

Me, Brandi, Pam and Roddy

Me, Brandi, Pam and Roddy

The show began with a very energetic appearance by the composer, Jack Wall, and occasional narrative by Tommy Tallarico – also full of energy. If you don’t know what VGL is all about (and perhaps this should be at the top of my entry rather than here, but, enh…) you can see a YouTube clip here and read the official site here. The Austin Symphony Orchestra played the themes of classic games such as Super Mario Bros. and Metroid along with lighting effects that spared no expense. The more intricate compositions of newer games such as Mass Effect and Halo were also elegantly intertwined.

A compilation of classics

A compilation of classics

Intermittently, a radio contest winner or preshow game winner entered the stage and was thrust into a gaming opportunity for some cool gear. The first man had to run across stage with a spotlight following him as his movements controlled the base launcher of the original Space Invaders. In two minutes, he managed to fail at clearing the first stage and instead of leaving with a $3K arcade machine, he got another bag of Razer gear. The second competition was much better. A 20-yr old came out to play Aerosmith’s Sweet Emotion accompanied by the symphony. He had to hit 165K points on hard to win a $2,500 Dell Laptop and ended up with a score of 250K on Extreme! The tension had the crowd at the edge of their seats and a standing O when he won.

Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall

Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall

Other acts included Martin Leung (seen here) playing the Mario Bros. theme blindfolded and Tommy himself kicking in on the last number, the theme for Castlevania. Overall, an amazing show that these two men have developed over the past 5 years. Even my girlfriend, who is not a gamer, had a great time pointing out which games she recognized. I wish Tommy and Jack the best in the future and they have an attendant for life.

*Pictures by Eugene Hsu