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Ashley Winchester Dec 22, 2013 (edited Dec 22, 2013)

I was kind of surprised to get my Rockman X Sound Box so soon considering it was released on the 18th.... oh well. Smiles smile

Edit:

Okay, the track titles are in English for every game but the two Xtremes...? That makes sense... tongue

Additionally, I hope the liner notes reveal more composition credits.

Edit Edit:

Wow! Kinuyo Yamashita is officially credited this time!

Noticing a lot of fixes: Flame Stag, Vile Stage, Crush Crawfish (SNES), missing tracks that are now there

Ashley Winchester Dec 22, 2013

Just got his in today. Seems like many of the issues have been fixed and the missing tracks have been added.

Also, I won't ruin it but the bonus track on the last disc is VERY interesting and I doubt anyone will guess what/where it's from.

The Answer It contains tracks from a demo version of Mega Man X

Jodo Kast Dec 23, 2013

Ashley Winchester wrote:

Wow! Kinuyo Yamashita is officially credited this time!

Noticing a lot of fixes: Flame Stag, Vile Stage, Crush Crawfish (SNES), missing tracks that are now there

Did they fix the "tin can" sound quality? I recall the first Rockman X set sounded like they ripped the music from an emulator.

Ashley Winchester Dec 24, 2013

Jodo Kast wrote:

Did they fix the "tin can" sound quality? I recall the first Rockman X set sounded like they ripped the music from an emulator.

Overall the recording is only a little bit deeper on the SNES scores as far as I noticed... so I'd say no. However, I personally never had a real problem with the recording quality... although I will say what you heard on X1-6 is pretty damn close to what you got from SPC music files so I agree with that part.

As far as X4~X8 are concerned however I think these were just copied from their previous recordings... although X7 obviously lost Lazy Mind.

Ashley Winchester Dec 28, 2013

Is it just me or am I the only one who, well, kind of dislikes the 32-bit rendition of Mega Man X3's soundtrack? Don't get me wrong, the SNES score has some problems... but when playing X3 on the X Collection this music just didn't gel with the game in my opinion. I remember when I stumbled across the PS1 tracks on P2P networks a decade and a half ago and thought they were so cool but now I realize how Capcom's composers bungled some of these...

The_Paladin Dec 28, 2013

I think the PSX versions of my two favorite X3 stages are fine (Acid Seahorse, Gravity Beetle), but my third favorite, Blast Hornet, is not a favorable arrangement. And Crush Crawfish's PSX arrangement sounds like "go go scissor shrimp" (not quite scissors shrimper) =P ... However, I feel like in the least Neon Tiger's rather flat theme had an arrangement that made it more interesting.

Actually, though, I do have a question for you Ash. Having never played any of the content in this box that isn't on the X1~6 box, is this box worth upgrading for?  Obviously X7 and X8 are rare and expensive now, but is the music worth it?

GoldfishX Dec 28, 2013

The_Paladin wrote:

Obviously X7 and X8 are rare and expensive now, but is the music worth it?

X7 - Not unless you like very industrial-sounding rock/techno. You can cherry-pick the best tracks on this one (there are SOME good ones), but I wouldn't recommend the score as a whole. I remember reviewing this one back in the day and having no really strong opinion on this one. Sold mine a long time ago.

Personal favorites (these are two of the lighter and more melodic tracks on the score). Extended versions of course:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzpJaflMkdM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zaMsrhv90k

And this one because it sounds like a bad F-Zero X track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZKWyB-WUM0

X8 - Not unless you like very average synth metal. Similar in style to X1 and X5, IMO, but nowhere near the level of quality. I'm surprised the value on this one got inflated, I'm still sitting on a copy.

This is probably the best X8 track (not that I've ever seen any meaningful discussion on it). Not a bad tune, but the instrumentation is pretty ugly to me (the lead is okay, the background synth guitars are gritty and annoying).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0m9522WN7w

I tend to reach for the cleaner-sounding PSX version of X3 when I go to listen to something off it.

The_Paladin Dec 28, 2013

The X8 one is ok but I can assume then that I'm not missing much.  It is just really annoying that you had people recording emulators and then couldn't even check the beginnings of tracks to find problems with tracks.  Same with Rockman 7 album making me consider the e-can... which I probably would have bought if it had also included Rockman & Forte (seriously, where's the soundtrack for it with all the anniversary releases) =\

Ashley Winchester Dec 28, 2013

The_Paladin wrote:

I think the PSX versions of my two favorite X3 stages are fine (Acid Seahorse, Gravity Beetle)

That's rather odd you pick those two... because those are my top two favorites as well smile

The_Paladin wrote:

Actually, though, I do have a question for you Ash. Having never played any of the content in this box that isn't on the X1~6 box, is this box worth upgrading for?  Obviously X7 and X8 are rare and expensive now, but is the music worth it?

