I Have Concerns About the Final Fantasy VII Remake

For the uninitiated, I’m sure it felt surreal to see what the sciences would consider “A Metric Fuckton” of people freak out over a 22 year old game. But for us old farts in our late 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, the Final Fantasy VII: Remake trailer drop was a fun time had for all.

Except for this old fart. You know, the one writing this blog that you’re now reading.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m an absolute, nostalgia-ridden purist who thinks a remake when Square-Enix could make like, a dozen new games in the time this has taken is stupid, but FFVII isn’t by any means untouchable. Even if you think it is, it’s available on pretty much every platform at the moment. So you can enjoy it in it’s purest, 1997-est glory any time you like.

But here’s the thing: With the smoothing of some of the rougher edges that will inevitably happen with this remake, what else are Square Enix willing to smooth? (and I’m not even going to get into potential DLC here)

WARNING: SPOILERS WITHIN. If you somehow missed out on it in it’s 22 years of being around, might wanna get that sorted and avoid the following section.

Final Fantasy VII isn’t exactly the most family-friendly game. Filled with implied bestiality, implied homo-eroticism, VERY much implied eco-terrorism, cross-dressing, gambling, exploitation of women, and if you wanna push it, unsafe motorcycle riding, and that’s just on the first disc.

In fairness, he wouldn’t be able to fit a helmet over his spiky fucking head

And that’s all fine. I’m no prude. Without them, Final Fantasy VII as we know it wouldn’t be the weird, esoteric, nearly-steampunk-cum-fantasy trip we all know and love. But think to yourselves now: How necessary are these scenes in a modern gaming environment?

In one particular scene, Cloud has to cross-dress to enter the Honey Bee Inn. Which is… Look, it’s a brothel, okay? No two ways about it. There’s women, people pay to spend some naughty-time with women, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it’s not a cat, is it?

Anyway, Cloud cross-dresses to enter the Honey Bee Inn to save Tifa, which opens up a whole sidequest of collecting clothes (including panties), getting the right perfume, lifting weights, and um… This.

So many moustaches…
…So little time

In another section of the game, there is almost a real-time strategy element where you have to defend Fort Condor from Shinra forces.

Meanwhile Mass Effect barely had a working car in it.

All of this is entirely optional, and that’s not even getting into the Golden Saucer minigames, the romance minigame, finding Yuffie, and so on. All optional, some important, any necessary? Probably not. And that’s what’s concerning me.

If, (or rather, when, at this point), we eventually get the Final Fantasy VII remake, this is the Final Fantasy VII I want. The almost perverse, gritty world of Midgar, warts, gambling, cross-dressing, implied gay sex and all. Since FF8, the other Final Fantasy games I’ve played have paled in comparison to the weighty girth of the amount of shit you can do in FF7, some even just railroading you into the right direction.

Fuck that. Give me my high-res 4K cross-dressing Cloud who gets banged by several gay dudes in a hot-tub. Give me Fort Condor, give me the stupid shooting-gallery laser game in the Golden Saucer which I was terrible at. It might not be necessary, but it’s Final Fantasy VII, damnit. (also having a gay orgy in a seemingly accessible game loved by all is progressive as hell for 1997, and that tickles me).

Whilst FF7 isn’t my favourite game in the series, let alone on the original Playstation (more of a Metal Gear Solid dude, if I’m to be honest), I’m gonna be really gutted if these things disappear in favour of slightly better graphics, slightly better mechanics, a slightly better Materia system, and a Cloud that doesn’t look like someone just melted a Lego man’s head and gave him a huge fuck-off sword.

Admit it. You were thinking it too.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Till next time.

The Curious Case of Cardinal Pell (and those who protect him)

Content Note: This will inevitably lead to a discussion about sexual abuse, child abuse, rape apologists, paedophilia, the works. Brace yourselves before reading if you’re sensitive to such topics, and of course, help is readily available:

LIFELINE: 13 11 14
KIDS HELPLINE: 1800 55 1800

1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732

Some years ago, I was watching my then-girlfriend sing Handel’s Messiah with the choir she worked with. This, in turn, led to a chance meeting with one Cardinal George Pell. We said “S’up homie?”, shook hands, he declined my offer of a fist-bump and I thought nothing else of it…

…Until I saw his name in the paper a few weeks later saying he was accused of abusing a choirboy or two.

