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lordskylark Oct 26, 2007

So, does anyone like this? I haven't heard anyone post anything about it.

I really really like 'The Price for Freedom' and 'Fulfilled Desire' at the end of disc 2. Some of the other FF7 arrangements are nice.  Some of the new themes I enjoy as well -- I actually was expecting this to be not as good, considering some of his previous works.

~Andy

GoldfishX Oct 26, 2007 (edited Oct 26, 2007)

The only thing remotely tasteful I've picked up is "On the Verge of Assault", which is actually a pretty cool mix of the FF7 main battle theme. And I want to say "Soldier Battle", but I can't bring myself to do it. Everything else...Flat, generic, emotionless, poorly thought out and downright ugly. Not as bad as his "It's a Wonderful World", but at least that was supposed to sound like a lackluster Jpop/Jrock/Jrap album from the start.

Wanderer Oct 26, 2007

I couldn't even make it halfway through the first disc. I actually felt my brain cells popping while listening to the music.

Zane Oct 26, 2007

I haven't heard the actual OST, but I heard the gamerip and aside from a couple of decent FFVII remixes, I thought it was pretty poor. A lot of the songs have the same feel to them - generic and lifeless.

KujaFFman Oct 26, 2007

I think it's great. FFVII remixes are well done, rock ballads are absolutely awesome, ambiant tracks are fine ("Anxious Heart" is one of the best) and piano and/or violin solos are beautiful. I'm not really in rock battle themes but they do fine anyway. Also, the ending theme is wonderful. In any case, I don't hear anything poor. It is a truly enjoyable soundtrack, as was Subarashiki Kono Sekai.

TerraEpon Oct 26, 2007

Didn't like the FFVII stuff  or the originals...except for 'Fulfilled Desire', which I assume is the ending.


-Joshua

jeriaska Oct 26, 2007

Have to agree with KujaFFMan.  The soundtrack's remixes and new material both fit the mood of the game for me.  I'm liking the treatment of acoustic violin and bass, especially in "Moment of Courtesy," and also some use of the electric guitar, though it tends to be a bit much in-game.  For me it's easily the most successful part of the new Compilation in resurrecting its predecessor, as it were.  But I too liked Subarashiki Kono Sekai, so there you go.

GoldfishX Oct 27, 2007 (edited Oct 27, 2007)

Oh joy...More Ishimoto. Further cementing the overall shit that 2007 has proven to be, as far as VGM goes and how far Square's in-house staff has fallen, is his own final addition to his "Trio of Terror". There's no justice if this guy is getting paid to write this stuff.

jeriaska: I hated DoC with a passion, but I can at least see what people like about it (I also don't doubt Hamauzu is a much better composer than Ishimoto). This one...I'm clueless, aside from the FF7 battle arrangement. It's like, on paper, it has something for everyone, style-wise, but I wouldn't even bother with the rock pieces on it (which are normally the highlight of a soundtrack for me), much less the other stuff.

jeriaska Oct 27, 2007

I'm finding myself satisfied with those soundtracks you mentioned, GoldfishX, even if I do have some reservations.  I've yet to see anyone validate Ishimoto's facility with handling both electronic and acoustic instruments. But I'm expecting FFKujaMan's blogging will hit upon a vindication of Takeharu, from MIDIs to violins, if anyone will. 

Maybe Ishimoto has yet to find his voice.  To my mind at least, the surprises of Subarashiki make worthwhile the cross-cultural whiplash.  I'm still drawn in by the instrumentation for psychedelic, SHIBUYA, and Slash and Slash.  Mentally filtering out the culturally encoded meanings behind the lyrics, because a lot of it is a bit on the jibberish side, I can approach a similar degree of engagement with many of the vocal tracks.

But I'm noticing that importers seem repulsed by the OST, and I'm guessing it's because the lyrics and the R&B style seem out of place to a DS game.  I wonder if similarly Hamauzu and Yamazaki took too many risks in introducing smooth jazz and classical influences to a shooter like Dirge of Cerberus.   But I'm still finding them interesting. 

There's a lot of game music out there this year, and my guess is no one can listen to all of it.  So if I'm being too myopic here, I'd like to hear where the newest contenders are at.

Dais Oct 27, 2007

I've been apprehensive about the "new wave" of Square (Enix) composers. I wasn't impressed by what I sampled of "It's A Wonderful World", never been a big fan of Hamauzu (although I never really gave him a chance - I probably should now that he's one of the core composers), and was generaly anticipating things going downhill for the forseeable future.

