Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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GoldfishX Mar 20, 2022 (edited Mar 20, 2022)

I guess before the forums get killed down, might as well try to create a snapshot of where the regulars are in terms of gaming in early 2022.

I've long been the grouchy old man of the forums about the direction of gaming, but I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised about the past 5 years or so. I'm hearing less and less about 2D games being "part of the past" and seeing more about how they coexist with the newer genres and AAA titles. Lots of remakes, tributes, re-releases (of varying quality, but plenty falling into the good/acceptable camp). We even saw this with the large amount of retro VGM releases the past 5 years...Almost too much to keep track of. If you would have told me in 2022, they would have almost completely revived the Wonder Boy/Monster World franchise, I would have laughed. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is a freaking BEAUTIFUL game (Asha remake was less-so, but still fun)

System-wise, I have a PS4 Pro and a Switch as my daily drivers (and an Analogue NT Mini and Super NT for easy HDMI options), but I'm in the process of building my first "real" gaming PC and coming to grips with just how many options it gives me (and basically waving the white flag on physical releases and surrendering to the power of Steam sales). The Pro has been solid, but the idea of 30fps in games has been a sacrifice for the past few console generations and I just can't deal with it anymore. Firing up the PC release of Forza 4 for the first time and cranking it to over 100fps in 1440p was eye-opening. So even though the gameplay of a lot of modern games is hit or miss to me, at least I can bump up the experience with the graphics and framerates. Graphics card-wise, I'm running a GTX 1660 Super and just waiting for something that can command 4K a bit better than the TOTL unobtanium cards right now (as well as better 4K monitors than the current crop...1440p monitors are really starting to mature and offer a lot of value at the moment)

I think Sony is in big trouble right now. The Xbox and PC game passes are game changers (basically rent all the games you want in the library in full quality for $10 or $15 per month). This is great for those of us that just want to try a bunch of stuff and likely not put more than an hour or so into them. I have also yet to see a PS5 in a store yet, but I have seen plenty of Series S's in stock and the Series X's are becoming more common (Best Buy near me had a full stack of them on display last week).

I'm holding off on picking up a MiSTer board until some things get settled down, but it's really an endgame for a lot of retro options, especially arcade releases. I've never liked the MAME frontends and going full FPGA creates that peace of mind that I'm getting as close to original hardware as possible. The NT Mini and its collection of cores is enough for my needs right now. I have managed to pick up a few PVM's and the FPGA analog output (with the ability to dual output to a capture card via HDMI) is a big deal. Having access to the CPS1, CPS2 and Neo Geo libraries (among many others) via FPGA on a PVM is beyond endgame.

longhairmike Mar 21, 2022

last year i bought an xbox360 for $20 from someone on offerup so i could play beautiful katamari... uhh,, thats about it

Idolores Mar 21, 2022

I have a standard PS4 and a Switch. I'm incredibly spendthrift; The PS4 was purchased from my boss for $80 on account of it making what he described as loud noises. Had it not been for that, I doubt I would have bought one at all. I fixed it up by cleaning out the dust on the inside, redoing the thermal paste and swapping out the internal hard drive for a new one with quadruple the original capacity, and it runs fine now.

I'm going through Pokemon Moon and Shield, albeit half-heartedly. My son is on a huge Pokemon kick, so it's a father-son thing. Otherwise, I'm going through Bloodborne. It is incredible, and definitely on track to being my favorite Souls game. I don't think I've seen a game handle Lovecraftian themes so deftly. I love it. Dark Souls 3 will be next. Beyond that, it'll be the huge PS4 titles:

- Nier Automata
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- God of War
- Handful of others

On Switch, it's an assortment of indie games. Hollow Knight blew me away, so Silksong is high on my list. I downloaded Garou: Mark of the Wolves, but I regard it as a waste, as a superior version is on the 360.

Generally, I'm not wild about subscription based game delivery methods. I'd much rather plunk down 12 bucks on Super Metroid on my 3DS and have it wherever I go than have to worry about yet another monthly bill. I didn't go for the Nintendo Online thing for that exact reason, and downloaded all the titles that I wanted onto my 3DS, like Earthbound, Metroid, etc. I much prefer that.