Fast forward to last month and Pell was finally convicted on multiple counts of child sexual abuse after this all was made hush-hush over the years, because of course, the church can do no wrong. There never was a epidemic of paedophilia in the Catholic church and there never was a priest or even a cardinal convicted of such a heinous crime. That’s only reserved for the folk that got their shit pushed in by Operation Yewtree, right?

Right…

Even up until recently there was a gag order on all media discussing the case -as pointless as it is in the age of the Internet, where I can catch up all the day’s goss in about five minutes-, because heaven forbid anyone talks about such a high-profile case, regarding a high-profile person, accused of a high-profile crime.

But the word’s out, Pell’s convicted, and people are talking. Several of whom, probably shouldn’t.

In an amazing example of “Not the Betoota Advocate”; Tony Abbott, John Howard, Miranda Devine, Andrew Bolt, the Archbishop of Sydney, and I’m sure a slew of others have come out swinging in defence of the poor, oppressed Cardinal, inferring that it’s all a smear campaign. He’s a “good bloke”, he “was wrongfully accused”. The usual tripe that plagues cases like this (big and small) when your mate down at the pub grabs someone inappropriately.

What amazes me more in the cases of Bolt and Devine, is that News Corp thought that having their two most prominent columnists defend a convicted paedophile was perfectly fine and dandy.

The kicker for me was this fucking doozy from Pell’s Lawyer and 2019 winner of the prestigious “Stop. Just Fucking Stop.” award, Robert Richter, QC:

“This is no more than a plain, vanilla sexual penetration case where a child is not volunteering or actively participating,”

You know, because forcing oral sex on a choirboy is the vanilla-est thing. I myself can’t have a cheeky wank without being punched in the head and having my nipples hooked up to a car battery. #kinklyf.

but I digress.

In regards to the group above. Let me just say, under no uncertain terms, and on behalf of all that is left of kindness, goodness, and decency in this sordid fucking country; go fuck yourselves.

This wasn’t some Judge Judy-esque shitshow where everyone involved was kinda shit and you can’t look away because it’s an absolute trainwreck. This was a powerful person, taking advantage of his ranking, to abuse innocent children. Children. You know, the ones you were so committed to protecting when same-sex marriage was gearing up to be The Worst Thing Ever™.

I didn’t hear a goddamn peep from anyone when Rolf Harris was convicted, or Gary Glitter, or Robert Hughes. Nor did I hear a peep from the conservative rags when we all universally decided Jimmy Saville was an utter shit cunt (and nor should we, on both counts). But now it’s your best mate you feel so, so compelled to defend him, to call him after the conviction, to cite “undeniable evidence” he was wrongfully convicted, to offer character references.

Even Ray Hadley. Ray Goddamn-fucking Hadley called you guys out on this crap.

Let’s just unpack some of this bullshit, shall we?

“In my opinion, this is our own OJ Simpson case, but in reverse. A man was found guilty not on the facts but on prejudice,”

“Cardinal George Pell has been falsely convicted of sexually abusing two boys in their early teens. That’s my opinion, based on the overwhelming evidence.”


“Declaration: I have met Pell perhaps five times in my life and like him,”

“I am not a Catholic or even a Christian. He is a scapegoat, not a child abuser. In my opinion.”

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun.

Bolt sure likes his opinion, doesn’t he? Which evidently means he knows more than the victims who prosecuted against Pell, and thankfully isn’t admissible court evidence. I would wager if it was anyone else, he’d just be on his merry and state that we should let the courts do court stuff. Don’t even get me started on refugees.

“It’s devastating because I don’t believe that Pell, who I know slightly and admire greatly, could be guilty of sexually assaulting two choirboys in a busy cathedral after Sunday mass when he was archbishop of Melbourne in 1996,”

Miranda Devine, Daily Telegraph

Devine, a staunch Catholic, infamously accused the Victorian Police of using the accusations against Pell as a distraction from a crime epidemic in 2017.

Devine being Devine, I’m sure any pearls of wisdom I was able to glean in spite of News Corp’s paywall are as fair and balanced as you can get.

