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Turkish Delight
07-07-2009, 01:25 PM
Who is the superior composer? Discuss.

While Uematsu is awesome, Mitsuda's work in the Chrono games is unparalleled.

Vice Nebulosa
07-07-2009, 08:05 PM
God, I just saw this thread, and felt (with an embarrassing quantity of haste and excitement :erm:) that I had to cast in my lot with Mitsuda before . . . I don't know -- before any more universal decay took place, or something. :laugh:

Anyway, one humble vote for Yasunori Mitsuda. Mitsuda for President -- for King, perhaps. *Listens dispassionately to cries of "You don't vote for kings!", followed shortly by a gunshot* You know what, Mitsuda for God. :plotting:

To briefly discuss the choice being made here, these are two composers with extremely disparate styles and resumés who, while they both endeavor to cover the wide range of moods necessitated by a high-end RPG soundtrack, undeniably specialize in certain areas. Uematsu, for example, really shines when it comes to the standard battle themes that are not necessarily the "epic final battle tracks" (an area where, I find, Mitsuda rarely finds the ideal balance between complexity and ferocity, with the odd exception such as "Fuse" from the Xenogears soundtrack, or, at least for a while, "Battle" from Xenosaga I). Oh, Mitsuda is brilliant as far as the godlike battles are concerned ("Battle with Magus", "World Revolution", and "Dragon God" from the mainstream Chrono soundtracks), but his basic battle tracks ("Battle 1" from Chrono Trigger, and "Gale" and "The Brink of Death" -- technically a boss battle track, but fairly common -- from Chrono Cross), which one spends a decent portion of the game listening to looping ad infinitum, tend to lack the fluidity with which Uematsu constructs his battle themes. "Fighting" from the FFVII soundtrack is a damned addictive piece that I do not particularly mind hearing for extended periods of time, whereas Chrono Cross' "Gale" gets rather annoying. *_*

Uematsu and Mitsuda are able to share a similar pedestal of glory in terms of the epic battle themes, methinks, as tracks like "One Winged Angel" (preferably the Advent Children version, but anything fully orchestrated will do) and, to a lesser extent, "Fight With Seymour", are able to hold their own against Mitsuda's counterparts in virtually any comparison.

That being said, Mitsuda's overwhelming advantage is in the eloquent speaking of a language in which Uematsu merely dabbles. Mitsuda is an atmospheric composer, whose ruthless precision and skill positively blazes in immersive environmental pieces and profoundly sentimental tragedy/farewell tracks. Certainly Uematsu can elicit an emotion from the player (I would cite "Wandering" from the FFX soundtrack as among his best despondent tracks that also creates an ambience in the in-game environment), and he has plenty of experience in wielding the piano and individual strings/woodwinds as a minimalist approach to capturing emotional drama. However, nothing in his impressive body of work that I am aware of can do more than flutter beneath the soaring beauty of Mitsuda once the latter decides to mock your composure and manipulate your emotions like the instruments he commands. "Corridors of Time", "Chrono Trigger (part 2)" and "To Far Away Times" from the Chrono Trigger soundtrack, and "Life ~ Faraway Promise", "Time of the Dreamwatch", and "Dream's Creation" from Chrono Cross are some of the most profoundly evocative, influential pieces of music I have heard to date, and no other composer -- from any genre or era, forget Nobuo Uematsu -- has exceeded him on those terms in my eyes.

It is a shame that the Xenosaga I soundtrack fails to really measure up to Mitsuda's earlier work. :( If he ever gets his hands on the London Symphony Orchestra again, here's hoping that it is on a thoroughly recharged battery of inspiration for the third canon installment of the Chrono series.

Did it again. :eep: Just so everyone is aware, I do not begin these posts with the explicit intention of embarking on a prolonged ranting rampage. Just tends to happen. But a Mitsuda rave is needed sometimes. :erm:

Jessweeee♪
07-08-2009, 05:20 AM
I haven't played the Chrono games, so I guess I can't really say which I think is better. I will say that the (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yi155MoyNKg) FFX (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_PjUvwHBs4&feature=related) soundtrack (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1P84SF_8Ao&feature=related) is (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqPnCF5TKSI&feature=related) awesome (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYn-RkniHXE&feature=related). (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNcU-qjXqe0)

Vice Nebulosa
07-08-2009, 05:57 AM
I haven't played the Chrono games, so I guess I can't really say which I think is better.

Depends, really. Have you heard any of the music from the Chrono series, or have you never touched the games in any capacity?

I know I listened to the Chrono Cross soundtrack before I acquired the game itself, and it was one of those things that one partially approves of, and partially regrets. Of course, such a gem of a soundtrack unconsciously served to raise my expectations for the game far higher than any PS1 title could hope to fulfill, so it diminished the eventual gaming experience fairly significantly. :( It was downright appalling to learn that they gave the incomparable "Time of the Dreamwatch" a mere filler role after the opening title sequence. :frust: And this in addition to learning that Magus was only to make a cameo appearance. Very much an object of love and hate, Chrono Cross. :laugh:


I will say that the (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yi155MoyNKg) FFX (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_PjUvwHBs4&feature=related) soundtrack (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1P84SF_8Ao&feature=related) is (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqPnCF5TKSI&feature=related) awesome (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYn-RkniHXE&feature=related). (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNcU-qjXqe0)

Interesting choices. Just as a matter of personal opinion, I only really liked "Fight With Seymour" ("Final Meeting With Seymour" on your video) of the total five. :erm: Always disliked "A Contest of Aeons" ("Can You Fight Your Aeons" in your video) and "Final Battle" ("Decisive Battle"). Putting aside for the moment that the last two boss battles (against your Aeons and Yu Yevon, successively) were rather "tacked on" and totally anticlimactic after the far more controversial and energetic "Otherworld" battle with Jecht, "A Contest of Aeons" always sounded to me like it was in a strange, uninspiring key, and relied on its melodic similarity to the Hymn of the Fayth for all its impact. And "Final Battle" was just an uninteresting mess, as far as I'm concerned. :grumble: I figure Uematsu's best job at remixing a tune within FFX came with using the same basic melody in "Auron's Theme" as "This Is Your Story".

But, although they may not be humble in the least (;)), these are mere opinions. Have you heard either the Xenogears or Xenosaga Episode I soundtracks? Both are scored by Mitsuda, and could still form the basis of a decent comparison for you, if you happen to be familiar with them (but make no mistake, Mitsuda was at his best in the Chrono series) . . .

Fynn
07-08-2009, 10:56 AM
Interesting choices. Just as a matter of personal opinion, I only really liked "Fight With Seymour" ("Final Meeting With Seymour" on your video) of the total five. :erm: Always disliked "A Contest of Aeons" ("Can You Fight Your Aeons" in your video) and "Final Battle" ("Decisive Battle"). Putting aside for the moment that the last two boss battles (against your Aeons and Yu Yevon, successively) were rather "tacked on" and totally anticlimactic after the far more controversial and energetic "Otherworld" battle with Jecht, "A Contest of Aeons" always sounded to me like it was in a strange, uninspiring key, and relied on its melodic similarity to the Hymn of the Fayth for all its impact. And "Final Battle" was just an uninteresting mess, as far as I'm concerned. :grumble: I figure Uematsu's best job at remixing a tune within FFX came with using the same basic melody in "Auron's Theme" as "This Is Your Story".


First off, from the music listed here, only Fight with Seymour, Auron's Theme and Otherworld were written by Nobuo. The Decisive Battle was written by Masashi Hamauzu (and is an awesome track, I might add), while Aeon Battle is by Junya Nakano. So, if anything, Nobuo's speciality is not remixing (that's right, This is Your Story is by Nakano, so he's the one that recycled Nobuo's track).

I gotta say Mitsuda is a great composer. Chrono Trigger's OST was great and Cross' was simply genius, but I wasn't quite fond of Xenogears' and I've yet to play Xenosaga (I live in Europe, so getting Der Wille zur Macht is quite difficult). Overall - really good soundtracks. But I still feel more attached to Uematsu. I think he's the better composer and I'll try to say why... On a side note, you do realize Nobuo composed about a third (if not more) of CT's soundtrack? ;)

Like you said, Nobuo is great with normal battles, but I have to disagree with you at certain points. The first is in favour of Mitsuda - Gale and The Brink of Death are great battle tracks! They're different, but they're still solid battle themes, IMO. They both sound very urgent, as in "Oh no! An enemy! Beat it quick, we don't have much time!" Also, you gotta love Gale for being a tribute to Radical Dreamers. Nobuo's tracks are still better, in my opinion. The normal battle themes provide more balance (I did NOT like X's normal battle theme, though...) and don't get so tedious after two hours of random battles only. His boss battle tracks range from cool (IX, IV) to simply amazing (The Fierce Battle from VI and Those Who Fight Further from VII). These are tracks that are not only nice to listen to, but fill you with emotions that should be present during a fierce battle...

I have to say, I wasn't really fond of Mitsuda's area tracks. They just weren't as memorable as some of Nobuo's area tracks, though I must say Chrono Cross' MIDI quality and instrumentation were better than Uematsu's work, even on IX. While analysing Nobuo's and Mitsuda's work, you forgot to mention a very important factor, in which Mr. Uematsu definitelly has the upper hand - character themes. Mitsuda didn't write many of those (though those he did were quite nice - Star-Stealing Girl, which is Kid's theme, comes to mind, or Frog's Theme. I know there's more and a lot are very memorable, but I believe Nobuo's are still more memorable and there's more of them). Have you played FFVI? Fourteen characters in total. Each of them having a unique musical theme (besides Edgar and Sabin, who happen to share one). These themes fit the characters extremelly well and appear throughout the game, sometimes in a couple of versions, giving the characters more depth and more emotion to the event. In my opinion, it's not the composing experience or expertise, that makes a VGM composer - it's making the game come alive, which Nobuo managed to do in his works, especially with VI's OST and all its character themes.

With that, I do not mean to say Nobuo is an inexperienced composer - have you listened to Phantasmagoria? It's an album of Uematsu's, independent of any game he has written for. It's a completely different style than what we've heard in any FF so far. The tracks are very touching and nice to listen to. It's not something that anyone would like, but I do figure it is a little bit like Mike Oldfield's music... My point is, listening to these tracks, seeing how different they are from Uematsu's gaming compositions show's how versatile a composer he really is. That's why my vote goes to Nobuo Uematsu. Mitsuda has great potential, but I feel he still has a long way to go...

Vice Nebulosa
07-08-2009, 10:16 PM
Yeah; music debate time! ^_^



First off, from the music listed here, only Fight with Seymour, Auron's Theme and Otherworld were written by Nobuo. The Decisive Battle was written by Masashi Hamauzu (and is an awesome track, I might add), while Aeon Battle is by Junya Nakano. So, if anything, Nobuo's speciality is not remixing (that's right, This is Your Story is by Nakano, so he's the one that recycled Nobuo's track).

Oh, right; forgot the whole "collaboration" thing that occurred in the FFX soundtrack. :erm: Point for you. My aforementioned opinions on the tracks in question still stand, but some of the blame can be removed from Uematsu. Looking over the Wiki article on the soundtrack, I find it somewhat surprising that "Run!!" was not written by Uematsu; it seemed to have his distinct "flavor" about it. :plotting: Well, at least someone is able to approximate it fairly well . . .


I gotta say Mitsuda is a great composer. Chrono Trigger's OST was great and Cross' was simply genius, but I wasn't quite fond of Xenogears' and I've yet to play Xenosaga (I live in Europe, so getting Der Wille zur Macht is quite difficult).

Neither Xeno soundtrack is at all comparable to the Chrono counterparts, so Xenosaga I (beyond its extremely high production value, what with the London Symphony Orchestra) is unlikely to alter your opinion on the matter.



On a side note, you do realize Nobuo composed about a third (if not more) of CT's soundtrack? ;)

Hell, a third is using some serious hyperbole. I count ten tracks of the total sixty-four that are credited to Uematsu, and none of them aside from "Sealed Door" are anything I would describe as "profound". Mostly his contributions to the soundtrack include the catchy, percussive themes that occur at particularly energetic points during the plot ("Bike Chase", "Burn! Bobonga!", "Tyran Castle" -- which does rule -- "Primitive Mountain", etc.). Uematsu's contributions are sizable, granted, but in this project Mitsuda is most definitely the soliloquy actor, and Uematsu the stage hand. Uematsu was merely brought in to compensate for Mitsuda's declining health during production, but the meat of the score was already in place, and it already included the musical power for which Mitsuda was thereafter known. Uematsu cannot touch "Corridors of Time", "Battle with Magus", "Undersea Palace", "To Far Away Times", etc. etc. ad infinitum, and therefore he cannot claim anything but a peripheral role in the fusion of the musical and dramatic storytelling brilliance that is Chrono Trigger.



Like you said, Nobuo is great with normal battles, but I have to disagree with you at certain points. The first is in favour of Mitsuda - Gale and The Brink of Death are great battle tracks!

God. :laugh: So you cannot only stand to listen to the suffering of those strings from the beginning to 0:15 of "Gale" and that damned blues organ which takes over the background thereafter, but you approve of it? :Eek: "The Brink of Death" was considerably better, I grant you, but nothing on Uematsu's better efforts in the same area.


Also, you gotta love Gale for being a tribute to Radical Dreamers.

Eh, "Viper Manor" earns my approval for that reason, but "Gale" was actually considerably less an aggravating listen in Radical Dreamers. *_*


Nobuo's tracks are still better, in my opinion. The normal battle themes provide more balance (I did NOT like X's normal battle theme, though...) and don't get so tedious after two hours of random battles only. His boss battle tracks range from cool (IX, IV) to simply amazing (The Fierce Battle from VI and Those Who Fight Further from VII). These are tracks that are not only nice to listen to, but fill you with emotions that should be present during a fierce battle...

*Nod* Uematsu is definitely the better man when it comes to melding the moods of camaraderie and crisis into a single "basic battle" track. Even the FFX "Battle Theme" (which I actually did enjoy :laugh:; something about following that bassline around) managed this considerably better than Mitsuda's "Battle 1" from CT or "Gale" from CC. Mitsuda is a "battle to save the universe" man, and less a "battle to kill the insignificant minions" man. :roll2


I have to say, I wasn't really fond of Mitsuda's area tracks.

