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Your top five releases of 2011 so far

I did this back in 2008 (Click!), 2007 (Click!), and 2006 (Click!) so after skipping two years here it is again for 2011.  Basically, since half the year is over now, let's sum up the "Best of 2011" in VGM so far.  If you suffer from memory loss and don't remember what came out this year, start here.

5) Sonic Generations Demo
Even though there are only a handful of tracks in the demo, it still deserves a spot on my top 5.  Naofumi Hataya and Jun Senoue both did amazing remixes of Green Hill Zone and the Sonic Heroes menu remix is pretty nice too.  Bring on the full soundtrack!

4) Shadows of the Damned
I'm sure all Yamaoka fans will have this on their list.  What's not to love?  It's basically a new Silent Hill soundtrack with some latin and opera influences thrown in.  I haven't gotten far enough in the game yet to hear a lot of the music but so far it's totally rocking me.  Looking forward to the full soundtrack release later this year!

3) Myth - The Xenogears Orchestral Album
Once again, what's not to love?  Xenogears music played by an orchestra.  While some of the arrangements aren't anything to write home about, the source material is so good that it doesn't even matter.  This CD wins my "gave me the most chills while listening" award.

2) Akumajo Dracula Harmony of Despair Original Soundtrack
Played this game on 360 last year and the music just blew me away.  Had to have the music low while playing the game due to using a headset for co-op so it's a real treat to finally have a CD release.  Lots of variety here due to so many composers/arrangers, and all the Castlevania remixes from existing games are top notch.

1) NEO CONTRA Original Soundtrack
First of all, yes it counts.  Even though the game is seven years old, the soundtrack was just released this year.  One of Sota Fujimori's best game soundtracks ever if you ask me, right up there with Castlevania Chronicles and the Yamaoka co-composed Shin Contra.  This man needs to do more non-Bemani games.

So yeah, that's my list.. Konami, Square, Yamaoka, and Sega.  No surprises there. smile

Kinda slim pickins this year but I'd give honorable mentions to Akumajo Dracula Tribute Vol.1 (only a few tracks), Dead Island Trailer Theme, Hard Corps Uprising, and Senjou no Valkyria 3 Original Soundtrack.  I have yet to play and/or listen to: FINAL FANTASY IV & THE AFTER YEARS Sounds Plus, L.A. Noire Official Soundtrack, and Ryu ga Gotoku OF THE END Original Soundtrack.

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Re: Your top five releases of 2011 so far

I don't think I have enough for a top five, but the Gyakuten Kenji 2 Original Soundtrack easily takes the top spot for me.  I've got a full-length review in three different places to prove my love for it. wink

I'm likely in the minority who really enjoyed the Akumajo Dracula Tribute Albums -- and probably even more so who liked Myth: The Xenogears Orchestral Album well enough, but by no means loved it.

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Re: Your top five releases of 2011 so far

I'm hard pressed to think of anything, to be honest.
2011 so far has been an immensely disappointing year in terms of VGM AND videogames, although I'm sure the latter half is going to cure this and make me wish I had more free time.

Shadows of the Damned was great, from what I heard in the game, but I haven't been able to listen to any of it outside of the game yet, so I can't make any judgements on it. It's a helluvalot better than Shattered Memories, but so is listening to paint dry.

Other than that, I haven't heard a single 2011 soundtrack I really liked so far.
Haven't listened to Myth yet, and none of the games I've played had interesting music.
I guess Dissidia 012 was good too, but it's mostly old music anyway.

The one OST I've actually been listening to a LOT this year is Sonic Colors, a 2010 soundtrack.
Man, that stuff is absolutely AWESOME.

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Re: Your top five releases of 2011 so far

#1 Eschatos is my favorite so far. I feel like I'm listening to another Ys IV Perfect Collection.

#2 Some people would probably shoot me for this, but I have to rank Dracula Tribute Vol. 2 right here.

#3 The Fantasm Soldier Valis ~PC SOUND ORCHESTRA~ has no fancy arrangements, as the name implies, but it is aural candy nonetheless.

