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Thread: Square vs. the World

  1. #16
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    I'd say Blizzard are fairly on-par with them in the soundtrack department. Might not have the sheer quantity due to having less games, but their soundtracks are always top notch.


  2. #17
    Recognized Member Jessweeee♪'s Avatar
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    For a little while it looked like Atlus might take the crown with the Persona OSTs, then Soken busts out with Shadowbringers and Square is still king

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    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessweeee♪ View Post
    For a little while it looked like Atlus might take the crown with the Persona OSTs, then Soken busts out with Shadowbringers and Square is still king
    I've actually talked about this a little in Discord, but I somehow feel that Shoji Meguro is both incredibly overrated and underrated at the same time. Yeah, the Persona 5 OST is undeniably great, but I don't think it is such a humongous achievement as most people on the internet seems to think while also completely ignoring the fact that Meguro is just an incredibly versatile composer. You've got the Personas with their pop influence, hard rock and techno in Digital Devil Saga and Nocturne, more jazzy vibes in Devil Summoner and, of course, Strange Journey, in which he proved he can actually make a very fulfilling orchestral score to a DS game. That choir haunts me to this day.

  4. #19
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Well after listening to quite a bit of the music from Falcom, I feel I can say a few things about the matter. Now granted I'll point out the established issue of music being subjective, and further point out that it's difficult to appreciate a soundtrack piece without context. Overall, its not bad, but definitely not my thing. I can definitely tell you two love high octane upbeat music cause that was like 98% of what I listened to, which is probably why only a few tracks really stood out to me when they subverted that expectation. I bet you two love Metal music don't you?

    What follow is a critique of why I don't personally care for the music, it has nothing to do with looking down on the music itself or people's taste cause "different strokes for different folks" and all that. So don't take any of this personal.

    The soundtracks are way too homogeneous for my taste and I kept getting more and more disappointed the further I went in listening as they started to sound way too familiar, not helped by the music teams heavy preference for electric guitars, violins, and piano. I would be curious to see them try to build a soundtrack that restricted them from using these three instruments. Most disappointing for me was how often they would start a track that I'm guessing is either the penultimate boss fight or some major story battle which would start with a cool choral piece and then quickly segue into a thrash metal guitar piece. It was cool the first couple times I heard a track do it, but it really feels like most of their music does this to some degree with the only changes being whether the driving instrument was a guitar, piano or violin.

    The Trails games have a very heavy anime style to their music pieces as well, very reminiscent to Yuki Kaijuro's style in some places as I was really getting a .hack/Xenosaga vibe from the soundtracks. Another issue I had was that I do feel a lot of the music is a bit overproduced. This became really apparent when I got to some of the non-Trails/Ys OSTs that were still stuck in their original sound format. I kind of liked those tracks better despite the fact I could tell the melodies and instrumentation followed the same patterns as more modern tracks, they just felt a bit better because the main melody didn't get lost in the production value of the later pieces that really have a "be epic or don't bother" mentality to them.

    The one element that did a lot of damage for me personally with my thoughts on the pieces presented was realizing how many of these tracks would work well in a supernatural anime series where the scene kind of goes like this:

    Bad Guy: You foolish heroes, you never stood a chance against us!
    Lead Female: Sepai watch out! Kyaaa! (group gets blasted by energy beam, Sepai stands up)
    Senpai: I won't let the Dolemite Empire win!"
    Bad Guy: Do you really feel that your Grubular Engine Power can stand equal to mine and the mighty Dolemite Empire!? (Charges up and blast hero down) Now I'll finish off your friends and be done with this.
    (music swells, Senpai gets up with glowing power)
    Bad Guy: Nani?! How can you still be standing? (Music hits the main driving track) Has your Grubular Engine Power obtained Infinitus Maximus? But that's impossible!
    (Senpai proceeds to be thrash the villains as they become a physical god in a glorious beat down fans have been waiting all seasons, the rest of the heroes look on in awe. Senpai lays the smackdown on Bad Guy. The main chunkc of the battle theme plays here)
    Bad Guy: But how?!
    Senpai: Friendship is my power! (takes out villain before collapsing from the use of the power, the track finally comes to a close)

    As soon as I started playing that generic scenario in my head for each track, and realized how absolutely fitting it was for most of them, it killed a abit of my ability to listen to the tracks objectively. I will personally laugh if a lot of them actually do play in some variation of the scene I just described.