Demon! :Eek: Back -- back from this holy place!

Seriously, though, I have never heard the Uematsu track that is more tranquil with a sense of beautiful simplicity than "Home Village Arni" (which, ironically, is not at all a simple piece of music), more an exotic, romantic reference to past glory than "Time's Grasslands - Home World", more an ominous anxiety before a threat that has no name but merely the form of ruin than "Ancient Dragon's Fort", more horrifying in its bleak simplicity than "Dead Sea - Tower of Ruin", more a tale of a vaguely familiar world that one regrets being a part of than "Chronopolis" (a piece plagiarized time without measure by less imaginitive composers :mad:), etc, etc. I am not familiar with Uematsu's entire body of work (I possess the FFVII, Advent Children, and FFX soundtracks, and have heard decent portions of VIII), but what I have heard is largely fare of a shallower quality than that which Mitsuda prepares.

The Chrono universe is a considerably richer one than your basic Final Fantasy world as far as detail of plot and storytelling are concerned, and the complex themes of Mitsuda's music communicate this quite clearly. Chrono Cross, for instance, is not so simple as the "we have a clear enemy; we do not need to understand Sephiroth but we must stop him and we are justified in doing so" theme of FFVII (which is a brilliant storytelling method in its way), or the relatively shallow morality and romance-sacrifice issues confronted in FFX. CC, to examine a single facet thereof, deals with a protagonist confronted by multiple forces -- those forces, both ruthless and impassioned, that regard his very existence as a destructive abomination that should be reversed if possible, eliminated if necessary, and those quieter, more personal forces, both naïve and wise, that wish him to remain alive for one reason or another. We, as the player, witness the comparatively simple and "noble" actions conducted by the protagonists in Chrono Trigger brought to involuntary ruin by the protagonist of Chrono Cross -- such poetic irony as is wrought by the scenes in the Dead Sea is very much a finer, more twisted synthesis of intellect and sentiment than what your usual Final Fantasy title must produce for its target audience.


They just weren't as memorable as some of Nobuo's area tracks,

Thoroughly disagreed, but I enjoy the discussion. In all fairness, Uematsu has done some wonderful atmospheric work in his time; FFX in particular, what with samples like "Guadosalam", "Besaid", "Movement in Green", etc. is one of his stronger efforts.


While analysing Nobuo's and Mitsuda's work, you forgot to mention a very important factor, in which Mr. Uematsu definitelly has the upper hand - character themes.

Depends entirely on whether a track title must explicitly name a character to be considered a "character theme" in your opinion. The essence of a character's personality and aura can be woven into many aspects of a soundtrack, provided that the characters and music are of sufficient strength. Magus' theme in Chrono Trigger, for instance, takes many forms, even going as far as to become the "theme" of the Zeal Royal Family ("Schala's Theme", "Zeal Palace", and "Undersea Palace" all bear variations of the same melody). Could "Orphan of the Flame" be considered "Lynx's Theme" on the merit of its tones of ruthless power, or must the word "Lynx" be etched into the title?


I know there's more and a lot are very memorable, but I believe Nobuo's are still more memorable and there's more of them).

"One Winged Angel" for president! :frust:


Have you played FFVI? Fourteen characters in total. Each of them having a unique musical theme (besides Edgar and Sabin, who happen to share one).

Negative. Sounds intriguing, though.


In my opinion, it's not the composing experience or expertise, that makes a VGM composer - it's making the game come alive, which Nobuo managed to do in his works, especially with VI's OST and all its character themes.

Oh, fully concurred. It is not these criteria of what constitutes a "brilliant soundtrack" that is the source of our disagreement, but rather our estimates of the brilliance of the soundtracks involved, which is the best basis for discussion in matters like this. ^_^


With that, I do not mean to say Nobuo is an inexperienced composer

Hell, no one could claim such a thing. :laugh: Uematsu indeed epitomizes an unusual combination of high quality and great quantity.


- have you listened to Phantasmagoria? It's an album of Uematsu's, independent of any game he has written for.

Again, negative. Was unaware that Uematsu had done any independent work, really. Interesting.


My point is, listening to these tracks, seeing how different they are from Uematsu's gaming compositions show's how versatile a composer he really is. That's why my vote goes to Nobuo Uematsu. Mitsuda has great potential, but I feel he still has a long way to go...

Hm. Well, that is a legitimate opinion, but I am inclined to believe that Mitsuda struck his stake into the video game music industry at a virtually unparalleled height, arguably improved upon it in Chrono Cross, but has unfortunately been unable to maintain such a prodigious and unreasonable altitude on non-Masato Kato projects. :( Hopefully that is the only issue, and Mitsuda will rise again on a hypothetical third canon Chrono installment.

Fynn
07-09-2009, 12:15 AM
Counter-counter-argument time! XD


Oh, right; forgot the whole "collaboration" thing that occurred in the FFX soundtrack. :erm: Point for you. My aforementioned opinions on the tracks in question still stand, but some of the blame can be removed from Uematsu. Looking over the Wiki article on the soundtrack, I find it somewhat surprising that "Run!!" was not written by Uematsu; it seemed to have his distinct "flavor" about it. :plotting: Well, at least someone is able to approximate it fairly well . . .

Run actually struck me as one of the least Uematsu-sounding themes. It was still good, though. Ironically, it was one of the best "run"-tracks I have ever heard :)


Neither Xeno soundtrack is at all comparable to the Chrono counterparts, so Xenosaga I (beyond its extremely high production value, what with the London Symphony Orchestra) is unlikely to alter your opinion on the matter.
I heard some of the tracks on youtube and found something that I actually liked. There's this track in 'Gears that plays in the beginning FMV and when exploring all those super-ancient ruins, finding out stuff about the source of all life, etc... And I noticed that it's the same as one of the opening tracks of 'Saga, albeit a bit more electronic. And I actually liked this reference, 'cause that was one of those tracks that give you this eerie feeling, make a bit uneasy, but you still want to see more...



Hell, a third is using some serious hyperbole. I count ten tracks of the total sixty-four that are credited to Uematsu, and none of them aside from "Sealed Door" are anything I would describe as "profound". Mostly his contributions to the soundtrack include the catchy, percussive themes that occur at particularly energetic points during the plot ("Bike Chase", "Burn! Bobonga!", "Tyran Castle" -- which does rule -- "Primitive Mountain", etc.). Uematsu's contributions are sizable, granted, but in this project Mitsuda is most definitely the soliloquy actor, and Uematsu the stage hand. Uematsu was merely brought in to compensate for Mitsuda's declining health during production, but the meat of the score was already in place, and it already included the musical power for which Mitsuda was thereafter known. Uematsu cannot touch "Corridors of Time", "Battle with Magus", "Undersea Palace", "To Far Away Times", etc. etc. ad infinitum, and therefore he cannot claim anything but a peripheral role in the fusion of the musical and dramatic storytelling brilliance that is Chrono Trigger.

Alright, I exaggerated. But still, like you said yourself, some of his contributions to this OST are really great. And I never said he was better than Mitsuda on this one - this is Mr. Yasunori's game, while Nobuo Uematsu (along with Noriko Matsueda :D) is merely a guest. All the tracks you've listed are truly masterpieces of this game.


God. :laugh: So you cannot only stand to listen to the suffering of those strings from the beginning to 0:15 of "Gale" and that damned blues organ which takes over the background thereafter, but you approve of it? :Eek: "The Brink of Death" was considerably better, I grant you, but nothing on Uematsu's better efforts in the same area.

Hell yeah, I approve! Gale had this eerie rythm, haunting strings and an organ that makes you wanna dance! It's definitelly one of a kind ;) To top it off, it practically ditches the major-minor scheme for a more jazzy harmony style.


Eh, "Viper Manor" earns my approval for that reason, but "Gale" was actually considerably less an aggravating listen in Radical Dreamers. *_*

I don't see how. I found the MIDI they used in Chrono Cross far better than the sounds from the SNES. And I agree with you about Viper Manor.


*Nod* Uematsu is definitely the better man when it comes to melding the moods of camaraderie and crisis into a single "basic battle" track. Even the FFX "Battle Theme" (which I actually did enjoy :laugh:; something about following that bassline around) managed this considerably better than Mitsuda's "Battle 1" from CT or "Gale" from CC. Mitsuda is a "battle to save the universe" man, and less a "battle to kill the insignificant minions" man. :roll2

You're, like, Mr. Reverse! How can you hate Gale and like X's battle theme?! It's just boring, mundane and sounds as if it was done on one keyboard during a wedding party in the country! It's like bad disco! I have to agree that Mitsuda's final battle tracks are outstanding, but I still feel like you're not giving Uematsu enough credit in this area. Neo X-Death, Dancing Mad, One-Winged Angel, The Extreme... All are powerful, powerful tracks... Need I say more?

Demon! :Eek: Back -- back from this holy place!

Seriously, though, I have never heard the Uematsu track that is more tranquil with a sense of beautiful simplicity than "Home Village Arni" (which, ironically, is not at all a simple piece of music), more an exotic, romantic reference to past glory than "Time's Grasslands - Home World", more an ominous anxiety before a threat that has no name but merely the form of ruin than "Ancient Dragon's Fort", more horrifying in its bleak simplicity than "Dead Sea - Tower of Ruin", more a tale of a vaguely familiar world that one regrets being a part of than "Chronopolis" (a piece plagiarized time without measure by less imaginitive composers :mad:), etc, etc. I am not familiar with Uematsu's entire body of work (I possess the FFVII, Advent Children, and FFX soundtracks, and have heard decent portions of VIII), but what I have heard is largely fare of a shallower quality than that which Mitsuda prepares.

The Chrono universe is a considerably richer one than your basic Final Fantasy world as far as detail of plot and storytelling are concerned, and the complex themes of Mitsuda's music communicate this quite clearly. Chrono Cross, for instance, is not so simple as the "we have a clear enemy; we do not need to understand Sephiroth but we must stop him and we are justified in doing so" theme of FFVII (which is a brilliant storytelling method in its way), or the relatively shallow morality and romance-sacrifice issues confronted in FFX. CC, to examine a single facet thereof, deals with a protagonist confronted by multiple forces -- those forces, both ruthless and impassioned, that regard his very existence as a destructive abomination that should be reversed if possible, eliminated if necessary, and those quieter, more personal forces, both naïve and wise, that wish him to remain alive for one reason or another. We, as the player, witness the comparatively simple and "noble" actions conducted by the protagonists in Chrono Trigger brought to involuntary ruin by the protagonist of Chrono Cross -- such poetic irony as is wrought by the scenes in the Dead Sea is very much a finer, more twisted synthesis of intellect and sentiment than what your usual Final Fantasy title must produce for its target audience.

OK, first of, I think you're getting a bit ahead of yourself, because we're talking about music here ;) (I think I'm mainly saying this because I think I'd have to agree with you about the whole atmosphere and story thing, but where's the fun in a discussion like that? :D) I did exaggerate when saying I didn't like his area tracks - the ones you listed (besides Home Village Arni) are good, but I just must have forgotten about them. The area tracks I meant were stuff like Hydra's Swamp and Gaea's Navel. Most of the less important area tracks seemed to lack imagination... I once again turn to FFVI (Play the game! You're missing out on a LOT!)for an example of how I like my "normal" area tracks. Mystic Forest and Phantom Train - even though the former is reused quite a bit, it never seems to get old. The eerie, yet soothing melody fit's the dungeons just so well, that you almost blend with the game. The music on the train is what I think FFVI is all about - grotesque! Comical, yet a bit scary, dark, twisted. Another track comes to mind - I don't remember the name, but it's the one that played in the first cave (and many other cave after that) you entered in FFVII. It starts of quietly, gently, but later on there's this part which is pracically dissonance after dissonance, and yet it doesn't make you flinch or anything - it gives you a feeling of uneasiness, such that you would undoubtedly have while exploring a mysterious, dark cave. The area tracks you've listed and I liked are all important area tracks. I guess for Mitsuda it's the same with the area tracks as it is with the battle themes - he tries a lot for the important ones, but seems to lack imagination for the small ones. I don't really think that's a good thing - a balanced soundtrack is a good one, IMO...


Thoroughly disagreed, but I enjoy the discussion. In all fairness, Uematsu has done some wonderful atmospheric work in his time; FFX in particular, what with samples like "Guadosalam", "Besaid", "Movement in Green", etc. is one of his stronger efforts.
*sigh* Sadly, you once againg gave the wrong examples. Guadosalam is Nakano's most prominent (IMO) contribution to X's soundtrack, while Besaid is by Masashi Hamauzu (another awesome VGM composer, who doesn't seem to get enough credit, seeing as he wasn't even considered for a debate during the creation of this thread :cry:)



Depends entirely on whether a track title must explicitly name a character to be considered a "character theme" in your opinion. The essence of a character's personality and aura can be woven into many aspects of a soundtrack, provided that the characters and music are of sufficient strength. Magus' theme in Chrono Trigger, for instance, takes many forms, even going as far as to become the "theme" of the Zeal Royal Family ("Schala's Theme", "Zeal Palace", and "Undersea Palace" all bear variations of the same melody). Could "Orphan of the Flame" be considered "Lynx's Theme" on the merit of its tones of ruthless power, or must the word "Lynx" be etched into the title?
I do NOT mean be name - I did mention Star-Stealing Girl, didn't I? I never said Mitsuda did not exploit leitmotiffs - I just think Nobuo does it better. He has composed for a lot of video games now, and I think one really needs to play (or at listen to their soundtrack) to be able to see his genius in creating recurring themes.
I never considered Orphan of Flame to be Lynx's theme. It plays in one scene, and I know Lynx plays a large role in it. However, I always thought of it as another theme for Kid - for saving her, since that was all that scene was about (and the title matches - Orphan? Of Flame?). Lynx was present and all, but I felt this track had more to do with Kid than with anyone else.


"One Winged Angel" for president! :frust:

Don't really agree... I mean, it is a great final boss track, but it's not really what I'd consider The King of all Final Battle Tracks. I do enjoy it a lot, but I think it gets far too much credit than it deserves...


Negative. Sounds intriguing, though.

See above.


