Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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HamandSushi May 31, 2006

..Probably because the game wasn't as loved.  But the soundtrack is the best yet, I think (I even include Koudelka in that...because does anyone really listen to any of the 30-second cutscene cues?)  While it doesn't have the experimentation of the first, or the noise of the second (a good thing, IMO), it has a great sheen of sophistication.  A couple of my  favorites are Wheel of Fortune and Rum and Tequila.

Sami May 31, 2006

Here's my mini review from last year: "Shadow Hearts I and II are known as pretty experimental video game music albums, featuring some bizarre and pretty modern music. In Shadow Hearts From the New World, series main composer Yoshitaka Hirota continues on that line. Joined by composers Ryu Fukuda and Tomoko Imoto this time, From the New World leans a bit more to standard RPG music than before. This doesn't mean that there aren't any of Hirota's two-sided techno pieces and other highlights, like the opening track and the beautiful opera piece Oh smania! oh furie! ~ D'Oreste d'Aiace. Shadow Hearts delivers once again, and From the New World is one of this year's most noteworthy video game music albums."

I do think that Shadow Hearts Original Soundtrack plus 1 is still far from surpassed. Indeed, the series and Hirota himself have plummeted further back to generic RPG music with both of the sequels. FtNW was a great listen, but nevertheless felt the least inspired of the three.

Wanderer May 31, 2006

I ESPECIALLY liked the music from Shadow Hearts II. The stuff I heard from III wasn't too bad but I was so bored with the game that I shut it off after about four hours.

GoldfishX May 31, 2006

I wouldn't call myself a diehard of the series, but I did like 3 the most (followed by 2, then 1). Actually been a while since I've gone through it, but much of disc 2 was really strong and "From the New World" was great. Seemed like a lot of filler tracks on disc 1...I skipped a lot on that one. It's just not music I can sit through for long periods of time or even that often (probably why I haven't said much about it), but it's a worthy listen.

XISMZERO May 31, 2006

I particularly thought that the original Shadow Hearts was the best as it was the most distinctive of the three. Since I've never played a Shadow Hearts game before, I'm not sure how much I can say the music complements the game. From what I've heard outside of the game, SH1's music impressed me most with it's heavy staccato-sampling, triphop-funk-jazz found on most pieces (like the world map tracks), and the downright eerie "But Dad Dead Bed" (I have yet to hear something so emotional in such a small piece) and other sour-sounding/downtrodden music that have not been mimicked in SH2 or SH3.

Personally, I find Hirota's newer/recent stuff to sound too much alike with too much world music (including the excessive chanting and string instruments) and way too much staccato sampling and less of the isolated-feeling jazzy stuff which made the first soundtrack so special. I won't go along and poo-poo any of Hirota's newer stuff even if I'm not very fond of it as he's capable of further brilliance (like "The Fate" from 2) but I think Mitsuda stole some of Hirota's steam on SH2 especially with "Twilight Street".

When I heard Shadow Hearts 3, I heard more of 2's style, and even more of a deviation from 1 which shut me off to it and the Arrange album.

Oh yeah and I think Shadow Hearts probably has some of the weirdest/coolest track names I've ever heard.

Harry Jun 2, 2006

Just a little thing, Hiroto Imoto (the game's sound director) had a composing role in the game, and composed two tracks. smile

Zane Jun 9, 2006

I think the original SH is the best so far, but FTNW is pretty awesome. The arrange album is decent, but I agree: FTNW needs love, man. Lots of it.

HamandSushi Jun 9, 2006 (edited Jun 9, 2006)

Harry wrote:

Just a little thing, Hiroto Imoto (the game's sound director) had a composing role in the game, and composed two tracks. smile

Is he related to Tomoko Imoto?  Because that would be just too cute.

Harry Jun 9, 2006 (edited Jun 9, 2006)

HamandSushi wrote:
Harry wrote:

Just a little thing, Hiroto Imoto (the game's sound director) had a composing role in the game, and composed two tracks. smile

Is he related to Tomoko Imoto?  Because that would be just too cute.

As far as I know, he isn't. You know the Japanese and their names. tongue

HamandSushi Jun 12, 2006

"I'm going to enjoy that game no matter what."

Not if the first paragraph was what you liked about Shadow Hearts...It starts out similar, then gets bogged down in bad-joke and "badass" and stupid character hell.  The battle system is better, but ridiculously easy.  The music is by far the worst of the series, although still half-great. (Hello Kenji Ito!  No, I don't know why you're here either!)