    The works are not bad, and you can tell the team designing it knows what it wants and what fans like. Yet the tracks are just not my thing. I need way more variety in my soundtracks to appreciate them and even jumping into the full OSTs posted, I'm not hearing as much as I would like. Not helping things here is that I tend to have a strong aversion to battle themes in RPGs, and that seems to be Falcom's specialty. You can tell Falcom has a very arcade style root with their music, and that is not a bad thing cause people know I love me some classic Capcom and Konami pieces which all fall into the same vein of musical styling as these. I just don't know if I could go a whole RPG listening to this type of music, but that comes down to my personal preferences. Then again, I could see myself changing my mind with a few of these tracks if I had context to the scenes in which they play, so that is a factor. I'm still not against checking out Ys or the Trails series outside of knowing its going to be a huge investment, but I can also say that I don't feel the OSTs are going to be the standout part of the games for me.

  5. #20
    Witch of Theatergoing Karifean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno View Post
    The one element that did a lot of damage for me personally with my thoughts on the pieces presented was realizing how many of these tracks would work well in a supernatural anime series where the scene kind of goes like this:

    Bad Guy: You foolish heroes, you never stood a chance against us!
    Lead Female: Sepai watch out! Kyaaa! (group gets blasted by energy beam, Sepai stands up)
    Senpai: I won't let the Dolemite Empire win!"
    Bad Guy: Do you really feel that your Grubular Engine Power can stand equal to mine and the mighty Dolemite Empire!? (Charges up and blast hero down) Now I'll finish off your friends and be done with this.
    (music swells, Senpai gets up with glowing power)
    Bad Guy: Nani?! How can you still be standing? (Music hits the main driving track) Has your Grubular Engine Power obtained Infinitus Maximus? But that's impossible!
    (Senpai proceeds to be thrash the villains as they become a physical god in a glorious beat down fans have been waiting all seasons, the rest of the heroes look on in awe. Senpai lays the smackdown on Bad Guy. The main chunkc of the battle theme plays here)
    Bad Guy: But how?!
    Senpai: Friendship is my power! (takes out villain before collapsing from the use of the power, the track finally comes to a close)
    Yup, if you want me to sum up what I consider to be the company's greatest strength it's that Falcom fully embraces these kinds of anime tropes without being ashamed of them and just pushes them to being the best they can be. And it's hard to argue with it when they really do end up producing some of the best games ever.

    And that is reflected in the music as well. It does essentially come down to the fact that Falcom's style of music is heavily to my tastes, and since it's a company that knows what it does well and does it to near perfection, it's hardly a surprise it rises to the top of my list. And as homogenous as they may be to you I still find myself cycling through several different OSTs to whatever the mood may fancy.

    Comparatively, Square has some more varied OSTs sure, but it's more their outliers like the Final Fantasy VIII OST that I really love, while finding their average ones (like, well, the entire rest of the FF series) to be good but just ultimately not rising to the heights of the average Falcom OST. Not exactly someone I can give the consistency award to.

  6. #21
    The Alpha and the Omega WarZidane's Avatar
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    ...Although I have to add, that while Falcom does embrace tropes and does great with them, they don't quite go for that specific scenario.

    Also, while I can see why someone would call their soundtracks homogeneous, there's definitely enough of a difference between them to me. I'll pick a different OST depending on what I feel like, and if I listen to a track I'll immediately know which specific game it's from.

    Unlike, say, Tales soundtracks (or anything by Motoi Sakuraba really) where I wouldn't be able to tell you which game the music is from if my life depended on it.

  7. #22
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karifean View Post

    And that is reflected in the music as well. It does essentially come down to the fact that Falcom's style of music is heavily to my tastes, and since it's a company that knows what it does well and does it to near perfection, it's hardly a surprise it rises to the top of my list. And as homogenous as they may be to you I still find myself cycling through several different OSTs to whatever the mood may fancy.

    Quote Originally Posted by WarZidane View Post

    Also, while I can see why someone would call their soundtracks homogeneous, there's definitely enough of a difference between them to me. I'll pick a different OST depending on what I feel like, and if I listen to a track I'll immediately know which specific game it's from.

