MXGP3 – The Official Motocross Video Game Review

There isn’t much of a Motocross following in India, but that didn’t stop us from trying MXGP3 — The Official Motocross Videogame. Motocross is essentially a bunch of bikes racing on closed, off-road tracks. The dirt tracks feature several hairpin bends and lots of small inclines and slopes. If you’re expecting high-speed motorcycle racing on flat tracks, you need to check out the MotoGP series of games instead.

As much as we wanted to get into Motocross racing, MXGP3 did a very poor job of getting us interested in the sport. There is no tutorial level to help new players out, and no explanations to help you to get interested in it. There is only one screen full of screenshots and text explanations. This made learning harder than it should’ve been. A series of tutorial levels would’ve been really nice. This is a game built for a niche audience, and one that only Motocross fans will enjoy.

This is made clear by the fact that MXGP3 lacks an arcade mode — where motorcycle physics and advanced controls don’t matter much. This is very much a simulation racing game, and that means that there is a steep learning curve for those who want to play.

That said, if you are willing to invest the time required to learn how to properly race a motorcycle in off-road tracks with some nasty turns, MXGP3 can be quite rewarding.

After a while, we had figured out a few basic things. This is definitely not a high-speed racing game. MXGP3 requires intense concentration — much like actual Motocross racing — and there is a very low margin for error. For instance, on one of the tracks we kept crashing at one point where a hairpin bend appears right after a slope, which is at the end of a long straight. We’d be zipping across the straight at around 100kmph and then find ourselves flying off track, resulting in a crash. Even at the lowest difficulty setting, winning races was quite the challenge initially, as one minor mistake would end up costing us a lot of time.

This is exactly why the game rewards you with 50 percent additional credits for a five-lap race, when compared with a three-lap race. Keeping your concentration levels up on twisting tracks is quite the task.

MXGP3 has a lot of tracks and different riders — all official Motocross racers — to choose from. The single-player mode includes a full career, apart from individual races and championships. If you’re a fan of Motocross, there’s a tonne of content here to keep you occupied for hours.

You can also spend time tweaking your motorcycle to suit the track. For instance, you can change the gear ratio to long for tracks with long straights, or make it short for courses with a lot of hairpin bends. Then you can go into more detail, such as tweaking the front and rear suspensions for certain tracks. You can tweak your motorcycle before every race and that’s a great feature because the riding experience changes significantly, and can mean the difference between winning and losing.

MXGP3 - The Official Motocross Video Game Review
While MXGP3 is all gung-ho on realism, the graphics are quite average. The tracks don’t look great and the motorcycle graphics also are a bit dated. On the other hand, there were no noticeable performance issues even with 22 bikes on screen, which is a good thing. There were also a few other elements that made us wonder how realistic the game actually is. A few times we saw the front tire of our bike landing on another rider’s back but he just rode on as if it was a feather and not a heavy motorcycle landing on him. We also saw other bikes’ tyres landing on our rider’s back with no effect. Issues like these were quite surprising to see.

Overall, MXGP3 is a game that will please hardcore Motocross fans who want a simulation racing game. It’s almost hostile towards new players or those who don’t follow Motocross, but if you take the time to learn how to play, then the game does reward you.

Pros

Excellent tracks
Licensed content such as riders
Motorcycle tweaking

Cons

Dated graphics
Not entirely realistic
Lacks tutorial
Doesn’t help new players

Overall rating (out of 10): 6

 

Asphalt Street Storm Racing Review

With the Asphalt franchise, Gameloft owns a name that’s become almost synonymous with mobile racing, with a series that has evolved over the years. But even as it has cornered that market – the latest numbered entry, Asphalt 8: Airborne, claims to have over 300 million downloads – there remained a section that it was yet to own: drag racing.

For the longest time, that has been the domain of NaturalMotion’s CSR Racing, whose original and sequel continue to enjoy immense popularity. Now, after six months of a soft launch, Gameloft’s take on the genre – Asphalt Street Storm Racing – is ready to duke it out. It borrows a lot from its rival, right down to the camera angle and the way it begins. But it’s got one big addition to the racing mechanism that will inevitably divide players.

