Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My Beloved Cecil

Ah. Just saw this trailer today and I am in love with Final Fantasy IV all over again!

I remembered that just on monday I was telling friends that I planned to buy NDS, Wii, PSP and PS3. Not all at once mind you, but I shall get around to it.

Someone asked me why NDS, I said FFVI. How could I have forgotten about FFIV ? No!!! Gomen Nasai, Sesiru !

Watashi wa tsuki na Sesiru.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Play! A Video Game Symphony

Ah! Finally, the long awaited Play! A Video Game Symphony has arrived in Singapore! I still remember the day I stumbled across the listing of this concert in the SISTIC website and I was sooooo excited for the tickets sales to open.

I did not expect a very fast sell out response so I was slow on the buying of tickets. I was told by my friend that tickets were sold out as there were come game companies that bought up the tickets for their customers. Naturally I wasn't too happy at that. They had better had offered some good packages and not just have resold the tickets lol.

Anyway I decided to still try and check the SISTIC website. Turned out that there were still tickets available as they had released some additional tickets. These tickets were in awful seating areas but as it was the concert hall that we were talking about, I was not too concerned about not being able to see the performers as the whole concert hall is an open concept. There are no walls to block the audience. The only concern would be the sound but then I figured that getting a ticket was better than none!

It so happened that they later added a saturday matinee show and I toyed with the idea of getting a ticket for that as well, but I was hesitant as my main pull for the show was FF and Play! is not a full FF concert.

So it ended up that I decided to go with my Asian Premiere ticket :D

The day came and I was so excited. I was almost late too as I left work later that day. I made it just in time after a quick meal at O'brien's. I wanted a Crispy bacon and egg sandwich.. and I even asked the cashier if the bacon was crispy to which the reply was "yes"

Guess what? The bacon was NOT crispy! I went all the way to O'Brien's BECAUSE I wanted crispoy bacon so there was no way I was going to accept flaccid bacon! Anyway, they redid the bacon (precious minutes lost there) and I had a quick meal.

Rush on over to the Esplanade Concert Hall and went in to find my seat. Well, well! Not too bad a seat.. I was just on the edge of the speakers and so I could expect that I wouldn't be hearing muffled sounds albeit I wasn't expecting the best sounds either. I was also just on the border of seeing all three screens on stage.

Expectations. Anxiety. Excitement.

They opened the concert with a Fanfare that Nobuo Uematsu wrote for Play! It was distinctively Uematsu in that it reminded me of Final Fantasy. Generally, it was a pretty good show and I am sure that many people in the audience were happy with the performance last night. The lady who was seated next to me was so excited during the Super Mario Bros peice. Whenever Yoshi appeared, she would go "Yoshi!! Yoshi!"

I was almost ready to tell her that:"Yes, I know who Yoshi is, please enjoy the music."

I guess it's just overflowing excitement and one can't really be blamed for that.

They had a couple of new songs for a some upcoming games. Nothing I could identify with as I never played them before, though they were nice nevertheless!

My main pull of the show were the Final Fantasy pieces. There were 2 of them. Dancing Mad (FF VI medley) and One Winged Angel. I think Dancing Mad was pretty well done. They also had a Chrono Trigger / Chrono Cross medley. I felt that during the Chrono Cross part, the part where the music was transiting from a slow quiet movement, to a fast boisterous movement was not cleanly executed. It was a bit of blur into the fast part, rather than a sharp cut, which I much prefer.

And finally, the One Winged Angel! I was so looking forward to this piece! I guess maybe because I have heard this piece so many times, my expectation of the piece are quite unreasonable lol. I was also mildly disappointed when I saw that they were definitely not gonna do the FFVII:AC version of One Winged Angel, however, I love the FFVII version all the same! There was a time when I wanted to memorise the lyrics to this piece. It was pretty good throughout but it didn't really make me go "WOW!" I also felt that the ending didn't have enough ooomph to it. The orchestra didn't exactly end with a punch on the final syllable of "Sephiroth!"

Then again, both the issues that I have listed are most likely just a preference in execution. It does not mean that the piece was performed wrong. I just preferred the piece to be handled differently.

Oh and I was so hoping for a One Winged Angel encore. Maybe that's what killed my excitement a bit. I have listened to a version of the One Winged Angel encore done by the Play! concert and it was absolutely killer!

Overall, the concert was good. The comments I had were mainly cos I was too familiar with those pieces.

Now, it would be great if we could have the "Voices", "Dear Friends" and maybe even The Black Mages!! I so want to hear "Distant Worlds" performed live, but I doubt that could ever happen outside of Japan.

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