GoldfishX Mar 21, 2022

Idolores wrote:

Generally, I'm not wild about subscription based game delivery methods. I'd much rather plunk down 12 bucks on Super Metroid on my 3DS and have it wherever I go than have to worry about yet another monthly bill. I didn't go for the Nintendo Online thing for that exact reason, and downloaded all the titles that I wanted onto my 3DS, like Earthbound, Metroid, etc. I much prefer that.

This is where I'm at. Unfortunately, the PC market is about 99% download-only, so without the ability to collect and resell games, no sense in accumulating a large library on it. I would rather buy a physical console version (and add it to my shelf) than a technically superior Steam version. There are games like the Grandia remasters that offer little value as a PC version, it being frame-locked at 30fps, so I'd rather collect the physical Switch version and play it on there (I haven't even started dabbling in PS1 or DC/PS2 emulators yet).

Worse comes to worse, the PS4 is an amazing streaming device, so it has that utility. smile

Zane Mar 24, 2022

I've been thinking a lot about this myself, as I'm coming up on the big 4-0 this summer and have been going through some deliberate introspection about what gaming has added to my life and if it's time for me to move on from being so connected to the industry as I have been.

Over the past few years I've sunk a ton of hours into a relatively scant number of excellent games: Dead Cells, Hades, Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls Remastered, Returnal. I find that these games in particular have gotten under my skin due to them all having a special kind of cocktail that spikes my attention but dulls everything else. My brain lights up like the Griswold house at Christmastime while playing these but the rest of me ends up feeling poor. Instead of exercising I've been grinding for Darkness to level up my Mirror of Night in Hades; instead of taking the time to go outside and explore the seaside town I've been living in I have spent most of my winter trying to level up as many weapon traits as possible while playing through Returnal in its entirety three full times. My attention span for non-screen activities has been fluctuating between poor and abysmal. In the past, this level of digital accomplishment was enough for me but I'm starting to reconsider where I'm at personally and what I want from the rest of my life. Hitting the theoretical halfway point of existence is a sobering milestone.

I've tried to get into some other games over the past couple of years but have bounced off a bunch of them: Resident Evil 8, Fenix Rising, God of War, Mortal Shell, Death Stranding, and a handful of other ones I can't recall at the moment. Elden Ring was on my list of games to pick up on release day but I haven't purchased it or played it. I actually was at a local Bullmoose recently, held the game in my hands, and felt nothing. I put it back and forgot I even looked at it until I started writing this post. I have a friend who has sunk over 100 hours in over the past couple of weeks but I just can't scrape up the interest for myself despite the fact that it seems to tick off a lot of the boxes that generally keep me overly invested in a game.

Personally, I feel like I'm at a crossroads between The Games That Were and The Games That Will Be, and I just don't think I'm interested in looking forward anymore. Between general apathy, feeling like I've already played every type of game (or some permutation of it), and an inherent anxiety and fear about life ticking away, I think it's time for me to step back and just let go. I have a small collection of my favorite retro/ish games that I'll hold on to for those days when I want to dust off the ol' PS1 or fire up some RE4 to kill a couple of hours on a rainy day. For the more modern stuff, I've been thinking about selling my PS5 and most of my Switch collection sometime over the summer before my birthday so I can have a metaphorical fresh start going into my next decade.

All that side, there have been a few games I've played over the past couple of years that I do recommend checking out if they seem interesting to you: Blasphemous (brutal platformer with a distinct, visceral style), the Doom 64 remake (best Doom ever, fight me), Gris (emotionally beautiful, beautifully emotional), and Creature in the Well (dungeon crawler meets Breakout meets baseball). These are great "one stop" games where it felt good to play them and it felt good to put them away once I completed them. (Although, I have played through Blasphemous a couple of times since its release.)

Anyway, sheesh. I guess that's where I'm at! I've had these ideas rattling around in the ol' brain recently but didn't realize how clearly I felt until I started typing it all out. My comments are just a reflection on my own life and preferences at this point and aren't meant to be criticism or commentary on anyone else's gaming choices or lifestyle (direct or inferred). If I had the drive and excitement for gaming like I did years ago this post would have looked completely different, believe you me!

