Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Adam Corn Feb 2, 2011 (edited Feb 3, 2011)

Going to try something new here.  As you all know we've had the monthly "Release Purchases" threads going for some time now.  I've been thinking it might be both a good conduit for discussion and a useful resource to have threads dedicated to discussing the upcoming soundtrack releases for each month.  Of course this would be in addition to the usual release purchases threads (see here for February's) in which we post our prospective purchases for games, Blu-rays, merchandise, spiders, what have you. smile

Following are some notable releases for February 2011 from VGMdb's useful calendar page.  Any thoughts and/or intended purchases?  Any enticing album releases that I've missed?

2/02: Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original Soundtrack
2/02: Shining Hearts Original Soundtrack
2/09: Ni no Kuni Original Soundtrack
2/18: The Legend of Heroes ~Zero no Kiseki~ Super Arrange Version
2/23: Xenogears Orchestral Album ~Myth~
2/23: The Last Story Original Soundtrack
2/23: Valkyria Chronicles 3 Original Soundtrack
2/23: Monster Hunter Hunting Music Collection III
2/23: Dance Dance Revolution X2 Original Soundtrack
2/28: Gyakuten Kenji 2 Original Soundtrack   [STC thread]

Adam Corn Feb 2, 2011

My own thoughts...

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original Soundtrack - I was severely underwhelmed by the first KH OST and am still somewhat ambivalent towards Yoko Shimomura, though the beautifully elegant KH arrangement in Symphonic Fantasies and the quality Last Ranker OST have me starting to turn.  Tsuyoshi Sekito's presence is a potential plus, Takeharu Ishimoto an equally substantial minus.

Shining Hearts Original Soundtrack - I know hardly anything about it but the thought of a new solo VGM project by Hiroki Kikuta must have you guys stoked.

Ni no Kuni Original Soundtrack - Only release of the month that I may pick up without even previewing.  New Joe Hisaishi?  Yes, please.

The Legend of Heroes ~Zero no Kiseki~ Super Arrange Version - Any thoughts on Falcom's recent non-Ys super arrange versions?

Xenogears Orchestral Album ~Myth~ - Bought the OST back when it first came out, failed to be impressed by it, sold it.  It'll be interesting being one of the very few to hear this arranged version who isn't familiar with the original, though early impressions posted in the discussion thread have me skeptical.

The Last Story Original Soundtrack - FFXIV was just further confirmation for me that Uematsu has lost all artistic drive and is reduced to unsuccessfully imitating his NES and early SNES-era works.  Unless people are proclaiming it the second coming I'll stay far away.

Valkyria Chronicles 3 Original Soundtrack - The first VC had some nice themes and decent production values but an overly homogeneous sound and too much filler.  I remember the complaints about VC2 recycling too many of the first game's themes, but an album combining the best of Sakimoto's earlier stuff with some decent new material might not be a bad thing.

Monster Hunter Hunting Music Collection III - Monster Hunter 3 OST had some good themes and even better arrangements but perhaps a few too many reprises.  Not sure what other MH soundtrack they'll be including selections from but the proper mix could result in a pretty good album.

Dance Dance Revolution X2 Original Soundtrack - Know nothing about it and apparently neither does anybody at VGMdb yet.  Has anybody kept up with this series over the past several years?

Angela Feb 2, 2011

Thread is looking good, Adam!  I'll follow suit with the regular monthly "Release Purchases" thread in a bit, but in the meantime, here's what I'm interested in checking out for February:

- MYTH - The Xenogears Orchestral Album - Got this one on order.  Despite the album's shortcomings initially heard in the live stream, I won't render final judgment until hearing it in its entirety, and in CD quality.

Valkyria Chronicles 3 Original Soundtrack - As somebody who enjoyed both the first and second scores, I'm looking forward to hearing more Valkyria goodness from Sakimoto.  Given the album's apparent shorter tracklisting (which also includes those guitar arrangements of older themes), let's hope he didn't go the recycled songs route this time around.

The Last Story Original Soundtrack - This is likely going to be a 'try before you buy' prospect for me.  I did enjoy Lord of Vermilion and Final Fantasy XIV Battle and Field Tracks, which were albums lean in length but high in quality, but let's see if Uematsu still fares well enough these days to sustain three discs worth of music.

Gyakuten Kenji 2 Original Soundtrack - This is the big one for me.  I've always been impressed by Iwadare's contributions to the Ace Attorney music universe; Gyakuten Saiban 3 remains to be my all-time favorite score in the series, and I loved Gyakuten Kenji.  The few samples in the flash demo and on the official site are promising enough, but I think I'm going to have to settle for a download of the Gyakuten Kenji 2 Orchestra Arrangement that's being bundled with the pricey Japanese game's Collector's Package.  Those samples, too, are sounding terrific.

James O Feb 2, 2011

I'll be picking up the KH release - I have all the others so the OCD kicks in.  I swear I'll get to finishing KH1 someday.  =p

I'm saving myself for the CD release of MYTH, looking forward to that one.

