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The importance of Audio (AKA Patapon sucks on mute)

(I would have had a picture, but it's being stupid)

I've been stuck dealing with the trials (pun intended) and tribulations of jury duty in Los
Angeles, CA. I was actually summoned today and sat around for a torturous 7 and a half
hours before they let me go home. I brought my DS ad PSP to keep me entertained but I
forgot to bring earbuds. I decided to experiment and see how well I could play Patapon
without the sound. I hoped that my musical background would help me keep a good beat.
It worked most of the time, but I felt really stupid hitting random buttons in intervals. The
game lost a lot on mute.

I know it's easy to mute a video game while playing it, but I couldn't help think about that
today (anything to avoid thinking about being on jury duty). The game could not work
without the audio and I think that's pretty neat. Music and sound design can really add the
immersiveness of a game when it is good, but can deter when its bad. It's a dangerous
thing; lousy visuals can be overlooked with stellar gameplay or a great story, but bad
sound is bad sound. The result is me turning down the volume. The further implication is
to not even bother turning it up after hearing so much bad audio (like me). I think players
end up missing part of the gameplay experience.

I first discovered this when I played Dragon Quest 8. The guys at Squenix put in live
orchestra for the music instead of the shitty-ass MIDI that Japanese composers seem to get
stuck using for the US version. The demo did not have this and after playing the demo
and the game back to back I was blown away. The real players added so much more for
me and I enjoyed the game more for it. Bioshock is another one of those games that loses
out without the audio (I've watched Zero play it, no I haven't started yet. Don't spoil it for
me). Finally the live orchestra for some of the tracks for Super Mario Galaxy really helped
capture the whimsy that game has. Although I must admit that I can easily hear the tracks
that are MIDI.

So this has turned into somewhat rambling but the point I'm trying to make is that it's very
easy to forget about video game audio. Sure the bad audio can be horrid, but sometimes
the good can really enhance the experience, sometimes making it essential.
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About naia-the-gamerone of us since 1:51 PM on 09.13.2007

My name is Naia (pronounced either Nay-a or Neye-a, like yay or like eye). I've been poking around here for a while, although I don't comment as much as I used to. I do the music and the sound stuff. Teach and do scholarly research too! I do mostly freelance work and I'm always looking for people (even on DToid) to do fun projects with in entertainment. That can be either in theater, film, TV, or video games. I want to be like Kermit the Frog and be part of a group that entertains and makes people happy. I also love blue slimes, puppies and Sprinkles Cupcakes.

I've been playing computer and video games all my life. My dad was a programmer so we got an IBM 5150 PC very early on in the 80's. For Christmas in 1989 my parents surprised me with a Nintendo and it's been downhill ever since. I have/had most consoles over the years, mainly from Sony or Nintendo. I've had some Sega consoles and an Xbox 360 too.

I'm a big fan of the JRPG trinity of Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Fire Emblem (more DQ and FE lately, but I didn't hate FFXV). I was a finalist in Nintendo's DQ6 trivia contest back in 2011. I play RPGs, Action/Adventure, Platformers, Puzzles, and Point-n-Click Adventure games. I will play fighters and shooters, but they have to be the right kind of game.

Also, Rydia is my hero.

I'm such a nerd, I like to keep track of all the games I've completed in an excel file (it's over 400). Now that my backlog is out of control I have a word document for that too. My goal is to for once and for all eliminate the backlog, or at least keep it to a number in the single digits.

I have a lot of things to say about the game industry, it's something I care deeply about and love giving my opinions. I like to rant about shit. I'm here just to share what I have to say, in hopes someone is willing to listen.

Also for the record, my Top 5 Games of All Time
1. Chrono Trigger
2. Final Fantasy 4
3. Super Mario 3
4. Dragon Quest 11
5. Phantasy Star 4

Yes, I love my retro games (and DQ 11)

Thanks to The GHost for this awesome card!
Xbox LIVE:naia28
PSN ID:naia28
Steam ID:naia28
Mii code:7309 4775 1557 9362
3DS Code:4167-4502-0418


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