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Adam Corn Feb 11, 2012 (edited Mar 9, 2012)

Time finally to get around to the main event of the polls section - the top soundtracks of each member's VGM collection.  Any game soundtrack is eligible, including OSTs, official arranged albums and fan arranged albums in any media format.  For OSTs please list the soundtrack album release where possible.  Otherwise designate the system and format in parentheses - for example "(SNES game rip)" or "(PC Engine redbook)".

As for box sets, let's avoid including them unless it's for exclusive content that rates among your top vgm.  Otherwise list the standout individual albums within for your picks.

This will be a permanently running poll so you can update your picks at any time and the results will be re-tallied regularly.  As always be sure to use the "Answer poll" link and not just reply to the forum thread, and to use the poll's auto-complete feature when available so the results will be accurate.  There's room for up to 30 picks but it isn't required to submit the full 30.

Results will be tallied March 11, 2012.

Amazingu Feb 11, 2012

Didn't someone already do this a while back, only spread across different music sites?
The No.1 was FF6 back then, and I'd be surprised if that's any different now wink

TerraEpon Feb 11, 2012

Yeah, someone tried to get as much of the net as they could to do a huge ranking of everything.

Adam Corn Feb 11, 2012 (edited Mar 17, 2012)

A while back was almost four years ago.  I certainly have a few new picks in my top 30 since then as well as a slightly different perspective on some of the old ones, and I think it will be interesting to see how people's picks have changed even if the top result doesn't.

As mentioned the poll is automated so there's no worry about tallying (last time took quite a while and I imagine a good bit of effort) and long-running so anytime there's a major new release people can include it in their picks as they like.  Not to mention that new members (of which we do have a few) can participate and have their votes included.

GoldfishX Feb 11, 2012 (edited Feb 11, 2012)

TerraEpon wrote:

Yeah, someone tried to get as much of the net as they could to do a huge ranking of everything.

That was me, then Crash finished the project because I lost interest (and didn't appreciate the attitude I was getting from some of the other places I posted it).

Only reason I responded to Jodo's original post is because I wanted to stop and think what were my top 10 right now. Most albums don't change, but I wouldn't have had Dragon Quest anything or Mario RPG in there 3-4 years ago. If I had to choose all time favorites, of course I'd pick Chrono Trigger over Mario RPG, but Mario RPG has been a strong recent favorite. And I can't quite explain it, but Final Fantasy VI sounds better and more pleasing to the ear than it did even a couple years ago. I would have gladly replaced it or moved it down in my list if I felt there was anything stronger.

Original post///

Why the hell not...

1. Final Fantasy VI OSV - No, really...It actually sounds better now than it did 15 years ago.

2. Megaman 2 - Ditto. IMO, my definitive chiptune soundtrack.

3. Phantasy Star Sound Collection 1 - Could have used more Phantasy Star 1 and 2 Arranges and a little less of 3, but what's there is exactly how I like my VGM arranged.

4. Ys IV Perfect Collection (set) - Not going to break these up individually, as I've been listening to them as a unit for years now. A bit lazy on a couple arranges, but the peak of the Falcom sound overall. Edit: For poll purposes, I'll use Vol. 1. It's strongest at the moment.

5. Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and 2 - It had to happen and I'm glad it did. Mostly here for Sonic 2, but both soundtracks define everything I love about fun, exciting and classic VGM. Edit: Here for Sonic 2.

6. Dracula Battle Perfect Selection 1 - I have a couple nitpicks in regards to sound quality (could use a better soundstage and more low end), but the arrangements themselves are perfect. Even better, I heard this long before I heard the Rondo soundtrack (which I love),

7. Dragon Quest Symphonic Suite Box - It's rare that I enjoy most orchestral VGM (especially arranges), but I've grown to love these discs. The town themes and field themes are the highlights. Just so much fresh material to take in, especially since I've only heard a couple tracks from these suites before and I have plenty of nostalgia for the original soundtracks to several of these. I'm going through sort of an exploration phase with classical and baroque music, so these kind of helped me ease my way into it. IF I had to pick one overall soundtrack here from what's included, my favorite would be DQ 3, closely followed by 4. Edit: For poll purposes, I'll use the London Phil version of DQIII. Unless I can use the disc from this set with the town themes on it. smile

8. Super Mario RPG Original Soundtrack - I've become really attached to this one recently (enough for this to bump Chrono Trigger out of my top 10 for the moment). Really the only Shimomura work I visit nowadays, it seems to have gotten better with age (and better headphones...I love the samples used throughout the album). I regret selling my real copy awhile back.

