Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Ashley Winchester Mar 30, 2016 (edited Mar 30, 2016)

I recently just picked these two up despite being familiar with them for years.

Part of me wanted to actually replay the game itself to see of if it's held up, but I had a copy sitting around for about five years and never got around to it. I finally faced facts and came to terms that was never goint to happen. However, I thought as a trade off having the soundtrack around might be a worthwhile investment.

If I remember correctly Vol.1 is the volume where the music is performed, right? I like this volume a bit more than Volume 2, but it's not due to the instruments being recorded live.

Vol. 1 Personal Highlights:

- The Desolate Smell of Earth
Just love this one to death but I'm a sucker for sad town themes.
- Requiem for a Saint
Again, I'm a sucker for a sad town theme.
- Ice Crystal
I know "Ice Crystal" is somewhat cheesy, but I think that why I like it.
- Reflected Moon
I usually don't like stuff like "Reflected Moon," but I love this piece.

I don't like Volume 2 as much but that because it's home to the game's battle themes. This is probably the area where I my tastes don't jell with Sakuraba cooks up that much. Still, there are some great tracks on this volume.

Vol. 2 It's been a decade since I last played the game but I'm still sick of it:

Cutting Edge of Notion
- I just can't stand this track. I use to love it but I only like the live version these days which is astounding.

Vol. 2 Personal Highlights:

- Bird's Eye View
I'm not sure why I love "Bird's Eye View" as much as I do, but it's one of my favorite world map themes.
- Moon Base
I tend to feel that "Moon Base" is one of those guilty pleasure tracks. I don't think it's overly creative but I don't think about that when listening.
- The Virtual Image
I ABSOLUTELY adore how this game is used in-game. "The Virtual Image" totally nails the dungeon it plays in.

There are plenty of other great tracks on here (I didn't want to make this too long) but those are my favorites.

However, I was wondering. Does anyone out there just own one album or the other? In my case I couldn't make a case for just owning one volume, but is there anyone with just one volume? If so, what factors into you decision?

I do want to nab the Director's Cut to get the remaining tracks. My vote for my favorite on there has to be "More Complicated."

Finally, I gave Star Ocean 4 a listen at one point and I just couldn't get into it. I enjoy Star Ocean 2 & 3 but 4 left me out in the cold. Would you say playing the game helps with that one? Also, is anyone looking forward to Star Ocean 5?

student41269 Mar 30, 2016

I couldn't let go of either volume, no way - I think this is just an amazing soundtrack. As I said on another thread somewhere I fell out with it for a while but then I got back into it big time. When things take a turn towards shreddy guitars volume 2 loses me a bit, sure, but overall I still love it. As far as I'm aware, both volumes have a mix of live band and sequenced tracks.

GoldfishX Mar 30, 2016

These are somewhere between when Sakuraba started sounding less gamey/melodic, but before his blandness of the past decade started. So they're interesting for that reason. I'm a casual fan of some of Vol. 2 and can play Vol. 1 in the background without really paying much attention, but I just think if he had gone with the straight-ahead melodies of SO2 combined with the live instrumentation of both volumes, I would have enjoyed the experience so much more. They're solid. Not much more.

I could never get into SO4 music at all.

And yes, Cutting Edge of Notion wore out its welcome eons ago.

Ashley Winchester Mar 30, 2016

GoldfishX wrote:

I'm a casual fan of some of Vol. 2 and can play Vol. 1 in the background without really paying much attention...

I'd say this is how I feel. I really like how Vol.1 can blend into the background and just be a good, all around listen that doesn't doesn't to anything to claw at your attention.

Amazingu Mar 30, 2016

I used to be SUPER into this soundtrack back when the game was still (relatively) new, but I find pretty much all of it (some tracks excepted) to be completely bland and boring now.
Hasn't aged very well at all...

Dragonfish Dog Mar 31, 2016 (edited Mar 31, 2016)

SO3 was one of those soundtracks I listened to for quite a long time before I even played the game, since the game didn't even come to the U.S. until 2005, while I already had the soundtrack by Summer 2003.

It was one of the soundtracks I could actually listen to as presented on the disc, without it disturbing my concentration; I especially appreciate the 1st volume more, having the more mellow music in the game. The prog rock in the soundtrack, I found grating, and out of place, especially with regards to its usage in the game, aside from the battle themes, which worked.

The SO3 soundtrack was always a favorite to study to back when I was in college; sadly, some time ago, my hard drive crashed with it on it, and I never had it backed up. The SO3 soundtrack is one of those soundtracks I'd like back for sure, but there's no way I'm buying it again.

As for SO4, the ONLY track I liked off of it was "Silk Road in the Sky I," the theme that plays on the jurassic planet. The game itself was rather lackluster too, and I'll admit I gave up on it in under 10 hours, possibly even less. HATED the Blindside function that you HAD to use to defeat bosses; I just couldn't figure it out, and had no inclination to strain myself into doing so, either.

If SO4 was any indication, I probably won't even bother with SO5.

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