Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Ashley Winchester Mar 29, 2016

I just picked up the remastered soundtracks for Final Fantasy IV, V and VI and, I know this will seem like an insane "no duh" observation, but these albums are just great to put on audio pilot and just listen to in their entity. Well, there are a few tracks I skip over and uncheck (for example Final Fantasy IV's "Run!" is kind of grating)  but I like how they feel like complete experiences when I just let them play out.

Also, is it just me, but Final Fantasy V sticks out to me in a good way. I know that most people didn't get to play V right away when it original came out yet V never stuck out to me in an odd way. It always felt like it belonged with the other two games despite the late exposure.

So, yeah, completely inane rant. I'm sure everyone is aware of this. Still, what is your favorite FF store to put on and just play out?

Zane Mar 29, 2016

I could listen to IV, VI, and VII in their entirety without skipping any tracks for the rest of my life (because I've been doing it for well over 15 years at this point, and am sure I will continue for at least another 15). True classics in every sense of the word.

No matter how many times I've tried, I could never fully get into FFV. I've owned the album at least three times, and it just never sunk in for me. Might be the sound palette, might be the composition, might be me not enjoying the game; might be all of the above. It sounds campy. A few killer tracks, but overall completely incohesive.

I've recently been digging back into is FFIX. I cannot listen to that thing front to back, but I really enjoy listening to it all shuffled up. That first disc is brutal when going through it in order, and totally derails the momentum of the album. That said, I've had it on shuffle when going to bed almost every night for the past month or so, and have enjoyed rediscovering some of those tracks.

Ashley Winchester Mar 29, 2016

Zane wrote:

I've recently been digging back into is FFIX. I cannot listen to that thing front to back, but I really enjoy listening to it all shuffled up. That first disc is brutal when going through it in order, and totally derails the momentum of the album. That said, I've had it on shuffle when going to bed almost every night for the past month or so, and have enjoyed rediscovering some of those tracks.

Actually yeah, IX is on my list to obtain. However, you hit the nail on the head that it's difficult to listen to straight through. However, I like some tracks on that one that I know aren't good like "Battle 2" and such.

I always find those "I know it's not good but I like it" to be weird.

Ramza Mar 30, 2016

So long as I'm in the right mood, I can listen to any of the FF soundtracks beginning to end.

But I think Ashley is on to something with FFV. I think I am OFTEN in the right mood for that one. It just flows so well.

VIII probably remains my favorite among the Uematsu-made work. But even then, I have to be "in the right mood" to take on all four discs. Otherwise I pare it down to my favorite 10-12 tracks.

student41269 Mar 30, 2016

Ramza wrote:

VIII probably remains my favorite among the Uematsu-made work.

Right on, broheme.

For me, listening to the classic FF soundtracks in their entirety is the only way to fly - doing so lets me relive the journey of the game in a way. It's incredibly rare for me to just play an isolated track or two. Of course there's not always a straight four hours to spare, so there will need to be breaks, but eventually I'll get through every track in sequence.

Speaking of soundtracks taking you back to the game, the release of Twilight Princess HD recently made me realise that I had completely forgotten everything about the original TP. Playing the first few hours again was like a completely new game to me. I honestly wonder how much this is due to the fact I never had a soundtrack that I could listen to and keep the memories alive with.

GoldfishX Mar 30, 2016

I have always regarded VI as one of the few multi-disc soundtracks that I can listen to straight through and I hold onto that opinion. IV has tremendous nostalgia value of course, but there is a certain unevenness (blandness) on several tracks that I can trim it down just a tad (we're talking 10-15 tracks, mostly short ones). If I had to spin it from start to finish, no issues. V is somewhere between the two...Still love it for being unapologetically "gamey", but I was never impressed by the main theme or the character themes on this one. It's mostly the area themes that struck a chord with me (and of course, Gilgamesh, which to me is the centerpiece of this soundtrack). It's also the only one where I regularly spin the accompanying arranged album...Dear Friends is a great companion piece.

I recently did a full rating of both FFVII and FFVIII. I "saved" 49 tracks from VII and 31 from VIII. I can honestly say that VII has enough tracks that aren't good enough to overcome the synth shortcomings. VIII has always been polarizing to me because of its emphasis on atmosphere (filler?), but those great tracks are simply must-haves.

Ashley Winchester Mar 30, 2016

GoldfishX wrote:

V is somewhere between the two...Still love it for being unapologetically "gamey", but I was never impressed by the main theme or the character themes on this one.

I think this is why I like this one, it's very "gamey" as you say and doesn't apologize for it. However, I kind of like everything on this one. I love "Leena's Theme" a ton for some reason.

Dragonfish Dog Mar 31, 2016 (edited Mar 31, 2016)

FFIV's soundtrack somehow just sounds like better synth to me than FFV.

FFIV, some time ago, I recorded the music directly from the game, since the OST's track lengths are so short, and when the tracks are longer, I can stand listen to them longer, since I'm not getting a fade-out every minute. The town theme from FFIV is probably one of my most favorite tracks from FFIV; that, and the boss battle theme.

And FFVIII and IX have MUCH better synth than FFVII.

It's hard for me to say which I like better though: FFVIII or FFIX. As far as I'm concerned, they're different tools for different jobs; apples vs. oranges. FFIX would probably be the apple, FFVIII would probably be the orange.

FFVII sounds GREAT in-game (original PSX version, of course), but somehow, I think they botched the soundtrack release.

GoldfishX Mar 31, 2016

For FFVII, I just found the treble too high. It really kind of hurts the atmosphere on the more subdued/peaceful tracks (I did not like how Anxious Heart sounded on my headphones at all, to give a well-known example...also Wutai and Lifestream was ones I fought with myself over). Didn't really bother the loud/bombastic ones so much. I know this has been discussed to death over the last 19 years or so, but this is really the first time hearing it in detail for myself. I'm inclined to agree with the majority of people who have said VIII was a vast sound improvement, if only because of the treble improvement. I'm not sure The Castle or Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec (two of my favorites) would fly too well with VII's synth.

I guess best case scenario for me: FFVII's compositions with FFVIII's synth.

Ashley Winchester Mar 31, 2016

GoldfishX wrote:

(I did not like how Anxious Heart sounded on my headphones at all, to give a well-known example...

Hmm. I really like Anxious Heart (one of my favorites) but then I've never listened to it with headphones.

Ashley Winchester Apr 12, 2016

Had no idea that FFVIII's track-listing was already in English. Makes sense that's there's never been real debate over track titles.

longhairmike Apr 12, 2016

the remasters? does this just mean looping the ff4 non-looped tracks? or did they completely improve the sound (volume and everything)?

Ashley Winchester Apr 12, 2016

longhairmike wrote:

the remasters? does this just mean looping the ff4 non-looped tracks? or did they completely improve the sound (volume and everything)?

To be honest I could probably only tell the difference between the originals and remasters if you played the same track side by side for comparison. I can be picky with audio quality but that's usually when A and B are insanely far apart.

If you have an original IV, V, or VI I wouldn't bother with the remasters except IV because the looping is nice.

Dragonfish Dog Apr 12, 2016 (edited Apr 12, 2016)

longhairmike wrote:

the remasters? does this just mean looping the ff4 non-looped tracks? or did they completely improve the sound (volume and everything)?

They improved the sound of FFIV's soundtrack for Final Fantasy IV DS.

It's actually worth it, though some tracks were made to sound decidedly more Celtic than in the original SNES synth.

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