9. Guilty Gear Original Sound Collection - Not as much of a frequent listen as in past years, it's still pretty essential. An uncompressed version would be divine.

10. Game Music Graffiti - Classic NES and Gameboy themes arranged in fun, 80's style synth. Other than a couple lousy arranges for Kid Icarus and Metroid, what's not to like.

So yeah, my non-surprising top 10 at the moment.

Wanderer Feb 11, 2012

I'd have trouble picking ten, honestly (although I'm sure there's plenty of candidates). That's said, it's more than easy enough to pick #1 and to no one's surprise, it's FFVI. It's the rare multi-disc soundtrack where virtually every piece is flawless. I still remember its impact on me while playing the game for the first time, when I was 14.

FFXIII is a recent favorite (Hamauzu's magnum opus) that would definitely go on my top 10, although I haven't decided where yet.

Goldfish mentioned a few of the ones that would also go on my list, like Megaman 2, the Dragon Quests, Chrono Trigger... Also, Vagrant Story, the FFVIII orchestral arrange... gah, I'll have to really give this some thought.

Adam Corn Feb 12, 2012

For the record everyone can post up to their top 30. smile

I just spent the past couple hours looking through my collection and building a list.  Looks like I'll have almost a good ten new picks since last time but I have been pretty busy catching up on vgm these past few years.

It's pretty hard deciding whether one album should go a couple places above or below another (especially when they're completely different genres like say Kameo versus Street Fighter IV) and I'd recommend people not sweat the minor details as everyone knows moods and tastes will change.

Yotsuya Feb 12, 2012 (edited Feb 12, 2012)

A disclaimer, I only have about 30 cds, so being a third of my collection may explain some otherwise unusual picks. On to the top ten:

1. Touch! Generations sound track - Easy listening, puts me in a good mood. My favorite track: The Scent of Color… ~Bimoji Training Title~ (DS Bimoji Training)

2. Sonic CD - I prefer techno soundtracks, and this fits the bill to a "T."

3. Nights into dreams Perfect album - Probably my very favorite tracks are on this album, the extended ones, but many skippable tracks also.

4. Tekken Strike Fighting vol. 1 - Another fantastic techno style-album. I don't have vol. 2, but I guess you could lump them together.

5. Super Mario World - Cool smooth-jazz arranges and classic soundtracks, esp. Mario 3 and  obviously Mario World

6. Nintendo Super Famicom Game Music - Several glimpses into yet unpublished classic soundtracks plus cool arrange section

7. Soldam - Found this one through a common composer from 'Tail of the Sun' which I am looking for. Fun, bright and retro. I'd like to hear more like this.

8. FF6 - The big one, one of the first soundtracks I picked up, but I don't play it too often because it is a little somber. My favorite track is probably Relm's theme followed by the searching for friends then Terra's theme, and I could go on... smile

9. FF4 - Troian beauty!

10. Chrono Trigger - Not my very first game music soundtrack (that would be Seiken Densetsu 3), but the one that got me back into game music.

Ashley Winchester Feb 12, 2012

Adam Corn wrote:

What it does not include are game rips and game discs with redbook audio.

Aww shucks... and I would have definitely voted for Tomb Raider's redbook audio.

Yuvraj Feb 12, 2012

Adam, are you really fixed on the 'no redbook'? I mean, you are taking down a lot of classics here and what good is it? Oh and what about albums like Dracula X, Metroid Prime/Fusion, Suikoden II and the Ys IV PCs?

Adam Corn Feb 12, 2012

Yuvraj wrote:

Adam, are you really fixed on the 'no redbook'? I mean, you are taking down a lot of classics here and what good is it?

No I'm not 100% against it.  I would kind of like to see redbook included as well but then it's hard then not to include game rips and unreleased OSTs, and when you include all those I think the selection's going to be so scattered it'll be hard to get a consensus on many albums.

One option would be to have a separate "best OSTs" or "best unreleased vgm" topic but I dunno.

Oh and what about albums like Dracula X, Metroid Prime/Fusion, Suikoden II and the Ys IV PCs?

