Having my opinion of an album change for the better is something I've (happily) encountered a number of times.
Dragoon Might (arcade, Konami) is one in particular that comes to mind. I bought the soundtrack at an anime convention back in '98 based purely on the cover and the fact that it was Konami. I hadn't even heard of the game and figured it was some oddball RPG Konami had released for the PS in Japan. To my initial disappointment, the soundtrack turned out to be arcade chip-based music from a fighting game. I wanted RPG. Something like Suikoden perhaps. I gave it a good listen but promptly booed it off and put it on the shelf for a couple years and forgot about it. Then, after my tastes broadened and I developed an even deeper liking for chip music (after it had pretty much died out in next-gen gaming and I began yearning for it), I went back and listened to it and realized, "Holy shit, this soundtrack friggin' rules." Hints of oldschool Konami goodness blended in a fighting genre, generated by slick-sounding Konami arcade chip. What could be better? It reminded me of some old Genesis fighting game soundtracks that I used to love, like Deadly Moves. After that, I couldn't believe how shallow I had been when I first listened to it. While I had wished for something of higher quality at the time, after high quality music had become the standard, the oldschool quality of it brought me back.
Most recently the growing factor has happened with Sonic Rush Adventure. Initially, I didn't like the soundtrack because A.) it wasn't Naganuma, and B.) though I like Mariko Nanba and Tomoya Ohtani, I thought it sounded like a subpar rip-off that tried to SOUND like Naganuma. Then one day at work, bam! the Stage One theme song popped in my head and I couldn't get it out. When I got home I immediately listened to the soundtrack again and before I knew it, I was suddenly loving the soundtrack. I love it when that happens.
On the other hand, I have experienced the negative change as well. Most notably, with Nocturne in the Moonlight (SOTN). But actually, this is probably because one of the co-workers at the game shop I used to work at would play it to death, and I didn't know what the hell he was doing handling the stereo anyway when he doesn't know shit about game music and *I* know shit about game music. ... Anyway, I don't dislike like it or anything, I just never feel like listening to it anymore. With exception to the first level theme, perhaps.
Also, certain older orchestra albums that I used to love, just don't do it for me anymore. For example, Tamiya Terashima's arrangements for Falcom. I used to be a Terashima NUT. I bought a lot of his non-Falcom original stuff too. I still like some of his drama soundtracks but now I just find albums like Ys Symphony '95 (interesting musicially, yet) slow and boring. Now a days, if I'm going to put something on, I'd much rather hear something upbeat, rather than slow orchestral. Perhaps I had "forced" myself to like those back then because I had found my niche in the VGM scene. I will note however, that his arrangment of Field of Gale from Ys V Orchestra Version is still one of the sickest orchestral arrangements ever.
Regardless of anything however, I've never sold a game music album. Not even the stupid Pachinko soundtrack I bought because it was printed by WaveMaster, but turned out to be complete shit. Perhaps I should start.
- Justin Pfeiffer