First, the basics. Asphalt Street Storm Racing is unlike any Asphalt title before it, because it’s only focused on drag racing. Not only are there no power-ups, the steering has gone for a toss too, since you’ll be driving in a straight line only. In its place, you’ve got just three buttons: two at launch, and one during the race. Two of those three are standard for drag racing on mobile; one helps you rev the engine and stay in the perfect launch zone, while the other is used to change gears during the race, ideally used when the needle is in the sweet spot.

It’s the third button – labelled “Launch” – that separates Asphalt Street Storm Racing from CSR. It lets you choose when you wish to set off, provided you don’t cross the starting line before the countdown ends. Hit it right and you’ll gain an extra second over your opponent, but get it wrong and you’ll be disqualified instantly. It’s meant to bring another layer of strategy to a decidedly simple game, and help separate the rookies from the veterans.

Unfortunately, the concept doesn’t translate so well in practice. Since drag races are extremely short – less than 15 seconds at the most – it places too much emphasis on getting the launch right, which doesn’t fit with the touch experience on a phone. With a gamepad, you can have your finger resting on the physical buttons or triggers, which naturally allows you to react quicker than your finger hovering mid-air. Gameloft has yet to officially announce gamepad support for Asphalt Street Storm Racing, but it has worked with previous entries in our testing.

As such, online races – available in 1v1 and 4v4 variants – in Asphalt Street Storm Racing tend to be decided entirely by the effectiveness of your launch. And because launching too early hands you an instant loss, it deters you from placing heavy bets on your game, since the line between a perfect start and a disqualification is so thin. The launch-button idea also diminishes the importance of the gear shift, since the first few seconds of any race are much more important.

asphalt storm weather Asphalt Storm

The good thing is that you’re never losing for too long. Turnaround time for new races is half a minute, which means you can sneak in a game or two at any time. That’s great for racing fans on the go, who don’t have to worry about pausing midway should something come up. There’s a caveat though: Asphalt Storm requires you to be always online (unlike CSR), so you can’t get any racing done if cellular data is spotty.

In terms of graphics, Asphalt Street Storm Racing has more detailed backgrounds than CSR, but the cars definitely look better in the latter game. The app’s UI is extremely cluttered, and you’ll have to deal with pop-up ads after every race or so, since it’s a free-to-play title. Of course, that also means the other usual troubles: car upgrades take hours after the first level, and new cars are hard to come by. It’s all set up to incentivise in-app purchases, which even prod you with so-called “discounts” on app launch.

Unless you’re a dedicated Asphalt fan, there’s little to no reason to bother with its drag racing spin-off. All its borrowed ideas are better executed by CSR, and the new ones fail to push the tried-and-tested concept in a satisfying direction.

Pros:

Quick, short races
Free-to-play
Cons:

Launch button is frustrating
Online-only title
Car upgrades take ages
Pop-up ads
Ads for IAPs “discounts”
Rating (out of 10): 5

 

Steam Summer Sale 2017: The Biggest Sales and Deals

The longest day of the year has come and gone – considered the first day of the summer for people in the Northern Hemisphere – and with that Steam’s annual summer sale is now upon us. Sure, for most of us in India it’s monsoon already, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the gifts that Steam bears.

On top of the discounts, Valve has added a mini-game of sorts, where you complete daily quests to fill a sticker book. If you manage to complete any of the 15 pages, that one will permanently stay unlocked on your account. Stickers can’t be traded, so you’ll have to do the quests to earn them.

If you don’t have an international credit/debit card, don’t worry. Steam brought in support for netbanking, digital wallets, and cash on delivery late last year, so there’s a ton of new ways to pay for your favourite games.

Steam Summer Sale 2017: The Biggest Sales and Deals

As has become the new norm, there’ll be no limited-time or flash sales during the Steam Summer Sale. Instead, games with discounts will stay that way throughout the sale period – June 22 to July 5 – and games that aren’t on discount won’t be receiving any discounts randomly. That’s good for players, since it gives you ample time to browse the store and find gems.

