Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Chronoman Jun 22, 2012

Wow, I still love this site, but unfortunately this board has slowed down quite a bit over the years.  My other favorite game music hangout, Gamingforce, also seems to be on the throes of extinction.

So my question is, where did everyone go?  Is there some great video game music forum that I'm missing?  If so, I haven't found it.  It all seems pretty strange to me, because game music has increased in popularity over the years. 

I'm aware of ffshrine, but it's pretty lame.  It doesn't even have a dedicated VG music only forum, and there's more posts in the download threads rather than discussion threads.  Surely there must be others.

I'm looking forward to hearing some input on this.  Thanks! smile

TerraEpon Jun 23, 2012 (edited Jun 23, 2012)

VGMDb isn't bad, though a lot of stuff is technical and clerical stuff, rather than about music.

Razakin Jun 23, 2012

TerraEpon wrote:

VGMDb isn't bad, though a lot of stuff is technical and clerical stuff, rather than about music.

Regular discussions about game music is more than welcome in there, even mixed with the technical stuff.

FuryofFrog Jun 23, 2012

I tried getting into some other forums but I rather like this one the most. Just the feel of STC along with the personalities make it really comfortable to visit all the time. In addition I've gotten a lot of my collection from the kind people on this forum.

Admittedly I lurk a lot more than I post due to laziness. Long live STC.

TerraEpon Jun 23, 2012

Razakin wrote:

Regular discussions about game music is more than welcome in there, even mixed with the technical stuff.

Of course, but that doesn't mean it actually happens all that much.

Chronoman Jun 23, 2012

FuryofFrog wrote:

I tried getting into some other forums but I rather like this one the most. Just the feel of STC along with the personalities make it really comfortable to visit all the time. In addition I've gotten a lot of my collection from the kind people on this forum.

Admittedly I lurk a lot more than I post due to laziness. Long live STC.

I like it too, but man, things have slowed to a crawl.  I came here expecting discussion about the Zelda Symphony Tour and some thoughts on the new Final Fantasy Piano Opera CDs, but left disappointed.  Nothing on the Final Fantasy arrangements (pretty exciting development IMO!) and the last post in the Zelda thread was from February. 

I tend to lurk too, but I'm gonna bump the Z thread.

Idolores Jun 23, 2012

FuryofFrog wrote:

Admittedly I lurk a lot more than I post due to laziness. Long live STC.

Me too. Except more complacency than laziness.

LiquidAcid Jun 24, 2012

I find it interesting that people want a discussion on the one hand, but on the other hand they say from themself that they prefer to lurk the place. That's obviously not going to work.

Qui-Gon Joe Jun 24, 2012

I'm going to be picking up the new FF piano albums soon, so once I've heard those I'll probably post about them (also the Nier piano album - cannot WAIT to hear that thing).  I really only come to this place because it generally contains the least irritating collection of people who post about games and game music on the whole of the internet.

Also there's that whole force of habit thing, since I've been coming here for most of my adult life.  I do wonder sometimes if most game music fans are changing in their tastes - I feel sometimes like I'm the only one around who still gets excited about some of the new releases like I did when I was younger.

James O Jun 24, 2012

i still get excited for new VGM releases just not as much.  i'm normally a quieter lurking kind of person tho.  I'm excited about the upcoming SQ stuff in July - SQ Chips2, BattleSQ and BeerSQ.

Chronoman Jun 24, 2012

LiquidAcid wrote:

I find it interesting that people want a discussion on the one hand, but on the other hand they say from themself that they prefer to lurk the place. That's obviously not going to work.

Yes I see the humor, but part of my point is that it always DID used to work in the past.  But now that the discussion is drying up, I suppose many of us lurkers need to crawl out of our holes and contribute. smile

FuryofFrog Jun 25, 2012

Well thats the thing. I find that many people here have excellent things to contribute with opinions that either mirror mine or are way more astute than mine. When I do put something up I kinda feel like what I say doesn't really get observed and so my opinion kind of feels worthless. I always liked clicking around seeing the latest Angela or Daniel K opinion but it seems like a bunch of regulars are just a bit more scarce nowadays.

James O Jun 25, 2012

i haven't seen Angela post here in quite some time... has she left this forum?

Wanderer Jun 25, 2012

James O wrote:

i haven't seen Angela post here in quite some time... has she left this forum?

