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Zaggart Feb 5, 2006

Does anyone else like this game's soundtrack? It is a nice shmup synth rock soundtrack and  the group/person who composed it is called Machniae Supremacy. You can download the soundtrack at their site. My favorite tracks are "Machinaguns","Megascorcher", and "Theme of Jets'N'Guns."

Daniel K Feb 5, 2006

I second that. Jets'n'Guns has one of the heaviest and most awesome heavy metal game soundtracks ever produced. It's hard-hitting, melodic, and incredibly catchy. I posted a thread about it in the old forum about a year ago. Sadly, a lot of people ignored it, including many of the people that called themselves rock fans. Incredibly idiotic, as this is just as good as metal will ever get in video games. I urge anyone who likes rock music to click the first link in the thread I linked above. Too bad there was no official CD release.

On a side note, I can't deny that I'm a little proud for being Swedish whenever I hear this incredible soundtrack (Machinae Supremacy is a Swedish band).

Zaggart Feb 5, 2006

I like how some bands compose for games. Most of them that have bands turn out great.

GoldfishX Feb 5, 2006 (edited Feb 5, 2006)

Daniel K wrote:

I posted a thread about it in the old forum about a year ago. Sadly, a lot of people ignored it, including many of the people that called themselves rock fans. Incredibly idiotic, as this is just as good as metal will ever get in video games.

You know, I've actually missed reading quotes like this over the past couple of years. Sort of...Welcome back.

Truthfully, the only track that stuck out to me was "Death from Above". Jets'N'Guns as a whole was an enjoyable listen, but not one I find myself revisiting a great deal. So I didn't "ignore" it at the time, I just didn't find it incredibly worthy of mention. I do agree that anyone who missed it should give it a shot though (and I have talked to a number of people over the past year who've had nothing but glowing praise for it).

As far as being as "good as metal will ever get in video games"...Sorry, not in Guilty Gear or Dynasty Warrior's league.

GoldfishX Feb 5, 2006

Zaggart wrote:

Dynasty Warriors=Metal!????????????

If it's not, feel free to correct me as to what it is.

Zaggart Feb 5, 2006 (edited Feb 5, 2006)

GoldfishX wrote:
Zaggart wrote:

Dynasty Warriors=Metal!????????????

If it's not, feel free to correct me as to what it is.

I have never heard any of the dynasty warriors soundtracks. I'm suprised it is metal because of its setting

Daniel K Feb 5, 2006

GoldfishX wrote:

You know, I've actually missed reading quotes like this over the past couple of years. Sort of...Welcome back.

Uh...?  I have been here quite a lot for the last couple of months.

GoldfishX wrote:

As far as being as "good as metal will ever get in video games"...Sorry, not in Guilty Gear or Dynasty Warrior's league.

Eh, whatever. It's a matter of taste. But as you said, anyone who likes hard rock vgm and haven't checked it out yet ought to do so, and decide for themselves. It has my highest recommendation.

Taste is subjective, yaddayadda, etceteraetcetera, but no one is going to tell me that tracks like "Theme of Jets'n'Guns", "Koala in the Spider's Web", "Death From Above" and "Flames Of Fire" aren't among the best metal cuts ever to be composed for a game.

GoldfishX Feb 5, 2006

Zaggart wrote:
GoldfishX wrote:
Zaggart wrote:

Dynasty Warriors=Metal!????????????

If it's not, feel free to correct me as to what it is.

I have never heard any of the dynasty warriors soundtracks. I'm suprised it is metal because of its setting

Ah, gotcha...Yeah, the settings are strange, but they all rock pretty hard. Dynasty Warriors 4 uses a lot of ancient Chinese instruments and chants in with the guitars, but 2 and 3 are straight up hard rock/metal. DW5 is a bit shorter and tamer, but I'm still liking it. The series is actually called Shin Sangokumusou in Japan (the kanji in the Japanese logo appears in the US version, but it has 'Dynasty Warriors' in English overtop of it. Music aside, it's probably my favorite ongoing series of this game generation...Definitely not possible to do on previous generations of hardware.

Sorry...I thought you were correcting me in the initial post.


Daniel K wrote:

Uh...?  I have been here quite a lot for the last couple of months.

Really? I must've gotten confused, since there was more than one 'Daniel'. First time I noticed you recently was the Digital Devil Saga thread.

You haven't been in your "Hey everyone...I know it's not from Japan, but that doesn't mean it sucks" mode until recently then.