In any case, we’ve perused through the games on sale so you don’t have to bother looking. Here are the top deals during the Steam Summer Sale:

Big-name titles

Bayonetta – Rs. 498 (25 percent off)

Batman: The Telltale Series – Rs. 216 (65 percent off)

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – Rs. 2,149 (50 percent off)

Civilization VI – Rs. 1,499 (40 percent off)

Dark Souls III – Rs. 1,719 (60 percent off)

Dishonored 2 – Rs. 1,335 (50 percent off)

Doom – Rs. 1,000 (50 percent off)

F1 2016 – Rs. 353 (70 percent off)

Fallout 4 – Rs. 1,000 (50 percent off)

Final Fantasy VII – Rs. 204 (50 percent off)

Final Fantasy VIII – Rs. 204 (50 percent off)

Football Manager 2017 – Rs. 544 (66 percent off)

Grand Theft Auto V – Rs. 1,468 (50 percent off)

Mafia III – Rs. 617 (63 percent off)

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor – Rs. 197 (80 percent off)

NBA 2K17 – Rs. 624 (75 percent off)

Nier: Automata – Rs. 1,399 (30 percent off)

Planet Coaster – Rs. 1,989 (33 percent off)

Prey – Rs. 2,639 (34 percent off)

Resident Evil 7 – Rs. 1,619 (40 percent off)

Rise of the Tomb Raider – Rs. 399 (60 percent off)

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands – Rs. 2,344 (33 percent off)

Total War: Warhammer – Rs. 679 (66 percent off)

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III – Rs. 1,499 (25 percent off)

Watch Dogs 2 – Rs. 1,749 (50 percent off)

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt GOTY – Rs. 499 (50 percent off)

XCOM 2 – Rs. 989 (67 percent off)

Indie

Abzu – Rs. 169 (70 percent off)

Dead Cells – Rs. 466 (15 percent off)

Firewatch – Rs. 254 (55 percent off)

Hyper Light Drifter – Rs. 282 (50 percent off)

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes – Rs. 158 (67 percent off)

Overcooked – Rs. 399 (50 percent off)

Superhot – Rs. 371 (40 percent off)

VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action – Rs. 320 (33 percent off)

What Remains of Edith Finch – Rs. 423 (25 percent off)

 

GTA V PC Modding Tool Open IV Is Back After Negative Reviews During Steam Summer Sale

GTA V PC creator Rockstar has had a tumultuous couple of weeks. Following Rockstar owner Take-Two’s heavy-handedness in dealing with user created modifications to GTA V’s single-player mode which resulted in the removal of popular PC modding tool Open IV, the studio had to step in to make things right.

According to a support post from Rockstar, Take-Two “generally will not take legal action against third-party projects involving Rockstar’s PC games that are single-player, non-commercial, and respect the intellectual property (IP) rights of third parties.”

It goes on to say that this will not apply to the following:

(i) multiplayer or online services (ii) tools, files, libraries, or functions that could be used to impact multiplayer or online services (iii) use or importation of other IP (including other Rockstar IP) in the project.

GTA V PC Modding Tool Open IV Is Back After Negative Reviews During Steam Summer Sale

Last week, Take-Two had handed a cease and desist letter to Krivoruchko. After this, Rockstar got in touch with Yuriy “Good-NDS” Krivoruchko the creator of popular GTA V modding tool Open IV to bring it back online, which it is right now.

Nonetheless, the move of taking down Open IV has hurt the Steam user reviews for GTA V. For a game that’s one of the best-selling on the platform, it’s sitting at a largely Overwhelmingly Negative rating at the moment, a point of concern considering that all this took place during the Steam Summer Sale, which doesn’t help Rockstar’s or Take-Two’s image.That hasn’t stopped it from being the second biggest seller on Steam though, right behind Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds.

Audience for Nintendo Switch Games at 4K ’Too Limited’: Nintendo

The Nintendo Switch is one of the more popular consoles at the moment with demand outstripping supply by a large margin. So much so that Nintendo is contending with Apple for components to make the Switch.

Nonetheless, unlike the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, the company isn’t touting content at 4K. According to Nintendo America boss Reggie Fils-Aime, this has to do with targeting a larger potential consumer base.

“The Nintendo mission is to reach as many consumers as possible and to have them engage and have fun with our intellectual property. That’s what we try and do. So inherently, we go for a more mainstream audience. Inherently, we want our products to be affordable. We want our products to be easy to pick up and experience, low learning curve. We want our IP to shine as we deliver these experiences,” Fils-Aime said in conversation with The Verge (via Go Nintendo) during E3 2017.

 

Audience for Nintendo Switch Games at 4K ’Too Limited’: Nintendo

For Nintendo, the audience for 4K content is ‘too limited.’