The first thing I did with Crisis Core was listen to the remixes. Then I skimmed the rest. And I thought, "is this it?"

Well, no, of course that isn't it. I said to myself...."Ignore the legacy. Ignore Final Fantasy VII. Ignore Final Fantasy. Ignore Uematsu. Ignore Squaresoft."

And, upon relistening......there is some stuff here I really like.

I'm going to talk out my ass out here (rare, I know!), and make a bunch of you roll your eyes, but I'm going to float out a small theory as to why some of us are going to react to this soundtrack (and likely future soundtracks) with bewilderment and disgust: this is, in certain ways, game music evolving.

Hear me out!

Game music is evolving because, in ways I really don't want to pin down, music as we commonly recognize it is evolving - at a much faster pace than ever before.

Look at the evolution and propagation of music "genres" and styles within the past 100 years. Much like technology (and for the most part thanks to technology), they've been increasing at a stunningly exponential rate. There are more people out there in the world than ever before, naturally, and that means there's more ideas floating around at one time than ever before.

Some of it - probably a lot of it - is fluff, or stuff generated so incestously it's indistinguishable from it's ancestors, or just plain holy shit how can you listen to this noise. But , much as I and Wikipedia janitors loath to admit it, many new valid and interesting musical styles are emerging. Ones that, as always, will be more appreciated by the generation that created them than the ones that came before. New music is out there.

And now, now that we even have a handheld system capable of giving us CD-quality audio (and the DS  can if you fund a big enough cart), we're barreling straight towards something that some of us may not be able to deal with easily: the new music is becoming the new game music. Stuff that even those who have been keeping up until now will find themselves balking at. Stuff that doesn't always concern itself with what we expect from games. Stuff that, when we hear it, we will try to rationalize our confusion and displeasure about it with comments about the music and the composer that are quite inaccurate.

And of course, part of the problem is that the new game music doesn't always work as the same kind listening experience we're used to in, say, RPG music. If you go into Crisis Core expecting the flow of a Squaresoft soundtrack like what Uematsu composed, or even Ito or Sakimoto or Mitsuda or whoever else.....well, you're probably not going to be satisfied. Because this soundtrack doesn't work like that, even though the music itself is good.

hmm. I'm too tired to go back and make myself any clearer, or finish what I'm thinking. It's time to turn in for the night.

PS: I'm at least glad I disagree with GoldfishX on this. All's right with the world.

GoldfishX Oct 27, 2007 (edited Oct 27, 2007)

A case can probably be made to vindicate anyone...I'm just not sure Ishimoto's works are worthy of being looked that deeply into, aside from the fact he's probably the most active Square composer at the moment. To be perfectly honestly, I thought Wonderful World was an elaborate hoax when I heard it (I contend I can grab 10-12 totally random Jpop/Jrock/even J-rap tracks and I'd get better results). And yes, Crisis Core has a lot of diverse styles in it, but it's more along the lines of throwing shit against the wall with the hope something (anything) sticks than a carefully planned out project. Same issue I have with the newer Wild Arms soundtracks, but much worse and even less coherent. And those rock tracks...I don't think "loud, random noise" is too far off the mark.

But hey, if you guys enjoy the stuff, don't let the naysayers stop you. Just don't be surprised when they get the reactions they get...I can almost assure you you'll be in the minority that find them favorable.

As for the "newest contenders"...There aren't many right now. VGM is really stagnant right now as a whole. Given the choice between making something out of a nobody (Ishimoto, in my case) and looking elsewhere for good music (not just for the novelty of being from a videogame), the choice is pretty obvious.

Dais: Funny thing is, I agree with much of what you said about the evolution of music. Thing is, I don't think "game music" is evolving so much as it is serving as a vehicle for artists to get their breaks, now that it can readily incorporate anything into it (as the status of game music has changed as well). That's about the level I stick Ishimoto into. So ultimately, unless you're attached to the game/company/composer or a particular style...Why should you give a f--- when the current VGM composers are just going to imitate stuff that's already out there and probably being done a million percent better?

In any any case, maybe there's a legitimate reason "retro" styles are so popular right now? Look at all the 80's bands that have either gotten back together or revived their careers. Hell, staying within VGM, look no further than the Afterburner, Outrun and Wonderboy sets we got this year (and an actual release of Megaman 7 and 8). And you'd be hard pressed to find fan arranges based on more modern stuff...Maybe there's a reason for that (and no, its' not because the sound quality has improved...that argument has always been nonsense).

