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Thread: The Place of Music in Video Games

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caostotale View Post
    Yeah, but we can always admire how nice those tits were in the 1990s-2000s, instead of deluding ourselves into thinking that today's implants are better.
    QFTMFW

    Truth, sir. You are a gentleman and a scholar.

  2. #42
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    I have to say no game has been much fun for me without some sort of instrumentation in the background.

    TF2, for example, is cited as a game that would be worse with a soundtrack, but my feeling is the game almost feels like it lacks an atmosphere or something. I don't know what would be appropriate (strings would be out of place) but I do think something would be added to the experience.

    As far as vocals, I haven't played any games that used them well. Even if the words are in Japanese and I can't understand them, they seem ... disruptive. I'm not a big fan of licensed music for the same reason, though hearing a popular techno remix might be a plus in some cases. Feel free to disagree.

    The ONLY time I can think of that having music off was good was in Okami during nighttime, but that was because that made the ambient sounds, such as running water or wind, clearer.

  3. #43
    [Level 4: Cyborg] Electrium's Avatar
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    This topic is timely, considering I was just thinking about how much music makes me enjoy a game. Music won't save a shitty game, but it will make a good game better.

    People will say Uematsu is hyped, but you have to admit the guy has talent. I love the FF13 battle theme, and I'm anxious to hear more. Besaid Island, To Zanarkand, and the FF7 theme are all some of my favorites from him.

    The Halo soundtracks are pretty damn good too. Especially Unforgotten from Halo 2.

    Also, Guilty Gear (instrumentals) are badass. Old school Megaman music never gets old. OH! Tower of Heaven too! It's just one song in different variations but it's still really good.

  4. #44
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    In terms of vocal songs feeling out of place, I agree to an extent, but I think they can make scenes that much more powerful.
    With something like the barely-understandable tracks in the Person series, they fit perfectly and don't feel out of place at all, but I understand why someone could say that to something like Otherworld in Final Fantasy X.

    I think the fact that it feels so different from the rest of the soundtrack only makes that scene more memorable and amazing.
    But I guess that's just me.


    Quote Originally Posted by MkShiranui View Post
    The ONLY time I can think of that having music off was good was in Okami during nighttime, but that was because that made the ambient sounds, such as running water or wind, clearer.
    And this I can totally get behind.
    There is a time and a place for everything.

  5. #45
    [Level 6: Robot] Caostotale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electrium View Post
    People will say Uematsu is hyped, but you have to admit the guy has talent. I love the FF13 battle theme, and I'm anxious to hear more. Besaid Island, To Zanarkand, and the FF7 theme are all some of my favorites from him.
    There's always going to that group of gamer net trolls who feel the need to clumsily go after big names like Uematsu, just like people who post giant screeds about Ocarica of Time's graphics, etc.... I would argue that some of his output is hyped out of proportion (The Black Mages, Sephiroth's theme, etc..), but the quality of his overall work on the FF soundtracks is beyond question. As a musician who's been composing music for years, I'm pretty blown away by the breadth, diversity, and consistency one finds in titles like Final Fantasy VIII and IX, games whose soundtracks occupy 6 CDs, hit upon all sorts of styles and instrumentation, and lack the filler tracks that pop up in most RPGs of similar size.

    I need to learn about the Konami Kukeiha Club composers who wrote all those fantastic Konami and Ultra titles from the later NES years, as well as the guys who worked on SNES games like Axelay, Castlevania IV, and Contra III. Even the licensed games they worked on often boasted soundtracks that could make you forget that you were playing a total piece of shit.