Dracula X because of the two-disc re-release?  I can lump them together in the results.  Metroid Prime/Fusion is a single album so no problem.  The Suikoden II OSTs I would lump together (they were at one time released that way), the Ys IV PCs I'd say separate.  Not too many tricky albums like that so case by case works I think.

GoldfishX Feb 12, 2012 (edited Feb 12, 2012)

Adam Corn wrote:

Not too many tricky albums like that so case by case works I think.

Careful, I assumed that before I started the other project. People found plenty of them. sad

Okay, let me knock out 11-20. In general, I'm intentionally leaving out series revisits (I already have Megaman 2, so leaving out rest of the classic series, I already gave DQ and Final Fantasy its due, etc). Also in general, I'm tending not to favor VGM rock arranges as much as I have previously, due to the poor production on a lot of it and the fact that I have more mainstream rock/metal on my player overall, so the need for them is somewhat diminished.

11. Chrono Trigger OSV - Moved down just because I know it a little TOO well. Still Mitsuda's best work, IMO, and I've always been a fan of Uematsu's contributions to this.

12. Ys Perfect Collection - Pretty much a glimpse into what the Ys IV Perfect Collections would become, it's full of the same type of arranges and arguably better synth. Always worth a quick listen, the knocks I have against it are the brevity and about 2/3's of the second disc. Far and away, the best version of the Ys I soundtrack.

13. Genso Suikoden - Same boat as Chrono Trigger. Amazing soundtrack that I don't feel the need to remove any tracks from. Just moved down because of overexposure. On a good listening day, could easily be top 5 for me.

14. Grandia I Original Soundtracks (first volume only, with a scattering of tracks from the second volume) - Iwadare not only arranged these from what was used ingame, I believe he used full-sounding versions that did not suffer from compression to fit the game discs. One of the best production jobs on any game soundtrack I can think of and I love the light-hearted adventure feel in this. Iwadare's best overall work, by far.

15. Tokimeki Memorial Sound Collection 2 - Fun, bouncy and well produced. One of the best arrangement jobs I can think of, considering most of the themes on here are not that great in their original forms. I think they got every ounce of quality they could possibly find out of these tracks.

16. Xenogears Original Soundtrack - Other than a couple tracks at the end of the soundtrack from the final encounters, I can't find anything I want to cut out of this one. A well-deserved classic that I probably should revisit more often.

17. Sorcerian Forever Vol. 1 - I don't really know what the sound setup here is, but it fits the Sorcerian formula perfectly. More pleasant that either the JDK Specials or the Renewal albums, it's mostly high-quality chiptune-like rock from start to finish.

18. Nights Perfect Sound Collection - Not something I'd usually toss up this high, but AT THE MOMENT, it's a heavy hitter.

19. Lufia II Original Soundtrack - As stated before, a booming production job on the Estpolis Biography soundtrack, representing how most instrumental VGM should sound. Kind of hard not to like this soundtrack, outside of some filler towards the middle and end.

20. PPPPPP - Two words: "Positive Force". Best new VGM soundtrack from the past 10 years, easily and without a doubt. Souleye is nothing short of an amazing talent. I had mixed feelings on the "new" chiptune style that was developing before hearing this, I have nothing but love for this whole soundtrack.

Yuvraj Feb 13, 2012

Adam Corn wrote:
Yuvraj wrote:

Adam, are you really fixed on the 'no redbook'? I mean, you are taking down a lot of classics here and what good is it?

No I'm not 100% against it.  I would kind of like to see redbook included as well but then it's hard then not to include game rips and unreleased OSTs, and when you include all those I think the selection's going to be so scattered it'll be hard to get a consensus on many albums.

One option would be to have a separate "best OSTs" or "best unreleased vgm" topic but I dunno.

Yeah it would make for a bit of a scattered poll but I'd still vote for the inclusion of redbooks because of the cd-playback ability (which kind of 'qualifies' them as an album).

Oh and what about albums like Dracula X, Metroid Prime/Fusion, Suikoden II and the Ys IV PCs?

Dracula X because of the two-disc re-release?  I can lump them together in the results. Metroid Prime/Fusion is a single album so no problem.  The Suikoden II OSTs I would lump together (they were at one time released that way), the Ys IV PCs I'd say separate.  Not too many tricky albums like that so case by case works I think.