When it comes to Mega Man X7 I have to agree with Goldfish even though two of the three tracks he posted (Cyber Geometry and Circuit Bomb) drive me crazy... though there are worse offenders. In a certain sense of the word I feel the Mega Man X7 soundtrack is a mess... but it's probably the best element of the game at the same time. As Goldfish mentions you can definitely cherry pick with this album - which is just not what you want with a Rockman soundtrack - and I think it's because so many (too many) composers were involved, which is ironic given how many composers worked on the original game. However, the difference is the style(s) the composers chose in the first game were cohesive with one another... this isn't the case with X7 where everyone wants to do their own thing.

In general I agree with what GX says about X8 as well, but I'd like to add a wrinkle that I've noticed with this one and makes some of the material on it a little less attractive. In most Mega Man / Mega Man X games the music is right at the forefront of a given level... this isn't quite the case with X8. In many of the levels in the game - Metal Valley, Central White and Pitch Black -  the music is pushed so far into the background that it's is nowhere as engaging as it should be. The Metal Valley tracks are the worst in-game as all the commotion in the actual level drowns these tracks completely out and you can never forge a real connection with them. This isn't to say there aren't levels were the music plays an important part - Inferno and Jakob GX mentioned are great examples - but the fact that this situation exists at all creates a massive amount of conflict for the score in general. Because of that I can't give it a real recommendation even though it is more in the vein of the older games in some ways.

Command Mission is a weird one for me because I'm not really an Okada fan... but since this game was an RPG I didn't have any certain musical expectations for it so Shinya kind of got lucky with me liking this one. A lot of the music is too short and shallow but DO NOT underestimate the characters themes for the game's original characters... they are strangely one of the few things that makes those characters memorable.

As for Maverick Hunter X the only reason this soundtrack manages to come through its remixing is due to the strength of the original material. This becomes rather obvious once you hear an original piece like "Vile Stage Theme."

Additionally Xtreme and Xtreme 2 really aren't worth buying the set for as you'd expect. They are competently programmed so they don't really annoy but they're not going to beat out the SNES originals.

In the end I can only really recommend the Sound Box to the most devout Rockman X fans. To be honest... and from what you're implying... I think the Rockman X1-6 will suffice for you and most listeners. X1~6 is definitely the stronger half of the entire body of music. The various fixes are nice and all - and when you think about it the box is a really good value - but what was added over the last box easily is the weaker half of the deal.

Ashley Winchester Dec 29, 2013

The_Paladin wrote:

Same with Rockman 7 album making me consider the e-can... which I probably would have bought if it had also included Rockman & Forte (seriously, where's the soundtrack for it with all the anniversary releases) =\

Man, don't even get me started on this one...

The first two discs are botched on the e-can... but then you have a flawless MM7. Tough choice...

And then you don't have MM&B which is just lame.

Smeg Dec 30, 2013

Ashley Winchester wrote:

Is it just me or am I the only one who, well, kind of dislikes the 32-bit rendition of Mega Man X3's soundtrack?

Yamashita doesn't care much for them either.

Ashley Winchester Jan 2, 2014

Smeg wrote:
Ashley Winchester wrote:

Is it just me or am I the only one who, well, kind of dislikes the 32-bit rendition of Mega Man X3's soundtrack?

Yamashita doesn't care much for them either.

I think one of the main reasons I dislike them is so many of the small touches in the 16-bit version are gone in the 32-bit version... those small asides would be drowned out by the thickness of the instruments. This is kind of similar to what drives me away from many of the reworked pieces on the Wild Arms Alter code:F soundtrack.

GoldfishX Feb 24, 2014

I finally sat down and gave the X8 soundtrack another listen. It's mindless, but entertaining. I still feel like X1 and X5 were the pinnacle of true X-style metal and are melodically superior, but most of the main themes from X8 I found to be pretty good and the instrumentation grew on me enough to get through the entire soundtrack. I had forgotten how awesome the boss fight themes were. I did a full capsule rating on it, but overall I only pulled off a tiny handful of tracks (mostly the mess near the end and a couple breaks in the action). I was thinking of putting it up for sale in the near future, but I think I'm going to hold onto this one.

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