Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Ashley Winchester Aug 17, 2016

I've been going through my various media and making some decisions lately, However, the one situation that strikes me is what lines I've drawn with SE soundtracks. I decided to keep four physical copies: 3 earned spots and 1 somewhat based on nostalgia:

Earned spot 1: Legend of Mana

- Parasite Eve has some great tracks but has really taken a dive for me in recent years. I know people love "Aya's Theme" but man, I'm so sick of it and it's splashed across the entire OST. Legend of Mana is simply more consistent in my case but the game hasn't aged well in my case. The game has some beautiful aesthetics but the combat and story feel hollow for me.

Earned spot 2: Xenogears

- I'll spare everyone a primer on how I feel about the actual game cause I've explained my stance before, but Xenogears beats out the two Chrono games because Trigger and Cross's music is really enhanced if you're in love with the actual games IMO. I missed the boat on Trigger but can respect it and see what others see in it, Cross is a lot like Mana in my case, game with beautiful ascetics and gameplay but hollow narrative.

Earned spot 3: Final Fantasy Tactics

- No offense to Nobuo and all his wonderful scores, but at two discs the Tactics soundtrack is just more focused than most of his multi-disc epics. Tactics also skips ahead due to Sakimoto; not the biggest fan so my enjoyment of this one says something even though I tend to like Iwata's tracks more. Still, FFT is import to me because while I like FFT I'll probably never play it again because of the time commitment it requires.

Nostalgia slot: SaGa Frontier

- Anyone who knows me could see this one coming a mile away. I still love the hell out of this disproportional entity of a game.  Again, I know Ito's work is kind of downtrodden with some people, but I still think this is one of his best works, but it gets the nostalgia slot because I'm clearly biased with this one and always will be.

Ramza Aug 17, 2016

Interesting choices. Worth noting: all your choices are PS1 games. I don't know what that means, but there it is.

Were I to put myself in your position, and were I to ignore box sets and arrange albums, I think I'd do it like this:

Earned spot 1: SaGa Frontier 2

I love everything about Hamauzu and I love this OST. It's his best OST to this day, hands-down, it's just perfect in my mind.

Earned spot 2: Final Fantasy VIII

I decided long ago, after fighting out a 3-way tie between VI VIII and IX, that my favorite Uematsu FF score is VIII. It's also my favorite LE packaging in the FF series. Sure, there are some filler tracks. But there's also Liberi Fatali, and there's the entirely-awesome disc 4. And there's disc 3 track 5 ... I can't even remember the track name offhand, but it's just a few sustained chords and I think it's perfect.

Earned spot 3: NieR

No explanation needed.

Nostalgia slot: Seiken Densetsu (FF Adventure)

I love me a lot of Game Boy soundtracks. Kenji Ito is the master of Game Boy music, for me. He really knew how to leverage the limitations of 3-channel square-wave audio. For me, it was a tough call between this and ASO SaGa (a nice way to cheat and sneak in the 3 SaGa soundtracks). But Mana Shrine wins.

Ashley Winchester Aug 17, 2016

Ramza wrote:

Interesting choices. Worth noting: all your choices are PS1 games. I don't know what that means, but there it is.

LOL, I didn't even catch that but yeah, that's actually very telling. I know there's a lot of crap on the PS1, but there are so many great games. It's probably not surprising it's my favorite console. It's true some of those games don't look too great these days yet I can't deny it's the console I was most engrossed in during its heyday.

I'd pick the SNES after the PS1 though.

Zane Aug 17, 2016

Trick question because every Square album I have belongs in both categories.

Ashley Winchester Aug 17, 2016

Zane wrote:

Trick question because every Square album I have belongs in both categories.

I would say this, but even though I like Ito's work on SaGa Frontier I can admit that Hamauzu's work on Frontier 2 smashes it to bits from most angles.

I would like to think I'd like Ito's work on this one would appeal to me without playing the game, and I think it would, but probably not to the level it does with me having a huge man crush on that unfinished mess of a game.

avatar! Aug 17, 2016

I sold the vast majority of my Squenix CDs.  Ashley, it sounds like you're really discussing more Square than Enix? I do still have my Dragon Quest CDs, although I may eventually sell those off (probably will relatively soon). However, of the Square CDs I have had, I only kept a few including


3)Kefka's Domain (Final Fantasy III US release) -definitely not my favorite soundtrack by a long shot, but sometimes I listen to it more for nostalgia than anything else. It's fun and relaxing that way, and I really like the fact that it was released in North America during a time when video game soundtracks were scarce. So, I like it for historical reasons as well smile

2)Final Fantasy Tactics -not the greatest soundtrack, but the soundtrack to the greatest Square game ever made (in my opinion, of course)! Nostalgia is again a big factor. I honestly wish Squenix would get their act together and produce a new tactics game that is as deep and powerful as this game was...(wishful thinking?)

1)The Secret of Evermore -this is NOT the original soundtrack but arranged music produced by the now legendary Jeremy Soule. This soundtrack used to be crazy scarce, but since that one guy on ebay apparently found hundreds of new out of stock CDs, prices have obviously gone drastically down (for the time being -mark my words they will go up again)! Price aside, this is a fabulous CD and one I will actually hold on to for numerous reasons.

longhairmike Aug 21, 2016

avatar! wrote:

I sold the vast majority of my Squenix CDs.

i never bought a squeenix release,, but i still have all my 75+ digicube & NTT originals.

Ashley Winchester Aug 22, 2016

avatar! wrote:

Ashley, it sounds like you're really discussing more Square than Enix?

To be honest I'm not familiar with many Enix game/scores. Star Ocean 2 and 3 and that's about it.

Note: If my memory serves me right I think SO3 was released right on the edge of the merger, and the American SO3 says SE but I consider it an Enix product.

longhairmike Aug 23, 2016

Ashley Winchester wrote:
avatar! wrote:

Ashley, it sounds like you're really discussing more Square than Enix?

To be honest I'm not familiar with many Enix game/scores. Star Ocean 2 and 3 and that's about it.

dude,, some of the enix snes scores rival (if not exceed) square ones. terranigma (someday i'll play the game) is the best of the best of the best of the best.

avatar! Aug 23, 2016

longhairmike wrote:
Ashley Winchester wrote:
avatar! wrote:

Ashley, it sounds like you're really discussing more Square than Enix?

To be honest I'm not familiar with many Enix game/scores. Star Ocean 2 and 3 and that's about it.

dude,, some of the enix snes scores rival (if not exceed) square ones. terranigma (someday i'll play the game) is the best of the best of the best of the best.

I always really enjoyed the music to Terranigma. Back in the day, I think I payed $25 or so for the soundtrack smile
Sold it years ago. It went to a good home, no I'm not sorry I sold it, although it was one of the better SNES soundtracks in my opinion. Never played the game either hmm

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