I don't know which Dracula X you're talking about but I was referring to the Dracula X which has both Rondo and the PC-Engine Dracula X. But it's just like Metroid Prime: two games on one album release. I do think this is a bit unfair though, perhaps other people can chip in with their thoughts on this. The Ys IV PCs I'd have to agree on (so Goldfish you may start with editing your post:)).

Zane Feb 13, 2012

My list has changed pretty dramatically since last time, but here's what I got based on what's in my library (and what I ranked them several years ago). I'm including a couple of fan arranges, since arrange albums were included on the last list:

1) Final Fantasy VII OST (N/A)
2) Final Fantasy VI OSV (1)
3) Silent Hill 2 (24)
4) Final Fantasy VIII OST (N/A)
5) Final Fantasy Tactics OST (N/A)
6) Silent Hill OST (6)
7) Metroid Metal - Varia Suite (N/A)
8) Metroid Metal - Expansion Pack (N/A)
9) Silent Hill 3 (29)
10) STREET FIGHTER II Alph Lyra with Yuji Toriyama (9)
11) Voodoo Vince original Xbox game music by Steve Kirk (30)
12) Alpha Squad Soundtrack (N/A)
13) Final Fantasy Vocal Collections I -Pray- (N/A)
14) Final Fantasy Vocal Collections II "Love Will Grow" (N/A)

It looks like I've been banking on Squaresoft nostalgia in my old age. I've pretty much bottomed out on new VGM and haven't been interested in a lot of albums I used to listen to. The spark just ain't there anymore. I blame Between the Buried and Me and Cloudkicker.

Qui-Gon Joe Feb 13, 2012

Yuvraj wrote:

I don't know which Dracula X you're talking about but I was referring to the Dracula X which has both Rondo and the PC-Engine Dracula X. But it's just like Metroid Prime: two games on one album release.

Dracula X and Rondo of Blood are the same game.  Isn't that OST Rondo of Blood and Bloodlines (or whatever the Genesis/Megadrive game is called in Japan)?

GoldfishX Feb 14, 2012

Yuvraj wrote:

The Ys IV PCs I'd have to agree on (so Goldfish you may start with editing your post:)).

Already did. I decided to use Volume 1 to represent the trilogy, instead of using up three spots out of 30. I've never really been able to pick a favorite of the three, but I think Puroma Rock and Battle #58 give Vol. 1 the edge overall.

And...let's finish off the top 30.

21. Double Dragon II Arrange - I had to find a place for this one somewhere in here. Nothing fancy, just a rockin good time with one of the best NES action scores out there. Worth it for the final boss battle arrangement alone.

22. Marvel vs Capcom Original Soundtrack - It's Mahvel, baby! More valuable as something that sprinkles a handful of fun tracks into my library than a full out soundtrack nowadays, I think this is probably the most inspired Capcom fighting soundtrack out there. There's good arranges of past tunes to go along with some kickass originals all throughout the disc. In fact, I remember the samples of the Rockman Theme music being my main motivation for looking into this. Talk about a "died and gone to heaven" moment.

23. Seiken Densetsu 3 Original Sound Version - Still my favorite Kikuta album overall, it sounds like it's not taking itself too seriously when it really is. Further proof that the 16 bit era (especially the late 16 bit era) is when we saw Square's best music.

24. King of Fighters 98 Original Soundtrack - I admit I didn't quite know what I was getting when I bought this soundtrack. It's basically an anthology of great SNK themes (just as in the same way KOF 98 was an all star game of sorts for the company) with killer arranges and damn good sound quality for an original Neo Geo soundtrack. I overdosed on this soundtrack back in the day, so it gets limited playtime nowadays, but I pretty much wore the silver parts off these discs.

25. Rockman 2 The Power Fighters - One of my first 3 original soundtracks, I can say the exact same thing as I did about the Marvel vs Capcom OST above. Except this one just foregoes anything original and goes straight for the Rockman nostalgia from start to finish. I love when my player on "Random All" draws something from this album. Even though it's "just" a soundtrack to the arcade game, it's far more satisfying than pretty much all of the dedicated Rockman arranges that have crept up the past couple years.

