Awhile back, a Dreamcast / PS2 title called "REZ", produced by Miz (Tetsuya Mizuguchi). *with a huge amount of past gaming credits, from Sega Rally - Space Channel 5. Even though we've moved past such consoles, and in our current gen; video games altogether went the next level in expression. Before, we could only imagine being in-sync with music, let alone control it.
With games like DDR, Guitar, and the like, the idea was a device for entertainment alone. Everyone wanted to be something, yet missed the point; becoming one with the game. There are very few games that actually take the notion of a Zen-like state, and take you on a journey you'll never forget. REZ is that game altogether.
When I picked up a Dreamcast back in late 99', I waited a bit till more games found a part of my library. Few years passed, and it all came together, yet I missed something. Later, I borrowed a friend's copy of REZ (import only?) hmm that was strange. *had to borrow their console too, it was alright; they were going on vacation. Lo & behold I begin playing, and immersed in colors, let alone a dark room with volume at a comfortable level. I achieved zen that weekend, something I could never forget.
But you ask, "What is this journey?" 1) Self-indulgence, 2) Calming of the soul & spirit, 3) Meditation, 4) Balance. How does a game console the player? It depends on the individual playing the game itself. Not only do the colors give a unique texture, but a mix of sights & sounds that give your senses a warm hug. Some might say its a "musical shmup", and the thing is they are right.
*note- even though the nod of the Trance Vibrator being used in creative ways. The product was meant to stimulate a listeners emotional connection. Ok, so it wasn't a stretch, but people were pretty clever
Looking back, and now forward; we haven't really pushed the envelope with in-game music design. Actually I feel that we've taken a step back. Take a glance @ how many music games have influence on sales. Do they have a real purpose besides being overpriced? Sure they're entertaining, but they don't have a connection that a game like REZ contained.
*fun note- during the promo content through the official REZ-urrection site http://www.thatgamecalledrez.com/
I was one of the lucky few that won the game free. This happened during my birthday, the 30th of January. Gotta admit, its definitely a gift I will not forget.
I honestly hope we'll see another game akin to REZ, so who knows just what the future may hold. If REZ can make a comeback in the gaming industry, maybe a creative revolution could follow.