 

“That’s the way we approach it. And so, what that means is, a sweet spot of $300 for the Nintendo Switch, a platform that has Mario and Zelda and Splatoon. Going against a more limited consumer pool, a higher price point, requiring investments in other ways — 4K TVs, what have you — that is a strategy that for us, candidly, is a bit too limited.”

Furthermore, he also shed light on Nintendo’s approach to online with the Nintendo Switch, comparing it to the delay for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

 

“The reason we’ve delayed the full paid subscription, is we want to make sure that as we get all of our learnings, and we build all of the elements, that we launch something that is robust for the consumer. And as they consider a $20 price point, they say ‘This is a no-brainer. This is something that I absolutely need to participate in given the full range of features that it provides.’

That’s why we’re delaying it, and it really is consistent with the overall Nintendo development philosophy. We want, when we launch it, for it to be great for the consumer. And not to be something that isn’t fully-featured and fully-capable. That’s why we delayed Breath of the Wild — and look at what we were able to finally launch.”

 

 

 

Overwatch Patch to Bring Doomfist and Summer Games Event?

After the Overwatch Anniversary event and releasing the Horizon Lunar Colony map, it seems that Blizzard is bringing hotly anticipated hero Doomfist to the game along with a Summer Games Event.

According to crashlogs for an upcoming patch, there’s a mention of both – Doomfist and Summer Games. This was spotted on Reddit and the official Overwatch forums. They have since been deleted though you can check it out here.

 

With last year’s Overwatch Summer Games event beginning on August 2, we won’t be surprised to see it make a return around the same timeframe. Which also means we could see Doomfist being added to the game just before or after it. Blizzard hasn’t announced a new event and a hero to launch at the same time, so we doubt this would be the case here too.

Overwatch Patch to Bring Doomfist and Summer Games Event?

The Overwatch Horizon Lunar Colony trailer explained its backstory as narrated by Winston, and a single frame shows all test subjects accounted for except for Winston and another known as Hammond. This tied in with a post on Blizzard’s blog that mentioned Hammond being missing for a week. The newly discovered crashlogs however, are at odds with this hint from the company.

Previously, Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan stated that Blizzard had already planned for a new hero and it was quite far ahead in development.

“Yes! I absolutely know who the next hero is going to be,” he said to IBTimes UK about the 25th playable character. “The next hero is very far along in development, so we’re at the point where we’re doing art for that hero, we’re doing a lot of aggressive play-testing.

“We know what that hero, what the abilities are and how they interact, so we’re at that point. The heroes past that hero are more in prototype, exploration phase but the next hero we’re pretty set on.”

The only character class in Overwatch that hasn’t yet received a new hero is the defence class, leading to speculation that the next hero would be a defence class addition, though Kaplan stated that “it is not safe to assume that.” Though it is safe to say that the new hero won’t be a cat in a jetpack, which was one of the earlier heroes that company conceptualised but eventually scrapped. “Then there was this one hero that was a huge internal debate on the team because we just loved it so much but it didn’t make it. It was this jetpack and it had this cat that laid in it, like a cat does. Then every once in awhile it would paw at the controls. It was a cat in a jetpack,” Kaplan said to Gamespot.

 

 

 

 

Nintendo Announces SNES Classic With 21 Built-In Games Like Super Mario World, Star Fox 2, and More

Following up the popular yet hard to find NES Classic, Nintendo has announced the SNES Classic. Short for Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), it comes with 21 built-in games. Here’s what you need to know about the next retro console from Nintendo aside from well, it being leaked prior to E3 2017 twice.

SNES Classic release date
The SNES Classic release date is September 29, 2017. It will be available in all markets Nintendo has a presence in such as US, Europe, and Japan. Don’t expect an India release date, since Nintendo is not officially present in the country. Although we won’t be surprised to see it being made available via the grey market.

SNES Classic price
Nintendo has stated that the SNES Classic will retail for $80 (around Rs. 5,155). Depending on availability, expect that price to skyrocket much like the NES Classic. Nintendo isn’t exactly known for meeting demand for its products be it amiibo, the Nintendo Switch, or the NES Classic. The SNES Classic should be no different.

