Gaming Omnivore Art Gallery – Ghost of Tsushima

Welcome back to another edition of Gaming Omnivore Art Gallery! Today, I’m continuing the trend of focusing on one single game experience, as previous posts have been dedicated to showcasing various screenshots I took while playing through games like The Last of Us Part 2 and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. A lot of the games I’ve played the last year(or two) have been sprawling, open-world games in which I spend many, many hours playing with a considerable number of them utilizing the in-game photo mode. I picked up Ghost of Tsushima right at launch this past July and played it for a few hours, but ended up setting it aside to chase after a platinum trophy in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate and sort of got buried among all the other games I was playing through last fall and through the winter. In my first few hours, I definitely enjoyed Ghost of Tsushima and appreciated the visuals and environments as it attempts to bring a Kurosawa-esque samurai film experience to the PlayStation 4, but felt like the game hadn’t quite clicked for me. After finishing up Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla’s main story and trophies, I decided to jump back in and give Ghost of Tsushima another try. It took maybe another hour or two, but the gameplay loop and combat mechanics have finally started to make sense. At this time, I’ve made it roughly halfway(maybe a little more?) through the game…with plenty of that time being spent taking lots of screenshots as I travel across the island’s various locales. Ghost of Tsushima just may have some of the most gorgeous art design and landscapes I’ve seen in a game, making it difficult to make it from one destination to the next without stopping just to admire something, be it bamboo leaves falling through the forest as the wind moves the blades of grass or a slash of Jin’s katana cutting through bandits like a flash of lightning. The game is able to evoke a range of emotions just from it’s gorgeous visuals, here’s some of my favorite shots taken from my time with Ghost of Tsushima so far…

The color hues and terrain give an otherworldly presence to Tsushima island
I love this shot. The fortress backdrop and imposing shadow amidst the flames give feel particularly ominous here…
The morning fog hangs over the pond…
Basking in moonlight as the Ghost moves through the forest…
Nothing but the glint of cold steel…
Moments of serenity as a counterbalance to moments of intense combat….
The photo stamp sits nearly parallel to Jin’s blade in this shot. The blood splatter also blends in seamlessly…

That’s all for now. Looking forward to wrapping up Ghost of Tsushima and seeing the rest of everything(and trophies) the game has to offer. Sucker Punch has done an admirable job in bringing a brand new IP to the Sony stable. If you’ve already played GoT, what did you think of it? Let me know. Thanks for reading!

Weekend Gaming Vibes – Playlist #2

In a surprising turn of events, I spent nearly as much time this weekend watching others play video games on Twitch as I did myself. I made the ever-elusive social appearance during Later Level’s Great Blog Crawl 2020 on Saturday and had a great time hanging out with others from around our WordPress gaming community. I also spent a fair amount of time watching other fellow blogger/streamers over the weekend play a variety of games. In a NOT-SO-surprising turn of events, I didn’t have a whole lot lined up for blog posts this weekend. It’s been a few months since the last blog post with a random list of gaming(or related) music so, for today’s blog post I have created yet another list of music I’ve been listening to over the past weekend.

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – Out of the North

A new EP titled Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – Out of the North was released the end of last week. Fans of the long-running franchise were excited to see Sarah Schachner – composer of the Assassin’s Creed: Origins soundtrack and the return of Jesper Kyd – composer of the first four games in the AC series. The EP begins with the title track – Out of the North, which starts off very calmly before building to a conclusion. I’m really loving the instrumentation of the songs and the slow, thundering drums as you can almost see Viking longboats rowing across the icy North Atlantic.

Ghost of Tsushima – Jin Sakai

I really like the way the track slowly begins with a flute and stringed instruments(Koto and Biwa) as the drums and bass strings lock into the same rhythm underneath as you can envision samurai warrior Jin Sakai traveling across the fields of pampas grass and bamboo forests of Tsushima. Another selection that stays relatively mid-tempo yet still feels wholly dramatic.

Sonic 2 – Aquatic Ruin Zone

As I’ve been messsing around with doing some streaming on Twitch here and there, I ordered an adapter to converting the signal from composite inputs to an HDMI source to use with the capture card I bought a while back. As part of my experimental process of ironing out some input lag and adjusting audio levels, I popped a copy of Sonic 2 into my old Sega Genesis, still one of my all-time favorites. I love the entire iconic soundtrack, but the level soundtrack that remained in my head throughout the rest of the day was the music from level 3 – Aquatic Ruins.

Banjo-Kazooie – Click Clock Wood

Another game that I started a playthrough over the weekend is Banjo-Kazooie, a game I’ve mentioned….numerous times. I love Grant Kirkhope’s quirky instrumentation in using percussion instruments like marimbas and xylophones. Of course, there’s banjos and even the occasional tuba. One of the later levels in the game, Click Clock Wood is set in a forest and is divided between four separate seasons with the soundtrack reflecting the change in respective seasons. I had actually forgotten about the accompanying soundtrack in Click Clock Wood until I was playing the game and mentioned some of my favorite level soundtracks in the game before seeking it out with warm, fuzzy feelings of nostalgia instantly returning.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask – Astral Observatory(Piano cover)

Another rabbit hole I descended into over the weekend was listening to music from different Zelda games, somewhere along the line I started not only listening to the OSTs, but also came across a number of remixes on YouTube. Here is a calming piano mix of the Astral Observatory theme from Majora’s Mask, one of my favorite pieces of music from any video game. A perfect track for nighttime stargazing.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – Lost Woods(Dubstep mix)

I’d be lying if I said that I listened to much of anything with the word ‘Dubstep’ attached to it, but this came up while listening to some different Zelda remixes, and….it’s honestly quite awesome and was pleasantly surprised at how much I like it(blaming you, Solarayo).

That’s all for now, what have you been listening to over the weekend while gaming or just hanging out at home? Let me know and thanks for reading!