Bernhardt Oct 27, 2007 (edited Oct 27, 2007)

My only objection is that S-E is definitely milking it for all it's worth, and by that, I mean that the album's more expensive than a two-disc set normally is.

Otherwise, I dig Ishimoto's alternate rock, and techno styles; I thought It's a Wonderful World was a delightful romp as well, though they could've stood to put more techno in it, and too many of the tracks were short, one-minute-or-less instrumental jingles.

Both of his soundtracks are EXCEPTIONAL when given what they're getting out of a PSP or DS.

GoldfishX Oct 27, 2007 (edited Oct 27, 2007)

Both of his soundtracks are EXCEPTIONAL when given what they're getting out of a PSP or DS.

Read Dais' post...Both systems are capable of CD-quality music, though it's more rare on the DS (but even then, you can compress, then uncompress for the soundtrack release...I think). This isn't saying much.

The novelty of being VGM and coming from portable game systems aside...If this stuff is considered "exceptional" as far as alternative rock goes, I guess it doesn't say much about the rest of it or what he's trying to imitate. My first thought hearing much of it was that it was basic power chord chugging and a lot of it is stuff even I can handle right now if I just sit down and jam. I just don't think my practice amp can make as much noise as the ones in Crisis Core, otherwise I've probably covered most of it already purely by accident. So where do I go to sign up to compose the next FF7 game? I will tell you without hesitation...This is among the worst rock music I have ever heard and it sticks out like a sore thumb. The fact that's it's attached to a Final Fantasy game shows how far the series has fallen (or maybe it's a test to see how far fanboys will follow the series...I dunno, could go either way.)

And yeah, you're right...Much of Wonderful World's non-vocal music is made of minor jingles. Meaning it's basically just an average vocal collection that can pass for a game soundtrack. Let's not lower the overall standard of DS soundtracks...or the genres Ishimoto so readily sought to imitate (poorly).

lordskylark Oct 27, 2007

Huh, after downloading the game rip, they left off three tracks (they had room on the discs). One is the Victory Fanfare and one is a remix of Those Who Fight Further. I wonder why.

~Andy

KujaFFman Oct 28, 2007

lordskylark wrote:

Huh, after downloading the game rip, they left off three tracks (they had room on the discs). One is the Victory Fanfare and one is a remix of Those Who Fight Further. I wonder why.

~Andy

This is weird, especially since the Victory Fanfare is present in the game -- I mean, you can hear it after a successful mission.

GoldfishX: Are you sure you are not being dishonest? Reading your posts, I come to realize Dais was probably right: what you dislike is not the soundtrack itself, but its composer, the series to which it is attached, even the publisher behind it. The only places where I have seen such harsh words about this soundtrack are "elitist" or pseudo-elitist VGM forums, so it's easy to think the background of the soundtrack makes it cooler to criticize than to enjoy. I must say I find this especially surprising since I am enjoying this album, and I don't care it is from Ishimoto or this is Final Fantasy.

No offense intended, of course. (I don't want to trigger childish reactions like above)

GoldfishX Oct 28, 2007 (edited Oct 28, 2007)

GoldfishX: Are you sure you are not being dishonest? Reading your posts, I come to realize Dais was probably right: what you dislike is not the soundtrack itself, but its composer, the series to which it is attached, even the publisher behind it.

Actually, my posts were more aimed at jeriaska's comment that he was looking forward to a "vindication" of Ishimoto from you. I merely questioned if it was really worth the effort.

Also, if I were out for mindless hate, I wouldn't have praised the FF7 battle theme arrange. Since I really apparently hate Ishimoto (I do...or rather, I find him totally unproven and little reason to think higher of him and I think he's done little to deserve the right to release 3 albums in a single year, two of which bear the Final Fantasy name), and I apparently hate Square Enix (lost all respect for them) and apparently hate Final Fantasy (hate the cash cow it's become), I guess I shouldn't be praising the one thing from the soundtrack that doesn't feel like it was lowering the bar for my acceptance of quality game music. Why open the floodgates of controversy by liking this one piece of music, when I can offer a much more one-sided opinion?

I must say I find this especially surprising since I am enjoying this album, and I don't care it is from Ishimoto or this is Final Fantasy.

Cool. Like I said earlier, enjoy away. And don't be surprised when it gets the response it's going to get or chalk it up to solely being "Final Fantasy" or "SE" or random composer hate.

Ramza Nov 5, 2007

Dais wrote:

The first thing I did with Crisis Core was listen to the remixes. Then I skimmed the rest. And I thought, "is this it?"

