Thursday, August 27, 2009

this week on audiosurf radio – 8/27 – changing things up edition

this one's for my bro Rob, who loves homynoms [sic] Hey there you guys! I know Craig normally does Audiosurf Radio, and I know Audiosurf Radio usually posts on Tuesdays, but if this much change makes you uncomfortable you are probably going to need to find a new blog to read in a little less than a week. In the word-writing biz, that is what we like to call foreshadowing.

Upon launching the game, I fought back a groan – the first sentence of Lebeth’s weekly note is “It’s fan-created content week on Radio!” After thinking about it a bit, though, bands like The Anyways (a Scottish outfit with a Bebo page) and The Dark Gigantosaur (a group with a name like a bad Final Fantasy summon) are hardly any more or less obscure than the bands normally featured on Radio. Hey, it’s even possible that these songs, hand-picked by Audiosurf fans for Audiosurf fans, make for more interesting rides than the Techno of the Week that makes up many other Radio playlists.

Let’s do this, shall we?

 The Tracks

it's like looking at two angry m's This is going to sound a little hypocritical coming from a guy with this much Pearl Jam in his iTunes library, but I don't think anyone told these guys that the 1990s ended quite some time ago. Their crunchy guitars and Kurt-Cobain-meets-Scott-Stapp lead vocalist don't sound bad, exactly, but they’re a little dated in this day and age. For Hope is probably the better of their two rides, and even it is only about half-and-half - for starters, four-and-a-half minutes stretches one's patience with a verse-chorus-verse grunge ballad. The verses are too slow and you can't get any combos going, but the choruses and the guitar solo in particular are good times. The crunchy, loud guitar parts in both of The Anyways' songs means you're riding the guitar more often than you're riding the drums, which is interesting even if it isn't that much else.

 from the songs you could make on your gameboy collection
Images of a dinosaur eating potato chips were immediately banished from my mind once I actually started surfing this one - he means chips as in chiptunes! My predisposal to chiptunes aside, this is an uptempo song that doesn't let up, the techno thump carrying you from the very beginning to the very end. It's definitely the sort of thing that you might hear at a nerdy dance party, perhaps sandwiched in between 8-bit Weezer songs, and sharp-eared listeners will hear the sound Link's sword makes when his health is full. Fill up your hearts, and play this song.

better than overwhelming f.e.a.r. amirite? When a song's congestion is 335, you know it's time to put on your big boy pants - the seizue warning you see every time you boot up Audiosurf was probably written with this song in mind. If I had to tell you the way it made me feel, I would probably say that it was like watching all of the action scenes from the Matrix movies squeezed into one five-second blast, or maybe like I did a bunch of speed and watched twelve episodes of Invader Zim and then died. The overwhelming fear they're talking about probably references my overwhelming fear of crashing on this track, which I did early and often - give this one a try, but have a sedative close at hand.

Other Selections
Steel String Jockeys” is an okay song from a band with some serious hards-on for Nirvana, but the ride is all downhill with low congestion, the very definition of nondescript. And while I've got to give The Dark Gigantosaur credit for “Galactic Adventure” - the song does make me feel as if I'm floating in space - I'm apparently on a galactic adventure with Yanni and the guy who invented the Casio keyboard. If you can get over the instrumentation, you'll have a decent time - that last downward slope is fun enough, but Gigantosaur’s other two tracks are head and shoulders above it.

Author’s Note
All songs were played on the Pro difficulty using the Eraser character.  Craig plays this mode every week for a reason, you guys.