#4 Valkyria Chronicles 3 requires some cultivation of patience, but I've learned how to dig it.

#5 Silent Hill Sounds Box has gotten my attention, because I have not previously listened to anything beyond SH 4. And that stuff is very good.

This is going to change, I can assure you of that.

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Re: Your top five releases of 2011 so far

I hope Mike doesn't mind me throwing in some anime soundtracks as well. In my opinion the first half of 2011 was a bit weak when it comes to only video game soundtracks, but it looks a lot brighter if I also take the anime side into consideration.

So here is my top 5:

5) the Garden of sinners -Movie "Kara no Kyoukai" Music Collection-
I only know two animations by TYPE-MOON. The first one I saw sucked big time ('Fate/stay night') but 'the Garden of sinners' was very impressive. Partly responsible for this was the score by Yuki Kajiura and the contributions by her vocal combo Kalafina.

4) KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original Soundtrack
I just had to add something by Yoko Shimomura and this is her only (real) work that got published in 2011. This woman is simply amazing and I hope she isn't retiring from composing anytime soon.

3) FICTION II
Have you ever been annoyed by the interlude in the ending track of the Xenosaga III soundtrack? The one that cuts 'maybe tomorrow' in half and inserts the instrumental medley?
Well, personally it didn't bother me that much... until I heard the pure version on this album. :-)

2) Ni no Kuni: Shikkoku no Madoushi Original Soundtrack
Makes we wish Joe Hisaishi would create more music for videogames...

1) The Epic of Zektbach -Masinowa-
Even though it violates the rules of rating only soundtrack material here, I have to put this on position one.

More candidates that didn't quite make it:
Akumajo Dracula Tribute Vol.2 (video game arrange)
Myth: The Xenogears Orchestral Album (video game arrange)
Fractale Original Soundtrack (anime)
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (anime, no official release yet)
Shiki Original Soundtrack (anime)
ROCKMAN ZERO COLLECTION SOUNDTRACK - résonnant vie - (video game arrange)

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Re: Your top five releases of 2011 so far

Angela wrote:

I'm likely in the minority who really enjoyed the Akumajo Dracula Tribute Albums

I'm not a fan of Vol.2 at all but I'm torn over Vol.1 because there are a few tracks that I absolutely love, a few that are just meh, and a few that are just plain awful.

Amazingu wrote:

The one OST I've actually been listening to a LOT this year is Sonic Colors, a 2010 soundtrack.
Man, that stuff is absolutely AWESOME.

Word.  Sonic Colors was my pick for OST of the year, and for good reason.  Tomoya Ohtani and Kenichi Tokoi really nailed it.

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Re: Your top five releases of 2011 so far

There's been VGM released this year? Wow, I hadn't noticed.

Only thing I've really been listening to from this year is the rip of the Marvel vs Capcom 3 music. Can't say I like all of it or Fukusawa's halfway approach to both rock and techno, but there are about 10 themes I put through the ringer regularly and don't seem to get old. My favorites are the oddly heroic Theme of Taskmaster, the troll-worthy Theme of M.O.D.O.K., Phoenix's Theme and Chris Redfield's Theme. Some themes from the prior MvC games return, but I can't say I prefer them over their CPS2 counterparts...Some like Wolverine and Magneto's sound kind of annoying. And the Ryu/Chun Li themes just make me want to get the shotgun out and put them out of their misery this time around. Bonus points on two fairly awesome remixes of "I Wanna Take you For a Ride".

Eschatos? Never heard of it, but comparison to an Ys IV Perfect Collection gets my interest.

And yes, Sonic Colors rocks.

Last edited by GoldfishX (Jun 30, 2011)

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Re: Your top five releases of 2011 so far

Eschatos does have some good compositions.
For those who haven't heard anything yet, listen to "Point of No Return" and "Stellar Light" for some yummy morsels.
(I'd be strongly in favor of a rock arrange album for this).

