Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Alex Dec 2, 2007

So, it's already December and few noteworthy games have yet to be released before the end of the year.  Since it's that time again, what are your picks for the five games with the best music of 2007?  Only games that were released in 2007 count (and that excludes stuff like Viva Piñata that had a PC version out recently but was actually out last year for Xbox 360), but otherwise everything's fair game.  I've got some tentative picks myself, but I'm curious to see what you folks think.

RinoaDestiny Dec 2, 2007

I'm digging the Halo 3 soundtrack. Figures that the first non-Japanese game OST that I like is that of a game I've never played before. But with tracks like 'Finish the Fight,' 'Behold a Pale Horse', and 'Three Gates,' it's one of the better ones I've heard for 2007.

I need to listen to Ace Combat 6 more before I judge but so far, it's not making much of an impression. Even Contra 4's music feels stronger than that, even if nostalgia is helping.

Ashley Winchester Dec 2, 2007

LOL, it never ceses to amaze me how I inadvertently dodge hearing/purchasing VGM from the current year. Probably doesn't help that I don't play/buy games as much as I once did.

The only real soundtrack I can point to is The Dracula X Chronicles which I can't exactly say has bowled me over, but everytime I listen to it I enjoy it a little bit more. It's a grower if anything and I think that's definately in its favor.

XLord007 Dec 2, 2007

I'll get back to you in February after I've had time to listen to my Q4 2007 game music order which I won't be receiving until early January.

GoldfishX Dec 2, 2007

Only games that were released in 2007 count (and that excludes stuff like Viva Piñata that had a PC version out recently but was actually out last year for Xbox 360), but otherwise everything's fair game.

Damn, that means I can't nominate the Megaman 7 Original Soundtrack and the Wonder Boy compilation. Because I can't even pretend any of the "new" VGM put out this year is on the same level as those. Except Contra IV, which wasn't officially released.

Battle Gear 4 gets a nod. Both Mana Khemia and Ar Tonelico 2 get a nod for quality, despite largely being the same as prior releases from their sound team (both are interchangable to me, so I count them as one right now). Sekaijuu no MeiQ OST was legitimately enjoyable. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon had a shockingly fantastic soundtrack that was never released on CD. Contra IV wins soundtrack of the year as far as I'm concerned thus far and its' not even close to being close.

There you go...There's five. And I'll maintain some hope in Guilty Gear Overture's music making up for the horrid mess the game itself is and that the people behind Orochi Musou aren't allowed anywhere near Shin Sangoku Musou 5.

Cedille Dec 2, 2007 (edited Dec 2, 2007)

Basically, 2007 is full of disappointments, and a year when my two favorite composers underwhelm me a lot. Looking at other composers though, it still comes off being bad harvest. I can't pick up a single of album that could deserve the best award, as much as outside of my preference there could have been many solid albums (Etrian Odyssey comes up to my mind first, which I heard in the game, but was not impressing that much). I assume that's partially because, while US seems to have a good year, Japan is pretty much in a transient period where many VG companies hesitate to release a game on next gen consoles, and live off handheld games if any. So I hope it will be improved in 2008. Or I'll lost any interest in VGM like I did from 2001 to 2004.

The most disappointing album is ACE COMBAT 6. Though that's not a terrible album, I have to conclude that this project had had much potential yet ultimately wasted it, based on how memorable the Fire of Liberation motive was (the main motive is very generic though) but the rest isn't. Also, I was really surprised how generic their 'we hired a Bulgarian orchestra and an England boys chorus' tracks were. Those tracks could feed Kobayashi's vanity of composing what sounded like Eastern Europe-influenced classic, or cinematic music. However, "Megalith" which was MIDI-ish, or  "The Unsung War" which was composed of 16 music college students' separately recorded singing in a small studio, is much better, and has more originality as VGM. Given how small Kobayashi's responsibility was, I can't live another day without hoping that ACE COMBAT 7 is being developed, and for this reason AC6 had to be a rushed work. In all fairness, I have heard the game was also very boring and the only impressive parts were teaser trailers.

Another bad release is FFXI box set. The piano album and the unreleased track collection were anywhere as good as what I got from the early FFXI music. They should have released the two separately, and shouldn’t have considered milking by Mizuta’s music.

