Before we begin today--or before you skip this one altogether and just wait for the next rant--I'd like to mention that the Kickstarter for Elysian Shadows looks like a pretty promising RPG. They don't say much about the story and characters and all on the Kickstarter page itself, but I've been in contact with the team making the game, and what they've told me on that point sounds pretty exciting and interesting. Check it out; I think it's worth backing. And hey, if any of you are one of those crazy diehard Dreamcast fans, this could be the first new RPG released for your strangely beloved old crapheap in, what, over a decade? That's gotta be worth something to you.
Anyway, on with the rant.
Yes, it’s that disappointing time again--time for me to cop out of writing a real rant and instead share some AMVs with you. Suck it, people who actually like this blog! As always, if you do happen to go watch any of these, and do happen to think they’re pretty decent, then please Like the video and leave a comment on it. Reward those that put some effort into their creations, yeah?
Final Fantasy 8: Does the Lion City Still Roar?, by YuniX2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwlsKIYPwZY
The music used is Does the Lion City Still Roar?, by Less Than Jake. Another visual-audio pleasure by YuniX2, this AMV uses scene changes and zooms to perfectly keep the visuals up with the fast pace of the song, while also using flawless scene selection to keep all the scenes a great match to the lyrics, in ways both literal and metaphorical. This AMV really transforms Final Fantasy 8’s limited FMVs into a perfect expression of the song, and it’s always neat to see an uncommon song for AMVs used so well as this one is. Very good stuff.
Final Fantasy 9: Hanging by a Moment, by Zoeyfreeze: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paYvo1iJk1Y
The music used is Hanging by a Moment, by Lifehouse. What can I say? This is just a solid FF9 music video, an AMV focused on Dagger that explores her well through its music and uses simple but competent editing to pull the whole thing together. It’s good, plain and simple, and if you like Square’s second greatest masterpiece, then you should watch this.
Kingdom Hearts Series: Castle of Glass, by YuniX2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbUqyoSGlAY
The music used is Castle of Glass, by Linkin Park. If I have a hero when it comes to AMV creators, it’s got to be YuniX2. This is just 1 more in a long line of utterly excellent RPG music videos from her. What can I say here that I haven’t already said about her AMVs, multiple times? The editing’s great, flashy but never distracting and never excessive. The music choice is great and her use of it, her connecting of the game and footage to the music, is terrific. Scene selection is great, everything fits together, it’s a pleasure to watch and listen to, and there’s a sense of purpose to it. Love the little touch of having the Sorcerer’s Apprentice cartoon clip at the beginning, too. And while this isn’t all that important, I like anyone who can use KH footage in an AMV in a way that doesn’t seem tired and commonplace to me; I have mentioned that Kingdom Hearts music videos are about as common as, I dunno, air molecules, right? YuniX2 even uses KH: 365/2 Days footage so well that I almost forget what a completely pointless, snore-inducing waste of time that game was. This is definitely a real winner of an AMV, make no mistake.
Mass Effect Series: Cassandra, by Dmli1023: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQMqSP6BQ18
The music used is Cassandra, by Two Steps From Hell. For fun, and because there are enough to do so, today’s Mass Effect AMVs will all be ones made by a single artist, going by Dmli1023. The guy’s absolutely great, as this video clearly shows. This is put together skillfully, keeping the video and music well-coordinated and making a very fittingly touching and epic tribute to the terrific love story of Shepard and Tali.
Mass Effect Series: Hope, by Dmli1023: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iY5tb8qYIiE
The music used is Prologue - Birth, by Audiomachine. Another of the many tribute AMVs to Mass Effect 3, this one is both a tribute to the whole series, and, more importantly, to Commander Shepard him/herself. It’s put together very well--the music is mostly background, but on occasion Dmli1023 assigns certain patterns in the tune to certain types of scenes and dialogue that connect the audio and video well and help the music bring out the inspiring feeling the tribute is meant to create. I love the way that this AMV flawlessly switches back and forth between Male and Female Shepard, creating a proper tribute to the character as a whole, and the selection and placement of the characters’ dialogue is perfect to build up the message of Commander Shepard as an icon of hope. Just a darned great job on this tribute, all said.
Mass Effect Series: The Fighter, by Dmli1023: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyWq2wEEnXk
The music used is Above and Beyond, by Audiomachine, Imperatrix Mundi, by Jo Blankenburg, and Life Chronicles, also by Audiomachine. Another damned great tribute to the Mass Effect series, doing much as the last one did in terms of skillful video editing, synchronization with the music, and just generally creating a fantastic monument to the epic excellence of Mass Effect. Once again Commander Shepard is represented in both genders, and once again the tribute is perfect for him/her, this time building up and emphasizing the overarching conflict of the series, and the difficulty that Shepard faces--and overcomes--throughout the entirety of the amazing trilogy. I love the way this video highlights the friendship and support of Shepard’s comrades, and uses it to show just how terrific a hero Shepard is. This here is about as close as an AMV comes to getting a full rant dedicated to it, without actually crossing that threshold, and it’s nice to see someone other than YuniX2 who can put forth such quality pretty consistently.
The Witcher 2: War, by Felix Schroder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2pUh7HVMvM
The music used is War, by Poets of the Fall. I’ve recently discovered there are rather fewer really good Witcher AMVs than I’d been expecting of the games; it seems like prime music video territory, but mostly you just get a few subpar offerings mixed in a sea of half-assed videos where someone just runs the first game’s intro, puts a song on, and has the delusional gall to call it an AMV. This one, though, is a shining gem in a bucket of dull rocks. The video meshes quite well with the song’s lyrics and tone, and Mr. Schroder skillfully manipulates his scenes to keep pace with the music’s strength to create a very solid music video. This is a strong work from all sides, no question.
THE WORLD ENDS WITH YOU
The World Ends with You: New Divide, by DarkRoxas97: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfxJmfdyaGo
The music used is New Divide, by Linkin Park. I think I’ve mentioned this in a previous Legend of Zelda AMV, but I’m always a little harder on Linkin Park AMVs than I am on most others. Still, this is a really good music video. The scene selection often perfectly matches the song’s notes and tone, the use of simple effects and scene changing is great, the meshing of lyrics and video is skillful...this is just solid work, plain and simple.