26. Star Ocean Second Story Original Soundtrack - I used to rag on Sakuraba pretty hard for just about everything he's done since Star Ocean 3. I blame this very soundtrack for being the source of my disappointment: I just want another score like this one. If all his music sounded exactly like this soundtrack (or Valkyrie Profile...and I tend to prefer Star Ocean Second Story for being more balanced), he'd be my favorite composer.

27. Megami Tensei I and II - Probably Yonemitsu's most overall inspired arrange attempt (Ys Perfect Collection and the Ys IV Perfect Collections had their share of remakes, whereas all the stuff on the arranged disc here is fresh). Not an album I reach for all the time, but I can't say I ever walk away from it feeling disappointed.

28. Mystic Ark Original Soundtrack - As if I didn't have enough SNES RPG soundtracks cluttering up my list, I can't quite leave this one out. I sold this thing for $18 a few years ago and I definitely feel like I gave it away. Great score. Classic, but unique at the same time (okay, not Seiken Densetsu unique, but not your typical RPG score either). Those battle themes are pretty balls out rockin!

29. Rockman Dash Original Soundtrack - Another of those growers that has snuck up on me recently. Get away from the labyrinth themes the game is known for (as stated in the review here) and there's much to like about this quirky score.

30. Dragon Slayer Legend of Heroes Perfect Collection - There's something incredibly generic about this score and at the same time, an inescapable charm. Yonemitsu's arrangement job is merely decent (I have better versions of most of these tracks on other individual albums), but as a whole it comes together (with the noted exception of Neargead Castle).

Conspicuously absent: Ys III Turbo Duo Redbook. Decided to leave it off because we're still up in the air about redbooks. Oh well, it's godlike enough that it doesn't need a spot in my top 30 to feel worthy. One less spot I have to worry about.

TerraEpon Feb 14, 2012

Yuvraj wrote:

I don't know which Dracula X you're talking about but I was referring to the Dracula X which has both Rondo and the PC-Engine Dracula X. But it's just like Metroid Prime: two games on one album release. I do think this is a bit unfair though, perhaps other people can chip in with their thoughts on this.

How it it "unfair", especially since arrange and so on albums are allowed. An album is an album.

What I think is unfair is that everyone else somehow has some way of actually deciding on some semblance or ranking in the first place.

Wanderer Feb 14, 2012

GoldfishX wrote:

26. Star Ocean Second Story Original Soundtrack - I used to rag on Sakuraba pretty hard for just about everything he's done since Star Ocean 3. I blame this very soundtrack for being the source of my disappointment: I just want another score like this one. If all his music sounded exactly like this soundtrack (or Valkyrie Profile...and I tend to prefer Star Ocean Second Story for being more balanced), he'd be my favorite composer.

I never listen to Sakuraba any more. Can't stand him. At first, I wondered if I had just outgrown his style but then I put in my copy of Second Story and it's just as good as ever, remarkably inspired. I just wonder where the inspiration went...

Adam Corn Feb 14, 2012 (edited Feb 22, 2012)

After giving it some more thought I've decided to allow all game soundtracks for inclusion, including unreleased ones both redbook and not.

As mentioned in the revised guidelines, please do list the soundtrack album release whenever there is one applicable (including multi-title albums like Dracula Best and Metroid Prime/Fusion).

For soundtracks that have no applicable album release, simply list the game title followed by "(unreleased)", "(redbook)" or the like.  No need to include the system name unless there are multiple game releases with music drastically different from each other.

If anyone sees any potential problems with this system let me know.

Ashley Winchester Feb 14, 2012

Wanderer wrote:
GoldfishX wrote:

26. Star Ocean Second Story Original Soundtrack - I used to rag on Sakuraba pretty hard for just about everything he's done since Star Ocean 3. I blame this very soundtrack for being the source of my disappointment: I just want another score like this one. If all his music sounded exactly like this soundtrack (or Valkyrie Profile...and I tend to prefer Star Ocean Second Story for being more balanced), he'd be my favorite composer.

I never listen to Sakuraba any more. Can't stand him. At first, I wondered if I had just outgrown his style but then I put in my copy of Second Story and it's just as good as ever, remarkably inspired. I just wonder where the inspiration went...