PeteV Dec 2, 2007

I'm still waiting on FFTA 2, Deltora Quest, and Lost Odyssey, but here's my picks so far:

Etrian Odyssey
Odin Sphere
Legend of Heroes Sora no Kiseki the 3rd
Dracula X Chronicles

Zane Dec 2, 2007

- Drac X Chronicles OST
- Gyakuten Saiban 4 OST
- Final Fantasy XI Premium Box
- Nanosweep4
- The Silver 02+ PARADE

the_miker Dec 2, 2007

All VGM releases I enjoyed this year, ordered by release date:

Sonic the Hedgehog Original Sound Track
Sonic the Hedgehog Vocal Traxx Several Wills
Seiken Densetsu 4 Original Soundtrack -Sanctuary-
Ryu ga Gotoku & Ryu ga Gotoku 2 Original Sound Track
Sekaiju no Meikyuu Original Soundtrack
Akumajou Dracula Gallery of Labyrinth Original Soundtrack
Armodyne
Gyakuten Saiban Jazz Album ~Gyakuten Meets Jazz Soul~
Elvandia Story Original Soundtrack
Yuzo Koshiro Best Collection Vol. 1
Extra - Official Compilation
FolksSoul Original Soundtrack
Minna no Golf ~World BGM Tours~
Yuzo Koshiro Best Collection Vol. 2
Minna no Golf 5 Original Soundtrack
Sekaiju no Meikyuu Super Arrange Version
Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3 Original Soundtrack
R-TYPE TACTICS Original Soundtrack
A.S.H. -Archaic Sealed Heat- Original Soundtrack
Rockman 7 Shukumei no Tatakai Original Soundtrack
Culdcept II Original Soundtrack Deluxe
Rockman 8 Metal Heroes Original Soundtrack
Final Fantasy Tactics A2 Grimoire of the Rift Original Soundtrack

December 2007 releases that will most likely make the list after I hear them:

Tsuki no Akari -Final Fantasy IV Theme of Love-
20th Anniversary Rockman 1~6 Rock Arrange Ver.
Lost Odyssey Original Soundtrack
Anata wo Yurusanai Original Soundtrack
20th Anniversary Rockman 1~6 Techno Arrange Ver.
Deltora Quest Nanatsu no Houseki Original Soundtrack

I'll try to re-order my list from best to worst at a later date.  Overall kind of a disappointing year for game music, especially when compared to some years in the past.  I nominate Yuzo Koshiro for man of the year though, as he was involved with seven of the entries in my list.

-Mike

Amazingu Dec 3, 2007

I've only been impressed by one game soundtrackwise this year, and that was Super Mario Galaxy.
I was looking forward to Halo 3 but found it utterly disappointing after the great job they did on 2.

Still curious about Lost Odyssey though. The game will hit stores in a couple of days here, and I'll be picking it up immediately.

Ramza Dec 3, 2007

Ar tonelico II Hymmnos Concert Side AO (Blue)
Crisis Core FFVII OST
FFXI box set
FolksSoul OST
Gyakuten Saiban Jazz Album
Square Enix Battle Tracks Vol.1 (the bonus track is so hawt)

Those are what come to mind.

Msia Dec 3, 2007

Cedille wrote:

The most disappointing album is ACE COMBAT 6.

Another bad release is FFXI box set.

Agreed, and that KH box.

Wild Arms Vth Vanguard needs more love in this thread.  Great soundtrack.

the_miker Dec 3, 2007

I turned my massive list into a top 7.  In this order..

- ARMODYNE
- A.S.H. -Archaic Sealed Heat- Original Soundtrack
- Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3 Original Soundtracks
- EXTRA - OFFICIAL COMPILATION
- Sekaiju no MeiQ Super Arrange Version
- Sonic the Hedgehog Vocal Traxx Several Wills
- FINAL FANTASY TACTICS A2 Grimoire of the Rift Original Soundtrack

Mitsuda, Sakimoto, Koshiro, and Crush 40.  Yup, I couldn't be more predictable if I tried.