    Unlike, say, Tales soundtracks (or anything by Motoi Sakuraba really) where I wouldn't be able to tell you which game the music is from if my life depended on it.
    I'd say a lot of that comes down to understanding the context. The strength of a soundtrack to me is always how well the music invokes the scene or place it takes place in. It's why I've always felt that while Chrono Cross is an excellent score, its a poor soundtrack because I rarely found the score synched well with the story. You guys can tell the difference cause I'm sure all those tracks remind you of your favorite parts of the game whereas I haven't played them, so its kind of just me guessing at best where the track plays based on the title. I wasn't surprised the tracks all sound the same to me but are very distinct to you two.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karifean
    Comparatively, Square has some more varied OSTs sure, but it's more their outliers like the Final Fantasy VIII OST that I really love, while finding their average ones (like, well, the entire rest of the FF series) to be good but just ultimately not rising to the heights of the average Falcom OST. Not exactly someone I can give the consistency award to.
    What I find funny about this is the fact that I consider my main issue with VIII's soundtrack is how homogeneous it is as well. The overall score lacks the peaks and valleys of other FF soundtracks. So to me, this just kind of shows where our ideas of what makes a good score work. I really need variety with my tracks and I actually prefer when the score uses a variety of different musical styles and genres which is why I'm not impressed with Falcom's works, whereas their style is your fave thing, so its no surprise that's your jam and butter.

  8. #23
    The Alpha and the Omega WarZidane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno View Post
    Well after listening to quite a bit of the music from Falcom, I feel I can say a few things about the matter. Now granted I'll point out the established issue of music being subjective, and further point out that it's difficult to appreciate a soundtrack piece without context. Overall, its not bad, but definitely not my thing. I can definitely tell you two love high octane upbeat music cause that was like 98% of what I listened to, which is probably why only a few tracks really stood out to me when they subverted that expectation. I bet you two love Metal music don't you?

    [snip]

    The works are not bad, and you can tell the team designing it knows what it wants and what fans like. Yet the tracks are just not my thing. I need way more variety in my soundtracks to appreciate them and even jumping into the full OSTs posted, I'm not hearing as much as I would like. Not helping things here is that I tend to have a strong aversion to battle themes in RPGs, and that seems to be Falcom's specialty. You can tell Falcom has a very arcade style root with their music, and that is not a bad thing cause people know I love me some classic Capcom and Konami pieces which all fall into the same vein of musical styling as these. I just don't know if I could go a whole RPG listening to this type of music, but that comes down to my personal preferences. Then again, I could see myself changing my mind with a few of these tracks if I had context to the scenes in which they play, so that is a factor. I'm still not against checking out Ys or the Trails series outside of knowing its going to be a huge investment, but I can also say that I don't feel the OSTs are going to be the standout part of the games for me.
    (Probably should've addressed this in my previous post rather than making another post, sorry, I can't help but feel like I'm derailing the thread a little )

    Keep in mind there are a lot of slower paced and/or non-battle themes as well, particularly in Trails soundtracks (Ys less so since it's more of an action RPG dungeon crawler series), I did post a lot of battle and dungeon themes because that's what I gravitate to a lot, though I also tried to mix in some of the other types of themes.

    Spot-on with the metal call-out in my case though, that is indeed one of the music genres I love.

  9. #24
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    I started typing out a big spoiler tagged post of various Blizzard track's but it go to about 30 videos and the post preview was basically lagging like crazy at that point.

    So I'm just going to pick one track per game back to the Diablo I (which will still be around 30 odd tracks, but y'know) (EDIT: I lied, and went right back to Blackthorne) and try and avoid the more grandoise/bombastic epics that Blizzard are known for to give a more diverse sample.

    Here we go!
    2018/19 WoW: Battle for Azeroth


    2016/18 WoW: Legion


    2016 Overwatch


    2015 SC2: Legacy of the Void (hard to not go bombastic space opera epic here as that's pretty much the entire soundtrack)


    2015 Heroes of the Storm


    2014 WoW: Warlords of Draenor


    2014 Diablo III: Reaper of Souls


    2013 Hearthstone


    2013 SC2: Heart of the Swarm


    2012 WoW: Mists of Pandaria


    2012 Diablo III


    2010 WoW: Cataclysm


    2010 SC2: Wings of Liberty


    2008-10 WoW: Wrath of the Lich King


    2006-08 WoW: The Burning Crusade


    2004-06 WoW


    2003 WC3: The Frozen Throne


    2002 WC3: Reign of Chaos


    2000 Diablo II


    1999 StarCraft: Brood War


    1998 StarCraft


    1996 Diablo


    1995 WC2: Tides of Darkness/Through the Dark Portal


    1994 WarCraft: Orcs & Humans (Great PC debut, terrible 6 track OST lol)


    1994 Blackthorne



    And, well let's not leave out some of the epic songs

    WoW: Battle for Azeroth


    WoW: Legion


    Overwatch


    WoW: Wrath of the Lich King


    WoW: The Burning Crusade




    The end result of scouring back through nearly 30 years of Blizzard games is that I could easily sit there and listen to their soundtracks all day as much as SQEX ones. Heck, pretty much any single WoW expansion soundtrack is hours of listening pleasure on its own.
    Last edited by Aulayna; 03-28-2020 at 03:12 AM.