Daniel K Feb 5, 2006

GoldfishX wrote:

You haven't been in your "Hey everyone...I know it's not from Japan, but that doesn't mean it sucks" mode until recently then.

Yeah, I haven't felt the need to crusade that cause for a long time, most people here are pretty open-minded as it is.

But it's still kind of a pet peeve I have. It's no secret that when we're talking VGM, Japan is pretty much the place, a large percentage of the cool stuff comes from there. But that's still no reason to overlook that there are many talanted Western composers as well... For example, Chris Vrenna's fantastic score to "American McGee's ALICE" will always remain one of my all-time favourite soundtracks, and stuff like the Jets'n'Guns soundtrack and Chris Hülsbeck's old classics prove that even straightforward and melodic old-school VGM can be made outside Japan.

In a way, I feel that the lack of cool Western VGM itself can be a great incentive for fans to provide moral support and attention to those Western composers that do get it right.

jmj20320514 Feb 6, 2006

GoldfishX wrote:

As far as being as "good as metal will ever get in video games"...Sorry, not in Guilty Gear or Dynasty Warrior's league.

Winds/Lords of Thunder begs to differ.

Oh, and as an update to the old thread Daniel linked to, yes I did spring for the game and enjoyed it. I still listen to the soundtrack periodically.

soo Feb 6, 2006

Hell yeah, another plug for this awesome OST! If you don't like this soundtrack, well... your taste in metal either doesn't exist, or isn't nearly refined enough, or you're somehow biased :P The screenshots to the game put me off, however. Westerners just can't make shooters anymore (guess I'm biased too). Definitely leave that to the Japanese. I still listen to the soundtrack on occasion, even though I've listened to it heaps already. Saying it is "good as metal will ever get in video games" is definitely not wrong. One thing is for sure, it IS perfect shmup metal. That isn't to say others can't share the podium, in their various genres and veins of metal. It is in the top tier, so give it a listen if you haven't already.

GoldfishX Feb 6, 2006

Daniel K wrote:

But it's still kind of a pet peeve I have. It's no secret that when we're talking VGM, Japan is pretty much the place, a large percentage of the cool stuff comes from there. But that's still no reason to overlook that there are many talanted Western composers as well... For example, Chris Vrenna's fantastic score to "American McGee's ALICE" will always remain one of my all-time favourite soundtracks, and stuff like the Jets'n'Guns soundtrack and Chris Hülsbeck's old classics prove that even straightforward and melodic old-school VGM can be made outside Japan.

I don't think people overlook them anymore in the sense they overlook plenty of Japanese ones as well. A typical Uematsu/Mitsuda-only fanboy will miss a lot overall, from both sides. It ends up that way for me because I end up playing a lot more Japanese games than Western ones (always have, don't see any reason this is would change), plus a lot of western composers simply don't write music that suits my tastes or that I care to listen to out of context. Doesn't help that so many western games rely on licensed junk nowadays, which really does US/European composers a disservice (and highly encourages the use of the Xbox's soundtrack ripper...First thing I did when I got Burnout 3 was replace the junk on the original with my various Guilty Gear tracks). I'm beyond thankful the Japanese haven't stooped to that as a standard practice, outside of music games.

But when someone good comes along, I give them credit. Huelsbeck, the Follins, Machinae Supremacy, Stewart Copeland (Spyro), the guy who did Triple Play 98...And if you want, N.EX.T. and SoundTemp aren't Japanese either (they're Korean).

Daniel K wrote:

In a way, I feel that the lack of cool Western VGM itself can be a great incentive for fans to provide moral support and attention to those Western composers that do get it right.

I guess...I honestly don't give much thought to a composer being Western or not. I mean, I like the names above, but it doesn't guarantee any of them a spot on my top 10 artist list simply for being "non-Japanese". Machinae Supremacy is very good, but I won't shoot them to being top-tier in composing rock VGM, simply for their "non-Japanese" status. Same way I won't support composers like Hitoshi Sakimoto or Naoshi Mizuta simply for being Japanese.

Daniel K Feb 6, 2006

GoldfishX wrote:

I guess...I honestly don't give much thought to a composer being Western or not. I mean, I like the names above, but it doesn't guarantee any of them a spot on my top 10 artist list simply for being "non-Japanese". Machinae Supremacy is very good, but I won't shoot them to being top-tier in composing rock VGM, simply for their "non-Japanese" status. Same way I won't support composers like Hitoshi Sakimoto or Naoshi Mizuta simply for being Japanese.

