longhairmike wrote: Daniel K wrote:
If there's nothing promising on the horizon, what makes you stick around the VGM scene? Maybe its time to pack the bags if you feel you get nothing out of it.
posting on this forum has nothing to do with how hip one is to the current VGM scene.
Read my sentence again. I said nothing about leaving this place or stopping posting, I said "what makes you stick around the VGM scene?" VGM scene doesn't = STC. STC is a discussion forum about the VGM scene, among other things.
most of us have been here over a decade and we enjoy each others' unique styles of responses. It's like some Linkin park fan telling me to cut my hair because the metal i liked 20 years ago is no longer considered metal.
Well, I've been here for over a decade as well, so I'm hardly the Linkin Park fan to your 80s metalhead.
To be fair though, couldn't you ask that question of a lot of people?
Sure, I'm asking myself that pretty often as well. Just wanted to hear what you had to say about it, since you've been one of the gloomier voices in the community concerning the state of VGM today.
Sorry to say, decent discussions on newer soundtracks don't seem to happen very often.
I've noticed that as well. Nowadays, its more common for the discussion about a soundtrack to take place before its released, once its out and people hear it, the threads usually die (see for example the Order of Ecclesia thread below). Some very popular albums that appeal to a large part of the community (see Rockman 9) are exceptions, but its usually like that. Five or ten years ago, the discussions would usually balloon out of proportion after the album was released and everyone had heard it. I'm not sure this can be interpreted as proof that albums today aren't as good as the old ones, or made into a sweeping generalization about the state of game music today. Maybe its just that the average age of the hardcore VGM fan is higher now, and that people learn with age that debating subjective opinions on art back and forth usually don't yield much insight or serve much purpose unless all involved parties express themselves in an intelligent, articulate and respectful manner (which often isn't the case)? I don't think most of us are inclined to fight and endlessly debate an album's worth like we did with Chrono Cross or FF8 when we were 17 or 19 or 21 or whatever... There's a real possibility that some of the nostalgia we feel about certain "golden age" VGM albums is really residual excitement from the discussions we partook in regarding those albums, passionately defending or debating them. I'm not saying this is a decisive or even significant portion of an album's appeal, but it might count for more than we consciously are aware of. Thus, if there's less discussion about new albums as a result of us being older and more jaded and picky VGM-fans, it follows that fewer new "legends" will be created. So, it might very well be that there's less discussion about new albums now because the new albums are on average worse than the old ones, but it might also be the reverse, that we're less excited simply because there's less hype going around and we're less susceptible to that hype. I think both explanations are correct and work together, although which the dominant one is is hard to tell and probably varies a lot from person to person (and album to album).
I don't know about others, but for me, VGM has always had a lot to do with the game experience.
A good point, most VGM fans are game fans first and VGM fans second. I think that, generally, the more games you play, the more likely you are to become a VGM fan or maintain that enthusiasm. Is there even one hardcore VGM fan out there that wasn't an avid gamer first? The problem a lot of us have is that we don't play many games anymore, so we're not as firmly rooted in the game/VGM culture as we were. Now I play maybe 4 or 5 games per year, and buy maybe 7 or 8 game music albums per year. I try to keep an open mind and outlook towards new VGM from games I haven't played, but I've noticed that I've become much more discriminatory and unforgiving in my selection (like Goldfish), and very rarely give new downloads more than a single playthrough if I didn't like them the first time. On the other hand we have fans like Amazingu that still play a lot of games, and these people usually don't feel that VGM has gotten any worse than it was. So the degree to which you are immersed in gaming culture and to which you are exposed to games seems to have bearing on your view of "the state of VGM" (at least for most people).
Just be careful your attempt at remaining open-minded doesn't put you in a state of denial, which would be another form of bias
Haha, that's a great argument. If by "state of denial" you mean that I would start pretending to like new VGM just to be "open-minded", you need have no worries, I won't. I trust my own judgment.
The fact that you have the same sense of things despite your arguments (which I can appreciate) would seem to support my suspicion as well.
All I'm saying is its very hard to determine if "old" or "new" VGM is the better, and wasting too much time on the question increases the chance of blinding yourself by choosing one "side" over the other. And if you happen to choose the "old side", the outlook for the future becomes pretty grim, because, let's face it, that era is bygone and isn't coming back. Stuff like Rockman 9 is the exception, not the rule.
There are many dimensions to the "new-vs-old"-problem, we have hardly mentioned the supposed "melody-vs-ambiance"-dichotomy yet. Some people dislike newer VGM because they simply like melodic and "memorable" music more (although I personally would argue that music lacking melody can be just as memorable). This doesn't bother me that much personally because (1) its overemphasized, there's still a lot of melodic VGM being made, and (2) I'm fortunate enough to be able to appreciate most kinds of music, so I feel that a catchy melody isn't the only component that can make music great (beats and ambiance account for a lot as well, which is partly why I like Yamaoka so much, because he combines the three perfectly in his music).
Pedantic footnote: The sixth-generation consoles are not 128-bit. Neither are the seventh-generation consoles, and it's unlikely that any of the eight-generation consoles will be, for the same reason there are no 128-bit PCs: Increasing the word size beyond 64 bits has no significant performance advantages for the vast majority of applications. In fact, even a 64-bit word size doesn't do all that much for most applications unless you have more than 4 GB of memory, which no console does.
Thanks for the clarification. I've always wondered why people stopped talking in "bits" when discussing new consoles. Back in the early 90s, "bit" was the Hip Word, especially in the 16-bit era when people started moving away from the NES (its only 8-bit! you don't wanna play that). I guess after 64-bit, the term has become redundant.
I like listening to old recordings of Ronald Reagan's speeches just because he had such a great voice
You should listen to the fireside chats instead!