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How To Download Sheet Music Files

Every so often readers have some trouble obtaining access to the sheet music files on Rampancy.net. Below is a short tutorial to help you out. The short answer is that these files are freely available to anyone. All I ask in return is that you register an account first. Registration is free. I don't give out your email address to anyone, and the site will not mail you anything unless you ask.  Click here for the complete text.

Halo 3 Soundtrack Adds Epic Sound To Epic Scenes: Part Two

As This Is Our Land starts, the strings pick up what sounds like an entirely new melody, one that rolls back and forth like waves on a heavy sea. It's hard to tell whether the music creates this effect all by itself or whether it's bolstered by the visuals-- in this area of the game, the large open space where the first Scarab appears, one of the most prominent objects is a huge grounded ship-- presumably it was on a large lake that has since drained during the uncovering of the Forerunner artifact beneath the sand.

Halo 3 Soundtrack Adds Epic Sound To Epic Scenes: Part One

Halo 3 Soundtrack Adds Epic Sound To Epic Scenes: Part One

Why Aren't Games Worth Keeping?

Adventure Games Spanked To Death

This is, of course, completely offtopic but I find it exciting enough to mention.Ron "Grumpy Gamer" Gilbert of Monkey Island fame is going to publish a new adventure game.

Mystery Science Theater 2008

As a latecomer to Mystery Science Theater fanhood, I'm glad that former head writer/host Mike Nelson is continuing to make bad movies enjoyable with RiffTrax. Being a longtime fan of Star Wars since seeing the first film at the age of six, I felt morally obligated to at least take a look at the new trilogy. With each passing film I was more and more horrified. Mike's rifftrax on the prequels got better and better as the movies themselves became more humorless and unwatchable. Some fans might consider the third prequel the best of the bunch, but for me, it's the worst. Luckly the rifftrack for that episode is the best of the three; it's the only reason to subject oneself to the film.

300 falls into that same category.

MST3K tended to focus on films that were so bad, hardly anyone would watch them. The show eventually ran into trouble when the very existence of MST3K increased the value of the rights to the films they were lampooning beyond the point where they could afford the rights to the movies. RiffTrax escapes that loophole by distributing only MP3 audio files, which they then help sync to your DVD of the movie by having a disembodied voice (named Disembaudio) do line readings from the film periodically. Files are also available to sync with NTSC or PAL versions of the film, and there's even a special Windows program that handles the sync for you if you're playing the DVD on a computer. If you don't already own the DVD of the movie in question, you can order it from RiffTrax.

There, of course, is the catch-22. Riffing is funniest on movies that aren't very good, or that you don't like. I've also listened to the tracks for the Bourne Identity and LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring, which are films I like. At some point these tracks fall a bit flat compared to the others. So in order to get value out of RiffTrax, you have to own (or at least rent) the movie. But riffing works best on films you wouldn't necessarily want to own.

RiffTrax seems to realize this, which is why they are also offering a video on demand option. Perhaps what they really need is a deal with NetFlix.

Bungie Independence Motivated By Licensing?

Okay, here's a crazy idea.Like more than a few people, I was puzzled by Bungie's return to independence following the release of Halo 3. It didn't seem to make much sense.Sure, it made sense for Bungie to want more autonomy. Even the friendliest chaperon is still something one would rather do without. Why did it make sense for Microsoft, though? Why negotiate for a sweet discount with the goose who laid the golden eggs when you used to own it lock, stock and barrel?At first I thought perhaps it was about studio expansion.

Kazakhstan To Analysts: Don't Worry

The following is from a Financial Times story about the recent investment ratings drop for Kazakh banks. Banks in Kazakhstan have gorged themselves on foreign borrowing for expansion in recent years, and the credit crisis is starting to affect them.

No problem, says the president:

Ultimately Entertaining

So the entertainment conveyor belt finally brought this past summer's hit The Bourne Ultimatum into view, and I have to say I enjoyed it. I think my favorite of the three films is probably the second; the first has to spend a lot of time setting up the character and the situation, and so seems a bit slow-paced at times. The third is "non-stop action" in that way that studios seem to think is good but that any self-respecting person who isn't a dramamine addict thinks is actually bad. Also, it never met a camera move it didn't like enough to chop up into several quick cuts and throw at the viewer in quick succession.

Bourne gets referred to a lot as a "thinking Man's Bond" which is a pretty fair assessment. Still, for a person with a reasonable amount of technical knowledge and aptitude there are a lot of places that severely strain your ability to maintain suspension of disbelief.

Warning: There are spoilers for the Bourne movies in this article!

FAQ Updated

I've finally got around to doing another one of the every-couple-of-years updates to the FAQ section.

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