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Thread: Most underrated JRPG score.

  1. #1

    Default Most underrated JRPG score.

    What's the least appreciated OST for you out of the JRPG canon? Is it from a favourite game that is just too often overlooked, or is it from a game that might have been weaker overall but snuck in some great lesser-known music?

    For me Mother 3 is underrecognized because it has some pretty unique influences for the genre (salsa, etc), and because it manages to get as much as possible out of the limited GBA sound hardware. It also adds to the rhythm combo mechanic in the random battles - this is one of the few times I've been really engaged in typical turn-based combat, especially because keeping the beat to battle themes with so much variety is pretty fun.

    Listening to the later soundtrack versions with higher-quality samples really reveals the depth of work that went into creating this soundtrack, and the live versions in particular of the DCMC songs are really fun to listen to. Shogo Sakai brought a great new approach to the series and didn't try to emulate Earthbound's iconic OST - and as a result we got one of the most underappreciated, but enjoyable soundtracks in the genre.

  2. #2
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Was having this discussion with Karifean the other week. For me, it would have to be Wild Arms 1 by the underrated Michiko Naruke. Great soundtrack that really doesn't get as much love outside of the opening theme like it should.

    Alone in the World

    From Anxiety to Impatience

    Lamenting and a Promise

    This should make Fynn happy, but Musashi Hamzu's score for Unlimited Saga is often considered the only good thing about the game and while that title is on the back burner for me, I've listened to enough of it to say I agree.

    The Seven Travelers

    Battle Theme 1

    Vent's Theme

    Finally, I have to give a shout out to Tomoki Miyoshi's score for I am Setsuna

    Loss

    Warmth/Waves of Hope

    Eternal Winter/Winter Journey's Tale
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    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    Yay Hamauzu! Everything he does is severely underrated. Heís got an incredibly distinct style.

    Iím gonna go a bit less hipster here and say FFV. While FF generally has music thatís well-respected, Vís OST often gets glossed over because people are too busy raving about IVís (which is OK but nothing to really write home about imo) and VIís (which is admittedly excellent), while in fact Vís OST is nothing short of stellar, with a ton of very well-orchestrated tracks that all have this really unique atmosphere.

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    Witch of Theatergoing Karifean's Avatar
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    Literally every Falcom OST ever. But especially the Oath in Felghana one which is incredible even for their standards.

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    Not a traditional JRPG but Secret of Evermore’s music was awesome.

  6. #6

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    I don't know. Breath of Fire games maybe? They're not particularly acclaimed for their music, but it's often pretty good. I don't really have strong feelings on this subject, because I've never heard anyone trashing the music of a JRPG with music I loved, so it really would be more a matter of a game with great music that I don't hear it mentioned enough, which is kind of a harder thing to notice. I think most games with the best music, it's usually known.

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    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    case in point



    Also, the entire soundtrack to IV is just insanely good. That game really deserves a medal in all things art-related, even if you're not a fan of anything else about it

  8. #8

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    Excellent example. That's definitely one of my favorite boss themes.

  9. #9
    The Alpha and the Omega WarZidane's Avatar
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    This is a very hard question to give one or even few answers to because I love so many JRPG OSTs. For now, though, there's one I want to at least mention in the thread.

    See, usually when I think a JRPG OST is underrated, it's just because the game itself isn't well-known. I'll often see it being acknowledged by people who have actually played the game or at least heard the music.

    Not so, however, for Fire Emblem Fates, which is a relatively well-known game, plenty of people have played it, it's part of a Nintendo franchise that has increased in popularity. I *never* see people acknowledging Fates' music. I don't know, maybe it's because the 3DS speakers are bad so they don't do the score justice.

    Example of Fates music

    Amusingly I don't like the actual game at all.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by WarZidane View Post
    This is a very hard question to give one or even few answers to because I love so many JRPG OSTs. For now, though, there's one I want to at least mention in the thread.

    See, usually when I think a JRPG OST is underrated, it's just because the game itself isn't well-known. I'll often see it being acknowledged by people who have actually played the game or at least heard the music.

    Not so, however, for Fire Emblem Fates, which is a relatively well-known game, plenty of people have played it, it's part of a Nintendo franchise that has increased in popularity. I *never* see people acknowledging Fates' music. I don't know, maybe it's because the 3DS speakers are bad so they don't do the score justice.

    Example of Fates music

    Amusingly I don't like the actual game at all.
    I've got some pretty good headphones I use with handhelds, because yeah the external speakers tend to be crappy. And yeah Fates did have a pretty solid OST.

    Has anyone noticed though that a lot of JRPG OST's are getting pretty formulaic at this point? Like you always have at least one song (sometimes many) where there's that typical one long note - few more descending notes - up a bit - then two quick high notes progression (I guess this is due to Uematsu? or was this already used a lot n Japanese composition?)

    Some examples:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFiEi5in8E4&t=0m22s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wIZJs5SuV8&t=0m52s
    ascending note variation

    then you have the time-honored two-note melody resolution (very prominent in Ys VIII):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvBla5NUlvk&t=2m10s

    and now - the "secret Shoji Meguro chord progression"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2t_Itshoso8&t=0m34s

    4-chord variation

    my favourite
    Last edited by Vincent, Thunder God; 08-03-2019 at 02:17 PM.

  11. #11
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    Iím personally fan of the signature Meguro final chord, which can be clearly heard in this one, for example:


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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Another that comes to mind for me is Xenogears' score. Okay, so Yasunori Mitsuda is an excellent composer and old school fans lavish praise onto CT's score, while PlayStation era fans laud CC's score, but very few ever mention the middle child in all of this progression that is Xenogears beautiful score.

    Melkaba

    Bonds of Sea and Fire

    The Treasure Which Cannot be Stolen

    Suikoden's music is also underrated, though I would agree its not quite up to par with some of the other greats.

    Main Theme Arranged ~Ensemble

    Touching Theme

    As for some of Uematsu's overlooked works, I feel FFIII and frankly most of the NES entries get shortchanged by the fans.

    Eternal Wind

    Aria's Theme

    Pandemonium

    Rebel Army

    His work with Mistwalker has also not been bad either...

    The Maker's Beckoning

    Lying in Wait

    A Dream of Sarah

    High Sky (Instrumental)
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  13. #13

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    To name a couple:

    Last edited by Example; 08-09-2019 at 08:33 AM.

  14. #14
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    The problem I have with Xenogears' soundtrack is that it is incredibly hit or miss. It has some of Mitsuda's absolute best tracks, but then some of the tracks are his absolute worst and make my ears bleed. It's a wild ride, to be sure.

    (also, never been a fan of Flight. Like, at all)

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    The Alpha and the Omega WarZidane's Avatar
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    Octopath Traveler's soundtrack is another one. It actually took me a while before I listened to it and appreciated it, too, but now it's one of my favorite soundtracks from the last few years. I look forward to what Yasunori Nishiki composes in the future, since he's practically just starting out.

    Main theme

    Primrose's theme

    Sunlands theme

    The One They Call the Witch (One of my favorite boss themes ever)

    Ending Theme (I really like how this one is, officially, exactly 8 minutes and that it goes through the musical theme of all 8 characters' starting lands before finally finishing with the main theme)

    I had to limit myself to just 5 examples but really, give the entire OST a listen if you haven't.

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