And just wait until the Emigre Documents rear their boring, undead head...

From the New World fixes the music and the battle system, but the story is even worse.

(/end pointless rant)

Wanderer Jun 12, 2006

If you liked the original SH, you're gonna LOVE Covenant. It's twice as good. smile

You'll find out pretty quickly that the "bad" ending is canon (tragically).

Wanderer Jun 12, 2006

Not if the first paragraph was what you liked about Shadow Hearts...It starts out similar, then gets bogged down in bad-joke and "badass" and stupid character hell.  The battle system is better, but ridiculously easy.

Eh. I played SH2 for the story. The characters were largely a secondary concern (although they were drawn well enough to where it was easy to sympathize with them. SH2 is also the only game I can think of that has hysterically funny cutscenes). It's definitely not as dark as SH1 but that doesn't mean it doesn't have dark elements to it. The pacing is certainly better than it is in SH1 (where it was often as slow as molasses).

SH2 is sadly pretty easy though. There's only one or two bosses that will give you any trouble and the rest of the battles are easy. The final boss is a BITCH though.

Qui-Gon Joe Jun 12, 2006

Yeah, count me in with the people who think Covenant is better than the original SH.  Be careful of your expectations going into SH2, though, as it is VERY self-aware and loves poking fun at the genre in general.  There was a little bit of that in SH1, but not nearly as much as 2 has.  I love the soundtrack to both the first two games, though there are a few pieces I don't care to listen to much in both.  I'm currently in the middle of FTNW, which is why I've mostly been staying out of discussions of it, and while it's good, there's way too much they just took directly from SH2.  Also yes, the story isn't as good, but I really liked the way the story developed in the second game, so maybe I'm comparing them too much.

Final note - Conn, just so you know the official story continuity ending of the first SH game is the "bad" ending.  That led me to some confusion when I started the second game and was wondering "wait... what?"  I'd never actually gotten the sadder of the two endings, so I had NO idea why things were the way they were at first.

Amazingu Jun 12, 2006

I'm playing through the Japanese version of Covenant right now, and I love it to bits.
To be honest, I liked the darker atmosphere of the original better, but the sequel is very enjoyable in every way too.
It definitely likes to poke fun at itself, which is always good in my book, and those conversations with the Ring Spirit are hilarious.

It IS way too easy though.

HamandSushi Jun 12, 2006

About 1/4 of Covenant is comic, and about a 1/4 of that is funny (unless you love anime humor).  The rest is just boring and ridiculous (SH1 was ridiculous in a more original way, minus the Chinese sub-plot).

And I don't see how the From the New World soundtrack is much like Covenant.  1/4 of Covenant was rehashing "Wind From The Dark"...there's little heavily-distorted rock here.  It is much more ethnic, and stuff like Rum and Tequila, Chicken Itza is entirely new.  There are more inclusions of series thematic-melodies like Icaro, etc. than Covenant, but in a different style than 1.

Sami Jun 16, 2006

Qui-Gon Joe wrote:

Final note - Conn, just so you know the official story continuity ending of the first SH game is the "bad" ending.  That led me to some confusion when I started the second game and was wondering "wait... what?"  I'd never actually gotten the sadder of the two endings, so I had NO idea why things were the way they were at first.

Actually, I though Alice dying is canon even with the good ending. Even though she survived, it didn't last and she died anyway a little later.

Idolores Jun 16, 2006 (edited Jun 16, 2006)

My data for both the original SH and Covenant was erased a while back on account of Gran Suckismo f---ing my memory card up. Only recently did I finally finish Shadow Hearts, and am now trying to get back to where I was in Covenant.

Shadow Hearts was brilliantly dark, which I like a lot, and while Covenant is lighter, I find it is more refined around the edges than it's predecessor was. Overall, Covenant blows the original out of the water, in my eyes. Really awesome characters. How do you top a superhero vampire who beats enemies to death with his f---ing coffin? Here's a hint: You can't.

Can't wait to start on From the New World, even if Yuri isn't in it. sad

HamandSushi Jun 16, 2006

"Even though she survived, it didn't last and she died anyway a little later."

That's exactly what happens in the bad ending.  I suppose it could happen after the game in the good one, too, though.

Zane Jul 16, 2006

I vote that Shadow Hearts FTNW is renamed to Shadow Hearts FTW for all conventional purposes.

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