No, I emailed her and she's just really busy with stuff. Hopefully she'll be back soon. smile

avatar! Jun 25, 2012

This is a question I think many of us "old-timers" have had for a while. Why are things slowing down...age? Actually, it may be age. As VGM is becoming more popular, it's much more mainstream and people are talking about it in many places ranging from amazon, to IGN, to places such as this forum. So, I believe that in the past this forum was much busier because there were few places to discuss VGM. Now that it's much easier to discuss it, and acquire it in fact, or just look up info (VGMdb), I think this place has seen a decrease in activity. Still is the best place for it as far as I can tell.

GoldfishX Jun 25, 2012

I would say STC, if things picked up more. Although I'm active in the Gamingforce Song Contest for like the first time in 4 years and it's a fun environment right now, but that VGM forum overall has been dead, song of the fortnight/week aside.

I like what VGMDB has going, but I see so few actual opinions on the music, I feel it's not the best place to discuss it currently. I'm one of those people that doesn't think about who composed what most of the time within a soundtrack, I'm more interested in whether or not I like the end result.

Jodo Kast Jun 25, 2012 (edited Jun 25, 2012)

Chronoman wrote:

So my question is, where did everyone go?  Is there some great video game music forum that I'm missing?  If so, I haven't found it.  It all seems pretty strange to me, because game music has increased in popularity over the years. 

I'm aware of ffshrine, but it's pretty lame.  It doesn't even have a dedicated VG music only forum, and there's more posts in the download threads rather than discussion threads.  Surely there must be others.

This is a very expensive and often frustrating hobby, so it's possible some people just don't want anything to do with it anymore.

Some people start a family, so that leaves little time for posting on forums.

I occasionally post at FFshrine, vgmdb, and OC Remix. Many years ago, I may have posted at gamingforce. I also used to post at slightlydark. Somehow, I have been able to get the same name at each site. I probably wouldn't be able to get "Jodo Kast" at any gaming site or Star Wars site, for sure.

This website was the first site where I made a "post". It was because of this website that I found I needed to use ebay, which required an email address. So I had to make an email.

Some things I really like about this forum are the lack of ads and large signatures with pictures. FFshrine, OC Remix, and vgmdb can sometimes be incredibly irritating due to the signatures. The presentation of the forums here is superior to the rest. It's easier on the eyes.

Leon Jun 25, 2012

This is definitely my favorite game music forum in regards to presentation. The visual design of this site is remarkable, really.

I think VGMdb's my preferred hang-out at the moment. Activity's starting to pick up more and more, though I'm not sure where any actual game music discussion is going to peak in the future. But this is definitely the classic game music forum, as far as I'm aware.

Judgment Day Jun 25, 2012

Jodo Kast wrote:

This is a very expensive and often frustrating hobby, so it's possible some people just don't want anything to do with it anymore.

Some people start a family, so that leaves little time for posting on forums.

I occasionally post at FFshrine, vgmdb, and OC Remix. Many years ago, I may have posted at gamingforce. I also used to post at slightlydark. Somehow, I have been able to get the same name at each site. I probably wouldn't be able to get "Jodo Kast" at any gaming site or Star Wars site, for sure.

After collecting soundtracks for almost 2 decades, this post is making me wonder why I had a 2 year gap of really not collecting anything (between 2008-2010) until picking the hobby back up thanks to SQ Chips. While I'm moving on to bigger and better things in life, I truly believe that the lack of quality content has hindered my collecting a bit. Some of it's come from not playing games like I used to and not identifying to what's trendy in this day and age. I've given some a chance and a lot of what's out there doesn't really do much for me, so I've secluded myself from posting as much (which is more that what I did at FFShrine, OC Remix, etc) because I don't have much to contribute. So I guess it's a domino effect from there that started the hiatus despite having the income to basically get whatever I want. 80% of my purchases now are remixes and other renditions that made me start collecting in the first place, which doesn't say a lot for 2012.

I think the industry is doing decent, and I think each forum has their advantages and disadvantages. But my take is the quality isn't as good across the board as it used to be in regards to originality.

LiquidAcid Jun 25, 2012 (edited Jun 25, 2012)

The quality is definitely there, it's just harder to find these days with the increasing amount of releases each year. You also have to look beyond the "mainstream" stuff, which can make this very time consuming.

Judgment Day Jun 25, 2012 (edited Jun 26, 2012)

LiquidAcid wrote:

The quality is definitely there, it's just harder to find these days with the increasing amount of releases each year. You also have to look beyond the "mainstream" stuff, which can make this very time consuming.