As as for the DDR X2 - I recently went thru a nostalgia fix going through DDR mixes 2 thru 8 and that spurred me on to look up the 9th and 10th entries... gotta say the magic was more there in the early mixes than later. Loved the cheesy announcer guy in there, and as the mixes went on, he eventually was changed for DDR MAX and Extreme, and then removed altogether for DDR X.  Boo.  I may just check out DDR X2 casually at some point.

Sami Feb 2, 2011

Adam Corn wrote:

The Last Story Original Soundtrack - FFXIV was just further confirmation for me that Uematsu has lost all artistic drive and is reduced to unsuccessfully imitating his NES and early SNES-era works.  Unless people are proclaiming it the second coming I'll stay far away.

It's the second coming! FFXIV was horrible, but The Last Story really is a return to form for Uematsu. At the same time, he has new developments together with references (not retreads) of past works. I say it's highly recommended.

Next time I meet Uematsu, I'm going to present The Last Story OST for him to sign.

Qui-Gon Joe Feb 2, 2011

Just a quick reminder for anyone planning to get Myth - the North American Square Enix music store sells CDs for way cheaper than ordering them from Japan (they have Drammatica for 20.99).  I'm going to wait and see if they stock it before paying import price for the thing (and also grab Nier for 19.99 while I'm at it - playing the game now and the OST is aaaaaaaaaawesome).

TerraEpon Feb 2, 2011

Yeah, SQEX online is cheap, but damn are they incompitent. They sent me a Chrono Trigger 2004 disc instead of FF:CC (EoT I think), and when I emailed about it....they wanted me to send back the FF:CC. Thankfully I managed to get them to send me CC, but damn was it annoying, especially after waiting forever for a KH Piano that they never got, and thus I decided to cancel that one disc and get the other two items.

Jodo Kast Feb 2, 2011

Adam Corn wrote:

Shining Hearts Original Soundtrack -
The Legend of Heroes ~Zero no Kiseki~ Super Arrange Version -
Xenogears Orchestral Album ~Myth~ -
The Last Story Original Soundtrack - FFXIV was just further confirmation for me that Uematsu has lost all artistic drive and is reduced to unsuccessfully imitating his NES and early SNES-era works.  Unless people are proclaiming it the second coming I'll stay far away.
Valkyria Chronicles 3 Original Soundtrack

I already have those pre-ordered, except for Shining Hearts and Zero no Kiseki. I am actually addicted to FF XIV's music. I don't see how anyone could dislike it.

Some other February stuff that looks interesting:

Bad Dudes vs. OC ReMix: Heroes vs. Villains OCRA-0022
Princess Crown Soundtrack SRIN-1080 (I recall the first print going for $300 or more on YJA.)
Catherine Original Soundtrack SVWC-7746
MUCHIMUCHIPORK! & PinkSweets W Sound Track (It's Cave.)

Soukyugurentai Original Soundtrack BSPE-1032 (This looked interesting enough to pre-order, since it's a reprint of a Hitoshi Sakimoto soundtrack I somehow missed.)

GoldfishX Feb 3, 2011

I think the consensus on Xenogears fell a bit when Chrono Cross came out and Mitsuda's output mellowed out afterwards (or "musically matured" or whatever). That is the pattern I've noticed.

For what it's worth, Xenogears is on a VERY short list of RPG soundtracks I don't feel at all compelled to condense or remove tracks (I think I only deleted like 3 total on it). When I draw a track from it on random play, I always think, "Damn! This shit means business!" It strikes that perfect balance of melodic gamey-ness and epic adventure-ness like virtually no RPG soundtracks seem capable of getting right anymore.

Speaking of which, I might give Last Story a quick listen, but I'm not holding my breath for a miracle here.

Ashley Winchester Feb 3, 2011

GoldfishX wrote:

I think the consensus on Xenogears fell a bit when Chrono Cross came out and Mitsuda's output mellowed out afterwards (or "musically matured" or whatever). That is the pattern I've noticed.

For what it's worth, Xenogears is on a VERY short list of RPG soundtracks I don't feel at all compelled to condense or remove tracks (I think I only deleted like 3 total on it). When I draw a track from it on random play, I always think, "Damn! This shit means business!" It strikes that perfect balance of melodic gamey-ness and epic adventure-ness like virtually no RPG soundtracks seem capable of getting right anymore.

I have to agree on the Xenogears front; while the amount of tracks is streched thin in game the two disc set is very fine outside the game and there is very little filler even though I can think of a few throw away tracks. Chrono Cross has never really come close to dethrowning it or anything else higher on my list, but I'd take Chrono Cross over Xenosaga, which is probably man's most overrated work. Three or four tracks and I'm ready to motor.

Wanderer Feb 3, 2011

What I've heard of The Last Story sounds solid. Not top-notch Uematsu but what is these days? I'll also check out the Xenogears album and Valkyria Chronicles 3.