Well, no, of course that isn't it. I said to myself...."Ignore the legacy. Ignore Final Fantasy VII. Ignore Final Fantasy. Ignore Uematsu. Ignore Squaresoft."

And, upon relistening......there is some stuff here I really like.

I had the exact same experience. Good to know I'm not going crazy.

Adam Corn Nov 5, 2007

I've just cleaned up this thread to the point where it actually focuses on the topic again.  I should probably comment on the silliness that had transpired but don't really know where to start.  Anyway let's enjoy the discussion about Crisis Core smile

Ramza Nov 5, 2007

GoldfishX wrote:

My first thought hearing much of it was that it was basic power chord chugging and a lot of it is stuff even I can handle right now if I just sit down and jam. I just don't think my practice amp can make as much noise as the ones in Crisis Core, otherwise I've probably covered most of it already purely by accident. So where do I go to sign up to compose the next FF7 game? I will tell you without hesitation...This is among the worst rock music I have ever heard and it sticks out like a sore thumb. The fact that's it's attached to a Final Fantasy game shows how far the series has fallen (or maybe it's a test to see how far fanboys will follow the series...I dunno, could go either way.)

But all you're referencing here is a few battle tracks. There are certainly some weak, inane guitar pieces there, and I'm sure you can pick up on them w/ your guitar. That doesn't mean the music is butt-awful, OR that you could compose the next FF soundtrack.

Along with doing decent arrangement to the standard FF7 themes, I thought many of Ishimoto's original tracks were great. He makes the acoustic guitar sound rad, and there's some great piano work here as well.

Don't know why I'm going to great lengths to defend Ishimoto. I guess I'm really just defending my opinion. IMO "It's a Wonderful World" is one of the worst OSTs released in ages. Disgustingly bad.

GoldfishX Nov 6, 2007

I'm not attacking your opinion, so no need to defend it...I don't hate Ishimoto, I just don't feel he's an artist worth exploring any further outside of the novelty of being a VGM composer, based on the sampling of work I've heard from him (I grabbed about half the soundtrack before I had enough...Oh, and I heard Wonderful World in its' entirety, unfortunately). I came to my own conclusion VGM as a whole was taking a collective crap, before I was even familiar with Ishimoto. Hearing his output and knowing he's being put in charge of an important project like this (with others on the way) with a company like SE just tells me I was right to stop favoring VGM, especially if it means accepting stuff like this, most of which I abhor and certainly wouldn't pay it any attention if it WEREN'T VGM. He can go form his own music studio and go nuts for all I care...He's an artist I don't have to concern myself with.

Since I tend to favor battle themes and especially rock-style pieces on game soundtracks, those were my main focus and...well, the milk was already sour from WW and they just turned it green before I drank the rest. Sorry to say, the world's greatest piano concert can't salvage that taste.

Bernhardt Nov 16, 2007 (edited Nov 16, 2007)

Finally gotten around to listening to this whole soundtrack.

Y'know, why don't they just go ahead and remaster the entire FFVII OST?

I mean, even if they don't end up remaking FFVII for the PS3 or any other subsequent system, how can you argue against the entire OST being performed with better instrumentation/synthesizers/audio quality?

Dirge of Cerberus should've had a remastered version of Vincent's theme. I mean, how could they have not done a rendition of Vincent's theme for a game that is, for the most part, about Vincent?!

GoldfishX Nov 16, 2007

I don't think that's what "remaster" means. They could probably stand to make it a bit louder and improve certain sound layers, but "remastering" wouldn't involve changing the original synth.

In any case, I like the synth on the FFVII OST. It gives the soundtrack a lot of character, in my opinion.

Bernhardt Nov 16, 2007

GoldfishX wrote:

In any case, I like the synth on the FFVII OST. It gives the soundtrack a lot of character, in my opinion.

To each their own, I guess. I still say the synth sounded better straight off of the game discs than it did on the soundtrack. They also could've stood to dial it down to a 3-disc soundtrack, seeing as how some of those tracks were just longer than they needed to be, and the game itself was only (heh, ONLY I say...) 3 discs.

...

Say Square-Enix actually decided to remake the FFVII OST. Who would you want to make the re-arrangements? Nobuo Uematsu probably would be the obvious choice, but I doubt S-E is going to be able to get him to come back.

I'd probably choose Hitoshi Sakimoto, since he seems to really have a good grasp on both classical and industrial musical styles, and he's really good at doing dark stuff, as evidenced by Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story, and Breath of Fire V.

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