I've always been in love with the incredible graphics of Final Fantasy X. The settings are magnificently-rendered, and attention is paid to every last detail, including the quirks of each character's costume. I think modern video games are becoming increasingly sophisticated in terms of the graphics, mood, characterization and narrative. Gamemakers realise that alot of players want to be engaged and mentally challenged, instead of being senselessly violent. Videogames can be like extended, interactive movies. The player becomes a part of the action and possesses the power to 'unlock' the next stage of the narrative.
Another aspect of Final Fantasy X I like is its soundtrack, produced by Nobuo Uematsu. It contains brilliant techno and orchestral tunes that transport the listener to another time and place. I find myself getting caught in the story that the songs weave so subtly and yet intricately. In fact, one of the events of the Singapore Arts Festival is an orchestral performance of Final Fantasy pieces, aptly titled 'Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy'. I'm considering whether to go or not. It's true that I have the Final Fantasy X soundtrack CD, but I think a live performance has a different quality and an added dimension. I'm still a little sore that I missed out on the Coldplay concert, which seemed amazing from what I read in the papers.
Other than Nobuo Uematsu, another favourite Japanese composer of mine is Joe Hisaishi, creator of the songs in Hayao Miyazaki's animated films. As viewers of Miyazaki's works can testify, the music is an essential element of his films. Now, it'd be fantastic if an orchestra could perform those songs.
Hayao Miyazaki's films will be the topic of my next post!