I'm not someone for whom the themes from Nintendo's "Mario" franchise can elicit tingles of joy, or even tears of nostalgia. Heck, I doubt I could name that tune in all its notes. My heart lies in the heyday of the Atari 2600, but even I can appreciate the camp charm of the concert spectacular "Video Games Live: Level 2."
Falling somewhere in the realm of bombastic stage shows by the likes of Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Mannheim Steamroller is this A/V-by-ADD presentation. Shot before a live audience, it combines rock guitars with a full symphony, choirs and footage from the games whose theme songs they so lovingly cover. If you couldn't be there, this is the next best thing.
The tracks featured include themes from some of the past decade's biggest hits, with "Halo," "Warcraft" and "Guitar Hero" among them. Everyone onstage looks as if they're having a blast; the audience claps appreciatively as each theme begins; and the whole place explodes with color. It's tough not be dazzled on some level.
The second disc will delight hard-core gamers with a slew of featurettes on select games and their designers and composers. Now you're playing with power. "?Rod Lott