Oh, fully concurred. It is not these criteria of what constitutes a "brilliant soundtrack" that is the source of our disagreement, but rather our estimates of the brilliance of the soundtracks involved, which is the best basis for discussion in matters like this. ^_^

At least we agree about something :tongue:


Hell, no one could claim such a thing. :laugh: Uematsu indeed epitomizes an unusual combination of high quality and great quantity.

You learn quick ;)


Again, negative. Was unaware that Uematsu had done any independent work, really. Interesting.

It is. It shows you how different stuff he can compose when he's not thinking Final Fantasy (althoug the album contains a remix of the series' anthem, it has a completely different feel to it that that heard in the games). You really should check it out.


Hm. Well, that is a legitimate opinion, but I am inclined to believe that Mitsuda struck his stake into the video game music industry at a virtually unparalleled height, arguably improved upon it in Chrono Cross, but has unfortunately been unable to maintain such a prodigious and unreasonable altitude on non-Masato Kato projects. :( Hopefully that is the only issue, and Mitsuda will rise again on a hypothetical third canon Chrono installment.

Like I said before - the Chrono series are "his" games. They wouldn't be the same without his music, this is not merely an opinion, but a fact. They are all beautiful soundtracks and have made their respective games into what they are. None can deny, that both Trigger and Cross (although less so) were very influential games. However, I still believe Nobuo has had a far greater influence in video game music, spreading even wider than that. I share your hopes that Mitsuda may one day rise again. I do like his music. There's just something in Uematsu's that's close to my heart...

Wolf Kanno
07-09-2009, 08:38 AM
This is a terrible debate for me. My personal opinion is that they are both excellent composer's and I am always willing to listen to their soundtracks, even if I don't play the game for them. I feel they are equal.

Yet, part of me may have to give this to Nobuo. Not because I prefer his work; but because the man has written and arranged a ton of music over the years and most of them are great. Every game has at least one or two outstanding tracks, if not the whole musical score. I have to give the man extra points just for being able to write consistently good music. Not that I'm saying Mitsuda's music isn't good, but after 20 years in the business and countless scores of music, I feel Nobuo can still write good music and I don't know too many musicians, let alone composers that can equal up to that. So his track record is quite outstanding and I feel in another ten years, Mitsuda will be equal to him on this as well.

I'm not as familiar with CC's soundtrack as I would like to be, its one of the few soundtracks that tends to elude me when I go searching for it or its just overpriced when I find it. I do know quite a few tracks though so I am aware of its beauty but I feel its unfair to overlook Xenogears. Its soundtrack is also incredible and serves as the bridge between CT and CC. Mitsuda's works on Xenogears creates the foundation for CC's and many of his most beautiful scores that I personally love come from Xenogears, like Bond's Of Sea and Fire (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bET-_1NkvEc&feature=PlayList&p=4BBFDCB7B33491D1&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=2), Faraway Promise (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVKZfho8ugU&feature=PlayList&p=4BBFDCB7B33491D1&index=5), Daijiru: City of Burning Sands (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mUwLdcywVI&feature=PlayList&p=4BBFDCB7B33491D1&index=10), One Who Is Torn Apart (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD25_StvAT0&feature=PlayList&p=4BBFDCB7B33491D1&index=37), and The Beginning and The End (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3sDh3U49KM&feature=PlayList&p=4BBFDCB7B33491D1&index=42)

Even his work on Xenosaga is actually quite good, one of my biggest complaints about the game was the terrible use of Mitsuda's work. The game stuck to the same five tracks while the other 20+ tracks are usually only played once and its usually a snippet. Insecurity (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTIGmcrN7Tk&feature=PlayList&p=B13DA8D652C6ED7C&index=29), Beach of Nothingness (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPocikm1Ras&feature=PlayList&p=B13DA8D652C6ED7C&index=39), Ormus (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8D8Lti8Sag&feature=related), and The Miracle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN4bpEBQqLY&feature=related) are all outstanding tracks that don't get the attention they deserve. I just find it odd that Mitsuda fans are so quick to dismiss the two Xeno soundtracks Mitsuda did. I feel both are on par with the Chrono series, they are only limited by the fans lack of awareness to their existence.

Fynn
07-09-2009, 09:36 AM
It's not actually like that, at least for me. I managed to play Xenogears thanks to owning a PSP and I'm still dying to play Xenosaga. You know, it's just hard to get them. As I said before, I live in Europe and Neither Xenogears or Xenosaga Episode I got released here... So yeah, I can't use legal means... And I ommitted Xenogears' soundtrack simply because it didn't move me as much as CC's did. I don't think there's a reason to it, it's just a matter of personal taste, I guess...

However, I really like The Beginning and the End from Xenogears. Where does that piece play? 'Cause I can't remember it in game at all... It's one of those few amazing tracks that appeared in Xenogears... And those Xenosaga tracks - if the majority of the OST is composed this way, than I'm probably gonna love it, 'cause it's the same style as the tracks from 'Gears that I liked.

Wolf Kanno
07-09-2009, 09:46 AM
Sorry, to hear about being screwed over for being in a PAL region. That sucks. The Beginning and the End is played during the ending, specifically the talk with Krelian.

Xenosaga has a great soundtrack but as I said, the developers smurfed up the sound editing and relegated most of those tracks to one listen only. You might be better off just picking up the OST.

For me, I found Xenogears to reach out to me more than CC. I think its because Xenogears overall had a profound affect on me. I find the sound track beautiful but then again, I prefer the slower more peaceful tracks which is why I do love the CC soundtrack as well but I can tie moments to Xenogears while I cannot for Chrono Cross.

Fynn
07-09-2009, 09:53 AM
Yeah... That's the reason I think you should first play the game and later listen to the soundtrack - lets you appreciate the tracks more.

I guess the pieces from Xenogears that I didn't like were from all the dilly-dally moments at the beginning... It's too bad the story took almost the whole first disc to develop into what it's supposed to and then was very rushed in the second disc... I hope they might some day remake the game and make it all proper...

Wolf Kanno
07-09-2009, 10:12 AM
Lately, I've learned its never a good idea to come back to an idea that's more than 10 years old. Even if they could get the original team back together to do it, I still think they would have a good chance of smurfing it all up. But I'm a pessimist. ;)

As for Xenosaga OST, I didn't care for the soundtrack when I played through it. Outside of Albedo, Song of Nephilim, and the Last Battle; I never fel the soundtrack was great. Until I actually bought it and listened to it. Then I realized the game never used it proper so it grew on me and allowed me to enjoy the game more. I still can't remember where The Miracle plays, but Insecurity plays during my favorite part of the story (the Cathedral Ship) in the game.

Its a better soundtrack than people give it credit.

Vice Nebulosa
07-09-2009, 11:22 AM
Hell yeah, I approve! Gale had this eerie rythm, haunting strings and an organ that makes you wanna dance! It's definitelly one of a kind To top it off, it practically ditches the major-minor scheme for a more jazzy harmony style.

Whatever, mate. I just find it difficult to feel at all "haunted" or inspired to dance when the torture being plied against those opening strings peels in whenever another set of Viper Manor lanterns feels inclined to defy me. ;) The track does little for me.


You're, like, Mr. Reverse!

Do I face an opposite force? It seems so. An equal one? It remains to be seen. ;)


How can you hate Gale and like X's battle theme?! It's just boring, mundane and sounds as if it was done on one keyboard during a wedding party in the country! It's like bad disco!

I would not say that I "adore" the FFX basic battle theme, but "brass done well" is an occurrence rare enough that anything exhibiting the trait is given some automatic prestige points in my estimation. I found it to be an interesting mix of orchestral and synthetic elements that -- and this is the important part when dealing with a track that can literally start right back up again five seconds after terminating, thanks to the crude sadism of random battles -- does not make me wish to drop the game and read a damned Wiki plot summary. When I do feel in the mood to give the ridiculous complexity of Chrono Cross' plot another playthrough, I do suffer through the minutia that is invariably indicated by "Gale".


I have to agree that Mitsuda's final battle tracks are outstanding, but I still feel like you're not giving Uematsu enough credit in this area. Neo X-Death, Dancing Mad, One-Winged Angel, The Extreme... All are powerful, powerful tracks... Need I say more?

"One Winged Angel" I will give you. As for the rest, you are out of luck; all of them unfamiliar.


OK, first of, I think you're getting a bit ahead of yourself, because we're talking about music here (I think I'm mainly saying this because I think I'd have to agree with you about the whole atmosphere and story thing, but where's the fun in a discussion like that? )

*Shrug* Perhaps the remarks regarding the scenes in the Dead Sea were a bit tangential. Not entirely irrelevant to the discussion (as I was talking about the context into which a specific music track is placed in-game), but maybe it is an expansion of an already sizable discussion that we do not need. :erm:


I did exaggerate when saying I didn't like his area tracks

Apology accepted. :nonono:


- the ones you listed (besides Home Village Arni) are good, but I just must have forgotten about them.

*Smirk* We are preordained to aggravate one another, it seems. :laugh:


The area tracks I meant were stuff like Hydra's Swamp and Gaea's Navel. Most of the less important area tracks seemed to lack imagination...

Granted. "Gaia's Navel" was actually the subject of an unusual quantity of my futile wrath. I made the fateful decision to stop the present playing session after entering the area and defeating the necessary green leviathan, and upon my return, I could not for my life locate the exit. Took. Days.


The area tracks you've listed and I liked are all important area tracks. I guess for Mitsuda it's the same with the area tracks as it is with the battle themes - he tries a lot for the important ones, but seems to lack imagination for the small ones. I don't really think that's a good thing - a balanced soundtrack is a good one, IMO...

*Shrug* Not a "good thing", per se, but certainly worth tolerating in order to hear what Mitsuda really has in store. The question of " the best composer", to my thinking (and I do expect you to flagrantly disagree), is one to be determined by comparing the best work of the parties involved. Not necessarily something so cut-and-dry as "One Winged Angel" vs. "Battle with Magus" or "Fight With Seymour" vs. "World Revolution", but, inevitably, the contest between the composers must be decided in the air, with their most powerful ammunition, rather than in the knife fight on the ground. The minutia counts for something, to be sure, but something like "Gale" fails to reduce my enjoyment of "Corridors of Time", or my esteem for Mitsuda in general, just as the fact that Uematsu produces little that I hate does nothing to change the favor he receives. If nothing else, the valleys are necessary to underscore the enormity of the mountains, and Mitsuda's blunders are somewhat more noticeable than Uematsu's due to the sheer bodies of work involved. Balance is crucial, yes. Inevitably, though, I will be inclined to favor the composer with the highest mountain and a decent balance over the composer who has fewer valleys to mar his record but never quite reaches the loftier heights. Such is my view of the comparison between Mitsuda and Uematsu in general, really.


*sigh* Sadly, you once againg gave the wrong examples. Guadosalam is Nakano's most prominent (IMO) contribution to X's soundtrack, while Besaid is by Masashi Hamauzu (another awesome VGM composer, who doesn't seem to get enough credit, seeing as he wasn't even considered for a debate during the creation of this thread )

. . . Damn it. And you.


Don't really agree... I mean, it is a great final boss track, but it's not really what I'd consider The King of all Final Battle Tracks. I do enjoy it a lot, but I think it gets far too much credit than it deserves...

The Advent Children version is more special than any other, methinks; the way the male and female portions of the choir are pitted against one another (particularly around 4:00 - 4:16) creates an incredibly daunting contrast. One does not often hear male vocals forced to that kind of volume, and it is truly impactive. *_*

*Blinks* We were talking about what, again? :erm:


You learn quick

Not always true. ;) In this matter, though, little "learning" has taken place for several years. I have become more familiar with the work of both composers over time, but after Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, I considered the battle essentially won, and Uematsu has yet to ever subvert that rule. Uematsu is consistently good, and I will say it to whoever cares to listen, but Mitsuda is the unpredictable genius, who is liable to blow you utterly away with some incomparably evocative atmospheric or emotional track (at least whenever he and Kato are put in a room together). The latter type of genius, while he may elicit a little more caution from those seeking to hire him to score a video game, is certainly the more interesting.


However, I still believe Nobuo has had a far greater influence in video game music, spreading even wider than that.

Probably. The extent of one's influence is not directly proportional to the quality of one's art, though. Not to say that Uematsu's laurels are at all unearned, mind you, but Mitsuda has purchased my loyalty with a style and profundity that I have never before seen, and his influence upon me will remain, regardless of whether his industry grants him the same perspective. Again, this question of "the best composer", to me, has to do with the answer to the question "which composer has evoked the most/best from me?", and questions like "how has he influenced others in his industry?" are completely peripheral.


I share your hopes that Mitsuda may one day rise again.

Here's to that, mate. ^_^


Yet, part of me may have to give this to Nobuo. Not because I prefer his work; but because the man has written and arranged a ton of music over the years and most of them are great.

See, this is the sort of statement that confuses me. :laugh: Is not your "preference of his (Mitsuda's or Uematsu's) work" the criterion that matters most? Reducing this debate to the concept of "quality over quantity" may be entirely subjective and perhaps an oversimplification of things, but it is not entirely without merit. Quality must trump quantity, and it is the question of quality that should be addressed -- Uematsu, or Mitsuda? A case could be made for either, but I think that a comparison on those terms is the only one that matters.

Humble opinion, of course. <_< >_>


I'm not as familiar with CC's soundtrack as I would like to be, its one of the few soundtracks that tends to elude me when I go searching for it or its just overpriced when I find it.

Indeed. Acquired it through . . . less legal means, myself, so unless your objections to the idea are explicit, perhaps locating a torrent might be in order?


I do know quite a few tracks though so I am aware of its beauty but I feel its unfair to overlook Xenogears. Its soundtrack is also incredible and serves as the bridge between CT and CC.

Never quite thought of Xenogears in this context. Really can't say whether I agree with it at the moment; I just find it an interesting perspective.