  10. #25
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I guess I should share why I love SE's music so much, and why I do feel its library is one of the best in the industry. For now, I'm sticking to non-FF/KH soundtracks since I'm sure we're all familiar with them.

    Mana series
    Secret of Mana
    Fear of the Heavens

    The Oracle

    Trials of Mana
    Where Angels Fear to Tread

    Weird Counterpoint

    Legend of Mana
    Song of Mana ~ Opening Theme

    To the Sea


    SaGa Series
    SaGa 2
    The Legend Begins

    Romancing SaGa
    Lost in the Forest

    Horrible Shadow

    Romancing SaGa 2
    The Seven Heroes Battle

    Last Battle

    SaGa Frontier
    Fight Alkaiser!

    Blue's Theme

    Battle #5

    SaGa Frontier 2
    Besessenheit (Obsession)

    Todesengel]

    Unlimited SaGa
    The Seven Travelors

    Battle Theme 1 I'm sure this is going to sound really familiar to a few FF fans despite never playing this game.


    Front Mission Series
    Front Mission 1
    In Living Memory

    Front Missions 3
    A Promise

    Front Mission 4
    The Durandal


    Parasite Eve
    Parasite Eve
    Theme of Mitochondria

    Femmes Fatales

    Parasite Eve 2
    Forbidden Power (Them for Aya)

    The Depths of Aya's Memory


    Chrono Series

    Chrono Trigger
    Chrono Trigger (Crono's Theme)

    Corridors of Time

    Radical Dreamers
    Epilogue ~ Dream Shore

    Chrono Cross
    Time's Scar

    Radical Dreamers ~ Unstealable Jewel I honestly feel this is one of the best vocal tracks for a game period.


    Xenogears
    Bonds of Sea and Fire

    The One who is Torn Apart


    Treasure of the Rudras
    The Quest for Rudras Mines

    Under World


    Brave Fencer Musashi
    Vambee Church Battle

    Topo's Groove Heaven


    Threads of Fate
    Mint Steps Stealthily

    Rue's Finale


    The Bouncer
    Sion Barzhad's Theme

    Volt Krueger's Theme


    Einhander
    Assault

    Bloody Battle


    Vagrant Story
    Lea Monde is Sealed

    Undercity


    Sorry page. You're going to hate this thread even more as this goes on...
    Last edited by Wolf Kanno; 03-30-2020 at 08:06 PM.

  11. #26
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    Of the four Falcom games that Iíve played so far, there was literally one track that stood out to me and actually left an impression:



    Wolf Kanno pretty much summed up my thoughts on the music as well. Though itís not like I need every soundtrack to have music from all across the board, since thereís a lot to be said about a choosing a style and going with it, this music does all blend together for me and doesnít stand out from what Iíd describe as, no offense, ďgeneric anime musicĒ. The heavy metal and heartfelt violins are just something Iíve heard a million times before, which is why to me personally they arenít that appealing. A good soundtrack imo is one that is distinct, on top of actually fitting its gameís tone.


    Now, to add to that extensive SE list WK posted, Iím just gonna say SE wins if only because itís the only game company that has hired Revo


  12. #27
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Blizzard does make some good tracks. Not going to deny that. It has a very Hollywood ambient feel to it which I feel is a really good fir for many of their games. It is a little too ambient for my taste, but again, I'm not exactly a huge fan of the games Blizzard makes, so not like I have any emotional attachment here. It has a bit of the same issue I have with Sakimoto or Hamauzu's scores where it becomes a bit too easy for me to zone out the music after awhile. I ended up listening to a few of the longer tracks because I forgot I was listening to them while I was working on something else. Granted, even soundtracks I adore can do the same thing to me. Not exactly going to try and say that the Guardia Castle theme or Figaro Bros theme keep my full attention and on the edge of my seat when they come on.

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