And you know what, Miranda? It does suck. It sucks that one of the most powerful people in the Catholic church couldn’t keep his saintly prick in his pants. And now he’s convicted. Boo fucking hoo.

But it’s fine. It’s all fine. We can get through this together. I tend to look to the Bible in tough times (mostly when a table leg needs more height), and I believe this may be of use to you:

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Galatians 6:7. Paraphrased occasionally by Marilyn Manson

You asked in 2017 “how would you like to be labelled as a paedophile?”. Tell me, how does it feel to be defending one?

“Strength and sincerity have always been features of his personality. I have always found him to be lacking hypocrisy and cant. In his chosen vocation he has frequently displayed much courage and held to his values and beliefs, irrespective of the prevailing wisdom of the time.”

“[Pell is a] lively conversationalist who maintains a deep and objective interest in contemporary social and political issues.”

“I am aware he has been convicted of those charges; that an appeal against the conviction has been lodged and that he maintains his innocence in respect of these charges. None of these matters alter my opinion of the Cardinal.”

John Howard, Character reference of George Pell

Oh, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. Here’s the thing. You speak of prevailing wisdom, yet deem it fit to somehow defend a disgraced Cardinal. These matters should alter your opinion of the Cardinal. I suggest you take a “deep and objective” look at yourself and who you surround yourself with. But then you were the “Boat people are throwing their kids overboard” guy. So I doubt you’ll equip very much foresight in this matter.

Come to think of it, why the hell are you still relevant? We ousted you and your gang of shitheads in 2007. Go for a jog or something.

“I absolutely accept that this is a shocking result, a devastating result, but it is subject to appeal,”

“It certainly doesn’t sound consistent with the man I have known.”

“Yes, he has been convicted, he has been found guilty, and as the Prime Minister said, no one is above the law … but let’s wait and see what the law ultimately produces.”

“I accept that there has been a judgment of a court. I accept that there has been a verdict of the jury. I accept that this is a horrific crime. I accept all of that. But there is a process that is yet to be finalised.”


“I don’t claim to have the last word in wisdom and insight on any of these issues,”

Tony Abbott, 2GB

Tone, mate, you shouldn’t claim to have the last word in wisdom or insight on anything aside from eating onions and being a terrible Prime Minister.

You have stated that you will ‘accept’ the results of the case, yet you want to ‘wait and see’ what ultimately comes out of it? Guess what? There was ultimately, definitely and undoubtedly a result and they found your BFF guilty. You might have to re-arrange your nails-and-hair-plaits dates, my dude.

You all are no longer mouthpieces for Conservative Australia and the apparent voice of common sense. You are all paedophile apologists and hypocrites and should be goddamn ashamed of yourselves.

Even when evidence and the courts have out and out convicted Pell of the charges, you lot still praise the guy and wait around for some sort of smoking gun, some miracle evidence that will unequivocably reveal that your buddy’s actually an alright guy. All the while doing your Oscar-winning attempt at hand-wringing over the victims. You couldn’t give a shit about the victims. You just want this to all go away so you can keep trialling Muslims or Refugees in your paid position at the Court of Public Opinion.

I don’t expect much from any of you, because you’re all basically trash. But honestly? I expected better. Far better.

Till next time…

To one self-respecting adult to another: An Open Letter to Rhymer Rigby

So thanks to ex-housemate Brenton, this following article crossed my feed this afternoon.

The gist basically is as follows: Comic book movies are silly, comics are for children, the movies that are adapted from them try so hard to appeal to the adult crowd and less so for children that the stupidity hurts, superhero movies are the worst way to convey a message.

Well then.

When I shared the article to my own Facebook feed, I semi-joked that I haven’t had any self-respect for decades, so I’m in the clear, but y’know, as a card-carrying, comic reading, dork-who’s-meant-to-be-an-adult, I think I at least deserve a little more of a right of reply than self-deprecating humour. So here goes.

Read more

On Robin Williams.

Jesus Christ. Two childhood favourites in one year. Can you guys like, stop fucking dying for a minute or two?