Mitsuda's works on Xenogears creates the foundation for CC's and many of his most beautiful scores that I personally love come from Xenogears, like Bond's Of Sea and Fire, Faraway Promise, Daijiru: City of Burning Sands, One Who Is Torn Apart, and The Beginning and The End

The forever controversial "One Who Bares Fangs At God" bears watching, as well. ^_^


Even his work on Xenosaga is actually quite good, one of my biggest complaints about the game was the terrible use of Mitsuda's work. The game stuck to the same five tracks while the other 20+ tracks are usually only played once and its usually a snippet. Insecurity, Beach of Nothingness, Ormus, and The Miracle are all outstanding tracks that don't get the attention they deserve.

Fully concurred. Personally, I do not even remember the beautifully minimalist and offbeat "Warmth" being played in-game at all. ~_^


I just find it odd that Mitsuda fans are so quick to dismiss the two Xeno soundtracks Mitsuda did. I feel both are on par with the Chrono series, they are only limited by the fans lack of awareness to their existence.

Well, I can honestly say that this is not the case for me. I genuinely feel that the Chrono soundtracks are superior. :laugh:

Slothy
07-09-2009, 11:43 AM
I'm not going to jump into the middle of this debate right now because it's the morning and I have to be at work in 20 minutes so I don't have time to read it all. I will say that looking at their bodies of work that I have listened to (which is quite a bit, though admittedly maybe half of the titles each has worked on), Uematsu has been far more consistent than Mitsuda in my eyes. Even his worst effort in my opinion (FFVIII) had quite a few stellar tracks on it. Mitsuda on the other hand seems to fluctuate between bouts of greatness with Chrono Trigger, to stuff that is bland and doesn't stand out at all like Xenosaga. I do like both of them quite a bit, but Mitsuda isn't always at top form. I don't blame him though since it'd be tough to do his job and come up with amazing soundtracks every single time.

Fynn
07-09-2009, 12:08 PM
Vice Nebulosa... Nobody ever said it was quantity over quality. I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) what Wolf Kanno meant was that they are both amazing composers and it's hard to choose between them, but the fact is that Uematsu has written a lot more than Mitsuda.

You say Mitsuda's better from what you heard in the Chrono series. You have all the rights to do that, of course. But I think you're being a bit unfair judging Uematsu (and Mitsuda as well, for that matter) only on part of his work. The oldschool Fantasies hold his most memorable and classic tracks. Hell, IV's Theme of Love is even taught in music class in Japanese schools! I'm not even going to go into FFVI... Two words - opera scene. IMO, you can't really form an opinion on Uematsu's music without playing at least VI from the older games... Also worth mention is his extensive soundtrack for FFIX. So many tracks and so many incredible, memorable ones... You mentioned "mountains" and "valleys" - I agree for the most part. It just shouldn't be the bad tracks making the good tracks better. Nobuo has a lot of very tall "mountains" with few deep "valleys".

Some tracks from the Chrono series are amazing, but that does not make Yasunori Mitsuda the better composer. Uematsu has written a lot of equally (if not more) amazing soundtracks. When quality is similar, it's quantity that determines the verdict. I believe you're still unfamiliar with Uematsu's tallest "mountains"...

Vice Nebulosa
07-09-2009, 07:33 PM
Vice Nebulosa... Nobody ever said it was quantity over quality. I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) what Wolf Kanno meant was that they are both amazing composers and it's hard to choose between them, but the fact is that Uematsu has written a lot more than Mitsuda.

Which . . . seems to imply that quantity was the deciding factor. :confused: I would really rather not go any deeper into this part of the discussion until more is heard from Wolf Kanno himself; if perhaps I have put words in his mouth already, it is not a problem I would like to compound further.


You say Mitsuda's better from what you heard in the Chrono series. You have all the rights to do that, of course.

Win. ;)


But I think you're being a bit unfair judging Uematsu (and Mitsuda as well, for that matter) only on part of his work.

Think so? As far as Mitsuda goes, I am familiar with most of his work (some of the more obscure independent soundtracks and simpler compositions for handheld systems are things I have never acquired). Less so with Uematsu, but I possess more than enough from each composer to form an "opinion", however open to change as a result of hearing more of Uematsu's work it may be. Granted, it would be nice if everyone who will ever enter this discussion will be casting their vote based upon the identical information (having heard every track ever released by Uematsu, every track by Mitsuda), but it just is not the case. And there are other factors that play into the matter, as well; due to the circumstances in which the music was heard, my mind has served to elevate Mitsuda's soundtracks into an entirely different level of artistry than anything Uematsu has displayed in those soundtracks of his that I do possess. The result is a highly idealized perspective on the Chrono soundtracks that often inspires me to analyze the moods and imagery evoked by the music, and to apply the things gleaned to my perspective on the current universe (in which I reside), or my current existence. For example, I sometimes consider "Corridors of Time" (or the extremely faithful remix by the artist known as bLiNd, called simply "Time Circuits") to be the "theme" of certain of the more "enigmatic" shades of my artistic inspiration.

This attitude tends to yield an enormous gap between composers who are able to inspire me to produce this kind of effort for the sake of their music -- and produce it with some regularity, so as to confirm that the special track in question was not a "fluke" -- and those who do not. The distinction really is that simple: Mitsuda inspires me this way to the highest extent of virtually any composer I have heard, and Uematsu does so to a significantly lesser extent. The ability to compose one decent soundtrack after another and basically become the titan of your industry is, to me, all but irrelevant before the ability to break through the barrier of my expectations for the music and inspire me to start working for it. Uematsu does it occasionally, but he is largely casual listening, while Mitsuda is serious business. :cool:

In summation, it is quite possible that FFVI is the crucial soundtrack which will turn my opinion on its head, but it will have to be Uematsu's crowning achievement by a considerable margin to enter my personal realms where Mitsuda's past work has dominion. It will need to be more than what is reasonable to expect from mainstream video game soundtracks; it will need to surpass its Final Fantasy title, dwarf all other efforts by Uematsu, and leave me blinking and awestruck, a pair of industrial headphones around my head and images raging in my mind -- it will need to touch Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, for God's sake.


The oldschool Fantasies hold his most memorable and classic tracks. Hell, IV's Theme of Love is even taught in music class in Japanese schools!

*Hmp* And last I checked, the standard music literature in North American high schools still included Hans Zimmer's soundtrack to The Lion King. :roll2


I'm not even going to go into FFVI... Two words - opera scene. IMO, you can't really form an opinion on Uematsu's music without playing at least VI from the older games...

"Can't form an opinion because you haven't heard everything Uematsu has written", I could see, but "can't form an opinion because you haven't heard FFVI" is only putting more weight on that already burdened soundtrack. ;) I believe I have addressed the issue sufficiently in above paragraphs, and I still regard my opinion as a perfectly legitimate one. Your move.


Also worth mention is his extensive soundtrack for FFIX. So many tracks and so many incredible, memorable ones... You mentioned "mountains" and "valleys" - I agree for the most part. It just shouldn't be the bad tracks making the good tracks better. Nobuo has a lot of very tall "mountains" with few deep "valleys".

He does.


Some tracks from the Chrono series are amazing, but that does not make Yasunori Mitsuda the better composer. Uematsu has written a lot of equally (if not more) amazing soundtracks. When quality is similar, it's quantity that determines the verdict.

That is the subjective part. I could not conceivably disagree more with the spirit of your above statement (indeed, I instinctively regard the idea that Uematsu and Mitsuda are "similar in quality" as laughable), but that is what our ability to cast our votes for completely opposite poles is for. ;)


I believe you're still unfamiliar with Uematsu's tallest "mountains"...

VI, you say? I will have to keep it in mind, the next time I am interested in listening to something unfamiliar and synthesized . . . :plotting:

Wolf Kanno
07-10-2009, 07:08 AM
*Shrug* Not a "good thing", per se, but certainly worth tolerating in order to hear what Mitsuda really has in store. The question of " the best composer", to my thinking (and I do expect you to flagrantly disagree), is one to be determined by comparing the best work of the parties involved. Not necessarily something so cut-and-dry as "One Winged Angel" vs. "Battle with Magus" or "Fight With Seymour" vs. "World Revolution", but, inevitably, the contest between the composers must be decided in the air, with their most powerful ammunition, rather than in the knife fight on the ground. The minutia counts for something, to be sure, but something like "Gale" fails to reduce my enjoyment of "Corridors of Time", or my esteem for Mitsuda in general, just as the fact that Uematsu produces little that I hate does nothing to change the favor he receives. If nothing else, the valleys are necessary to underscore the enormity of the mountains, and Mitsuda's blunders are somewhat more noticeable than Uematsu's due to the sheer bodies of work involved. Balance is crucial, yes. Inevitably, though, I will be inclined to favor the composer with the highest mountain and a decent balance over the composer who has fewer valleys to mar his record but never quite reaches the loftier heights. Such is my view of the comparison between Mitsuda and Uematsu in general, really.

I will "flagrantly disagree" about your method of choosing the better composer cause your method is too subjective. Case in point is our disagreement over Xenogears/Chrono Cross. How can we compare the best they have to offer when we can't even agree what each composer's best offerings are? While I feel CC is a great soundtrack, I feel Xenogears is better.

Another problem is that in my experience and knowledge; even bad composers and musicians can have one stellar album and if the rest of their work cannot follow, I don't see the point in saying they are "the best" cause how can a truly great composer do one really great work and never live up to it again? This leads me to my one statement which you already touched upon earlier...



Probably. The extent of one's influence is not directly proportional to the quality of one's art, though. Not to say that Uematsu's laurels are at all unearned, mind you, but Mitsuda has purchased my loyalty with a style and profundity that I have never before seen, and his influence upon me will remain, regardless of whether his industry grants him the same perspective. Again, this question of "the best composer", to me, has to do with the answer to the question "which composer has evoked the most/best from me?", and questions like "how has he influenced others in his industry?" are completely peripheral.To be fair, I do feel this matters cause once again, saying who had the most influential to you is too subjective. When you say it like that, I wonder why we should even debate this topic? Because there is no way you could possible get us to understand exactly the same way you do; so debating is kind of a moot point imho. ;)



See, this is the sort of statement that confuses me. :laugh: Is not your "preference of his (Mitsuda's or Uematsu's) work" the criterion that matters most? Reducing this debate to the concept of "quality over quantity" may be entirely subjective and perhaps an oversimplification of things, but it is not entirely without merit. Quality must trump quantity, and it is the question of quality that should be addressed -- Uematsu, or Mitsuda? A case could be made for either, but I think that a comparison on those terms is the only one that matters.

Humble opinion, of course. <_< >_>I should have explained this better. This goes back to your statement about Nobuo always being consistently good (though I'd rather say excellent). I feel this is a major factor though. Many musicians and composers I've listened to can be consistent to a point. Most can be good for a few years, and the really talented (like Mitsuda) can be good for a decade or more; but Nobuo has been consistently excellent for 20+ years now. I can't even think of mainstream artist and musicians who have been able to lay down wonderful and provocative music like that for over 20 years. Most fall into a slump, usually after the second or third album but Nobuo has produced some of the best gaming soundtracks in the minds of fans and critics alike. His library of musical compositions is throughout his history as well, not just a "he was good back in the day but he hasn't been up to par in a decade" nonsense like so many others.

This is why I said Mitsuda can reach this goal cause I feel he's on his way there as well. He's past the ten year mark; I'm sure he will still be lending us beautiful music for another ten. :cool:

I feel longevity and consistency are important in an objective discussion of "best composer" ;)



Indeed. Acquired it through . . . less legal means, myself, so unless your objections to the idea are explicit, perhaps locating a torrent might be in order?I ordered it last night after I found it for a reasonable price. I have a few tracks on my computer (got the bonus CD with my pre-order of the game back in the day) and I have the Square Vocal track which I bought solely for a copy of Radical Dreamers as its one of my favorite tracks from CC. Its been on the list and hopefully next month I can get a copy of the FFIX soundtrack and the complete Persona 3 soundtrack with the full version of Burn My Dread. :cool:



Never quite thought of Xenogears in this context. Really can't say whether I agree with it at the moment; I just find it an interesting perspective.Listen to CT, Gears, and CC back to back or at least a track from each in that order and I feel you will understand what I mean. Xenogears has several musical pieces that feel like expanded CT tracks and other compositions that show Mitsuda's use of complex arrangements he uses for CC... Not to mention he started on his Celtic kick in Gears with tracks like Small Two of Pieces ~ Restored Pieces (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40A8_h9Uj8o&feature=PlayList&p=4BBFDCB7B33491D1&index=43) and Stars of Tears (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtMAQXDhg9Y&feature=PlayList&p=4BBFDCB7B33491D1&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=1)

Really, when you listen to his music back to back and chronological order (pun unintended) you will notice Mitsuda's style and his growth as artist. His music really does build on each other.


The forever controversial "One Who Bares Fangs At God" bears watching, as well. ^_^Damn straight ;)



Fully concurred. Personally, I do not even remember the beautifully minimalist and offbeat "Warmth" being played in-game at all. ~_^I believe its played during the scene where Shion comforts M.O.M.O. after Jr. reveals the truth about Mizrahi. It may have also been played during the Shion flashback where Shion chats with Kevin about KOS-MOS the night before her activation.



Well, I can honestly say that this is not the case for me. I genuinely feel that the Chrono soundtracks are superior. :laugh:We'll have to disagree cause I feel Xenogears was greater than Chrono Cross. Saga is good but its not my favorite style he's used. CT is pure win though. :p


And there are other factors that play into the matter, as well; due to the circumstances in which the music was heard, my mind has served to elevate Mitsuda's soundtracks into an entirely different level of artistry than anything Uematsu has displayed in those soundtracks of his that I do possess. The result is a highly idealized perspective on the Chrono soundtracks that often inspires me to analyze the moods and imagery evoked by the music, and to apply the things gleaned to my perspective on the current universe (in which I reside), or my current existence. For example, I sometimes consider "Corridors of Time" (or the extremely faithful remix by the artist known as bLiNd, called simply "Time Circuits") to be the "theme" of certain of the more "enigmatic" shades of my artistic inspiration.

This attitude tends to yield an enormous gap between composers who are able to inspire me to produce this kind of effort for the sake of their music -- and produce it with some regularity, so as to confirm that the special track in question was not a "fluke" -- and those who do not. The distinction really is that simple: Mitsuda inspires me this way to the highest extent of virtually any composer I have heardI can understand this but I get this feeling from both composers which is why I can't decide who I personally favor. Both composers have made incredible musical scores that inspire and help me with my own creative works. Bonds of Sea and Fire and Epitaph (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hwnlkf7krY) have always been inspirational tracks for me.