-Mike

Alex Jan 6, 2008

I'm surprised Amazingu was the only one who mentioned Super Mario Galaxy -- that was definitely one of my favorites.  I freely admit that some of the tracks (especially the remixed music from previous Mario games) were extremely aggravating, but most of the orchestral music was so sublime it more than made up for the other flaws.

Anyway, I've been having fun seeing what games got the "Best of 2007" awards for music from various news outlets.  GameSpy and GameSpot both gave Mass Effect the overall best original score award for the year, but didn't mention any other scores that I could find.  However, IGN went wild and picked best original score for all their channels, which made for an interesting read.  Any thoughts on these?

Music - Best Videogame Soundtrack/Score:  Super Mario Galaxy (2nd Place: BioShock)
PC - Best Original Score:  The Witcher (2nd Place: Crysis & LOTR Online: Shadows of Angmar)
PS2 - Best Original Score:  God of War II (2nd Place: Odin Sphere)
PS3 - Best Original Score:  Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (2nd Place: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion)
PSP - Best Original Score:  Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow
Xbox 360 - Best Original Score:  Eternal Sonata (2nd Place: Call of Duty 4 & Halo 3)
Wii - Best Original Score:  Super Mario Galaxy (2nd Place: Metroid Prime 3 & SSX Blur)
DS - Best Original Score:  Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales (2nd Place: Glory Days 2 & Zelda: Phantom Hourglass)

TerraEpon Jan 6, 2008

My thoughts are they are morons if they pick Bioshock as second best over all, but not best PC.


-Joshua

Amazingu Jan 6, 2008

TerraEpon wrote:

My thoughts are they are morons if they pick Bioshock as second best over all, but not best PC.

Yeah, I was thinking something along those lines.
It's pretty weird it comes in second as Best OST Overall, but it's not even considered as one of the best 3 for 360.
Also, I really don't understand what it is they see (or hear) in God of War music. I remember them giving Best OST to GoW 1, 2 years ago, chosing it over Shadow of the Colossus, which I'm sure is some kind of punishable offense. Or it should be at least.

Nice to see MP3 and Oblivion in there though.

Angela Jan 6, 2008

Alex wrote:

DS - Best Original Score:  Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales

This one strikes me as odd, considering that the score is basically nine-tenths remixes and arrangements of past Final Fantasy and Chocobo-related games.  Hardly an "original score"....

Zane Jan 6, 2008

Angela wrote:

This one strikes me as odd, considering that the score is basically nine-tenths remixes and arrangements of past Final Fantasy and Chocobo-related games.  Hardly an "original score"....

A lot of that list strikes me as odd, especially the whole Bioshock thing that was already mentioned. Then again, it is IGN, so that explains... well, just about everything. I give this list a 3.0.

GoldfishX Jan 6, 2008

I give this list a "here's why I don't give a f--- about modern game music anymore".

Oh, and Guilty Gear Overture Vol. 2 FTMFW. Game was out in 07, CD was out on 1/1/08, so it could count either way. First VGM CD in close to a year I'd say is actually worth buying.

Alex Jan 6, 2008 (edited Jan 6, 2008)

You guys misunderstand the IGN list.  As far as I can tell, IGN is organized into "channels" with editors that oversee them.  It looks like instead of some giant committee meeting, each channel got to do its own awards and post them as part of the whole, though I could be guessing too much here.  But that would explain why Call of Duty 4 got a mention under Xbox 360 but nowhere else even though it was multi-platform (not that I liked its music).  And of course that's why the music awards are completely different.

Speaking of which, I'm reasonably pleased with the music section's "Best Videogame Soundtrack" award going to Super Mario Galaxy with a special nod for BioShock.  Those were definitely two of the best this year, whether or not I would have placed them in first and second places.  That said, there were definitely some really weird choices elsewhere on the IGN list -- Chocobo Tales especially, like Angela said.

Oh, and I forgot to bring your attention to this article from Friday (http://music.ign.com/articles/843/843573p1.html).

PerfectZer0 Jan 7, 2008 (edited Jan 7, 2008)

Unreal Tournament III Original Soundtrack

Wow, they finally went back to what made UT '99's music so good.  When I got this two disc set I was drooling all over the remade classics like "Skyward Fire (UT3 Remix)", "Foregone Destruction (UT3 Remix)", "Unreal Tournament Title (UT3 Remix)", "Mechanism Eight (UT3 Remix)", "Go Down (UT3 Remix)"....totaly awesome to hear these great songs remade in such quality.