Like pretty much everyone else from my generation, My childhood was pretty much filled with Robin Williams movies, TV shows and (much later on) stand-up. The amount of energy he brought to his performances was unbelievable. I can’t remember a time when -even with his shittier movies- that I wasn’t even a little bit impressed with his acting. Even if said acting was Williams making noises, yelling, and doing impersonations for an hour and a half (which really, sums up Aladdin when you think about it)

My personal favourite? Toys.  Yeah it kinda shat the bed at the box office, but it’s still a fun little movie. And hey, it was set in a goddamned toy store and you know, being 12 or so at the time of viewing, I was way into toys (judging by my current collection both here and in storage at my parents’ house, not a hell of a lot has changed. Few more have stayed in boxes than what used to, though).

I think to fully appreciate the questionable sanity of Robin Williams though, you kinda have to watch his stand up. While it wasn’t the life-changing, thought-provoking result that I got from watching Bill Hicks (who, by then I was way into), My first (and second, third, and fourth, and shit, god knows how many more) viewing of Live on Broadway was fucking phenomenal. The amount of energy, charisma and downright zaniness that he brought to a myriad of topics ranging from politics, to the Winter Olympics, to soccer, to sex, to terrorism and to drug use was wonderful and goddamn entertaining. Admittedly, the amount of swearing, double entendres and dick jokes helped.

I guess what really saddens me is that this incredibly funny, talented and intelligent man who was full of energy had (allegedly, at this point) committed suicide. I mean, I get it, Depression isn’t exactly picky when it comes to who’s day, week, or year to fuck up, but the goddamn Genie from Aladdin? The guy who got stuck in a boardgame one time? This guy? I guess it’s a little disheartening (yeah, even in my nearly-30’s) that the guys who made it big have the same problems and pitfalls as us mere mortals. Both Kim and I expressed how we’re both kinda surprised he made it this far, considering how long he’s been battling on for…

 

For what it’s worth, Thanks, you big loon. Thanks for the laughs, the movies and for being one half of why “August Rush” was slightly better than it should have been.

Till next time.

 

 

On Offensiveness, Oversensitivity (and a little bit about George Takei)

So I recently picked up a copy of the somewhat hard to get, lowest common denominator party game “Cards Against Humanity”. To answer the forthcoming questions: Yes, it’s pretty fucking foul, and yes, you should get it if you don’t mind that sort of humour. Just don’t play it with Grandma. She’ll send you to a nunnery (yes, even if you’re a dude) and let’s face it, she’s old and probably won’t get the references.

We finally had a game last night, which turned into two marathon-esque games equal to that of maybe half of a Lord of the Rings movie.

A few personal favourites of mine
A few personal favourites of mine

As someone who doesn’t really have a filter, or any major problem with profanity or what have you, none of the cards really caused me any distress. While I’m convinced that everyone in Casa de Ruku are going to hell, we’re all pretty thick-skinned adults here and really the game is like a bad movie: The worse it is, the funnier it gets.

But I can get why it’s not for everybody, and yeah, the cards can get pretty offensive. This guy took a lighter to one card in particular that was mildly transphobic, a move that the creator of the game supported. But then, where’s the line? Why do I have a problem with “date rape”, while “Pac-man uncontrollably guzzling cum” and “The Virginia Tech Massacre” are perfectly acceptable? What am I, the fun police?

canadian-toronto-police-officer-water-fight-during-pride-2011-carlos-osorio
Fig #1: Fun Police

I’ve considered making an “unacceptable” list and banning cards I deem too risqué, but on the other hand, it’s that sort of game. Then, what if I make an “unacceptable” deck and people are still offended? Should I have ponied up the cash for a Munchkin expansion or something? It’s a slippery slope that usually ends up in people going “fuck it, we’re playing Monopoly and ruining our friendships forever”.

I guess it comes down to who I’m playing with. I’ll let them know what they’re getting into, if there’s a card in there I know that will offend someone, I’ll take it out. If they’re still offended? I’ll try not to be a huge douche and say “It’s a jooooke. GAWD.”

