That was something that was really refreshing about Outrun 2 and Outrun 2006 when they came out, because it was just very... you couldn't really do this, but it's fun, and you're collecting hearts in your car.
RJ: That's right! (laughter) And trying to please your girlfriend. The funny thing about it is that I was playing it with my girlfriend two weeks ago in London -- Outrun 2 SP Special Tour, I think is the edition.
There were two guys playing it, and they were trying to drive it really seriously and take the corners, not realizing anything about powersliding. So we just got in and rocked it, you know, 45 degree powersliding around every corner, because you can't do that in real life. It's just such a brilliant gameplay mechanic, and it's one of my favorite games. I play it all the time.
And the music was very well-integrated for that as well, just because it was very...the right kind of over-the-top.
RJ: Yeah. What I didn't realize about that, when I was doing the remixes for Outrun 2, the original Outrun... I played that when I was 12 or 13 years old. It really rang true for me. That was the first thing I really remember well. It was actually composed so the music would change where an average player would do the branching at the end.
I mean, it wasn't interactive, but they timed the music so that when you went down the end of one course and you branched into the next course, the music would go into a different chorus or something like that. I didn't actually know that until I was remixing it, because all the tracks are actually about eight minutes long. So even in those days, it was being thought about.
Interactive music: it's been around forever!
RJ: Yep! Exactly. It's old school.
Did you get to do any vocal tracks for Sega Superstars Tennis?
RJ: No, not for this one. (laughter) Which is probably good for the fans. I was reading something the other day on some U.S. website, and they were saying something about the worst Sonic games of all time, and I think Sonic R was number one. They said, "What the hell is this music?" It doesn't bother me, because Yuji Naka likes it, and the fans like it.
Yeah, actually, I completely disagree on both counts. The music is ridiculous, with the lyrics and stuff...
RJ: I agree! (laughter)
But I can remember them all. That's something. A friend of mine here who's freelancing today... he and I can recite the whole songs.
RJ: There's a couple of interesting anecdotes about that. Yuji Naka wanted that kind of thing, so who am I going to argue with? He's like God to me. And I really understood what he wanted, and also because of all the J-pop culture anyway, that's really what was happening in game music at the time.
I think after I'd written the first test track, which was the Super Sonic Racing track, he loved it so much. He's put it on like five compilation albums, and it's in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as well, I found out last week. And that's something I wrote ten years ago.
The second funny story is that I met my girlfriend as a result of Sonic R, because she's a huge fan. She's a game designer, and she was a huge fan, and someone who knew me called me up and said, "Hey, she's great." She's a huge Space Channel 5 fan, too.