Nintendo Announces SNES Classic With 21 Built-In Games Like Super Mario World, Star Fox 2, and More

SNES Classic games
Unlike the NES Classic that came with 30 games, the SNES Classic has 21. One of them is the never before released Star Fox 2, which was made at the end of the original SNES’ lifecycle. This the full list of games you will get:

Contra III: The Alien Wars
Donkey Kong Country
EarthBound
Final Fantasy III
F-ZERO
Kirby Super Star
Kirby’s Dream Course
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Mega Man X
Secret of Mana
Star Fox
Star Fox 2
Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
Super Castlevania IV
Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts
Super Mario Kart
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Super Mario World
Super Metroid
Super Punch-Out!!
Yoshi’s Island
SNES Classic – what’s in the box
Aside from the aforementioned games, you get the following:

 

One HDMI cable
One USB charging cable with an AC adapter
Two wired SNES Classic Controllers
SNES Classic availability
Nintendo has confirmed to Kotaku that the SNES Classic will be available for this year only. The complete quote is as follows:

“We aren’t providing specific numbers, but we will produce significantly more units of Super NES Classic Edition than we did of NES Classic Edition.

Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition is currently planned to ship from Sept. 29 until the end of calendar year 2017. At this time, we have nothing to announce regarding any possible shipments beyond this year.

Our long-term efforts are focused on delivering great games for the Nintendo Switch system and continuing to build momentum for that platform, as well as serving the more than 63 million owners of Nintendo 3DS family systems. We are offering Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition in special recognition of the fans who show tremendous interest our classic content.”

 

Sony Isn’t Announcing the PS5 Anytime Soon; PS4 Pro Exclusive Games ‘Will Never Happen’

The PS5, PlayStation 5, or whatever Sony decides to call its next console isn’t going to be revealed soon.  In an E3 2017 interview with Golem.de (translated by VG247) Sony President and CEO Shawn Layden has said it would “probably be some time” before the reveal of the PS5.

In addition to this, Layden categorically denied that we’d see any PS4 Pro exclusive titles. He stated that it “will never happen!”

“With the Playstation 4 Pro we have for the first time implemented this kind of innovation within the life cycle of a console,” said Layden.

“The Pro is really only to offer advantages such as 4K resolutions and HMD for players who can and want to use that. Add to this a more stable image rate and larger hard disk space. But [PS4 owners have] no real disadvantages. Each of our games will continue to run on the classic PS4 and possibly slightly better on the Pro.”

While its heartening to know that Sony is sticking to its policies for the PS4 and PS4 Pro – allowing a shared library of games, it’s Layden’s comment on the PS5 that undoubtedly garners more attention.

 

Reason being, this comes after Macquarie Capital Securities analyst Damian Thong predicted that Sony could release the PS5 in 2018.

His prediction was cited in a Wall Street Journal report on Sony’s recent financial earnings wherein it came to light that the company shipped 60 million PS4s.

Sony Isn’t Announcing the PS5 Anytime Soon; PS4 Pro Exclusive Games ‘Will Never Happen’

In the past, Thong correctly suggested that Sony would release the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro, which lends some credence to his statements this time around.

Though we can’t help but feel that this would be a bit premature. Reason being the PS4 Pro just released in 2016 — launching a new console, belonging to the same generation as the PS4 or otherwise seems unwise. More so considering how well the PS4 is selling, tracking in line with Sony’s most successful console, the PS2.

 

 

 

Pokemon Go Raid Battles and Gym Tracking Is Now Easier With GymHuntr

Pokemon Go has seen some massive changes with the past few updates. The latest adds Raid Battles, new gym features, and new items to name a few. And with all things Pokemon Go, comes third-party support to aid the experience. GymHuntr is one of these. It’s a live Pokemon Go Map that shows you updated Gym information from around the world.

Now, GymHuntr lets Pokemon Go players click a Gym to see its Raid Boss as well as show Gyms that currently have a Raid active. It lets you scan every 90 seconds with orange timers showing off active Raids and pink ones indicating those which would be starting soon. Its a handy way to let players get the most out of this new feature without having to coordinate with friends. Keep in mind that you’ll still need certain pre-requisites before checking out a Raid.

