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The Top 10 Videogame Songs, #9


Alrighty folks, we’re back with more of the Top 10 Videogame Songs.

Yesterday we started off things off with a track from Devil May Cry as our #10.

That alone should give you some indication that this is very much a list of my personal favorites, and probably isn’t going to make everybody happy… Particularly RPG fans.

That being said, today’s entry on the Azn Badger’s list of the Top 10 Videgame Songs is:

#9. God Hand – God Hand

To those who may be unware, God Hand is a tremendously awesome game.

Don’t believe me? ¬†Check out the article I wrote on it awhile back.

The last game produced by the now defunct¬†Clover Studio, (the same guys that made Okami and Viewtiful Joe) God Hand was a late addition to the PS2 game library, and one that didn’t nearly as much press as it likely should have.

I bought myself an import copy of God Hand when it was first released, and I absolutely played it to death.

While I don’t always buy into the over-the-top nonsensical zaniness of Japanese games, God Hand serves as an example of one that just “did it” for me.

The character designs, music, and frenetic gameplay of God Hand all came together for a very complete and brutally difficult gaming experience.

Gorilla Luchador FTW.

Speaking of “brutally difficult,” the ending theme of God Hand, also titled “God Hand,” served as a fitting reward for the innumerable hours I put into the game.

Now, there are at least 2 versions of the song, Japanese and English; but I don’t think I have to tell you that the Japanese original is the superior version.

Don’t get me wrong, the lyrics are equally nonsensical regardless of which language they’re sung in; but the Japanese ones flow much smoother, and the feigned enthusiasm is 20 times as infectious.

That’s the beauty of “God Hand.”

It’s a stupid-ass song, for a stupid-ass game, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t make itself out to sound like the most awesomely over-the-top theme song in the history of awesomely over-the-top theme songs.

That being said, it needs to be said that a big reason why this one made the list, is not just because I love the game it came from; but also because I genuinely like the style of the music.

It has a tokusatu/superhero-y quality to it that reminds me of Kamen Rider or Tiger Mask, or even some of the sentai stuff.

I grew up watching that stuff, and in fact, still do watch it from time to time; so it goes without saying that this style of music is very much my cup of tea.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that, as a non-fluent Japanese speaker, the lyrics of “God Hand” are kind of fun for me in that they’re simple enough for me to actually understand for the most part.

It’s a minor point, but one worth mentioning all the same.

Anyway, this was #9 on our list of the Top 10 Videogame Songs, check back tomorrow for #8!

Filed under: Games, Tokusatsu, Top 10 Videogame Songs, Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bayonetta: First Impressions

BUTT.

In light of yesterday’s Devil May Cry post, I figure it’s appropriate that I take the time to share some of my thoughts on the similar, but also very different game:

Bayonetta on the Xbox 360.

Please bear in mind that, as of this post, I’ve only got about 2 and a half hours of gameplay under my belt.

Developed by Sega, and directed by the prolific and uber-talented Hideki Kamiya of the now defunct Clover Studio, as well as the original Devil May Cry fame, Bayonetta is, in a word:

JAPANESE.

Every pixel, frame, word and beat of Bayonetta is absolutely gushing with Japanese zaniness and anime-esque melodrama, such that my first few minutes with the game were almost too much to bear.

The aesthetic is way over-the-top, and the story and characters decidedly tongue-in-cheek, and for the most part, not all that appealing to me from a personal standpoint.

Nope, still not appealing. Goddamn she got a tiny head...

Despite this, I will say this:

The artistic design of the game, while not necessarily up my alley; is actually quite impressive.

The costuming and ornamentation of the character designs, while perhaps a little bit too flashy and intricate for it’s own good, are quite unique and certainly praise worthy.

Huh, this I like. Go figure...

In fact, I could honestly see myself owning a coffee table book of the production materials for Bayonetta at some point.

Anyway, the flashy cut scenes of Bayonetta, (choreographed by the always excellent Yuji Shimomura of Versus and Death Trance fame) annoy me much in the same way that Devil May Cry’s do.

They’re overlong, they often show the characters behaving contrary to how they do in-game, (Anybody at all tired of seeing Dante be invincible in cut scenes, only to be a total pussy in-game? Anybody?) and they feel artificial, like flash for the sake of flash.

Kind of like any movie by:

Pictured: "Flash" incarnate.

I guess the cut scenes just frustrate me because they are actually quite intrusive to the gameplay experience.

Like Devil May Cry, Bayonetta is a game all about action, and when the action is frequently interrupted by cut scenes, showing my character busting out awesome moves that I’d like to see myself do in-game, I get just a little bit frustrated.

Bottom line, 2 hours into Bayonetta, I can’t help but feel that the pacing is not quite up to snuff, as the gameplay seems to come in all too infrequent spurts.

Which brings me to my 2nd, and ultimately far more critical gripe:

Bayonetta’s learning curve is just plain mean.

We're talkin' Kobe Mean Face-Mean!

While the game, like any current gen game, comes with the obligatory introductory tutorial sequence that seems to be essential to the illiterate, non-instruction manual reading gamers of today, outside of teaching you the basic button inputs of the game, Bayonetta doesn’t really teach you how to play the game.

Sure, you can put up a good fight, and sure you know what you’re doing for the most part, but at the end of the day, if you’re playing the game straight through as I am, you’re just not given enough time to get a grip on the gameplay before the game starts tossing you some serious shit to deal with.

"Oh don't mind me, I'm just the first boss. Excuse me while I TOTALLY WRECK YOUR SHIT while eating bagels and lox."

This is coming from someone that utterly beasted half of the Devil May Cry series.

My problem is this:

Bayonetta didn’t give me enough time to warm-up to it.

In the Devil May Cry series, the basic enemies are reactive to your blows, staggering and generally being reduced to punching bags the moment you first lay into them.

This is not the case in Bayonetta.

There is no fodder in Bayonetta.

Nope, none of these.

All of the enemies in Bayonetta are able to put up a decent fight, thusly leaving you with nobody hone your skills on.

Every fight is a desperate struggle.

From what I can tell, my complaint may in fact be a result of me having failed to grasp the concept of the dodge system and the Witch Time AKA Bullet Time mechanic.

I don't care what you tell me man. There IS a spoon, and I'm eating my fuckin' Cheerios with it as we speak. Fuckin' new-age bullshit...

Anyway, at this point, I’m tempted to say I like Devil May Cry 4 better, but I’m only a few hours in, so we’ll see.

I’m still having fun with Bayonetta.

I love the gorgeous presentation and liberal use of the context sensitive button mashing segments.

I’m diggin’ the core gameplay, but at this point I truly do suck at it.

Time will tell…

Filed under: Games, Movies, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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