  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caostotale View Post
    There's always going to that group of gamer net trolls who feel the need to clumsily go after big names like Uematsu, just like people who post giant screeds about Ocarica of Time's graphics, etc.... I would argue that some of his output is hyped out of proportion (The Black Mages, Sephiroth's theme, etc..), but the quality of his overall work on the FF soundtracks is beyond question. As a musician who's been composing music for years, I'm pretty blown away by the breadth, diversity, and consistency one finds in titles like Final Fantasy VIII and IX, games whose soundtracks occupy 6 CDs, hit upon all sorts of styles and instrumentation, and lack the filler tracks that pop up in most RPGs of similar size.
    I was never "going after" Uematsu, and I think he's an excellent composer.
    I'm just saying that you come off as ignorant when you imply that my taste in music is simply less respectable than yours, just because I enjoy listening to
    this:


    more than this:



    They are both incredible pieces of music that fit their respective games perfectly.
    I personally believe that, had Uematsu composed original music for Crisis Core, it would not have fit nearly as well as the current soundtrack does. I also believe that it would have been lazy of them to simply re-use the soundtrack from Final Fantasy VII; the way they handled it was perfect.

  7. #47
    [Level 6: Robot] Caostotale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantomile View Post
    I was never "going after" Uematsu, and I think he's an excellent composer. I'm just saying that you come off as ignorant when you imply that my taste in music is simply less respectable than yours, just because I enjoy listening to
    this
    I wasn't talking about you there. Electrium was talking about people who think he's over-hyped, so I was generalizing about several people who I've seen bitching and moaning over the years.

    They are both incredible pieces of music that fit their respective games perfectly.
    I personally believe that, had Uematsu composed original music for Crisis Core, it would not have fit nearly as well as the current soundtrack does. I also believe that it would have been lazy of them to simply re-use the soundtrack from Final Fantasy VII; the way they handled it was perfect.
    I have yet to play Crisis Core, so I'm not sure if it will fit. I'm probably making the mistake of expecting a story and gaming experience with the gravitas and depth that the original FFVII had. The original soundtrack and artwork I've seen for Crisis Core makes it look and sound like a dude-fantasy game for 13-year-olds, with an emo plot-line and "sensitive tough-guy" cliches like acoustic guitars playing Staind chord progressions. You have to at least understand how burned I felt the last time I bought a sequel to one of these games, only to get skull-fucked with this music:



    I'm sure that Crisis Core didn't dare jump the shark this hard, but my initial impression feels like it could be the same type of deal with a different aesthetic leap in a different direction (towards 3 Doors Down fans instead of Britney fans). I'm sure the gameplay is awesome, but Square-Enix should stop raping its IPs.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caostotale View Post
    I have yet to play Crisis Core, so I'm not sure if it will fit. I'm probably making the mistake of expecting a story and gaming experience with the gravitas and depth that the original FFVII had. The original soundtrack and artwork I've seen for Crisis Core makes it look and sound like a dude-fantasy game for 13-year-olds, with an emo plot-line and "sensitive tough-guy" cliches like acoustic guitars playing Staind chord progressions. You have to at least understand how burned I felt the last time I bought a sequel to one of these games, only to get skull-fucked with this music:
    I say definitely give Crisis Core a try; I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. In all honesty, I prefer everything about that game over the original Final Fantasy VII, including the story and the way it was presented.
    The character interaction is great, and it made me care about Zack and Aerith (two characters I didn't give a fuck about in FFVII) as much as I care about Squall and Rinoa in FFVIII.
    Which is a lot.

    Oh, and don't worry; I don't think there's a person alive who could actually think that Real Emotion is a good song.
    At least, I hope there isn't.

    If anything, I'd argue there that it does indeed fit with the game...X-2 just doesn't fit with X, and shouldn't have been created as a sequel to it.
    If X-2 had been the exact same game, but with original characters and a less terrible plot, it might have actually been a good game; the battle system is quite good.

