Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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LiquidAcid Apr 19, 2013

Hey, I'm making this really quick this time. Just went through the VGMdb calendar for May and there is (except for one release) nothing that really interests me:

N/A | Shin Megami Tensei IV SOUND & ARTCOLLECTION

I would've loved to see Atsushi Kitajoh to be also involved with this, but currently only Ryota Koduka from Atlus Sound Team is confirmed.

So, for me May is very "peaceful" to my purse smile

Greets,
liquid

Porter Apr 20, 2013

Hm...with current interest in Masamichi Amano scores I am trying to keep ordering new releases at minimum.

Pre-ordered:
1. a good librarian like a good shepherd Original Soundtrack
Here is playlist with some BGM tracks:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFoXdqxQ … dzGIYzScjK

Planned for order:
1. Yu-Gi-Oh ZEXAL SOUND DUEL 3
2. Grisaia no Rakuen Soundtrack & Theme Song Collection - Yes, Elements Garden:)
3. PSYCHO-PASS Complete Original Soundtrack [Limited Edition]

Not decided:
1. THE UNLIMITED Kyosuke Hyoubu Original Soundtrack
2. Hakkenden -Touhou Hakken Ibun- Original Soundtrack

Qui-Gon Joe Apr 22, 2013

Browsing through the list of upcoming stuff at vgmdb, I'm a little disheartened by how little of anything I'm interested in at all... at all.  I mean that's nice that I have a chance to catch up with stuff, but every time there's a drought I wonder if this is when finally we're going to stop seeing CD printings for game music... :\

GoldfishX Apr 22, 2013 (edited Apr 22, 2013)

Qui-Gon Joe wrote:

Browsing through the list of upcoming stuff at vgmdb, I'm a little disheartened by how little of anything I'm interested in at all... at all.  I mean that's nice that I have a chance to catch up with stuff, but every time there's a drought I wonder if this is when finally we're going to stop seeing CD printings for game music... :\

Same. If it weren't for all the juicy retro collections that have come out in the past couple years, I'd feel totally detached from the scene. I think the amount of actual game releases is going down, so that trickles down to the amount of CD releases.

It's something when Liquidacid says there's nothing he's interested in. Usually he (she?) is able to rattle off an impressive list of stuff each month I've never heard of, lol (although I do know Megami Tensei quite well).

Judgment Day Apr 22, 2013

I've been in this boat for a few years now actually. A lot of what keeps me going is all of the retro stuff that was released, and soundtracks that have alluded me in the past...which unfortunately doesn't speak volumes for today's music compared to yesteryear.

LiquidAcid Apr 22, 2013

It seems there is a little bit of a misunderstanding here.

First of all, these "impressive list(s)" are only possible because of the work of all the people who submit new albums early to the VGMdb, fleshing them out with additional information like preliminary artist information, and so on.

What I merely do is to go to the respective calendar page and go through this list, doing a selection of albums that pick my interest in the process.

If it might seem, that I know the games/animes that I list here, then this impression is mostly wrong. In fact I haven't played even one Shin Megami Tensei title as of today. Probably 90% of my soundtrack collection comes from works (game, anime, film) that I don't know. Phrasing it even harsher, I probably won't play/watch most of these works anyway. To give an example, I really like the music from the Ace Combat series, especially The Unsung War, The Belkan War and Fires of Liberation. In my opinion it offers a very good mix of these electronic and (partially synth) orchestral elements. However I will never play any of these games, and the reason is that I'm not particularly fond of aerial warfare. Another example is the Atelier series, which has brought forth some of my most treasured soundtracks. Still, the central aspect of Atelier gameplay is item crafting. And I find this incredibly boring, so now way I'm ever going to play something like this.

For me a game and its soundtrack are decoupled, in the sense that I don't need to know any game details to enjoy a (IMO) good soundtrack. I think I've said this before, but for me a good albums tells a story in itself. Knowledge of the work which it refers to might intensify this, but still, for me to regard something as good, it should "work" on its own.

That's also the main problem I see with some of the people here, which seem to focus too much on the "do I have any connection to the respective work?". Which brings me to the next point, which should discuss how I do these selections.

Yes, of course I also select based on game series. If I've enjoyed the music to a game series so far, I'm more inclined to also give the music to the sequel a listen. This might or might not be rewarded. Here you can again use Atelier as an example, since Gust always has a lot of fluctuation in their composer team. If you follow the series musically, you're bound to discover new artists on the way... artist which you might even like. Like I said, sometimes this doesn't get rewarded, e.g. for me with the Silent Hill and Halo series, which I felt turned into utter crap. But that's not the point. Point is to give even new artists a try and also to have a look left and right.

If you listen out of purely nostalgia, you're going to hit a wall sooner or later. E.g. I'm at a point where I just don't have much time anymore for "serious" gaming. I'm an old-school gamer. If I play a game, then I'm at least playing two hours or more. I detest the type of games (mostly casual ones) where you play for like 5 minutes, then do something else, and come back to it the next day. This isn't gaming for me. I'm also not reading a book if I don't have enough time on my hand. I need time for the immersive effect to take place, so that I can really relax.

So I lack time but still don't want to completly sever this connection, so I keep it via the music. My primary focus is the composer itself, but it doesn't stop there. If you look closely there is most of the time a very complex network of relationships between artists. Take a composer X and go through the albums he's credited for and follow e.g. arranger or performers from there. That's what I really like about VGMdb -- you can discover entirely new and exciting things just by following the linking. All it takes is a bit of adventurous spirit.

I therefore very much disagree with the statement about the decline of interesting soundtracks. The only aspect that has changed over the years is the amount of effort to isolate it from the rest of the "noisy" background.