In summation, it is quite possible that FFVI is the crucial soundtrack which will turn my opinion on its head, but it will have to be Uematsu's crowning achievement by a considerable margin to enter my personal realms where Mitsuda's past work has dominion. It will need to be more than what is reasonable to expect from mainstream video game soundtracks; it will need to surpass its Final Fantasy title, dwarf all other efforts by Uematsu, and leave me blinking and awestruck, a pair of industrial headphones around my head and images raging in my mind -- it will need to touch Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, for God's sake. I wouldn't go in comparing it to those soundtracks (CT and CC), technology has come a far way and you missed the chance that fans had by being blown away by the complexity and technological achievements that produced this soundtrack. I feel it would be better to listen to FFV, then VI and then listen to VII again to see the growth and major difference between the three compositions. Then afterwards begin an assessment compared to Mitsuda's work. Better to compare the artist to himself before others.

V to me is an experimental OST, Nobuo used it as a means to really immerse himself into the technology and thus the quality of the arrangements vary. Most of the soundtrack is amazing but it still feels like an extension of the older games except with a few surprising tracks like Battle on the Big Bridge, Dear Friends, and Legend of the Deep Forest. These tracks showed Uematsu experimenting with what could be produced with the technology at hand with the SNES/S.FAMICOM. He found a means to create sounds that sounded like instruments (though a bit synthesized) and with this he produced VI's soundtrack which holds a theme and style with every track. This is something you don't see in any of his earlier works but VI was created with an Opera theme and Nobuo utilized his new knowledge to create the VI soundtrack which actually feels like an orchestrated work despite being on the SNES. The soundtrack is much more complex than his previous efforts with a few exceptions and when you listen to VII's OST, you can hear the influences. Aerith's Theme feels like a piece that was inspired more from Aria Di Mezzo Carattere. The VI OST utilized composition techniques and styles not heard any other video game music at its time, Dancing Mad, the final boss theme, is composed as a traditional classical piece with four movements and the entire soundtrack utilizes leitmotifs with a level of complexity and skill not seen at the time.

I just feel bad that you may not see it that way. Part of its splendor came from being there when it was first heard. It really does stand apart from all other soundtracks at its time and it wasn't until Mitsuda did Chrono Trigger that we heard anything on its scale. In fact, it was partly the reason I was drawn to Mitsuda cause until CT no one had composed anything on VI's scale.

From reading Mitsuda's interviews concerning CT's OST. You can actually credit Nobuo more than just his few tracks, he also oversaw the music composition and helped Mitsuda beyond finishing a few tracks. I wouldn't be surprised if Nobuo was the one who showed him how to push the technology to create the musical tracks Mitsuda wanted.




VI, you say? I will have to keep it in mind, the next time I am interested in listening to something unfamiliar and synthesized . . . :plotting:Why settle for just the original? I agree you should listen but also check out the arranged and piano version. Many of Nobuo's older tracks come to life when you hear it on a real instrument. Besides, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't hear the orchestrated arrangement of Aria Di Mezzo Carattere :cool:

Fynn
07-10-2009, 08:03 AM
Phew! Thanks, Wols Kanno, you said basically what I had to say in here ;)

This is the most heated discussion I have ever participated in. I'll just add one thing. VN, you're saying Mitsuda inspires you... An argument for who is more inspiring is arguing wether Mozart or Beethoven is the better composer, or something closer to our era - is Claude Debussy superior to Maurice Ravel.

I'll say that listening to Uematsu's and Hamauzu's (Mitsuda's sometimes, too) inspired me to want to become a composer. Heck, now if I compose something, even though I desperately try for it to be otherwise, it still sounds a lot like Uematsu! :D I amd tired of the major-minor scale system. And yet all these guys use it in a fresh new way - because they're untainted by Bach's evil invention that is diatonic function. Really, how a track feels is all about harmony and the harmonic sense of these guys (Hamauzu's especially) move me. Hamauzu has a terrific sense of harmony (combining elements of impressionism and expressionism), but it's Nobuo's balance between ingenius melodies and beautiful harmonies that makes him the best composer out of the three. His music is the one that moves me the most, and yet I try to be objective in saying why he is the best... I one day hope to become a composer like him...

ReloadPsi
07-10-2009, 07:44 PM
Haven't heard enough of Mitsuda's to give an honest opinion. What little I've heard of his is equally memorable though, so it's a toss-up for me in any case :D

Vice Nebulosa
07-12-2009, 12:15 AM
As a prominent member on my former boards once said: "Jesus frigging Buddha." Mitsuda is losing. :Eek:


I will "flagrantly disagree" about your method of choosing the better composer cause your method is too subjective.

Not certain what you mean. This discussion revolves around a question that has two legitimate answers, and because the only objective "facts" we can work with are statistical (i.e. the size of the composers' respective bodies of work) and have no business being the ultimate deciding factors, only the subjective remains. There exists no objective measuring bar for music, after all, by which Mitsuda might score "7 points " or Uematsu "5 stars". If one wanted to be as objective as possible about this whole discussion, in fact, I would expect such a person to completely limit his analysis to the mechanics -- chord progression, technical flawlessness of countermelodies, etc. -- and I would call him on every reference to how "enjoyable" he finds one piece of music or another, which would betray the objective intentions of his argument. Sure, you have made reference to the irrefutable fact that Uematsu's resumé dwarfs Mitsuda's in terms of size, but so, for example, does the resumé of Britney Spears (:roll2). Until you use some subjective standard of your own to determine that Uematsu's compositions are both numerous and "good", all you have are the numbers, mate.

Just to be clear, I find it perfectly valid that you should use the argument that Uematsu has maintained a high quality of composition for, what, in excess of twenty years, but we should all receive that argument as precisely what it is: an individual perspective on an issue that has no objective resolution.

Mitsuda's music has the greater effect on me, and I prefer it to Uematsu's. That is pretty much the definitive statement of my reasons for casting my vote the way I did. Uematsu was given his shot, and though I love much of the man's work and listen to it regularly, he frankly did not have a photon's chance in a black hole of actually winning. I say this with the intention to belittle Uematsu as little as humanly possible, and elevate Mitsuda. I am willing to discuss other issues, such as the influence the two composers have had on their shared business, or the relative quantities of work they have produced, but they are frankly irrelevant to both my vote and how I justify it; I simply enjoy the discussion, and 'tis the only reason I am still here. ;)


Case in point is our disagreement over Xenogears/Chrono Cross. How can we compare the best they have to offer when we can't even agree what each composer's best offerings are?

Huh . . . Methinks a bit of a misunderstanding is at work here. When I referenced the concept of "comparing the best works of each composer" to determine which one is "better", I meant that this comparison should take place at an individual level; I did not mean to suggest that we (as two individuals, or as a forum) could use that method to come up with an answer with which we would all agree. Such a method does not exist, as far as I am concerned. I simply suggest that the best way for anyone to determine their answer to this thread would be to compare what they perceive to be the best works of each composer. There must be variance amongst individual opinions; it is why there is not a single track from the Xenogears OST that would make my list of "Mitsuda's top twenty masterpieces", and why you are justified in using the whole damned soundtrack, if you wish.


Another problem is that in my experience and knowledge; even bad composers and musicians can have one stellar album and if the rest of their work cannot follow, I don't see the point in saying they are "the best" cause how can a truly great composer do one really great work and never live up to it again?

Ohhh . . . :erm: I may just see where you are coming from now. When I first saw this thread ("who is the better composer?"), I immediately took it to mean "who, in your eyes, has produced the superior music?", to which my unequivocal answer was and is "Mitsuda". Your argument thus far seems to have taken a more literal approach to resemble something like: "who, in your eyes, is better in the business overall?", which could allow for other criteria. If so, then more power to you. Just know that you and I have used very different interpretations of the question to arrive at our answers, and neither of us is likely to agree on a methodology, let alone an actual opinion.


To be fair, I do feel this matters cause once again, saying who had the most influential to you is too subjective. When you say it like that, I wonder why we should even debate this topic? Because there is no way you could possible get us to understand exactly the same way you do; so debating is kind of a moot point imho.

That is a bit on the bewildering side, too. As I say, there are few objective slants one can take on an issue like this, and as such, all I intended to accomplish was an expression of my opinion and explanation/defense thereof as warranted. "Debating" with the intent of changing the opinions of others could not have been further from my mind . . .


I feel longevity and consistency are important in an objective discussion of "best composer"

Fine, but again, unless subjective standards come in at some point, our discussion is not going anywhere. :erm:


I ordered it last night after I found it for a reasonable price.

Beautiful. ^_^


Really, when you listen to his music back to back and chronological order (pun unintended) you will notice Mitsuda's style and his growth as artist. His music really does build on each other.

Pun received. :roll2

I had never considered it quite this way. As far as instrument quality goes, there is certainly a pre-existing evolution arc in place, and now that I think of it, certain Xenogears tracks do bear a sort of latent Chrono Cross aura, but the Chrono Trigger comparison is very much a new one on me. Most interesting . . . Just might have to try it.


CT is pure win though.

Hear. Hear. :frust:


I wouldn't go in comparing it to those soundtracks (CT and CC), technology has come a far way and you missed the chance that fans had by being blown away by the complexity and technological achievements that produced this soundtrack. I feel it would be better to listen to FFV, then VI and then listen to VII again to see the growth and major difference between the three compositions. Then afterwards begin an assessment compared to Mitsuda's work. Better to compare the artist to himself before others.

Aye; there is wisdom in that.


V to me is an experimental OST, Nobuo used it as a means to really immerse himself into the technology and thus the quality of the arrangements vary. Most of the soundtrack is amazing but it still feels like an extension of the older games except with a few surprising tracks like Battle on the Big Bridge, Dear Friends, and Legend of the Deep Forest. These tracks showed Uematsu experimenting with what could be produced with the technology at hand with the SNES/S.FAMICOM. He found a means to create sounds that sounded like instruments (though a bit synthesized) and with this he produced VI's soundtrack which holds a theme and style with every track. This is something you don't see in any of his earlier works but VI was created with an Opera theme and Nobuo utilized his new knowledge to create the VI soundtrack which actually feels like an orchestrated work despite being on the SNES. The soundtrack is much more complex than his previous efforts with a few exceptions and when you listen to VII's OST, you can hear the influences. Aerith's Theme feels like a piece that was inspired more from Aria Di Mezzo Carattere.

Read, understood . . . obviously won’t be doing any agreeing or disagreeing.


I just feel bad that you may not see it that way. Part of its splendor came from being there when it was first heard. It really does stand apart from all other soundtracks at its time and it wasn't until Mitsuda did Chrono Trigger that we heard anything on its scale. In fact, it was partly the reason I was drawn to Mitsuda cause until CT no one had composed anything on VI's scale.

Interesting. See, I only became aware of the video gaming world in general (including, for the most part, soundtracks) in recent years, so I really have missed the proverbial boat on many of the musical experiences that others (including, evidently, you) might regard as “revolutionary”. Indeed, even though I am not at all averse to collecting soundtracks that were created on synthesized instruments, the overwhelming majority of the music on my regular playlists is fully orchestral, simply because sound quality really does begin to matter when one is in the mood to surrender an indeterminate amount of time to simply listening. Even the Chrono Trigger soundtrack, while incomparable in-game, lacks the enormity of sound I prefer to accompany my moods, which is where remixers such as bLiNd, Right Stuff, and OCR’s Chrono Symphonic team are truly invaluable. ^_^ It is a shame that my interest in synthesized music has waned somewhat, but such was inevitable.

Nevertheless, even if it must be presented in synthesized form, I will most assuredly recognize good music when I hear it. And hell, if the FFVI soundtrack is as impressive as testimony indicates, I could certainly exercise my self-given right to make exceptions – “Birth of God” from the FFVII OST, for instance, is a fairly permanent fixture on my Ipod (basically the four gigabytes’-worth “cream” of the 15 gigs “crop”).


From reading Mitsuda's interviews concerning CT's OST. You can actually credit Nobuo more than just his few tracks, he also oversaw the music composition and helped Mitsuda beyond finishing a few tracks.

Eh, the details of that story are known only to Uematsu and Mitsuda; rather futile to theorize about the nature of a relationship when those involved will say no further.


Why settle for just the original? I agree you should listen but also check out the arranged and piano version. Many of Nobuo's older tracks come to life when you hear it on a real instrument.

*Nod* Surely someone has done a decent remix project for every Final Fantasy in existence, and probably several of the pending ones. <_< >_> Or are we talking about an officially released orchestral remake? The latter would be quite an event . . .



Phew! Thanks, Wols Kanno, you said basically what I had to say in here

Careful about the comforts you take, wizard. This is a man who can battle with a weapon in each hand. ;)


This is the most heated discussion I have ever participated in.

Oh, relax. This is not “heated” in the least. Merely three relatively intelligent people having a relatively intelligent discussion.


I'll just add one thing. VN, you're saying Mitsuda inspires you... An argument for who is more inspiring is arguing wether Mozart or Beethoven is the better composer,

Which is precisely the argument I assumed we were having. I assume that you and Wolf Kanno have purchased quarters on the same boat, and you have taken this discussion to include other criteria beyond the question of “whose music is better”?


or something closer to our era - is Claude Debussy superior to Maurice Ravel.

How much ignorance am I putting on display if I admit to never having heard of either one? :D


I'll say that listening to Uematsu's and Hamauzu's (Mitsuda's sometimes, too) inspired me to want to become a composer.

Is this an ambition you have taken to great lengths already? I.e. Are you a composer in some right, or is this one of your desires at present?


Heck, now if I compose something, even though I desperately try for it to be otherwise, it still sounds a lot like Uematsu! I amd tired of the major-minor scale system. And yet all these guys use it in a fresh new way - because they're untainted by Bach's evil invention that is diatonic function.