  9. #49
    [Level 6: Robot] Caostotale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantomile View Post
    \
    If anything, I'd argue there that it does indeed fit with the game...X-2 just doesn't fit with X, and shouldn't have been created as a sequel to it.
    If X-2 had been the exact same game, but with original characters and a less terrible plot, it might have actually been a good game; the battle system is quite good.
    Being a huge fan of the job systems in FFV, I found X-2's battle system fantastic, which made the overall experience even worse to bear, since pretty much every artistic detail of the game managed to shit all over my expectations and the original game's achievements. That being said, some of the themes are quite good...just not for the game. Zanarkand's theme switched from "Someday This Dream Will End" to the music you hear when you watch the local forecast on the Weather Channel. They may as well have played cuts from the Marvel vs. Capcom 2 soundtrack.

    It's always strange when a familiar stage gets a totally new musical theme. Does anyone remember the cavern stage in the arcade version of R-Type II. The arcade version was sinister and nasty-sounding:



    ...but the SNES version changed it into some smooth jazz that sounds like it belongs in Final Fantasy X-2, complete with a stock electric keyboard solo :


  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by TewDee View Post
    On VG music, anyone really like the OCRemix albums? I'm listening to the first Doom album right now and it is as awesome as when I first heard it years ago.
    OverClocked Remix is amazing. Video game music is to me tied to the game itself; I can listen to all the great tracks posted here but unless I've played the game the song loses a lot of its meaning.

    For me, World of Goo had some great mood-setting music:




  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantomile View Post
    That sounds more like modern rock than Final Fantasy. Why not just have the radio play in the background while playing FFXIII? It'd pretty much be the same experience, minus the commercials.

    Better yet, we can enter "Breaking Benjamin" in Pandora and get the same result with no commercials.

    It'd be one thing if the song was at least interesting, but even the "solo" was repetitive (I'll admit, I only listened to about 2/3's of the song before I stopped) and the chord progression was so pedestrian I could immediately hear Scott Stapp's or Amy Leigh's vocals all over the track.

    The song itself isn't bad, just really boring. I could easily find 50 songs like this from any number of different mediums of media. However, Cao hit right on with his Staind assertion. Let's have a listen, shall we?



    Compare the two and replace the violins with vocals and it's pretty much the same result.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by KD_Alpha View Post
    Compare the two and replace the violins with vocals and it's pretty much the same result.
    I agree with this, I just don't see it as a bad thing.
    Really, all we're disagreeing on is whether it fits with the game. While I admit that the Crisis Core soundtrack wouldn't have fit with Final Fantasy VII, it does fit with Crisis Core.

    Whether you like the song or not is up to your own preference in music, but I highly recommend playing Crisis Core and getting the full experience.
    I'm not saying your opinion is invalid because you haven't played it, I'm just making a serious recommendation; it's an excellent game.

  13. #53
    [Level 6: Robot] Caostotale's Avatar
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    Speaking as a guitarist and divorcing the music from its in-game context, songs from older FF games definitely make for far-more-interesting playing.

    I like this kid's versions of several FF songs a lot more than the original version of 'Price of Freedom.'



    While we're on guitars, here's a great, very tricky version of 'Wind Scene,' arguably one of the finest overworld themes to exist in gaming.


  14. #54
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    Personal favorite.

    Also, I'd check out Crisis Core, but I own no PSP. Might emulate it, since it's not likely I'll even own one. Dirge of Cerberus was so ridiculously awful that I hope it's not anything like that.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by KD_Alpha View Post
    Also, I'd check out Crisis Core, but I own no PSP. Might emulate it, since it's not likely I'll even own one. Dirge of Cerberus was so ridiculously awful that I hope it's not anything like that.
    They're nothing alike, though I thought Dirge was enjoyable too.
    Definitely didn't have anything memorable in terms of story or music, though.

  16. #56
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    Somebody told me that Dirge of Cerberus was designed by mad scientists who were interested in testing the outer limits of people's devotions to the FFVII series. I own a copy of the game, but I haven't worked up the courage to sit down and give it a go. I still haven't gotten over how lousy the story was in Advent Children.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caostotale View Post
    Somebody told me that Dirge of Cerberus was designed by mad scientists who were interested in testing the outer limits of people's devotions to the FFVII series. I own a copy of the game, but I haven't worked up the courage to sit down and give it a go. I still haven't gotten over how lousy the story was in Advent Children.
    The story is so convoluted and linear that it's not even worth paying attention to. The gameplay is just as linear, if not more so. It will definitely test your devotion, but mostly your patience. Every enemy is the same throughout the game and leveling up means practically nothing. The game looks fine enough, but the camera angles are really odd at times. This would have made a great mini-game, but definitely fails at standing on its own.

