Sunday, October 24, 2010
Finishing up my 700th or so hour (seriously, the game says I'm 30 days in) of the painfully addictive GTA IV last week, I figured I outta pay some respect to where the whole "open world" idea in video games began: 2001's groundbreaking Grand Theft Auto III. I've been playing it for about 4 days now and man, it is HARD! All the expected nuances today's PS3 version has are gone - there's no autosave, no GPS (!), no cellphone (you're equipped with a fucking pager), you'll drown in 2 feet of water, you barely use the "R" and "L" buttons... it's a trip. And the suicidal cops are even worse assholes then I remember them being. Amazingly though, there is a sweetly primitive genius about the weirdly rendered visuals and gameplay - especially when it comes to the music. Video game soundtracks and crossover scores are huge business today, but ten years ago the entertainment world was still in its "video games are for nerds" mindset. Unlike GTA IV's twelve or so radio stations with over 200 licensed songs, poor GTA III has but seven stations with only a few songs to boot! And because music licensing for video games was such an unknown back then, Rockstar Games hired some studio help to create a few original tracks. One of these tunes was a nifty little techno blurb called "Electronic Go Go". Performed by the suspiciously named Scatwerk, it reminds me a lot of something Fatboy Slim would have come up with for a rushed B-side. Anyone today with an iMac and GarageBand's supplied loops could create the same in an afternoon but back then it probably took creators Craig Conner and Stuart Ross at least a weekend. And a lot of patience. I could only get a 2-or-so-minute sample of the song which I remixed/extended a little bit and added in a bit more bass (with GarageBand, 'natch). For the two people who read this and remember the tune, enjoy the cop-killin' drive down memory lane.