Pokemon Go Raid Battles and Gym Tracking Is Now Easier With GymHuntr

“Before you can battle the Raid Boss, you’ll need a Raid Pass. You can get one free Raid Pass per day by visiting a Gym, but you can only hold one at a time. You can also get Premium Raid Passes from the in-game shop,” explained Niantic in a post. “Upon using your pass to join the battle, you and up to 20 other Trainers work together to defeat the Raid Boss. If you successfully defeat the Raid Boss within the five-minute time limit, you’ll have the chance to catch an extra powerful Pokemon of your own.”

 

 

Celebrating the Music of Video Games as an Art Form

The electronic bleeps and squawks of Tetris, Donkey Kong and other generation-shaping games that you may never have thought of as musical are increasingly likely to be playing at a philharmonic concert hall near you.

From the “ping … ping” of Atari’s 1972 ground-breaking paddle game Pong, the sounds, infectious ditties and, with time, fully-formed orchestral scores that are an essential part of the sensory thrill for gamers have formed a musical universe. With its own culture, sub-cultures and fans, game music now thrives alone, free from the consoles from which it came.

When audiences pack the Philharmonie de Paris’ concert halls this weekend to soak in the sounds of a chamber orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra performing game music and an homage to one of the industry’s stars, Final Fantasy Japanese composer Nobuo Uematsu, they will have no buttons to play with, no characters to control.

They’re coming for the music and the nostalgia it triggers: of fun-filled hours spent on sofas with a Game Boy, Sonic the Hedgehog and the evergreen Mario.

“When you’re playing a game you are living that music every day and it just gets into your DNA,” says Eimear Noone, the conductor of Friday’s opening two-hour show of 17 titles, including Zelda, Tomb Raider, Medal of Honor and other favorites from the 1980s onward.

“When people hear those themes they are right back there. And people get really emotional about it. I mean REALLY emotional. It’s incredible.”

Dating the birth of game music depends on how one defines music. Game music scholars – yes, they exist – point to key milestones on the path to the surround-sound extravaganzas of games today.

The heartbeat-like bass thump of Taito’s Space Invaders in 1978, which got ever faster as the aliens descended,caused sweaty palms and was habit-forming.

Celebrating the Music of Video Games as an Art Form

Namco’s Pac-Man, two years later, whetted appetites with an opening musical chirp . For fun, check out the 2013 remix by Dweezil Zappa, son of Frank, and game music composer Tommy Tallarico. Their take on the tune speaks to the sub-culture of remixing game music, with thousands of redos uploaded by fans to sites like ocremix.org – dedicated, it says, “to the appreciation and promotion of video game music as an art form.”

Based on the Russian folk song Korobeiniki, the music of the 1984 game Tetris has similarly undergone umpteen remixes – including Tetris Meets Metal, with more than 2.2 million views on YouTube.

By 1985, the can’t-not-tap-along-to-this theme of Super Mario Bros., the classic adventure of plumber Mario and his brother Luigi, was bringing fame for composer Koji Kondo, also known for his work on Legend of Zelda. Both are on the bill for the Retrogaming concert in Paris. Kondo was the first person Nintendo hired specifically to compose music for its games, according to the 2013 book, Music and Game.

Noone, known herself for musical work on World of Warcraft, Overwatch and other games, says the technological limitations of early consoles – tiny memories, rudimentary chips, crude sounds – forced composers “to distill their melodies down to the absolute kernels of what melodic content can be, because they had to program it note by note.”

But simple often also means memorable. Think “da-da-da-duh” – the opening of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

“That is part of the reason why this music has a place in people’s hearts and has survived,” Noone says of game tunes. “It speaks to people.”

She says game music is where movie music was 15 years ago: well on its way to being completely accepted.

“I predict that in 15 years’ time it will be a main staple of the orchestral season,” she says. “This is crazy to think of: Today, more young people are listening to orchestral music through the medium of their video game consoles than have ever listened to orchestral music.”

She still sometimes encounters snobbism from orchestras: “They saw ‘Pong’ once and that’s video game music to them, you know?”

But “halfway through the first rehearsal, their attitude has changed,” she adds. “And then when they walk out on stage and the audience treats them like they’re The Rolling Stones.”

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first game-music concert: The Tokyo Strings Ensemble performed Dragon Quest at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall in August 1987. Now there are six touring shows of symphonic game music, Noone says.

“This is just the best way, the most fun way to introduce kids to the instruments of the orchestra,” she adds. “It may be the first time ever they are that close to a cellist, and that’s really exciting for me.”