Fans of UT '99's OST will appreciate UT3's soundtrack more than anyone.  But theres also plenty of new content that remains the type of electronica elements that stay true to the songs I mentioned earlier.  To name a few neat new tunes... "Afterburn", "Skylab 9000", "Quantum Velocity", "Lockdown", "Necris Attack", and "Outpost".


Mass Effect Original Soundtrack.  This was a nice suprise indeed.  Cool sci-fi 80's synths used through out and great orcestral arrangements.  Listening through the first track "Mass Effect Theme" I was like "whoa!".  Pretty cool OST but my only complaint is that the songs were a little too short for my tastes.  But nonetheless the uniqueness and cool shit to heard out weights that.  Nice.

My fav. tune would have to be "Vigil".  Others would include "Mass Effect Theme", "The Normandy", "The Citadel", "The Presidium", "Spectre Induction", "A Very Dangerous Place", "Noveria", The Secret Labs", "Breeding Ground", Virmire Ride", "Exit", and lastly...."From The Wreckage".


Mushihimesama Futari.  I fell in love with the originals OST and this one continues to follow the same path as the first Mushi's sound scape.  Futari is top notch with crystal clear, upbeat, and melodic tunes.  The first stage's music of Futari is reminiscent of the original Mushi's first stage, which brough a smile to my face when I first heard it.  Right then and there I knew Futari's OST was going to be a hit, for me anyways.  This release is slick, I love it.

You can't go wrong when songs sound like these ones..."Departing Two (Stage 1)", "Sea of Frozen Crystal (Stage 2)", "Is Shinju in the Forest Rebel Army (Stage 3)", "Jet Black Beast King (Stage 4), and "At the Maddening Gate (Stage 5)"

yuzoboy Jan 8, 2008

Sorry but it has to be Etrian Odyssey and Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3 Original Soundtracks. Yuzo Koshiro has done me proud in 2007 and I cant wait for more from him.

SonicPanda Jan 9, 2008

ZXA Tunes all the way. If I were going to do a Top 10 Tracks of the Year thingy, more than half would go to this one.
Sonic Rush Adventure was also good, and the Voices of the Lifestream FF7 arrange that OCR did was remarkably well done (albeit with a few ear-drilling exceptions).

Zane Jan 9, 2008

GoldfishX wrote:

Guilty Gear Overture Vol. 2 FTMFW.

QFT. This album is balls-out. I didn't expect much, but I'm really glad I picked this one up. \m/

Dragon God Jan 12, 2008

Warning : Huge-ass post ahead !!!

OSTs

Senko No Ronde -Carpe Diem-

Can't let go of Yack, he still mesmerizes me everytime I listen to this album. A keeper for sure.

Mushihimesama Futari

Manabu Namiki and Kimihiro Abe did some great work here. Abe's "Sea of Frozen Crystals (Stage 2)" is still my favorite track on the album. Sooo good.

Folk Soul : The Lost Folklore

Boy did this one took me by surprise !! Hosoe and Saso did a full 360 and came back with some impressive intrumental/ambient music. Kawai and Saitoh were no slouches either. OST of '07 for me, hands down.

Karous -Spring Rain-

Another great Drum n' Bass album by Kou Hayashi and Daisuke Nagata. With track titles like "you can't fxxk me (Stage 3)" and "Sex pervert of a Silence (True Last Boss)", it has to be awesome

Akumajo Dracula X Chronicles

Woo !! Konami did an awesome tribute to the original PC Engine game. The majority of the arrangements are spot-on. Hats off to Konami for also throwing in a full PC Engine score as opposed to the Redbook Audio source of the original Dracula X OST.

Natsumero -Summer Melodies-

Oops, another album that most likely passed above everyone's radar. It's another Hentai-ish album by Shinji Hosoe which is full of bubbly synth-pop.

Rockman 7

About time this one gets a CD release, it's been one of my all time favorite Snes games ever since I first played it back in 1995. Lots of quality tracks here.

Rockman 8

Another classic game for me... one of the very first PS1 games I played. Lots of happy memories for me.