Back in the day, 'looking beyond' is what really got me to jump start my collection, and then I was more proactive. A part of that involved me playing games on a regular basis as I exited my teenage years into adulthood, and wondering what 'else' was out there since I liked the music so much. I knew what Final Fantasy 3 (6) was and played it to no end, but I bought soundtracks from conventions like Romancing SaGa 3 off a hunch...with literally no knowledge of the game other than knowing that SquareSoft did good musical work at the time. Import CDs were MUCH harder to get in the mid 90s, as I relied on comic conventions and shops like San Francisco LaserDisc and The Place to satisfy my love for VGM.

I'll definitely take your word for it, as the Game Music Community isn't like the other "look at me, I'm the smartest guy in the room" boards for the most part. I do believe there's some really good, original music out there. But as I slowly steer away from gaming bit by bit, all video game music becomes foreign to me, and I can't relate as much as I used to. As a result, unless someone comes out with a remix, making a purchase or even a YouTube listen to warrant a purchase doesn't draw as much interest. Whether the music isn't good enough to bring me back 100%, or if it's just me losing my faith in the genre to pick it back up is debatable. Hard to say...I don't think I'll ever stop, but I definitely don't buy and express my opinions compared to say...1995 or even 2005.

Fun fact about Judgment Day: I haven't played Suikoden 2 even though I own it. Still in mint condition in its original manufacturer's wrapper.

Datschge Jun 25, 2012

LiquidAcid wrote:

The quality is definitely there, it's just harder to find these days with the increasing amount of releases each year. You also have to look beyond the "mainstream" stuff, which can make this very time consuming.

One would think exactly this setup is what makes communities thrive on, watching out for quality stuff and reporting on these in their circles. But in my experience the exact opposite happens, and I don't really understand why.

LiquidAcid Jun 25, 2012

Judgment Day wrote:

I'll definitely take your word for it, as the Game Music Community isn't like the other "look at me, I'm the smartest guy in the room" boards for the most part. I do believe there's some really good, original music out there. But as I slowly steer away from gaming bit by bit, all video game music becomes foreign to while I can't relate as much. As a result, unless someone comes out with a remix, making a purchase or even a YouTube listen to warrant a purchase doesn't draw as much interest. Whether the music isn't good enough to bring me back 100%, or if it's just me losing my faith in the genre to pick it back up is debatable. Hard to say...I don't think I'll ever stop, but I definitely don't buy and express my opinions compared to say...1995 or even 2005.

That's interesting. I really never had this kind of problem. If would guess that around 90% of my collection (around 450 albums) is from games which I've never played at all. For me the game context itself isn't important at all. I'm more basing my buying decisions on composer and performer info.

Judgment Day Jun 25, 2012 (edited Jun 26, 2012)

LiquidAcid wrote:

That's interesting. I really never had this kind of problem. If would guess that around 90% of my collection (around 450 albums) is from games which I've never played at all. For me the game context itself isn't important at all. I'm more basing my buying decisions on composer and performer info.

It's not playing the game (like say...Secret of Mana) that resorts to me buying the music for it - it's more like because I played games at the time, I explored the music genre of video games which in itself became a hobby alongside playing. I also have a ton of CDs without ever seeing a "Game Start" on my television screen, but I still purchased them either due to a composer, company, group (SNK Shin-Sekai Gakkyoku Zatsugidan), or whatever.

Up until recently, the opposite has happened...where between 2008-2010, I wasn't playing at all or wasn't keeping up with the times to warrant any video game related purchase, including games and CDs. I can't vouch for others, but it just seemed that I couldn't relate in both fields, and playing games at the comfort of my own home was definitely brought down to a minimum. Doing so 'should' have nothing to do with any Game Music CD purchases at that point since I was well into the hobby to separate listening from gaming. But somehow it has. I'm a bit back into it now though, but I still don't play video games as much as I used to.

Leon Jun 25, 2012

Context is as important to me as individual musical style, I think. One of the best examples I use to describe the way I think about game music albums is Pokemon music. Though a well-trained ear can detect the stylistic quirks of each different game musician working on a soundtrack, context itself is still very important to the overall framework and progression of a soundtrack. I've found a lot of specific tracks and parts of albums that get this concept across very well, and they all come from the same franchise.

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