Cedille Feb 3, 2011

Am I only the one who's interested in Catherine Original Soundtrack? I don't play the demo yet (and what little I heard from the trailer was the arrangement of a classic piece), but it's Meguro, and it's likely to be my purchase of this month. Hopefully it's somewhat different than his latest work, Strange Journey, one of the worst soundtracks I've ever heard in a long while.

btw Uematsu, Shimomura, Kikuta, Mitsuda and Sakimoto release something quite substantial in the same month means various things (both positive and negative).

Eirikr Feb 3, 2011

Cedille wrote:

Hopefully it's somewhat different than his latest work, Strange Journey, one of the worst soundtracks I've ever heard in a long while.

And yet it's probably my favorite soundtrack of his, other than Digital Devil Saga! Strange Journey is admittedly highly contextual though; did you play the game? It's absolutely befitting it. Its oppressive overtones aren't for everyone, but it's by no means bad.

But otherwise, yeah, since Meguro is still My Main Man, I'm looking forward to Catherine as well. Given the nature of the title, there may be few instances for Meguro to shine with his battle themes but hopefully there's enough good pop in there to keep the kids happy and some guitar for the stalwarts like myself.

Idolores Feb 3, 2011

Zane wrote:
Cedille wrote:

Am I only the one who's interested in Catherine Original Soundtrack?

That album art is so epic.

I only found out about this game today. Shit sounds really cash. Some sexy fuckin' cover art.

XLord007 Feb 4, 2011

Idolores wrote:

I only found out about this game today. Shit sounds really cash. Some sexy fuckin' cover art.

I love the wack-ass Japanesey story and art they have going for this game, but the gameplay seems to be mostly block puzzles.  If that's all it is, I'm probably going to pass.

Cedille Feb 4, 2011

Eirikr wrote:
Cedille wrote:

Hopefully it's somewhat different than his latest work, Strange Journey, one of the worst soundtracks I've ever heard in a long while.

And yet it's probably my favorite soundtrack of his, other than Digital Devil Saga! Strange Journey is admittedly highly contextual though; did you play the game? It's absolutely befitting it.

Nah, I no longer have time to play the game (that's why I don't try Catherine yet), but I really can't stand those horrible male chorus.

Electivirus Feb 4, 2011

I've been excited for the KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original Soundtrack for months now, and my copy finally arrived in the mail today. I swear, Shimomura just gets better and better with each game she scores.

I'm looking forward to The Last Story's soundtrack as well. I've loved what I've heard of his stuff on Final Fantasy XIV, and if this is even half as good, I'll love this as well.

LiquidAcid Feb 5, 2011

Being a big fan of Yoko Shimomura and Hiroki Kikuta it goes without saying that I preordered both Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original Soundtrack and Shining Hearts Original Soundtrack. Well, that's not entirely true. I listened to the gamerip of Birth by Sleep and 358/2 Days prior to making this decision. Same is true for Kikuta's new album, where I checked the official samples.

The Xenogears Orchestral Album ~Myth~ album is also preordered. I liked what I heard in the livestream, despite the audio quality of the stream being really bad. Another preorder is The Last Story Original Soundtrack. I totally turned away from Uematsu after his works for FFXIV (honestly I think these are just plain boring), but Last Story seems to be quite solid, judging from the samples on the Premium Soundtrack. I'm also interested how the vocal track by Kanon is going to turn out.

I'm also planning on getting Gyakuten Kenji 2 Original Soundtrack. Iwadare has been pretty quiet in 2010 after doing the amazing OST for amagami and Gyakuten Kenji in 2009. I hope he returns with a bang! smile

More stuff on my radar:
Valkyria Chronicles 3 Original Soundtrack: I very much liked Vol. 1 but Vol. 2 sounded too much like copy&paste for me. Let's see how this one turns out.
Ni no Kuni Original Soundtrack: Usually a fan of Hisaishi, but I'm sceptical after his work on Ponyo. Didn't like that at all, so I'm going to wait here...

XLord007 Feb 6, 2011

LiquidAcid wrote:

Same is true for Kikuta's new album, where I checked the official samples.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.  Wait a minute.  Kikuta has a new album that isn't from a hentai game?  Where have I been?  Guess that's another one I'll have to get.

Carl Feb 6, 2011

XLord007 wrote:
LiquidAcid wrote:

Same is true for Kikuta's new album, where I checked the official samples.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.  Wait a minute.  Kikuta has a new album that isn't from a hentai game?  Where have I been?  Guess that's another one I'll have to get.

Hmm, the title of "Shining Hearts" seemed so overly generic that I completely overlooked this and didn't even notice that it was done by Kikuta either! Now I'll have to check into it.

LiquidAcid Feb 7, 2011 (edited Feb 7, 2011)

XLord007 wrote:

Kikuta has a new album that isn't from a hentai game?

Actually I was quite satisfied with his eroge soundtracks. I'm still missing Nice Life as Wife from my collection though. And I'm _still_ waiting for a commercial release of his Tiara soundtrack, which should have come out in 2010 (but apparantly didn't). However nothing beats his works on SD2 and Soukaigi... yet big_smile

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