Shooting Love 2007

Triangle Service gives us a double helping of soundtracks on one CD. Exzeal is every bit as Trizeal was while Shmups Skill Test tends to be a bit underwhelming at points. But whatever, the Exzeal music is the main attraction here. It's great electronic music that doesn't try to re-invent the genre and has the "old-school" feel.

Trigger Heart Exelica

One of the last official Dreamcast games, THE sported a fun, catchy and old-school sounding soundtrack which reminds me of the good ol' 16-bit days.

Beatmania IIDX 14 Gold

Ever since I dove into Bemani, I knew I was going to grab one of its excellent Beatmania OSTs, and this was the one I picked. One of the best decisions I ever made in a while. All of the themes are very catchy and have something unique to each.

Arkanoid DS

One of the last OSTs for this year, it had many things going for it. One of them was the revival of Zuntata, Taito's Internal Sound Team. Other good reasons are Shinji Hosoe and Ryu's (of Beatmania IIDX fame) contributions. It brought some welcome variety to the score.

R-Type Tactics

I was glad to see Yuki Iwai return here since I did enjoy her work on R-Type Final, and there are a lot of great tracks here.

Resident Evil : Umbrella Chronicles

Normally I wouldn't care about the RE music, but I had to check it out when I saw the names of Masafumi Takada and Jun Fukuda, whom I loved their work on Killer7 and God Hand. They've managed to use their own style while retaining the horrific feel that RE music is known for.

Record of Agarest War

Here's another surprise for me. An RPG score that has its shares of rock, electronic, orchestral and so on. Highly varied and fairly enjoyable.

Wangan Maximum Tune 3

Yuzo's back with a fun, catchy and groovy trance soundtrack. I thought he couldn't possibly surpass the wonderful Wangan Maximum Tune 2. I was wrong.

The Witcher

One of the rare european OSTs to grab me from the get-go. It feels alot like Gothic 3's score and that's quite a compliment. I call this orchestral well-done.

God of War II

Here's an american powerhouse of a soundtrack if I ever heard one. Big, bold, epic, dramatic, violent... all the qualities that fits with the God of War universe. They've done a terrific job here. I hope the future God of War 3 will up the ante in its aggressiveness.

Crysis

Not quite as powerful as God of War II, but still stirring enough to get my attention and label it as a keeper.


ASTs

Rockman 1~6 20th Anniversary Techno Arrange Ver.

From the moment I learned that Shinji Hosoe was doing the arrangements, I knew I wasn't going to be dissapointed. The result is that I'm giving this album the "Arrange of '07" Award.

Rockman 1~6 20th Anniversary Rock Arrange Ver.

Nowhere near the quality of Iwao's work on Guilty Gear X Heavy Rock Tracks, this album still managed to creep up on my list as many of the arrangements grew on me.

Rockman ZX Advent -ZXA Tunes-

It's basically the ZXA score performed with live synths, drums and guitars. Those are all very good reasons to include it here.

dj Taka -Milestone-

dj Taka's solo album is nothing short of amazing. The first disc has him arranging many of his best themes from various Bemani games. The second disc are other tracks, but arranged by other Bemani artists such as Akira Yamaoka, Sota Fujimori, Osamu Kobuta and TaQ.

Everytime I Bang -X-

This is a short, but excellent Doujin album that focuses on Rockman X 1~5. It's going to remain on my mp3 player for a very long time.

Romancing SaGa -Highspeed-

Another excellent Doujin, this time focusing on Kenji Ito's battle tracks from Romancing SaGa 1~3 and SaGa Frontier. Everyone (especially Hyakutaro Tsukumo) did great to do these great battle tracks justice on a heavy rock style.

Darius Remix

Darius I and II themes arranged by Super Sweep and Basiscape folks. It has nothing but quality arrangements and surpasses the fantastic Darius I & II Arrange album already put out by Zuntata a decade ago.

Best of the Best - A Tribute to Game Music -

No, this isn't a joke. This album deserves it. Aside the craptastic Super Mario Bros. and Chrono Trigger arrangements, the rest of the album is solid. I'm especially fond of the tracks by Inon Zur, Jesper Kyd, Lennie Moore, Will Loconto and David Arkenstone.

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