Actually, I'm in this boat as well. Star Ocean 2 does have it's share of problems but it's one of his more quote unquote "traditional" works in my eyes. That said, that doesn't really stop it from getting ragged on - I remember GamePro giving the game a super low sound score and I read a let's play where the writter even had an anti-Sakuraba propaganda poster contest. Also agree on Star Ocean 3 even though I can widdle that down to a few key tracks these days... but what happened with Star Ocean 4? I tried listening to that and wow I couldn't believe my lack of interest or how old the synth sounded.

Yuvraj Feb 14, 2012

Qui-Gon Joe wrote:
Yuvraj wrote:

I don't know which Dracula X you're talking about but I was referring to the Dracula X which has both Rondo and the PC-Engine Dracula X. But it's just like Metroid Prime: two games on one album release.

Dracula X and Rondo of Blood are the same game.  Isn't that OST Rondo of Blood and Bloodlines (or whatever the Genesis/Megadrive game is called in Japan)?

I suck at the subtitles of the Dracula games. But yeah it's that one. Two good OSTs, one great album:)

GoldfishX wrote:

30. Dragon Slayer Legend of Heroes Perfect Collection - There's something incredibly generic about this score and at the same time, an inescapable charm. Yonemitsu's arrangement job is merely decent (I have better versions of most of these tracks on other individual albums), but as a whole it comes together (with the noted exception of Neargead Castle).

I share your sentiments completely (although I must state my love for Neargead Castle; I think it's a terrific arrangement).

Yuvraj Feb 16, 2012 (edited Mar 11, 2012)

I made my list (phew, took a while actually). I didn't fixate on a number but I came out on a top 20:

1. Ys III (PC Engine Redbook)
Well this is my top game soundtrack of all time and I don't think anything can ever better it. It has been about eight years since I first heard this soundtrack and it hasn't lost a tiny bit of its power. A majestic thunder that stands on the top of the mountain and smiles proudly at the rest of the list.

2. Xenogears
Mitsuda's somophore score remains my favorite. The nostalgia from the game has worn off and the synth on some tracks sounds a little outdated but the soundtrack still stands very strong on its own.

3. Ys IV Perfect Collection vol. 1
All three volumes are amazing in their own right but when it comes down to the best 'album' I have to give it to vol.1 because of it's great flow and overall funky flavour. One minus point is the Ys I rearranges on the beginning of the album which I always skip because I prefer those on the original Perfect Collection Ys.

4. Panzer Dragoon Orta
A wonderfull adventurous score which seems to get hardly any attention. Saori Kobayashi's unique panzer sound is the driving force here but the contributions from Yutaka Minobe blend in beautifully.

5. Gungage
I love Sota Fujimori's 'neo cyber gamemusic' style. Yamane's tracks are a bit weaker but they hardly tear down the quality of the album.

6. Ys IV Perfect Collection vol. 3
Volume three rocks the hardest. I mean, this is Ys at it's most brutal. But it also the most epic tracks like 'Temple of the Sun' and 'Bronze District' as well as two fantastic ending themes. Ryo's swan song in vgm (till Wild Arms years and years later).

7. Chrono Trigger The Brink of Time
An inspiring take on Mitsuda's debut soundtrack. I really wanted to list Chrono Trigger but I hardly listen to it apart from the occasional moments of nostalgia. I still consider it one of the very best RPG scores though.

8. Ys IV Perfect Collection vol. 2
This one is more dark and somber compared to the rocking vol.3 and funky vol.1 but the arrangements are fantastic.

9. Final Fantasy XII
I never got into Sakimoto but after I played the game for a while I warmed up and I started appreciating his style more and more. I only wish I could have enjoyed the game more because I really loved the whole world of FFXII and the music really added to the feel of it. Even when listening to some of the tracks I tend to 'dream away' into the various locations.

10. Ys Perfect Collection
A landmark arrange album that I love to death and would never ever sell off, it's such a classic. The first disc is absolutely flawless. The whole thing just flows like water. The second disc is a mixed bag but it has 'Endless History', nuff said.

11. Magic Knight Rayearth
A quirky little rpg score from the Saturn. I think it's underrated but you have to like the sound I guess (it was done in part by the same man behind Panzer Dragoon Zwei).

12. Dirge of Cerberus -Final fantasy VII-
I never ever imagined this would become a favorite since I didn't care for it at all when I first heard. Only a few years when I looked deeper I found some of Hamauzu's best work here, in both the orchestral and electronic tracks.

