Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mag-mag-mag-mag ; mag-Magneeeto!

I've always considered Magneto's entrance in the old X-Men 2 Sega Genesis game a top contender for the most inspired five seconds in video games. Sure, if you widen your scope a little there have been much better stories told, characters developed and vistas scenicked in various other games... but when it comes to a condensed moment of pure badassness, Magneto smashing through his own base to get to you ranks pretty high up there. You can see it at minute 21:30 of this this video.

For one thing, it manages to capture in one snapshot Magneto's "Homo superior" personality from the comic books and cartoon: warped, harsh, energetic and imperious. However, the scene only works because this game dates from ye olden days when designers actually invested in sound as a selling point and the design team bothered to synchronize his entrance with the music track. That, and the composer might even have been paying attention to context. Most music these days seems to be commissioned as pre-chewed five-bucks-a-track generic stock, without the musician ever bothering to see what he's scoring.
"Send us two airy string pieces, one sad piano solo and five bombasts. Check's in the mail, bye."

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