Judgment Day Apr 22, 2013 (edited Apr 22, 2013)

Hmm...Perhaps this is a topic for another day (or a new post). Because about a year ago, I remember a thread loosely based on why there isn't as much discussion here as it used to be:
http://www.soundtrackcentral.com/forums … hp?id=6829

People should remember this thread because a few people replied here, myself included.

I'm not sure if it's creating a grand divide between past and present, but I'll just say this: A vast majority of what I've collected for the better part of 2 decades are games that will probably never see the light of day in my household...and I'm too busy to have a gaming life outside of firing up Tekken Tag Tournament 2 every now and then. But I quit the console gaming for the most part since like...Final Fantasy VIII (and to a smaller extent, Capcom v SNK 2 for the Dreamcast) to concentrate on running arcade based tournaments and organizing the fighting game scene up until 2010. That was a LONG time ago. But I still felt a need to collect as late as 2008, because what was out there was enough to warrant a purchase. My livelihood hasn't changed too much since then, and I can't be the only one feeling this.

Again, perhaps another time, another topic.

GoldfishX Apr 22, 2013

LiquidAcid wrote:

It seems there is a little bit of a misunderstanding here.

First of all, these "impressive list(s)" are only possible because of the work of all the people who submit new albums early to the VGMdb, fleshing them out with additional information like preliminary artist information, and so on.

What I merely do is to go to the respective calendar page and go through this list, doing a selection of albums that pick my interest in the process.

If it might seem, that I know the games/animes that I list here, then this impression is mostly wrong. In fact I haven't played even one Shin Megami Tensei title as of today. Probably 90% of my soundtrack collection comes from works (game, anime, film) that I don't know. Phrasing it even harsher, I probably won't play/watch most of these works anyway. To give an example, I really like the music from the Ace Combat series, especially The Unsung War, The Belkan War and Fires of Liberation. In my opinion it offers a very good mix of these electronic and (partially synth) orchestral elements. However I will never play any of these games, and the reason is that I'm not particularly fond of aerial warfare. Another example is the Atelier series, which has brought forth some of my most treasured soundtracks. Still, the central aspect of Atelier gameplay is item crafting. And I find this incredibly boring, so now way I'm ever going to play something like this.

For me a game and its soundtrack are decoupled, in the sense that I don't need to know any game details to enjoy a (IMO) good soundtrack. I think I've said this before, but for me a good albums tells a story in itself. Knowledge of the work which it refers to might intensify this, but still, for me to regard something as good, it should "work" on its own.

That's also the main problem I see with some of the people here, which seem to focus too much on the "do I have any connection to the respective work?". Which brings me to the next point, which should discuss how I do these selections.

Yes, of course I also select based on game series. If I've enjoyed the music to a game series so far, I'm more inclined to also give the music to the sequel a listen. This might or might not be rewarded. Here you can again use Atelier as an example, since Gust always has a lot of fluctuation in their composer team. If you follow the series musically, you're bound to discover new artists on the way... artist which you might even like. Like I said, sometimes this doesn't get rewarded, e.g. for me with the Silent Hill and Halo series, which I felt turned into utter crap. But that's not the point. Point is to give even new artists a try and also to have a look left and right.

If you listen out of purely nostalgia, you're going to hit a wall sooner or later. E.g. I'm at a point where I just don't have much time anymore for "serious" gaming. I'm an old-school gamer. If I play a game, then I'm at least playing two hours or more. I detest the type of games (mostly casual ones) where you play for like 5 minutes, then do something else, and come back to it the next day. This isn't gaming for me. I'm also not reading a book if I don't have enough time on my hand. I need time for the immersive effect to take place, so that I can really relax.

So I lack time but still don't want to completly sever this connection, so I keep it via the music. My primary focus is the composer itself, but it doesn't stop there. If you look closely there is most of the time a very complex network of relationships between artists. Take a composer X and go through the albums he's credited for and follow e.g. arranger or performers from there. That's what I really like about VGMdb -- you can discover entirely new and exciting things just by following the linking. All it takes is a bit of adventurous spirit.

I therefore very much disagree with the statement about the decline of interesting soundtracks. The only aspect that has changed over the years is the amount of effort to isolate it from the rest of the "noisy" background.

I actually look forward to these monthly lists of stuff you're interested in, because there's so many names that just draw blanks to me. While I love VGMDB for the oodles of information it provides, I feel like a lot of the discussion over there falls on the analytical side far too much. There really aren't enough impression posts, discussion posts or even mini-reviews of stuff over there. Much of it is translations and who-composed-what, which doesn't influence my buying decisions.

I think our philosophies intertwine slightly, as I have little nostalgia for most of my favorite albums as well (although my philosophy has been if it sounds like classic Megaman music, I like it!). Also, a lot of my best blind discoveries were done by buying used CD's or even bootlegs on the cheap. The last time I bought a VGM album new and 100% blind was the original Jikkyou Power Pro Stadium and I can't even explain my rational for getting it (I think it was to help fill out an order when the Star Ocean 3 albums came out, as I didn't want to just order 2 albums), but it's been a longtime favorite. Recently, I splurged on the first 3 Sunsoft 3-disc collections (4th doesn't interest me), with the 1st and 3rd volumes being almost 100% blind faith purchases (but at least my odds were in my favor of pulling something good out of them) The used market has dried up. Sales are few and far between and most of the time, it seems there's little buying interest (plus VGMDB's marketplace full of "negotiable" prices doesn't help). It's pretty damn risky to buy anything new right now, to me.

vert1 May 25, 2013

Ordered Tokitowa's soundtrack. Wasn't too impressed with most of the preview samples provided for it though.

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