Easy now. :laugh: This is not an expansion of the discussion that I am all that interested in making, but I will say that Bach was a god in his own right. The mesmerizing effects produced by his heavily layered minor-key organ toccatas and fugues, and the illusion of layers created by certain of his cello suites are quite remarkable. I am not very well equipped for a discussion of mechanical merits of his work, but he was certainly one of the most systematic and meticulous composers ever born, which explains some part of how he was able to produce such a staggering quantity of music in one insignificant little lifetime. He was capable of eliciting the full spectrum of murmurs, cries, and roars from the pipe organ (the lord of all this planet’s assembled instruments) with an unshakably deft hand.


Really, how a track feels is all about harmony and the harmonic sense of these guys (Hamauzu's especially) move me. Hamauzu has a terrific sense of harmony (combining elements of impressionism and expressionism), but it's Nobuo's balance between ingenius melodies and beautiful harmonies that makes him the best composer out of the three. His music is the one that moves me the most, and yet I try to be objective in saying why he is the best...

Well, you fail in the last regard, but the outcome was preordained. ;) Try as you might, the question of “quantity” is the only objective measure one can use here, and any measure of “quality” is subjective right down to its fickle heart. You are as dirty as the rest of us, and you might find it encouraging that no composer was ever “clean”.


I one day hope to become a composer like him...

Here’s hoping, mate. It would be nice if more people on this planet were not satisfied with insignificance. :roll2 But as long as you are idolizing Uematsu, you might as well improve upon him. A decade or so into your prodigious career, if you ever get the urge to write your personal equivalent to Uematsu’s “Prelude” from the FFX soundtrack, resist. :eep:

BlackMoomba
07-12-2009, 07:41 AM
Hi, new to this forum as a whole. This topic/debate is a very interesting one! Seeing other peoples opinions of these two amazing composers. I'll try and add some of my own thoughts to this when it's not 3am :p

Vice Nebulosa
07-12-2009, 09:02 AM
Hi, new to this forum as a whole. This topic/debate is a very interesting one! Seeing other peoples opinions of these two amazing composers. I'll try and add some of my own thoughts to this when it's not 3am :p

Welcome, mate, and please do. :)

*Mitsuda requires your vote, before he wipes this world clean of non-believers.*

Who said that? :mad2: This is a friendly discussion, with no universal repercussions whatsoever, and members should be able to cast their votes without external influence.

Fynn
07-12-2009, 09:42 AM
Case in point is our disagreement over Xenogears/Chrono Cross. How can we compare the best they have to offer when we can't even agree what each composer's best offerings are?

Huh . . . Methinks a bit of a misunderstanding is at work here. When I referenced the concept of "comparing the best works of each composer" to determine which one is "better", I meant that this comparison should take place at an individual level; I did not mean to suggest that we (as two individuals, or as a forum) could use that method to come up with an answer with which we would all agree. Such a method does not exist, as far as I am concerned. I simply suggest that the best way for anyone to determine their answer to this thread would be to compare what they perceive to be the best works of each composer. There must be variance amongst individual opinions; it is why there is not a single track from the Xenogears OST that would make my list of "Mitsuda's top twenty masterpieces", and why you are justified in using the whole damned soundtrack, if you wish.

But you know, going along the same lines, you just might have not found the right Uematsu track, the one that would move you.



To be fair, I do feel this matters cause once again, saying who had the most influential to you is too subjective. When you say it like that, I wonder why we should even debate this topic? Because there is no way you could possible get us to understand exactly the same way you do; so debating is kind of a moot point imho.

That is a bit on the bewildering side, too. As I say, there are few objective slants one can take on an issue like this, and as such, all I intended to accomplish was an expression of my opinion and explanation/defense thereof as warranted. "Debating" with the intent of changing the opinions of others could not have been further from my mind . . .
Oh, there is a lot of objective factors that can decide which music is better. Most of them require a very in-depth analysis, though ;)



Really, when you listen to his music back to back and chronological order (pun unintended) you will notice Mitsuda's style and his growth as artist. His music really does build on each other.

Pun received. :roll2

I had never considered it quite this way. As far as instrument quality goes, there is certainly a pre-existing evolution arc in place, and now that I think of it, certain Xenogears tracks do bear a sort of latent Chrono Cross aura, but the Chrono Trigger comparison is very much a new one on me. Most interesting . . . Just might have to try it.

You'd better! WK has a point and (as I said numerous times before) you're really missing out a lot. However, I recently came across Mitsuda's website... He has a lot of albums as well... So we might as well be missing something that he himself considers his best works... Who knows if they sound more like CT/CC or Xenogears/Xenosaga?



CT is pure win though.

Hear. Hear. :frust:
No one said it isn't before :roll2



I wouldn't go in comparing it to those soundtracks (CT and CC), technology has come a far way and you missed the chance that fans had by being blown away by the complexity and technological achievements that produced this soundtrack. I feel it would be better to listen to FFV, then VI and then listen to VII again to see the growth and major difference between the three compositions. Then afterwards begin an assessment compared to Mitsuda's work. Better to compare the artist to himself before others.

Aye; there is wisdom in that.

More than you know...



Why settle for just the original? I agree you should listen but also check out the arranged and piano version. Many of Nobuo's older tracks come to life when you hear it on a real instrument.

*Nod* Surely someone has done a decent remix project for every Final Fantasy in existence, and probably several of the pending ones. <_< >_> Or are we talking about an officially released orchestral remake? The latter would be quite an event . . .

Oh, you'd be surprised. There are TONS of official arrangements of FF tracks. FF's IV to XI have their Piano Collections. III has an album whose name I can't remember, IV has Celtic Moon, V has Dear Friends, VI has Grand Finale, and I could go on for ages...




Phew! Thanks, Wols Kanno, you said basically what I had to say in here

Careful about the comforts you take, wizard. This is a man who can battle with a weapon in each hand. ;)
I heard that that's one of the worst ways to battle - very impractical. It looks cool, though ;)



This is the most heated discussion I have ever participated in.

Oh, relax. This is not “heated” in the least. Merely three relatively intelligent people having a relatively intelligent discussion.
Fine, if not heated, then intelligent and long. I'm still excited, since there's not a lot of people who want to talk to me here :bounce:



I'll just add one thing. VN, you're saying Mitsuda inspires you... An argument for who is more inspiring is arguing wether Mozart or Beethoven is the better composer,

Which is precisely the argument I assumed we were having. I assume that you and Wolf Kanno have purchased quarters on the same boat, and you have taken this discussion to include other criteria beyond the question of “whose music is better”?
Ah, but people use other criteria to support their opinion on who of the two is better. I don't like Chopin myself much (which is quite ironic, considering the fact I'm Polish) simply because he doesn't move me that much. But when talking to another musician, I can use various arguments concerning his work that are objective...



or something closer to our era - is Claude Debussy superior to Maurice Ravel.

How much ignorance am I putting on display if I admit to never having heard of either one? :D

You know them, you just don't know you know, you know? Debussy's Syrinx is a timeless classic for the solo flute, while Ravel's Bolero is one of the most recognizable musical pieces in the world.



I'll say that listening to Uematsu's and Hamauzu's (Mitsuda's sometimes, too) inspired me to want to become a composer.

Is this an ambition you have taken to great lengths already? I.e. Are you a composer in some right, or is this one of your desires at present?

I said "wanting to become" not "becoming". I compose sometimes, but I still have university ahead of me, so it's still an early plan for me.




Heck, now if I compose something, even though I desperately try for it to be otherwise, it still sounds a lot like Uematsu! I amd tired of the major-minor scale system. And yet all these guys use it in a fresh new way - because they're untainted by Bach's evil invention that is diatonic function.

Easy now. :laugh: This is not an expansion of the discussion that I am all that interested in making, but I will say that Bach was a god in his own right. The mesmerizing effects produced by his heavily layered minor-key organ toccatas and fugues, and the illusion of layers created by certain of his cello suites are quite remarkable. I am not very well equipped for a discussion of mechanical merits of his work, but he was certainly one of the most systematic and meticulous composers ever born, which explains some part of how he was able to produce such a staggering quantity of music in one insignificant little lifetime. He was capable of eliciting the full spectrum of murmurs, cries, and roars from the pipe organ (the lord of all this planet’s assembled instruments) with an unshakably deft hand.
I never said he wasn't a genius (and there's a WHOLE lot more o his work than organ music) I just said diatonic function, while still genius, is evil. It's genius in the way that it's simple and revolutionized the whole sense of harmony in the upcoming ages. The second part is also a bit evil - while the major and minor scales had a decisive role in the history of music, I feel the system's been used up. And people have tried to break up with it ever since the late romantic era. Some were successful and now we have completely new systems that are crucial to further progress of music. And yet, despite the system's retirement, I still find myself unable to free myself from it while composing. It's a system that has tainted our sense of harmony in a way, that to make new music is a great ordeal... But I digress :)




Really, how a track feels is all about harmony and the harmonic sense of these guys (Hamauzu's especially) move me. Hamauzu has a terrific sense of harmony (combining elements of impressionism and expressionism), but it's Nobuo's balance between ingenius melodies and beautiful harmonies that makes him the best composer out of the three. His music is the one that moves me the most, and yet I try to be objective in saying why he is the best...

Well, you fail in the last regard, but the outcome was preordained. ;) Try as you might, the question of “quantity” is the only objective measure one can use here, and any measure of “quality” is subjective right down to its fickle heart. You are as dirty as the rest of us, and you might find it encouraging that no composer was ever “clean”.

Do I fail? My last post was not objective, correct. But up until then I tried to use the most objective arguments. But as I said before, there are a lot more ways one can objectivelly prove which one is better ;)



I one day hope to become a composer like him...

Here’s hoping, mate. It would be nice if more people on this planet were not satisfied with insignificance. :roll2 But as long as you are idolizing Uematsu, you might as well improve upon him. A decade or so into your prodigious career, if you ever get the urge to write your personal equivalent to Uematsu’s “Prelude” from the FFX soundtrack, resist. :eep:

Hey, that Prelude was unique :D I didn't like it much either, but it suited dream Zanarkand perfectly ;)


On a side note, I got Xenosaga. I LIKE the music in there for the most time. I loved the choral piece when controlling Ziggurat 8 - there was this chapel-like location there and the music was just. so. beautiful!. From what I see you just seem to be blinded by Chrono Cross! :tongue:

blackmage_nuke
07-12-2009, 03:43 PM
As much as I love Frog's theme and Corridors of Time, the Final Fantasy VI ending theme was just pure genius.

Wolf Kanno
07-12-2009, 09:09 PM
As a prominent member on my former boards once said: "Jesus frigging Buddha." Mitsuda is losing. :Eek:

Funny enough, I still haven't voted myself. Course I can't bring myself to choose either. ;)



Not certain what you mean. This discussion revolves around a question that has two legitimate answers, and because the only objective "facts" we can work with are statistical (i.e. the size of the composers' respective bodies of work) and have no business being the ultimate deciding factors, only the subjective remains. There exists no objective measuring bar for music, after all, by which Mitsuda might score "7 points " or Uematsu "5 stars". If one wanted to be as objective as possible about this whole discussion, in fact, I would expect such a person to completely limit his analysis to the mechanics -- chord progression, technical flawlessness of countermelodies, etc. -- and I would call him on every reference to how "enjoyable" he finds one piece of music or another, which would betray the objective intentions of his argument. Sure, you have made reference to the irrefutable fact that Uematsu's resumé dwarfs Mitsuda's in terms of size, but so, for example, does the resumé of Britney Spears (:roll2). Until you use some subjective standard of your own to determine that Uematsu's compositions are both numerous and "good", all you have are the numbers, mate.

Just to be clear, I find it perfectly valid that you should use the argument that Uematsu has maintained a high quality of composition for, what, in excess of twenty years, but we should all receive that argument as precisely what it is: an individual perspective on an issue that has no objective resolution.Well, to be honest, Nobuo has critical acclaim and its the basis I would use to determine the quality of said tracks. You go into any thread ans ask which OST he did was the best and I'm pretty damn sure you would get a bloody "war of words" going on as I highly doubt FF fans and critics could determine the best OST and actually agree on it. Yet I would say this inability to determine is a testament to his skill. I feel its a valid reason to say his music overall is "good" without basing it solely on subjective reasoning. Personally, I feel his early tracks are hindered by technology, and his later tracks lack depth and charisma that his middle career had.

Its for this reason that I feel the "Spears" issue doesn't contradict this. Yes she's had more work done than Mitsuda (though looking at his list of contributions I actually feel he's done more than her) but how many are critically acclaimed and truly debated? Her very origins and position in music will probably never allow her to be fully recognized during the prime of her career. She has numbers but I don't think people would seriously debate pitting her against her own peers or greats of the past. I feel Mitsuda vs. Uematsu is far more close than Britney Spears vs. The Beatles. She lacks credibility in the minds of critics whereas Yasunori and Nobuo do not.

Pop music is difficult to debate cause I find it very difficult to remain consistent within it in the minds of the fickle consumer market. But I find the both Nobuo and Mitsuda are consistently (there is that word again) good cause they will always be mentioned in a discussion of game composers so I feel they can be judged as equals.


Mitsuda's music has the greater effect on me, and I prefer it to Uematsu's. That is pretty much the definitive statement of my reasons for casting my vote the way I did. Uematsu was given his shot, and though I love much of the man's work and listen to it regularly, he frankly did not have a photon's chance in a black hole of actually winning. I say this with the intention to belittle Uematsu as little as humanly possible, and elevate Mitsuda. I am willing to discuss other issues, such as the influence the two composers have had on their shared business, or the relative quantities of work they have produced, but they are frankly irrelevant to both my vote and how I justify it; I simply enjoy the discussion, and 'tis the only reason I am still here. ;)I have no real issue for your reasoning. We love things subjectively but I interpreted your discussion with The White Wizard of Finn as you trying to use subjective reasoning to determine the resolution of what I perceived as an objective question. That was my bad though. :sweatdrop: I have no intention of really persuading you differently, I only wish for you to understand where I was coming from when I stated my choice which you yourself perceived as flawed reasoning. ;)



Huh . . . Methinks a bit of a misunderstanding is at work here. When I referenced the concept of "comparing the best works of each composer" to determine which one is "better", I meant that this comparison should take place at an individual level; I did not mean to suggest that we (as two individuals, or as a forum) could use that method to come up with an answer with which we would all agree. Such a method does not exist, as far as I am concerned. I simply suggest that the best way for anyone to determine their answer to this thread would be to compare what they perceive to be the best works of each composer. There must be variance amongst individual opinions; it is why there is not a single track from the Xenogears OST that would make my list of "Mitsuda's top twenty masterpieces", and why you are justified in using the whole damned soundtrack, if you wish.I understand but this brings me back to my real choice. Which is that I cannot determine a clear victor for myself cause I feel the best of each composer in my mind is on equal ground for me. Moving on...



