Also guest blogging at Backseat Radio:
1. Stereophonics live in Malaysia, Apr 28, AND Singapore, Apr 30
2. Peaches live in Singapore @ Apr 28, 2010
3. This is a story of a bunch of girls
Event: Video Games Live
Date: April 17, 2010 (Saturday)
Venue: Plenary Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre
OK, before I get crucified here at my own blog, I have to admit I am not exactly a hardcore video games fan. My video gaming days dated back when computers were still Internet-less and my sister and I were taking turns to play games off the IBM 5¼ inch floppy disks (yes, I kid you not) when we were on home arrest for chicken pox, Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty and Warcraft: Orcs and Humans being my favourites then.
As well as when video game consoles were still using them ROM catridges, and my neighbours and I would trade them back and forth for new games – Super Mario Bros, Tetris, Excitebike (love this), Ice Climber, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, Adventure Island, Street Fighter, Contra, Double Dragon, to name a few. After that, the rest of my knowledge on video games came solely from my guy friends, who actually play the games.
So, you have got to give me credit that I am not at a total loss when it comes to video games. I guess I would not mind getting in the whole video gaming thing, if I do not actually, well, suck at playing console games. I do. Ask my mom. Other than that, I can always pull the ‘I’m a girl’ card. Heh.
The geekdar is off the charts last Saturday over at KL Convention Centre. Not only was the weekend of the PIKOM PC Fair, Video Games Live was also happening on the same day. It was like saying: “Come buy some computers, and while you’re here, enjoy a concert dedicated to video games!” I am sure some tech geek out there was having a virtual orgasm that day. Heh.
There were two pre-show activities going on before the concert, one being the Guitar Hero challenge, and another, the Cosplay competition. I missed the Guitar Hero session, but managed to catch a few Cosplay characters wandering the foyer.
Here is Nemesis from Resident Evil.
Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter sharing a shot without going expelliarmus on each other.
Can he even see where he is going?
With the immensity of Video Games Live, I guess I expected more people to play dress up. I have seen a larger community of Cosplayers wandering around One Utama a while back, so I thought it would be massive that day. Alas.
Before the concert started, all Cosplayers were ushered up onstage. The one with the loudest applause from the crowd wins.
It was a close call between Nemesis and Master Chief. And Nemesis won in the end.
Under the conduction of Jack Hall, co-founder of Video Games Live, the National Symphony Orchestra kicked off Malaysia’s instalment with a medley of Classic Arcade:
Pong. The video game that started it all.
And others like Donkey Kong, Outrun, Contra and such.
Tommy Tallarico – who, by the way, is the cousin to Steven Tyler from Aerosmith – emerged after that, sporting his Spidey T-shirt and shoes, to give us a brief run through on what VGL was all about, dropping our infamous lah suffix here and there.
First up was music from Metal Gear Solid.
With some Cosplay going on, and Tallarico hiding in the box behind. Heh.
God of War.
With the bone chilling voice of Laura Intravia.
A member of the audience was invited onstage to play a little game of Space Invaders for 2 minutes. The winning prize was a Katana desktop video arcade machine.
The tricky part was that the player had to move left and right accordingly like the laser cannon on screen. He even had on a T-shirt with the laser cannon on the back. Heh.
Ralph Baer, creator of Pong and the Father of Video Games, also made an appearance that night. Live via Skype, apparently. I was skeptical at first if he was indeed talking to us live, but after getting confirmations from those who have gone to the evening show, it was just a recording. Unless Baer is really semangat, staying up late and all just to say hi to us.
Next up was Sonic the Hedgehog.
Intravia a.k.a Flute Link returned back onstage dressed as Link from The Legend of Zelda for a flute solo. Oh, to have half the talent as she does when I was in high school.
Then, the orchestra did The Legend of Zelda.
I wonder what happens if the download fails. You know how slow and wonky our connection is here.
Kickstarting things again with a Disney medley of Kingdom Hearts.
And then. World of Warcraft.
Another special guest. Norihiko Hibino, music composer of Metal Gear Solid, performing Snake Eater.
The beloved Super Mario Bros.
Then, the winner from the Guitar Hero challenge earlier was invited onstage to strut his stuff.
He was to score 220,000 points on Hard, in order to win an autographed VGL poster, signed by Koji Kondo, music composer of The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. He got to play the soon-to-be-released Guitar Hero: Van Halen, rocking out to Jump, playing alongside Tallarico himself. Things got interesting when he decided to up the game, to play on Expert instead.
The kid didn’t win though. But he was only some 20,000 points behind, and he did get the poster after all.
Now, till this point, Tallarico was to me just someone with a great idea to revolutionise the worlds of video games and symphony orchestras. But still, I have definitely underestimated him when the concert continued with him at his electric guitar, going through themes from Mega Man, Halo and Halo 3.
Master Chief returned.
Absolutely loving Tallarico’s Spidey guitar as he rocked out to Final Fantasy VII‘s Advent: One-winged Angel.
For the encore, Castlevania.
And Chrono Trigger.
With Hall on his acoustic guitar.
It was definitely a one-of-a-kind experience, orchestral music that leaves your skin all pimply, mixed with a tinge of fun you get from the video game world.
It goes without saying that it is a must for video games enthusiasts to patronise the concert. Heck, everyone was having a ball spotting as many classic arcade games as they could, and cheering everytime the theme from their favourite game was played live.
But, I suppose, if you were only a fan of the music, you would enjoy yourself too. The hair on the back of my neck stood so often, I thought they were just going to fall off my skin.
Tallarico was quite a good sport too, dropping jokes and banters here and there, so he and his army definitely had the crowd going. Besides, it’s video games. Most of the job is already done for you already anyway. Heh.
But despite the goosebumps, I expected better performance from the National Symphony Orchestra. Quite often, I barely noticed the music was actually live. And I don’t suppose that’s a good thing. Perhaps the graphics backdrop kind of took half of our attention away. Or maybe, I should have stopped taking so many photos that day, and just sit down and thoroughly enjoyed the show. Meh.
But, all in all, the inner geek in me had a good time. She came out from the back of the closet and bathed in the sun of pure geekdom. They totally had me with the introductory poem: “Roses are #FF0000 / Violets are #0000FF / All your base are belong to us!” Good to see my graphic designing days finally paid off with such a cheap thrill. Heh.
I could not stop smiling to myself everytime something I recognise came on screen. Brought back a piece of childhood memory I have almost forgotten over time, but still intact – though vaguely – in my mind. Ah, the kind of smile you would have on your face when you recall those good ol’ games you used to spend time on.
My Saturday was definitely pwned by the people of Video Games Live.