Welcome to the world of Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries Presents, where even something as simple as the credits to their website can be presented in rhythm and song. Based out of Seoul Korea they are the duo of Mark Vogue of the U.S and Young-Hae Chang from Korea. They mix a combination of Macromedia Flash writings with catchy musical beats which they “Tighten up”. Part story, part music video they have used the computer to its fullest in presenting Dakota.
Dakota opens with a rolling musical set that sounds like a jack-in-the-box waiting to open. Sure enough with the pop of some heavy tribal drums we are caught up in the story. The tribal sounding drums in the back keep things rolling, while the other more chaotic drums are used to effectively punctuate the words. The music, as with most stories on the website, is almost central here. The words scroll so fast that it takes several reads to capture everything. The soundtrack is therefore used to supply the stress and anxiety in ways the words cannot. As we build to the central climax of the piece our senses are so confused by the sights and sounds, our overwhelmed reaction mirrors that of the protagonist.
The mood we have set here is of a carefree joyride along a desolate highway. It is nicely established at the beginning as the words scroll slowly enough to be read. With a nice combination of some heavy expletives and some casual slang we get a good glimpse into the mindset of our protagonist. As the protagonist ventures on, gets drunk and increasingly confused so do we as the followers. Words scroll faster, the beat and the drums become increasingly hostile. We even experience the occasional blackout as the screen flashes on a slight gray scale between words. All this works together to create a nice natural buildup to our climax where our main character is spilling their true feelings and fears.
In all Dakota is an enjoyable, if not all to familiar adventure. It tells a good story using everything at is disposal. Everything from strong word choices to a users extreme fixation on the screen is taken into consideration. So if you have five minutes in front of the computer waiting for a download, turn up your speakers, reduce the screen size (as it makes it easier to read) and get swept up in Dakota.