Ohhh . . . :erm: I may just see where you are coming from now. When I first saw this thread ("who is the better composer?"), I immediately took it to mean "who, in your eyes, has produced the superior music?", to which my unequivocal answer was and is "Mitsuda". Your argument thus far seems to have taken a more literal approach to resemble something like: "who, in your eyes, is better in the business overall?", which could allow for other criteria. If so, then more power to you. Just know that you and I have used very different interpretations of the question to arrive at our answers, and neither of us is likely to agree on a methodology, let alone an actual opinion.Point taken and I understand our discussion is purely a misunderstanding.



That is a bit on the bewildering side, too. As I say, there are few objective slants one can take on an issue like this, and as such, all I intended to accomplish was an expression of my opinion and explanation/defense thereof as warranted. "Debating" with the intent of changing the opinions of others could not have been further from my mind . . .Point taken. See answer above. :)



Fine, but again, unless subjective standards come in at some point, our discussion is not going anywhere. :erm:...or objective points, the discussion can go either way as long as we stick to one train of thought. :p



I had never considered it quite this way. As far as instrument quality goes, there is certainly a pre-existing evolution arc in place, and now that I think of it, certain Xenogears tracks do bear a sort of latent Chrono Cross aura, but the Chrono Trigger comparison is very much a new one on me. Most interesting . . . Just might have to try it. Go for it, you can really hear it in some of his marching music like comparing Leftovers of the Dream of the Strong from Gears to Guardia Castle from Trigger. They are different but you can tell he approached both in a simialr fashion. Their intros are pretty spot on but begin to differ when the rest of the instruments get involved and even then you can still notice a few similarities in what he was wishing to achieve with the piece. His softer more melancholy tracks are also good places to notice the growth in his style.



Interesting. See, I only became aware of the video gaming world in general (including, for the most part, soundtracks) in recent years, so I really have missed the proverbial boat on many of the musical experiences that others (including, evidently, you) might regard as “revolutionary”. Indeed, even though I am not at all averse to collecting soundtracks that were created on synthesized instruments, the overwhelming majority of the music on my regular playlists is fully orchestral, simply because sound quality really does begin to matter when one is in the mood to surrender an indeterminate amount of time to simply listening. Even the Chrono Trigger soundtrack, while incomparable in-game, lacks the enormity of sound I prefer to accompany my moods, which is where remixers such as bLiNd, Right Stuff, and OCR’s Chrono Symphonic team are truly invaluable. ^_^ It is a shame that my interest in synthesized music has waned somewhat, but such was inevitable. I only wish to say that my point here is not to discredit your opinion or your personal taste. Rather I wish to get across reasoning behind my own views of the music. I don't know if you have interpreted my words as such but I wish to explain myself more for better clarity. I find it necessary sometimes when I speak to fans who grew up on the newer stuff and easily overlook the older stuff; to speak of the historical significance of some pieces.


Nevertheless, even if it must be presented in synthesized form, I will most assuredly recognize good music when I hear it. And hell, if the FFVI soundtrack is as impressive as testimony indicates, I could certainly exercise my self-given right to make exceptions – “Birth of God” from the FFVII OST, for instance, is a fairly permanent fixture on my Ipod (basically the four gigabytes’-worth “cream” of the 15 gigs “crop”). Glad to hear, I hope you might be able to appreciate his works as I do. Not that I feel it will change your mind. I can tell Mitsuda's impact on you and that's something that is very difficult to stand up to. I only hope you may be able to understand how some of us may have a much more difficult time discenering who we enjoy more. :cool:



*Nod* Surely someone has done a decent remix project for every Final Fantasy in existence, and probably several of the pending ones. <_< >_> Or are we talking about an officially released orchestral remake? The latter would be quite an event . . . As The White Wizard of Finn has pointed out, there are the Piano Collections and the "Arranged Collection (which basically means its the music redone with real instruments or an orchestra). I believe Mitsuda has made a few simialr albums with CT and Gears OST. OCRemix also hase some pretty good stuff as well. Monotone-Infinisty has also done some excellent remixes of the FF tracks (and a few Seiken Denetsu and SaGa games).

Here's a few of my fave examples of remixes:

YouTube - FF2 - Rebel Army (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEzTZMkVREY&feature=related) (Original NES)

YouTube - Nausicaa / FF2 Rebel Army's Theme(Orchestra) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_1rM9fRgFU&feature=related) (Nobuo's arranged version done to Nausicaa)

YouTube - Final Fantasy VI Music - Terra's Theme (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joRZL671Esk) (Original SNES Version)

YouTube - Final Fantasy VI Death On The SnowField Terra's Theme Song OC Remix (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bqVcGEFELM) (OCRemix by AmIEvil)

I'll let you discover the rest yourself. ;)



Phew! Thanks, Wolf Kanno, you said basically what I had to say in here

No problem, its been a fun discussion.



This is the most heated discussion I have ever participated in.

Oh, relax. This is not “heated” in the least. Merely three relatively intelligent people having a relatively intelligent discussion. I agree.


A decade or so into your prodigious career, if you ever get the urge to write your personal equivalent to Uematsu’s “Prelude” from the FFX soundtrack, resist. :eep:I'd say the equivalent of the X soundtrack in general ;)


On a side note, I got Xenosaga. I LIKE the music in there for the most time. I loved the choral piece when controlling Ziggurat 8 - there was this chapel-like location there and the music was just. so. beautiful!. From what I see you just seem to be blinded by Chrono Cross! :tongue:I believe that track is called Ormus. When you get to the Cathdral Ship, you'll hear my favorite music.

Fynn
07-12-2009, 10:49 PM
A decade or so into your prodigious career, if you ever get the urge to write your personal equivalent to Uematsu’s “Prelude” from the FFX soundtrack, resist. :eep:I'd say the equivalent of the X soundtrack in general ;)
Oh, come on now. Composing something comparable to the genius of The Decisive Battle would be a dream come true! ;)

Vice Nebulosa
07-13-2009, 08:18 PM
Well, to be honest, Nobuo has critical acclaim and its the basis I would use to determine the quality of said tracks.

Not going to fly for me, mate. A collection of subjective opinions, no matter how large or brimming with experience and education, says nothing about whether your subjective opinion will come to the same conclusion. Critics are about the least objective source of information imaginable; they make their living articulating their opinions, but their words are no more than that, and even a thousand critics may be "wrong" in your view, if you should happen to disagree with them. I grant you, if an artist is critically acclaimed by the most reputable, intelligent sources, your chances of coming across said artist's work and enjoying it are improved, but it is no guarantee. Credit is seldom placed precisely where it is due, after all; genius may be universally panned by critics out of sheer controversy, and mediocrity may be praised simply because it comes from a particular artist. It is not a perfect system, and though critics have much more objective knowledge of music theory than your average fan, the essence your argument eventually boils down to is: "other people like it, so it is good", and that is a principle with which I will disagree with a flagrancy you have never witnessed. ;)


You go into any thread ans ask which OST he did was the best and I'm pretty damn sure you would get a bloody "war of words" going on as I highly doubt FF fans and critics could determine the best OST and actually agree on it. Yet I would say this inability to determine is a testament to his skill. I feel its a valid reason to say his music overall is "good" without basing it solely on subjective reasoning.

If you already happen to agree with that sentiment, then sure. If the critics flock to something you truly loathe, their acclaim should not even make you flinch before you announce that you believe the music is awful.

I do believe that most of the truly exceptional composers of our species eventually receive the recognition they deserve, but it is oftentimes hard-won, and slow in manifesting. In the meantime, the initial critics are pretty much obligated to call "genius" and "drudgery" on anything the least bit controversial in a dizzying, discordant flurry until the mainstream audience acquires the music and settles the matter somewhat with their sales and downloads. It seems likely (I don't know for certain) that Uematsu has quite a solid critical reception. Objectively, a critic could remark that a particular piece of his music is "intricate". The moment he says it is "beautiful", however, we enter subjective territory, and critics must necessarily describe the personal feelings evoked by an album, so that the audience has some idea of whether they are interested in the genre -- *breathes deeply* -- making critical acclaim valuable, but ultimately as open to interpretation as the music itself. One must hear the music and make up one's own mind, and whatever is determined thereby is the best measure of quality possible. Subjective? Of course. If music were not so, then Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" would be no more potent than a symphony of car horns on an urban street.


Its for this reason that I feel the "Spears" issue doesn't contradict this. Yes she's had more work done than Mitsuda (though looking at his list of contributions I actually feel he's done more than her)

I knew that either you or our resident White Wizard would do the research and say something like this. :eep: ;) I simply summoned the name of the most popular, godawful artist I could think of at the time who seemed likely to have released more music than Mitsuda, but admittedly I was uncertain whether it was actually the case . . .


but how many are critically acclaimed and truly debated?

By who? Her fans and mainstream critics undoubtedly discuss her work to no end, simply because the tart is good business. I hope you do not mean to suggest that the perceived caliber of the critic has some bearing on the music, though?


Her very origins and position in music will probably never allow her to be fully recognized during the prime of her career. She has numbers but I don't think people would seriously debate pitting her against her own peers or greats of the past. I feel Mitsuda vs. Uematsu is far more close than Britney Spears vs. The Beatles. She lacks credibility in the minds of critics whereas Yasunori and Nobuo do not.

Which is all fine and reasonable, but quite far removed from our biggest initial question of "who writes the best music". I have no doubt whatsoever that the opinions of some critics can be altered with currency (the music industry being the viciously polluted thing that it is), and anything passed down in wisdom from such potentially fickle hands must be taken with salt. It may be a contributor, but never a deciding factor.


I have no real issue for your reasoning. We love things subjectively but I interpreted your discussion with The White Wizard of Finn as you trying to use subjective reasoning to determine the resolution of what I perceived as an objective question. That was my bad though.

Not really, to my thinking. We are simply working with different variations of an exceedingly open-ended question. And to claim that only one possible interpretation of a question like this exists would be as ridiculous as . . .

. . . as claiming that Uematsu is Mitsuda's equal. ;)

So yeah; if you wish to consider it "your bad", please do so, but there is no harm done, and I certainly cannot say that you are "absolutely wrong".


I have no intention of really persuading you differently, I only wish for you to understand where I was coming from when I stated my choice which you yourself perceived as flawed reasoning.

Took me a while, but I do believe I comprehend the gist of your thinking now, Wolf. :cool:


I understand but this brings me back to my real choice. Which is that I cannot determine a clear victor for myself cause I feel the best of each composer in my mind is on equal ground for me.

Must be quite a restless position. :erm: When two gods take up arms and unleash melodic wrath on one another, there is bound to be some splash-back on the spectators. *_*


...or objective points, the discussion can go either way as long as we stick to one train of thought.

I have yet to be convinced that objective points alone are capable of settling this issue to any kind of satisfactory degree. Seems like we have reached an impasse of stubbornness. ;)


Go for it, you can really hear it in some of his marching music like comparing Leftovers of the Dream of the Strong from Gears to Guardia Castle from Trigger. They are different but you can tell he approached both in a simialr fashion.

And . . . there are also some significant precursors to Xenosaga I in the Xenogears OST, notably "Gathering Stars in the Night Sky", compared to the opening of "Warmth". Both terribly affectionate pieces; I like it. :(


I only wish to say that my point here is not to discredit your opinion or your personal taste.

Never got that impression; no worries.


Glad to hear, I hope you might be able to appreciate his works as I do. Not that I feel it will change your mind. I can tell Mitsuda's impact on you and that's something that is very difficult to stand up to.

To say the least of it. ^_^ I am assuming Mitsuda addiction is not out of the question, and if so, I am most likely afflicted. :D Cannot smoke this substance, though; this stuff must be injected directly into the cerebrum.


I only hope you may be able to understand how some of us may have a much more difficult time discenering who we enjoy more.

*Nod* I hear you. Did you ever end up casting a vote, by the way?


As The White Wizard of Finn has pointed out, there are the Piano Collections and the "Arranged Collection (which basically means its the music redone with real instruments or an orchestra). I believe Mitsuda has made a few simialr albums with CT and Gears OST. OCRemix also hase some pretty good stuff as well. Monotone-Infinisty has also done some excellent remixes of the FF tracks (and a few Seiken Denetsu and SaGa games).

Here's a few of my fave examples of remixes:

Very cool. ^_^ I will make a point of listening to your suggested tracks in the near future. Operating on a dial-up connection here, and I do not quite have the needed time to load them all up (taking my elder brother out for a meal in honor of his second completed decade of existence, if the details are of merit). Soon, though, no doubt.


I'd say the equivalent of the X soundtrack in general

You did not just debase "Auron's Theme", "Fight With Seymour", and "Servants of the Mountain". :nonono:


Oh, come on now. Composing something comparable to the genius of The Decisive Battle would be a dream come true!

:eep:



. . . You know what, see you both in Tartarus.

Wolf Kanno
07-14-2009, 08:00 AM
Not going to fly for me, mate. A collection of subjective opinions, no matter how large or brimming with experience and education, says nothing about whether your subjective opinion will come to the same conclusion. Critics are about the least objective source of information imaginable; they make their living articulating their opinions, but their words are no more than that, and even a thousand critics may be "wrong" in your view, if you should happen to disagree with them. I grant you, if an artist is critically acclaimed by the most reputable, intelligent sources, your chances of coming across said artist's work and enjoying it are improved, but it is no guarantee. Credit is seldom placed precisely where it is due, after all; genius may be universally panned by critics out of sheer controversy, and mediocrity may be praised simply because it comes from a particular artist. It is not a perfect system, and though critics have much more objective knowledge of music theory than your average fan, the essence your argument eventually boils down to is: "other people like it, so it is good", and that is a principle with which I will disagree with a flagrancy you have never witnessed. ;)

My point is that I feel majority does count in terms of choosing an objective opinion. The fault of arguing from a subjective opinion is that there is no real way to have leeway for compromise. Our discussion being a case in point ;).