    It will inevitably go down as one of the worst VG spin-offs in VG history. Anyone who enjoyed that game would probably enjoy Croc 2, Gex, Extreme-G Racing, Clayfighters 64 1/2, WWE Smackdown! and Kabuki Warriors.

    They tried to make it a good game, but it's so straightforward and non-engaging they might as well have made it a rail shooter. I don't remember a single piece of music from the game and I couldn't even tell you what the point of it was because it's immediately forgettable. I do remember that it sucked, it was short and it did absolutely nothing for the series other than discourage fans from buying into future ventures.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caostotale View Post
    Somebody told me that Dirge of Cerberus was designed by mad scientists who were interested in testing the outer limits of people's devotions to the FFVII series. I own a copy of the game, but I haven't worked up the courage to sit down and give it a go. I still haven't gotten over how lousy the story was in Advent Children.
    Advent Children was pretty terrible.
    The plot of Dirge is just as bad, but I found the gameplay pretty fun. Definitely don't play it expecting an intelligent expansion of the FFVII universe (which I think Crisis Core does provide).


    Anyway, does anyone else have a single piece of video game music that is most iconic for them?
    As in, what song evokes the most emotions in you?

    For me, it's this:


    I pretty much play through Earthbound whenever I'm feeling down, and that song (the version of it that you only hear once, the very first time you step outside in the daytime) gives me a rush of nostalgia and happiness every time I hear it.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantomile View Post
    Anyway, does anyone else have a single piece of video game music that is most iconic for them?
    As in, what song evokes the most emotions in you?
    I don't think that it could ever come down to one, so I'll offer up a few that of huge significance.

    Life Force (Salamander) - Stage 5 ~ Thunderbolt
    * This theme, and many other Konami themes from the NES era, ushered me through countless hours of fun and frustration, and set the foundation for a lifetime of loving video games. When I was a kid, I remember going apeshit when I found out that the Contra code worked on this game also and marveled at how incredibly cool all the stages were. As an adult, I never forgot how awesome this game was and finally beat it with 3 lives and no continues a few years back.


    Mega Man II - Epilogue/Ending
    * The somber theme that kicks in after the victory fanfare really struck a chord with my younger self when I first beat this game, which was all the more significant as it was the first I had ever purchased with my own money when I was 8 years old. I had a similar attachment to the opening theme from Mega Man III.


    Final Fantasy VI - Tina (Terra)
    * Now let me indulge in my own sentimentality. It's really hard for me to nail down a specific Squaresoft theme that stands as the most significant one for me, since so many pieces from this game, FFIV, FFV, Chrono Trigger, and Secret of Mana made a huge impression on me as a gamer and, later, a musician. This one and Celes' theme pretty much get me every time, but this one affected me more upon first playing the game and wandering around its fascinating overworld. This is one of the best things Uematsu ever composed and one of my favorite melodies in gaming, and the SNES made it just sing.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantomile View Post
    Advent Children was pretty terrible.
    I pretty much play through Earthbound whenever I'm feeling down, and that song (the version of it that you only hear once, the very first time you step outside in the daytime) gives me a rush of nostalgia and happiness every time I hear it.
    On the topic of your choice...

    I completely missed the boat with Earthbound during the SNES years, but later had a lot of fun kicking the bejesus out of my friends with Ness in Super Smash Bros. on the N64. When the Gamecube one came out I absolutely loved Ness's stage theme. Only recently did I learn about the original version (from Mother on the Famicom), and it's just fucking great:



    Sorry to post so much shit...

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