Sober again, yay! I don't think I'm saying anything revolutionary here, but maybe I didn't express myself well or people misunderstood me.
okay, now you're just f---ing with me.
Maybe. When our opinions are so different and your approach is so aggressive, I figured a normal argument would be out of the question.
But yet, none of that has anything to do with the quality of the music itself. How does the lack of cinematicness make it "dated"?
It's not about the quality of the music itself, just how it works in the game. Static music doesn't offer the most engaging gameplay experience and events really need some underscoring (orchestral or otherwise) to be as affecting as possible. These weren't big priorities back in Symphony of the Night's day, even if things had vastly improved from five to ten years earlier. However, they tend to be essential in expansive games these days.
Again, I think you're focusing too much on the stereotype that cinematic music automatically comes from Hollywood. All I mean by cinematic is that it convincingly underscores the various movie sequences and whatnot that are now commonplace in games. This can be in any genre, any tone, etc. so long as it works in the game. Of course, it's necessary to make sure the core gameplay doesn't suffer and so many Western games scores (or Xenosaga) suffer from disproportionate focus on cinematic scoring.
There'll probably always be the need for some static music, since it's very demanding to create adaptive music for every scenario, but some interactivity can be achieved quite efficiently. For example, the MGS series is known for its evasion, caution, and alert music that elegantly changes the mood and pace in conjunction with the game. The Kingdom Hearts series nicely transitions from stylistically related stage and battle music. Even a few early games like Banjo Kazooie and DK64 offered some variety within giant levels by simple variations on each level theme. And FFXII's approach of offering expansive music within one single area theme was kind of effective too. Not that interactive, but certainly representative.
Another example: I love the soundtracks to FFVII - FFIX and think they were just right for their time, but I'm not convinced they would fit new Final Fantasy games even with an improvement in technology. They just seem too simple with the more elaborate graphics and too static with the novel gameplay. I guess FFIX did cinematic well though. All the major cutscenes were beautifully underscored with vibrant orchestration by Shiro Hamaguchi. That wasn't generic Hollywood music at all and just as colourful and emotional as the main score. I'd love to see more like that...
I think SOTN is actually fairly weak as a whole, but feel it's individual tracks excel beyond most game music, even stuff produced since it's release
I actually somewhat agree with this. Some of its individual tracks in my opinion surpass its achievement as a collective whole. I'd go for fairly strong rather than fairly weak as a whole, but I'd not describe it as downright perfect either. This is part of the reason I thought there was still a lot of room for evolution. For me, Lament of Innocence is a better collective whole and has about as many star tracks, though it also has more weaker ones.