I generally believe there is no such thing as oversensitivity these days. Every person is unique, have their own limits on what’s considered “too much”, and people should at least try and respect that. Basically, don’t be a dick and make a dead baby joke to someone who’s just had a miscarriage, call a disabled person retarded, or say that a lesbian just needs a good dicking and you’ll be fine. If you even do attempt it, prepared to be punched in the face, because you were being a dick. It’s a nasty trap I’ve fallen into many times myself when I was younger and it’s something I’ve weaned myself off of over time. Sure, there’s still a few rock-hard, purple-veined dick jokes in my repertoire, but there are some things that I’m not ever going to joke about and I’m generally more likely to filter my content depending on my audience.

 

Basically, take it from me kids, “fetus in a jar” jokes aren’t something you tell to someone who’s had an abortion.

A summary of my formative years.
A summary of my formative years.

I dunno, I try to be a quote-unquote nice guy and don’t go out of my way to be a dick to anyone. If it happens, they tend to get an apology pretty fucking quickly. Unless they deserved it. In which case, it’s probably a matter of perspective and I’ll come off as a dick anyway. I try not to use non-apologies or make excuses or whatever, just say “hey, I was a big dick to you. Sorry about all the pulsating and throbbing and general dick-like behaviour” and try to make amends. Or just keep a low profile and a tail-between-the-legs-exit before the balls-punching happens.

Incase you didn't get it already: I shouldn't be a comedian
WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING

Which is why non-apologies bug me so much, I guess. Especially from people who know better. Like, oh I don’t know, George Takei, who recently done goofed. I’ll leave you to do the obligatory “Oh Myyyyy!”

For the linkophobes (how you got here, I don’t know) basically, apparently he posted this picture:

miracle-alcohol-aisle1

And responded like this when he got called out on his bullshit:

Screenshot-2014-08-02-12.56.37

2014-0804-Takei

I normally have no beef with good old Sulu. He’s funny, a pun-wizard, and y’know… George fucking Takei. So He kinda-sorta gets a pass with me. But I dunno. I mean, should a guy who’s probably experienced racial and sexual discrimination be ragging on the handicapped? Is he actually ragging on the handicapped? Have people just made a fuss about nothing or you know, does the picture kinda put disabled people in a shitty light, given most misconceptions are that they’re either completely disabled and entirely reliant on -in this case- a wheelchair, or -especially with the drooling rock-fuckers that make up right wing politics, “they’re faking it”?

Don’t get me wrong, I get it. A dear friend of mine who has to rely on a wheelchair has expressed their fear of being “found out” if they step out of their house.  and from the slew of blog posts that shine a light on the shitty parts of having a disability, it’s not a rare thing. Mental health and chronic illnesses in particular get a pretty bad rap with the “but you don’t look sick” crowd, which shits me to no end, being someone who has been diagnosed with a couple of things myself. I mean, what the fuck do you want? A diagram? A 30-page essay? Fuck…

I guess here comes the obligatory call-to-action, what do YOU think? Agree? Disagree? Is vetoing cards from Cards Against Humanity a super-fun-happy-slide to pulling out Candyland? Is oversensitivity a thing? Is George Takei a douche? Hit me up.

 

Till next time…

 

RIP, The People’s Poet.

A good man died recently. Aged 56.

Well, I say a “good man”, he was a bit of a bastard. But in the best way possible. Because he was fucking great at it.

While Kevin Smith was crucial in my life in the fact that his body of work helped me fine-tune my own writing style and voice, Rik Mayall taught me one very simple thing:

“snot-flicking calling people twats and farts are funny. and being repeatedly hit over the head with a frying pan is fucking hilarious”.

gal-Rik-20Mayall-20dies-20140610014642433221-600x400

My Rik Mayall introduction story of course started in part with “Drop Dead Fred”. Before that it was with “Grim Tales”, in which Mayall sat in a bipedal chair and recounted stories such as “Hansel and Gretel”, “Rumpelstiltskin” and “The Bremen Town Musicians”.

 

Later on was The Young Ones (which led to my fondness of Adrian Edmonson and an impromptu recreation of the opening scene from the episode “Bomb” in 8th grade drama class with highschool chum, Daniel) and Bottom. My first experience of which was the live show, Hooligans Island.

 

Obviously the likes of Mayall had some lasting effect. Because I’m almost bloody 30 and farts, calling people twats and snot-flicking is still worth a decent chuckle.