Akai Katana (and it's arrange album) both have some fairly strong moments.

Xeno Orchestra was as expected.
Octave Theory wasn't really memorable.

Space Invaders Infinity Gene wasn't quite to my taste, as I liked how the Space Invaders Extreme series handled their music better.

I was pretty hyped about the Otomedius set, but have only listened to it once so far... Maybe cause I listened to those DLC rips so much earlier.

Rockman Zero - résonnant vie - goes for a more relaxed acoustic arrange vibe.

I bought both the Rom Cassette Disc in JALECO and SUNSOFT albums with my casino money but they haven't arrived yet. Expecting some retro goodness. (and bought the Valis Collection from Jodo!)

And speaking of retro, I would have loved to get all Team E albums in their RETRO series (UPL, Jaleco, Data East x2, Taito, Irem x2) but they are just TOO DAMN EXPENSIVE.  Ditto goes for the Sega System 16 sets.

Falcom's Zero no Kiseki Super Arrange was more of the same style, their material is all seeming to sound exactly alike with no variety for some time now.

Don't think I listened anything from Valkyrie Chronicles 3 or Last Story yet.

Last edited by Carl (Jun 30, 2011)

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Re: Your top five releases of 2011 so far

#1 Bullet Soul Original Soundtrack

#2 Gradius Ultimate Collection

#3 Otomedius Original Soundtrack

#4 Akai Katana Shin Arrange Album

#5 MUCHIMUCHIPORK! & PinkSweets W Sound Track

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Re: Your top five releases of 2011 so far

1. Distant Worlds: Returning Home ~Music from Final Fantasy~

2. Myth: The Xenogears Orchestral Album

3. Ni no Kuni OST

Distant Worlds Returning Home comments here, reviews for the other two on their album pages.

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Re: Your top five releases of 2011 so far

Really glad to see Ni no Kuni in a lot of peoples lists. big_smile

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Re: Your top five releases of 2011 so far

I don't know if it counts, but the Ys vs. Sora no Kiseki album is pretty sweet.  It is a stand-alone soundtrack release, but the materials were already released as part of a pre-order bonus for the PSP game back in 2010.  I had no expectations for this album, and was very impressed.  It sounds like something straight out of Guilty Gear.

I also really enjoyed the Zero no Kiseki Super Arrange Album.  It may be very similar to what Falcom has been putting out the last couple years, but they know what I like.

Eschatos is OK, and the Dracula Tribute albums were pretty good.  I have high hopes for Rom Cassette Disc In SUNSOFT and its remix album, but haven't heard the first yet (and the second won't be released for a couple months).

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Re: Your top five releases of 2011 so far

Catherine. So...sexy.

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Re: Your top five releases of 2011 so far

Haven't been here in like forever (again). Surprised that I still know a couple of people here like GoldFishX, Angela, JodoKast, Adam, etc. Will try to post more often.

With that said, I might have to cosign with some others on this one. Been collecting video game music for almost 2 decades - this year in particular has been somewhat lackluster compared to most. Haven't been looking like I used to, but even when I don't, I still get email subscriptions of the latest releases. There's usually a soundtrack or two that'll break me down enough to buy it. Not this year.

However, looking at what some people are posting, I'll listen to some samples and see if it warrants a purchase. Whatever happened to like...1995-1999...where like there were so many choices, you'd go broke on your part-time paycheck sad

Last edited by Judgment Day (Aug 7, 2011)

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Re: Your top five releases of 2011 so far

*waves to Judgment Day*

Yeah, it's been an awfully sparse year for video game music as far as I'm concerned.  Like Amazingu, though, I'm looking forward to the big holiday game releases coming up.  My hope is that they'll boast equally impressive music scores.  I was a huge fan of Greg Edmonson's Uncharted 2 and Steve Jablonsky's Gears of War 2, so I'm hoping they'll follow through with the threequels.

And I'm already certain that the upcoming Minna no Rhythm Tengoku is going to end up high on my list by the end of 2011.

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