Jodo Kast Mar 27, 2022 (edited Mar 27, 2022)

I'm 100% Nintendo Switch, strictly for the purpose of simplification. I have access to one eshop, one backlog, one set of in-progress games, etc. I have so much going on that I need to make the gaming part of my life easier to manage. PLUS - the HUGE HUGE amount of incoming games just on the Switch alone is mind boggling. Really, you can say the same about any platform. Just pick any modern platform, take full stock of what it currently offers and is going to offer, and it should be apparent that you are set for the next decade.

I can afford to get all the modern platforms, but I don't have the time to explore what they offer. I barely have time to experience just what the Switch has to offer. It took me months of careful thinking to finally shut down any possibility of obtaining a gaming PC, PS5 or Xbox. (It's also partly a gamble, as I am predicting a percentage of the games I want to play on those platforms will be ported to a future Nintendo Switch iteration. It's entirely possible I may never be able to play the FFVII Remake or Resident Evil 8, for example.)

Another thing to consider is this trend of New Game+. Just look at Xenoblade 1 and 2. Going through those games, and then going through them again on New Game + is at least a full year of your life. I'm not talking about these crybabies that keep it on Easy or Normal and then say it's a 15 hour game. I'm talking about Hard and Bringer of Chaos. Crank that shit up and try to tell me you can cruise through them in 15 hours. (Some of those YouTubers are a joke.) Even the add-on to Xenoblade 2, Torna, is massive beyond belief if you try the hardest difficulty.

What I'm playing currently:

Death's Gambit - almost complete, souls-like metroidvania
Pokemon Legends Arceus - first Pokemon game, actually kind of difficult
Monster Hunter Rise - first Monster Hunter game, confusing
Triangle Strategy - obsessed, absolutely incredible
Kirby and Forgotten Land - easy on the eyes and the brain

Most Looking Forward To:

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Zorbfish Apr 24, 2022

I have a PS4 but only a handful of games. Switch was the first time in years I got excited by a platform, and the majority of my gaming is on it. I still value physical/retro and buy when I can so I don't do PC gaming. Might change if the SteamDeck succeeds because there are plenty of games that are PC only I'd like to try

Jodo Kast wrote:

Triangle Strategy - obsessed, absolutely incredible

This was an amazing play. I was sold on the demo because it felt like the spiritual successor to TacticsOgre, but it turned out to be so much more. It was another surprise release like Octo from a few years ago. Only gotten 1 of the 4 endings but definitely want to see more of the game world. The way they did new game + definitely makes this easier. Only flaw was that dub and some of the stupid old English from the localizers

If anyone with a Switch is looking forward to Splatoon3 I'd love to swap friend codes. I loved 2 so definitely looking to play this in the fall!

Stephen May 13, 2022 (edited May 13, 2022)

My family has an Xbox One and several Nintendo Switch units.

I'm mostly playing adventure style games like Breath of the Wild, Metroid Dread, Ys VIII and Ys IX, Ori, Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity, and Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth and few random shmups.  I have also focused on RPGs with action-oriented combat like Tales of Arise and Persona 5 Strikers.

I have moved away from SRPGs, because they take too long to play, and many missions are just "destroy all the enemy", and the AI ultimately takes the same strategy (attack a unit from the back, don't move much unless your unit is in range).   SRPGs are incredibly grindy games, and I just didn't notice that they were time consuming when I was younger.

I had to play Triangle Strategy on very easy mode eventually, because the grind was getting in the way of the fairly excellent story (which had some gray areas, although not nearly as deep as Tactics Ogre).

As acclaimed as Fire Emblem: Three Houses was, I'm going nowhere near it, but I am looking forward to Fire Emblem: Three Hopes.

In terms of game music soundtracks, I have gotten pickier as well.  I now decide if I want to buy most game music if I can completely listen to it without the game, mostly in a car or at the office.  This preference has eliminated most RPG music as they don't sound well for driving or doing office stuff.  My musical preferences have shifted towards mostly high-tempo and rock music.  Some of my favorite game soundtracks are Persona 5 Strikers, SQ Jazz Chrono Trigger, and Streets of Rage 1/2/4.

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