While I’m not way into the style of humour that Mayall did these days, It was what it was: Vulgar, in-your-face, brash and oftentimes just plain dumb. Honestly? I wouldn’t have it any other way. That and he proved his “serious” acting chops in Johnathan Creek and the occasional Drop Dead Fred scene, so as far as I was concerned, he can do whatever the fuck he wanted and I’ll laugh it up, guaranteed.

Even if it was “just plain dumb”, his comedic timing was razor-sharp and even the smallest of facial expressions were so finely tuned that he could do them in his fucking sleep if he wanted. If you looked up “slapstick” or “physical actor” in the dictionary, there’d be this mug as the fucking centrefold:

I'm convinced this was just his normal face, really.
I’m convinced this was just his normal face, really.

I could bang on and on and on about how wonderful it was to have a childhood – no, a fucking life enriched by Rik Mayall, but honestly? It all comes down to the following:

Rik, thanks for all the laughs, the tears (mostly from laughing) and the punches in the bollocks, hits with frying pans, and the two-fingered salute. My life would have never been the same without you, you mad bastard.

 

Till next time

 

Obligatory Rolf Harris Post.

I don’t normally keep up with current events on here. Mostly because it takes me ages to write a post and the ship has well and truly sailed by the time I get around to finishing it. But given this has been talked about, is being talked about, and will be talked about in weeks, perhaps months to come, I’ll be in the clear (I hope).

I’ve always had -even well into my Kevin Smith-lovin’ mid-to-late 20’s – a casual admiration of the talented, bizarre and far-too-Australian-for-his-own-good Rolf Harris. Be it the kitschy music, the cartooning, the fact he invented his own quasi-instrument, or the fact he was so immensely ingrained in my childhood that really, he was hard to get rid of entirely even when I grew older. Kinda like Stockholm Syndrome by proxy.

There’s also the fact that this exists, which -despite the murky details of what I’m about to get into, will always amuse the fuck out of me:

So, somehow I emerged from under my rock this week and found out the dude was convicted on all twelve charges of sexual assault.

Well, shit.

Perhaps I should have joined the corral of “yep, he’s fuckin’ guilty” early on and save myself the embarrassment. Cause y’know what? I thought he’d be acquitted, that the charges were falsified, that it was just a shitty time in the man’s life due to a huge misunderstanding and he’d be back on his feet soon enough, kinda like a greying, moustachio’d Michael Jackson who spent more time talking about pegs and tying kangaroos than moonwalking. I mean, it’s Rolf fuckin’ Harris! Surely he’s not ‘that guy’ is he?

Turns out, he was. Just like the Hey Dad guy. Man, what is it with people I’m familiar with from my childhood being ‘that guy’? Is nothing sacred?

I suppose I should be glad justice was served, but honestly? I just feel lied to and was fed a hearty three-course-meal of bullshit. I watched the videos, told strangers that my body was mine, made my own ad-hoc wobbleboard from a piece of thick cardboard until Dad threw it out, drew along with the cartooning tutorials and thought his version of ‘Stairway’ was as good as the original. I drank the Kool-aid and was a proud, card-carrying devout member of The Cult of Rolf, all for what? To find out well after the fact that the dude was way into young girls, to the point where just admiring the man for who he was is a futile exercise, because who he was isn’t exactly great, either.

It’s a sad, unfortunate, damn mess and I don’t like it one bit.

I guess there’s still a tiny part of me that still believes that he’s innocent, it was all a big conspiracy and he’s being convicted for the wrong reasons. That said, that part of me also believes that more than six people read this blog, that hoverboards exist and ‘The Man’ is just stashing them away in a big government vault, and I’m capable of being the next Neil Gaiman, so I’ve learned not to put too much blind faith into it. I guess it’s only protecting myself and that -in the immortal words of Jack Nicholson, I can’t handle the truth. So here we are now. Knowing rationally, that even childhood heroes are capable of some pretty evil fuckin’ things.

Tell you what though, if I see Don Spencer’s name in anything even remotely in a negative light involving children, Just grab me a bottle of spirits and hook me up to the memory-erasey machine from Eternal Sunshine and the Spotless Mind, ’cause I am fucking done with my childhood.

Till next time.