I feel its possible to have an objective opinion of a topic and a subjective opinion and both being different. Case in point: FFVI is my favorite FF game but were I asked to discern what I felt would be the best FF from an objective standpoint, I'd actually say IX as I feel it caters the best to the majority. Granted, a bit of my subjective opinion does come to play in my choice but due to having less of a bias than I would with VI; I am able to debate the finer points and allow myself to be persuaded or to persuade others.

By this example, I feel we could look at non-subjective criteria to discern an answer that can somewhat be agreed upon. In a discussion of subjectivity all we need say is who our fave is and move on as conversation is a moot gesture at this point. :p



If you already happen to agree with that sentiment, then sure. If the critics flock to something you truly loathe, their acclaim should not even make you flinch before you announce that you believe the music is awful.

I do believe that most of the truly exceptional composers of our species eventually receive the recognition they deserve, but it is oftentimes hard-won, and slow in manifesting. In the meantime, the initial critics are pretty much obligated to call "genius" and "drudgery" on anything the least bit controversial in a dizzying, discordant flurry until the mainstream audience acquires the music and settles the matter somewhat with their sales and downloads. It seems likely (I don't know for certain) that Uematsu has quite a solid critical reception. Objectively, a critic could remark that a particular piece of his music is "intricate". The moment he says it is "beautiful", however, we enter subjective territory, and critics must necessarily describe the personal feelings evoked by an album, so that the audience has some idea of whether they are interested in the genre -- *breathes deeply* -- making critical acclaim valuable, but ultimately as open to interpretation as the music itself. One must hear the music and make up one's own mind, and whatever is determined thereby is the best measure of quality possible. Subjective? Of course. If music were not so, then Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" would be no more potent than a symphony of car horns on an urban street.

I feel you've missed my intention on this one. You focus too much on the critics and not on the rest. I also mentioned FF fans... Most agree on Nobuo's talent but not many could agree on his best work. Most of his music is critically acclaimed but I feel the greater emphasis should have been on the fact that all his works have their own strong fanbases behind them. Once again, my point was simply to show that despite my own subjective opinion of Nobuo's work, an objective opinion would show some conviction to his talents.

My only other thing I wish to point out is that Mitsuda is not really an underdog as you would suggest. He is also critically acclaimed and well received by critics, peers, and fans. He is easily one of the top five game composers if not the top three. Hitoshi Sakimoto (composer for FFT, FFTA, FFXII, VS, BoFV, and all of the Ivalice titles) is more of an underdog than either of these two. He has some critical fame and his own fans, but not on the scale of either Nobuo or Mitsuda. This is why I felt it was a fair way to gleam some level of merit in an objective discussion.



I knew that either you or our resident White Wizard would do the research and say something like this. :eep: ;) I simply summoned the name of the most popular, godawful artist I could think of at the time who seemed likely to have released more music than Mitsuda, but admittedly I was uncertain whether it was actually the case . . .

By who? Her fans and mainstream critics undoubtedly discuss her work to no end, simply because the tart is good business. I hope you do not mean to suggest that the perceived caliber of the critic has some bearing on the music, though?

I don't know where you have been latley but I don't remember Spears ever receiving anything remotely close to critical acclaim by critics or her peers. Even when they do, most say so in past tense. I'm sure she has fans who feel she's the greatest thing ever but her music would hardly stand the test of time like others. :p

I don't feel the critic has much bearing, it can be used as a guideline but personally I feel majority is also important for an objective discussion of such topics. At the end of the day, subjectivity wins out but you can't come to a compromise either.


Which is all fine and reasonable, but quite far removed from our biggest initial question of "who writes the best music". I have no doubt whatsoever that the opinions of some critics can be altered with currency (the music industry being the viciously polluted thing that it is), and anything passed down in wisdom from such potentially fickle hands must be taken with salt. It may be a contributor, but never a deciding factor.

Considering most self proclaimed "professional" critics would never lower themselves to critiquing a game soundtrack (too busy with that Miley Cyrus Greatest Hits album :roll2) I really feel that we won't need to worry about critics being swayed through money. More of their own subjective opinion really. If I was to argue how they could be invalid, its only for listening to the music by itself instead of enjoying it for its purpose as an OST. If they have played the game, obviously subjectivity can sway their vote as well depending on how they felt about the game. Yet, I find a fairly good, level-headed reporting of the music. Its only when fans critique that I feel it should be taken with a lot of salt.



Not really, to my thinking. We are simply working with different variations of an exceedingly open-ended question. And to claim that only one possible interpretation of a question like this exists would be as ridiculous as . . .

. . . as claiming that Mistsuda is better than Nobuo, no questions asked. ;)

Fixed it for you ;)



Must be quite a restless position. :erm: When two gods take up arms and unleash melodic wrath on one another, there is bound to be some splash-back on the spectators. *_*


I find myself often debating about what I feel is absolute for my own terms so I'm quite used to the restlessness it causes. Look at the "Favorite RPG" Thread. I only listed a few of what I felt earned the top spot. :cool:



I have yet to be convinced that objective points alone are capable of settling this issue to any kind of satisfactory degree. Seems like we have reached an impasse of stubbornness. ;)

Objectivity can never lead to truth, all it can do is settle the question until the next person asks it.



And . . . there are also some significant precursors to Xenosaga I in the Xenogears OST, notably "Gathering Stars in the Night Sky", compared to the opening of "Warmth". Both terribly affectionate pieces; I like it. :(

Quite true. You really can listen to his art grow and expand as you listen to his works back to back.



To say the least of it. ^_^ I am assuming Mitsuda addiction is not out of the question, and if so, I am most likely afflicted. :D Cannot smoke this substance, though; this stuff must be injected directly into the cerebrum.

Good stuff usually does. :cool:



*Nod* I hear you. Did you ever end up casting a vote, by the way?


No, I haven't. I would be lying to myself if I made a choice.



Very cool. ^_^ I will make a point of listening to your suggested tracks in the near future. Operating on a dial-up connection here, and I do not quite have the needed time to load them all up (taking my elder brother out for a meal in honor of his second completed decade of existence, if the details are of merit). Soon, though, no doubt.

I remember the days of dial up... No worries, I just hope I picked some good tracks that might pique your interest to listen to more.



You did not just debase "Auron's Theme", "Fight With Seymour", and "Servants of the Mountain". :nonono:

Yes. Yes I did. ;)



Oh, come on now. Composing something comparable to the genius of The Decisive Battle would be a dream come true!

:eep:



. . . You know what, see you both in Tartarus.

I like Tartarus, it allows me to shoot myself in the head and release my inner demons :D

JKTrix
07-14-2009, 08:08 PM
Koichi Sugiyama plz.

If I had to choose between these two though, I think I'd say I know more Mitsuda songs I like than Uematsu songs I like. Nothing particularly deep about my decision there.

Rocket Edge
07-29-2009, 09:06 PM
Although I find Mitsuda's work excellent, my heart will always lie with Uematsu. The guy is a god in my eyes, so I will always hold him in higher regard.

Lazy Bovine
08-05-2009, 06:02 PM
While Uematsu has made a ton of timeless music, there are a few tracks where I'm like, "Ehhhh..."

On the other hand, Every song I've heard on the Chrono games, I was like, "Oh, wow."

Gotta go with Mitsuda.

Crimson
08-05-2009, 08:35 PM
Gotta be Uematsu, I mean, I loved Chrono Trigger, game and music, but Uematsu.....man, he's just made so many timeless classics.

Rodarian
08-08-2009, 09:16 AM
Uematsu-sempai Ai :bou::bou::bou::bou:eru.....

King Edgar
11-06-2009, 07:46 PM
Mitsuda is more interesting to me, but that's because he has a smaller body of work than Uematsu, who we've grown accustomed to.

Slothy
11-06-2009, 09:09 PM
While Uematsu has made a ton of timeless music, there are a few tracks where I'm like, "Ehhhh..."

On the other hand, Every song I've heard on the Chrono games, I was like, "Oh, wow."

Gotta go with Mitsuda.

Go play Xenosaga and you'll hear plenty of Mitsuda tracks that make you go "meh." :D

Huckleberry Quin
11-07-2009, 12:23 AM
God, I just saw this thread, and felt (with an embarrassing quantity of haste and excitement :erm:) that I had to cast in my lot with Mitsuda before . . . I don't know -- before any more universal decay took place, or something. :laugh:

Anyway, one humble vote for Yasunori Mitsuda. Mitsuda for President -- for King, perhaps. *Listens dispassionately to cries of "You don't vote for kings!", followed shortly by a gunshot* You know what, Mitsuda for God. :plotting:

To briefly discuss the choice being made here, these are two composers with extremely disparate styles and resumés who, while they both endeavor to cover the wide range of moods necessitated by a high-end RPG soundtrack, undeniably specialize in certain areas. Uematsu, for example, really shines when it comes to the standard battle themes that are not necessarily the "epic final battle tracks" (an area where, I find, Mitsuda rarely finds the ideal balance between complexity and ferocity, with the odd exception such as "Fuse" from the Xenogears soundtrack, or, at least for a while, "Battle" from Xenosaga I). Oh, Mitsuda is brilliant as far as the godlike battles are concerned ("Battle with Magus", "World Revolution", and "Dragon God" from the mainstream Chrono soundtracks), but his basic battle tracks ("Battle 1" from Chrono Trigger, and "Gale" and "The Brink of Death" -- technically a boss battle track, but fairly common -- from Chrono Cross), which one spends a decent portion of the game listening to looping ad infinitum, tend to lack the fluidity with which Uematsu constructs his battle themes. "Fighting" from the FFVII soundtrack is a damned addictive piece that I do not particularly mind hearing for extended periods of time, whereas Chrono Cross' "Gale" gets rather annoying. *_*

Uematsu and Mitsuda are able to share a similar pedestal of glory in terms of the epic battle themes, methinks, as tracks like "One Winged Angel" (preferably the Advent Children version, but anything fully orchestrated will do) and, to a lesser extent, "Fight With Seymour", are able to hold their own against Mitsuda's counterparts in virtually any comparison.

That being said, Mitsuda's overwhelming advantage is in the eloquent speaking of a language in which Uematsu merely dabbles. Mitsuda is an atmospheric composer, whose ruthless precision and skill positively blazes in immersive environmental pieces and profoundly sentimental tragedy/farewell tracks. Certainly Uematsu can elicit an emotion from the player (I would cite "Wandering" from the FFX soundtrack as among his best despondent tracks that also creates an ambience in the in-game environment), and he has plenty of experience in wielding the piano and individual strings/woodwinds as a minimalist approach to capturing emotional drama. However, nothing in his impressive body of work that I am aware of can do more than flutter beneath the soaring beauty of Mitsuda once the latter decides to mock your composure and manipulate your emotions like the instruments he commands. "Corridors of Time", "Chrono Trigger (part 2)" and "To Far Away Times" from the Chrono Trigger soundtrack, and "Life ~ Faraway Promise", "Time of the Dreamwatch", and "Dream's Creation" from Chrono Cross are some of the most profoundly evocative, influential pieces of music I have heard to date, and no other composer -- from any genre or era, forget Nobuo Uematsu -- has exceeded him on those terms in my eyes.

It is a shame that the Xenosaga I soundtrack fails to really measure up to Mitsuda's earlier work. :( If he ever gets his hands on the London Symphony Orchestra again, here's hoping that it is on a thoroughly recharged battery of inspiration for the third canon installment of the Chrono series.

Did it again. :eep: Just so everyone is aware, I do not begin these posts with the explicit intention of embarking on a prolonged ranting rampage. Just tends to happen. But a Mitsuda rave is needed sometimes. :erm:

If I'd read this before voting, I probably would have voted Mitsuda just as a tribute to this literary work of beauty. But alas, FF9 took my heart a long time ago and, though many wonderful pieces have come up, it has yet to let me go.

Christmas
11-07-2009, 01:10 AM
I prefer Nobuo. The battle themes in the FF series really got me into music!

Barraza
11-10-2009, 05:34 AM
I only skimmed the thread, so I promise to go back and read the "counter-counter arguments" in detail. Mitsuda v. Uematsu is a debate close to my heart.

The bombastic themes of Uematsu versus the quiet sentimentalism of Mitsuda is really a difference in games, and it's hard now to divorce the music of one from the other. That being said, it's hard to really judge who is better; they both make very different musical tracks.

So, as a purely personal opinion: Mitsuda, because I like his celtic leanings and wide repretoire of sounds. Sara's Theme from Chrono Trigger is one of the most unique musical tracks in a game... or at least, was. Uematsu is first-rate, but very much a standard Romantic.

But, in terms of who I'd sleep with more, it's Uematsu. Mitsuda looks like a scary witch.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Yasunori_Mitsuda.jpg

The Man
11-17-2009, 11:03 AM
I can't say I prefer one over the other in terms of quality, but I'd have to give the nod to Nobuo just for the sheer volume of his output. Though if I had to rank game soundtracks, Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger would be at or near the top. (Then again, so would FFVI and FFIX).

Fynn
11-17-2009, 11:38 AM
I only skimmed the thread, so I promise to go back and read the "counter-counter arguments" in detail. Mitsuda v. Uematsu is a debate close to my heart.

The bombastic themes of Uematsu versus the quiet sentimentalism of Mitsuda is really a difference in games, and it's hard now to divorce the music of one from the other. That being said, it's hard to really judge who is better; they both make very different musical tracks.

So, as a purely personal opinion: Mitsuda, because I like his celtic leanings and wide repretoire of sounds. Sara's Theme from Chrono Trigger is one of the most unique musical tracks in a game... or at least, was. Uematsu is first-rate, but very much a standard Romantic.

But, in terms of who I'd sleep with more, it's Uematsu. Mitsuda looks like a scary witch.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Yasunori_Mitsuda.jpg

Well, you can't call Nobuo a Prince Charming either.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/30/Nobuo_Uematsu.jpg

P4ine
11-17-2009, 03:06 PM
without peer uematsu

Zeromus
11-17-2009, 08:40 PM
I don't know how to vote, I think they are both great and I like them both the same way =/...