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GDC VGL write up
Posted By: Gryphonosiris <>Date: 2/23/08 2:06 p.m.

Ok, tried doing this last night around 2 AM (big mistake, sorry if it wasn't there when you checked Marty) and ended up having some error in IE that made me lose my whole write up. So, I'm starting it again and this time copying it before posting the blighter.

The location venue for the show was the lovely Masonic center on Nob Hill in San Francisco, California. The surrounding environment basically screamed money and I felt like I needed to have a loan taken out just to drive the streets here; it is 'Snob Hill' after all. Thankfully inside the center was another story, as there were geeks of all ages, sizes and geekiness; making it feel like an island of nerdiness in an ocean of old money. Of course there was the swag table selling programs, posters, CD, ect, and you couldn't have any videogame get together without a Guitar Hero III competition; its a law in 48 states I think. There were also a few cosplayers scattered around as various game characters, ranging from the cool to the slightly disturbing, but that pretty much some up most cosplayers anyway.

Now the show itself started off with a medley of classic arcade games; starting with Pong, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, Centipede, Asteroids, Joust, and ending with Tetris. After a call from Solid Snake, and a welcome video from Hideo Kojima-san the orchestra performed an incredible version of the Metal Gear theme that included a 'snake in a box', and montage of Metal Gear Solid footage, a clueless guard with a glowing exclamation point over his head and ending in a roaring cheer from the audience. About this point I realized that I should have tried harder last year to get tickets, but of course I'm here now and was enjoying it thoroughly.

Now, in the rather oddball sense of humor that they had, the person in the box was actually Martin Leung (google him... seriously, do it. I'll wait), a brilliant piano player known for playing the Mario themes blindfolded and also accelerated (of course you already knew that, since you googled him). He was a regular featured soloist, performing a Final Fantasy Piano theme medley, a Chrono Cross Medley, the Mario Themes, and of course his blind-folded version of Mario as see on Youtube, Ebaums world, and Google video.

New to this year's venue was the music of Bioshock, Metroid (which got a standing ovation), Lair as conducted by the composer himself, John Debney. Almost made me want to go out and buy a PS3 for it... almost... hey, don't look at me like that. Moving on, I don't know how they came up with this one, but the performed the Sonic the Hedgehog themes, including the choir singing "SEGA" at the start up prompt on the screen. And this was just the first half of the show.

I was rather excited to find out that there was a delegation of high-level execs from Square Enix Japan in attendance. Whether they were there for GCD or just for the show doesn't matter, it just shows that our 'childish hobby' bring people from around the world together.

As much as I want to geek out and tell you everything that happened in the second half, I won’t, as you need to really see it yourself. But to wet your appetite, they had the Halo themes from 1, 2, 3 and the Halo 3 teaser, World of Warcraft (for the HORDE!!!), and Starcraft II. If you thought the teaser theme was intense before, wait until you hear it Live. The energy in the hall was so intense that they did an encore performance with the new One Winged Angel Theme from FFVII, and an encore-encore performance of Castlevania.

Afterwards they had a meet and greet section with about 30 something individuals who worked on everything from Guitar Hero, to God of War, World of Warcraft, Halo, as well as the founding parties of VGL themselves. Of course, this was at 11:30 at night, we were all tired, they probably had cramped hands from signing everything, but they were all nice, talk with us, discuss the music from their games, discuss the concert, and generally joke around.

In conclusion, the show was FREAKIN' AWESOME... (Ahem, must be professional. Let's try that again.) The show was a fantastic multimedia experience of the sights, sounds and atmosphere of some of the greatest video games ever made, done by some of the greatest composers in the industry. As it stands, VGL shows that games are more than just the beeps and boops of the old Arcade games and have really come into their adulthood as elegant and sophisticated visual and aural experience.

I'm hoping that they come out with a DVD version of the show soon, as it is worth watching over and over again (without have to pay $65 a pop for tickets, though it was money well spent).

Message Index


GDC VGL write upGryphonosiris 2/23/08 2:06 p.m.
     Re: GDC VGL write upj41m3z 2/23/08 2:48 p.m.
           Re: GDC VGL write upGryphonosiris 2/23/08 3:33 p.m.
                 Re: GDC VGL write upj41m3z 2/23/08 3:38 p.m.
                       I wish...BlueNinja 2/23/08 3:52 p.m.
                             Re: I wish...j41m3z 2/23/08 4:05 p.m.
                                   Hmm...BlueNinja 2/24/08 3:58 a.m.
                                         Re: Hmm...gryphonosiris 2/25/08 2:25 a.m.

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