8 Video Game Soundtracks You Should Probably Listen To

Being a fan of music (and being rubbish at playing music myself), I do appreciate a good video game soundtrack. A form of music that’s simply gotten better since the days of Alex Kidd in Miracle World (go on, hum the theme tune. You know you want to).

So here I am, I suppose. With a love letter to some aural pleasure that -unless you were a gamer in the 2000’s and the games usually just had an audio CD portion, you’re probably going to have to download.

As usual with any lists on here, these aren’t in any specific order. They just equal up to eight and at the risk of my non-journalistic integrity, that’s good enough for me.

1) Quake II (Sonic Mayhem)

Given my almost-obsession with Nine Inch Nails, you’d think I’d pick the Original Quake over the sequel. But nope. Here we are, with the first soundtrack I ever headbanged to. It’s all a very driving metal affair that aided my appreciation for good game music in general. I even learned two of the tracks on guitar, which sounded like crap in comparison to the real deal and I promptly gave up in favour of just ripping the tracks onto my iPod.

Standout track: Quad Machine.

2) Turok 2: Seeds of Evil (Darren Mitchell)

Ah, back in the days of yore where there were dinosaurs and you shot at them. I loved Turok 2, even though I was phenomenally rubbish at it and I didn’t’ quite understand the hub-based gameplay. The soundtrack was great, too. Standout here being the Port of Adia (admittedly, I never got past the first few levels. But the other tracks are also worth a listen)

3) EvE Online (John Hallur)

EvE as a game is a strange beast. Equal parts faffing around in a spaceship and faffing around with red tape or mining. I enjoyed it in a way, but again, was a game I was rubbish at. John Hallur creates a soundtrack for EvE that completely captures the feeling of drifting in space, fighting off space-pirates, and …*groan* mining for fucking Veldspar. I enjoyed the hell out of the OST to the point that I’d just play it over the top of Mass Effect.

Standout track here is Nouvelle Rouvenor Hero.

4) Final Fantasy X (Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Manauzu, Junya Nakano)

This is where I’ll probably be shot and killed by rabid Final Fantasy VII fans because saying anything but that bloody game in the series is on the same level as saying “the Jews had it coming”. But I’m willing to take one for the team.

To be honest, a Final Fantasy soundtrack I haven’t liked is a rarity. It’s one of the few reasons I keep buying into Squeenix’s cash-cow. So why FFX in particular? I feel it had a far wider and much more fuller soundtrack compared to it’s predecessors. Not just on a technical level, but in terms of instrumentation. Plus it felt more -for lack of a better term, ‘at home’ here. With some notable exceptions tracks-wise, the others just felt you could plonk any old game in front of it and it’d still work.

Standout track: Besaid Island

5) Halo (Martin O’Donnell, Michael Salvatori)

Like any good sci-fi, Halo has a very distinct theme whose motifs tend to carry on throughout the rest of the music. Granted, it’s not the most amazing thing you’ll ever hear but I appreciate what’s going on here nonetheless. It’s subtle when it needs to be and gets the adrenalin pumping when you’re shooting Covenant in the face.

Standout track: Perchance to Dream

6) Brutal Legend (Peter McConnell)

I’m cheating slightly here because not only does Brutal Legend have it’s own score, but an absolute slew of heavy metal/hard rock music complimenting the score and the game itself. For the sake of consistency, I’ll talk about the score. McConnell does what he does best here and compliments all the guitar solos and screaming with a subtle, if not almost serene score, easily listenable on its own.

Standout track: Blades of Serenity

7) Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (Power Glove)

Oh, the 80’s. Home to many an overly-patriotic action movie where the protagonist (usually played by Stallone or Schwarzenegger) does everything but blatantly bellow “‘MURICA!” at the end, followed by a corny freeze-frame. Blood Dragon took all those movies and put them into a standalone add-on which I loved to the very end. The soundtrack is as equally 80’s, thanks to Power Glove. And ranges from synth-tastic anthems to terminator-esque driving action tracks.

Standout track: Warzone

8) Jade Empire (Jack Wall)

Ask me of my opinion of Jade Empire and I go into a babbling fit, trying to tell you how amazingly awesome it is. Seriously. That’s all you need to know.

Standout Track: Hills and Fields/Dance of the Babbling Brook