Xbox-ers are no doubt anxiously awaiting tomorrow, when Microsoft finally unleashes its Halo Wars demo in advance of the game's March 3 release date. (Am I the only person who misses Tempest? Ooooh -- thanks, Atari!) I digress. So happens there's an extremely local connection to the Halo spin-off: The guy who scored the videogame happens to be a Plano resident by the name of Stephen Rippy, who, for the last 10 years, has worked for Microsoft's (now-defunct) Ensemble Studios and provided the soundtrack to the likes of the Age of Empires series and its spin-off Age of Mythology. In advance of Halo Wars's pre-release, Rippy's been chatting up the gaming sites, including Music4Games, which last year captured a recording session in Prague.
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I spoke with Rippy this evening in advance of a feature story for the paper version of Unfair Park that will run closer to Halo Wars's release date. But this brief bio: He's a 33-year-old Houston native who went to the University of Texas at Austin and moved to the DFW 15 years ago. And, surprisingly, he's never done any film scoring: "It's never come up." Guy's good, though -- and with the shuttering of Ensemble, he's got the time, so take note local filmmakers. They don't haul just anyone to Prague. Oh, and the soundtrack's out February 17. Take that, John Williams.