13. Ys Book I & II (Redbook)
Ys I' arrangement on the Perfect Collection is superior but for Ys II this is the place to be. Tracks like 'Subterranean Canal' are timeless and I never tire of them.

14. Dracula Battle II
The best Battle album, period. It doesn't have the classic tunes from DBI but the powerfull arrangements blow the first one out of the water (yeah I said it).

15. Dracula X
Two classic Dracula scores on one album. The Genesis OST has more character in it's sound (I always found the PC Engine OST a bit too bright) but overall I like both equally.

16. Last Bible III soundtrack
An underground megaten gem that suprisingly saw an album release recently. I love it and it's the only SNES score I listen to nowadays.

17. Aquales
I don't even know who the composer is but who cares. This is oldschool gamemusic to the max.

18. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
Perhaps a bit too dark for general listening but man, there is nothing like it in vgm.

19. Saga Frontier II
Couldn't leave Hamauzu's classic out.

20. Rom Cassette Disc In SUNSOFT
Ok, I had to list atleast something from the good old NES. Actually this disc really does deserve a spot. Sunsoft made the best music for the NES and this disc collects all the classics. But never mind that, Batman alone is reason enough to list this disc, well to be more precise: stage 1 of Batman. That's right 0:57 of playtime warrants the purchase of this album. ^_^

EDIT: I changed the rankings a bit (FFXII especially was a bit too high).

GoldfishX Feb 16, 2012

Like I said, Ys III Duo is definitely godlike, but the one thing curbs my enthusiasm for it nowadays is the way it is mastered. It is very mid-rangey and while everything is audible, it sounds like some of it needs room to breathe. A lot of detail is masked without good headphones or speakers. It's probably the result of it being the game audio and not a proper CD release (once I adjust the volume on the audio, Legend of Heroes II, Lords of Thunder and Gate of Thunder have similar issues), so minimal mastering was probably done to it. One of those cases where I love the music, but the (lack of) production reduces how well it COULD be by making my ears work overtime on it. Kind of a shame that the much inferior Ys III Perfect Collection got an audiophile-perfect mastering job for such lackluster arrangements.

Yuvraj Feb 17, 2012

GoldfishX wrote:

Like I said, Ys III Duo is definitely godlike, but the one thing curbs my enthusiasm for it nowadays is the way it is mastered. It is very mid-rangey and while everything is audible, it sounds like some of it needs room to breathe. A lot of detail is masked without good headphones or speakers. It's probably the result of it being the game audio and not a proper CD release (once I adjust the volume on the audio, Legend of Heroes II, Lords of Thunder and Gate of Thunder have similar issues), so minimal mastering was probably done to it. One of those cases where I love the music, but the (lack of) production reduces how well it COULD be by making my ears work overtime on it. Kind of a shame that the much inferior Ys III Perfect Collection got an audiophile-perfect mastering job for such lackluster arrangements.

I haven't had a good system since 4 years so I haven't really been on the audiophile front but I do remember some detail loss on Ys 3 on my current system. What headphones do you use?

GoldfishX Feb 17, 2012 (edited Feb 17, 2012)

http://www.amazon.com/Brainwavz-B2-Arma … 705&sr=8-1

These. Their specialty is the higher-mids (probably why I've been listening to so much classical stuff recently). They're pretty balanced, but I run them through an amp and boost the lows on my Cowon players to give the low end more of a kick. Without the adjustments, they're fatiguing, but tweaked, they're close to perfect.

For stuff that is stuck in the mid-range (read: pretty much anything that is a loudness war casualty...Duo CD audio is similar, compression-wise, but the volume is really low on them. You can hear the aural flaws if you boost the volume. Ever notice how high the drums sit in the mix on Ys III Duo?), the detail is there and it's spaced better than my older headphones, but compared to a good recording, it requires effort on the part of the listener to get all the detail. If you notice the SNES soundtracks on my list, I like how they're recorded, which makes them really easy choices when picking something to listen to.

In the past, I had always used bass-heavy earphones and I thought it was my hearing, as to why I wasn't getting everything. Now that I understand the frequencies better, I prefer to go with an analytical setup and boost the lows on an "as-needed" basis.

Edit: Lol, I forgot I had actually written a customer review for the B2's there!

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