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Staying In Tune: Richard Jacques On Game Music's Past, Present, And Future
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Staying In Tune: Richard Jacques On Game Music's Past, Present, And Future

June 16, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 8 of 10 Next

So if you did manage to do that, it might be rather nice.

RJ: I'll see what I can do. I'd definitely love to do it. Part of the problem is that a lot of composers now who work in the games industry -- especially the orchestral composers -- to be frank, they don't really play games. They don't. That goes back to one thing we talked about earlier, about film composers and stuff. They've never played PaRappa, so they don't know that interaction, that kind of magical balance between gameplay and music.

And I kind of really, totally get that. I've worked on all this stuff. When I was able to work with just a couple of guys, I can't do artwork, and I can't do coding, but I'm sure me and maybe my girlfriend could come up with some pretty hot ideas, because we know the kind of things that are fun and make great gameplay. And you make a great point about being very composer-driven -- the music drives the game design and how it shapes together.

Yeah. The only other example I can think of know Yuzo Koshiro?

RJ: Yeah.

With his company, Ancient. He just happens to be a composer, also. It's only composer-driven by happenstance.

RJ: Yeah. (laughter) One funny story is that when I went to Tokyo once, I went to see Mizuguchi-san's team, and they were just starting out on Rez. A lot of people in reviews -- it's just now being rereleased on Xbox Live and stuff -- they're saying "It reminds me a little bit of Panzer Dragoon," but what they don't realize is that they were actually using the Panzer Dragoon engine while they were building it. The first time I saw it, the music was awesome, but it had a really bad texture and a few rocks coming towards you, and that was it. But I totally got the game immediately, because the music was so well-done.

There was an early tech demo, when it was called K Project, which was extremely confusing to people...

RJ: Yeah. K Project, yeah.

And they used some of the music from Panzer Dragoon Zwei, I think, in the trailer, so that even further confused people. It's like, "Aah! What? What's happening?"

RJ: Yeah, I've had a lot of fun rediscovering that on Xbox Live recently. I think it's a terrific game. And I was a huge fan of PaRappa. That was a stroke of genius. And Space Channel 5 and those type of games.

Sony's PaRappa the Rapper

And the downloadable games, too.

RJ: Yeah. I think that's a good thing, because that's what makes video games fun. I was having a conversation with someone the other day. It's like... a lot of the games that are out now, they're not fun. I don't think they're fun. I mean, people enjoy playing them. They get enjoyment out of them.

But if I want to run around... a lot of them are simulating real life too much, in my opinion, whereas something like Super Mario Galaxy, you can't do that in real life. I can't play tennis against Ulala from Space Channel 5. That's what, to me, video games are fun. That is the real reason. I want to do something really crazy and really stupid and really fun and silly.

Article Start Previous Page 8 of 10 Next

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