Of course. I would never listen to something that I honestly thought was crap just becuase it happened to be Japanese or Western, either. What I hinted at was that there is usually a certain amount of bias when talking about game music, whether it be fans of Japanese VGM ignoring Western composers, or some ignorant Western article promoting only Tallarico and the like and not mentioning any Japanese composer. And like I said, I'm not free from this, either: usually, my attention is uniformely focused on the Japanese scene. And I'm aware that this means that I might lose out on stuff I'd like that is published elsewhere (of course, I do listen to a lot of other music, most of it Western, but this point is about VGM).

A totally impartial, objective standpoint is impossible.

Zaggart Feb 6, 2006

I wish I didn't sample dynasty warriors 4. Now I have to choose between something like Cyberorg or try to get one of the Sonic Adventure soundtracks >_<.

GoldfishX Feb 6, 2006

Daniel K wrote:

Of course. I would never listen to something that I honestly thought was crap just becuase it happened to be Japanese or Western, either. What I hinted at was that there is usually a certain amount of bias when talking about game music, whether it be fans of Japanese VGM ignoring Western composers, or some ignorant Western article promoting only Tallarico and the like and not mentioning any Japanese composer. And like I said, I'm not free from this, either: usually, my attention is uniformely focused on the Japanese scene. And I'm aware that this means that I might lose out on stuff I'd like that is published elsewhere (of course, I do listen to a lot of other music, most of it Western, but this point is about VGM).

A totally impartial, objective standpoint is impossible.

As far as musical tastes go, we all have our biases. In that sense, your last statement is correct. However, I don't find any merit in the idea of simply western vs Japanese without cause and I think as far as that goes, it's stretching to say there's a huge rift between the two just because. The two examples you gave are pure extreme idiocy examples being displayed by both sides. I wouldn't use a blind Japanophile (one who isn't at least familiar with both western and Japanese offerings) or a useless writer out to save his job by chumming up with Tallarico as concrete examples of not being able to form a totally impartial, objective standpoint.

I'm a self-proclaimed Japanophile, but I didn't exactly make a conscious choice in the matter...The total number of western game soundtracks I'd hold above my head since the 8-bit days probably doesn't add up to more than 20 total. On the other hand, since the 8-bit days, the number of my favored Japanese-spawned game scores and albums probably tally close to a thousand. And a good enough number of that was before I even knew what country they were coming from. Is that bias? Not in my mind, given that rather damning discrepency. Does it mean I follow Japanese releases more than western ones? I'd be a fool not to, given limited resources of time and money. Do I intentionally ignore western releases I might like? No...Not intentionally at least.

I would tend to think if anyone is going to be biased, it would be for certain series' and composers'...I find much more merit in that argument (because it's true...I think everyone on this board would admit that) than western vs Japanese, which I find borderline silly.

Daniel K Feb 6, 2006

I don't get what you're on about. If you think a bit about the implications of what I've written, you'll see that there is no conflict here. I was just pointing out that this kind of bias exists, whether it is less important or more is another question. This is just one aspect of the multitude of factors forming a person's tastes in this field that I focused on.



GoldfishX wrote:

Is that bias?

Be careful with that term, it is very ambiguous. Dictionary.com has many interpretations of it, like:

   1. A preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment.
   2. An unfair act or policy stemming from prejudice.

Words bend whatever way you want them to. But on one interpretation, one could say that any person that is such that he or she has not heard every single piece of VGM ever composed is biased, since he/she makes judgements from a standpoint of incomplete knowledge of the subject matter. I've heard thousands of soundtracks if you count all the ones I've heard ingame as well as the albums I've bought or downloaded. As a result, I consider myself knowledgeable in the field of VGM. But on the extreme, rigorous criteria I proposed above, my knowledge is very incomplete, thus unavoidably resulting in a biased view ("stemming from prejudice" - I judged before the fact). I've heard a lot of VGM, but if you take all that and divide it with ALL existing VGM, the sum of my VGM-knowing is very little.

I'm not making a huge point about this. But "bias" is a very tricky word, and I think we're all biased. We have to be to make selections that would otherwise be too time-consuming.

GoldfishX wrote:

Do I intentionally ignore western releases I might like? No...Not intentionally at least.

You do not intentionally ignore Western releases you might like, but I'd be damn surprised (given your confession of being a Japanophile, and I'm the same in this regard) if you do not to a larger degree ignore random Western VGM album X than random Japanese VGM album Y. Think about it, if you read an album description that has you kind of interested, don't you think you'd be more inclined to pick that album up if you knew it was Japanese? How about this: two albums with *exactly* the same description, but one published by Falcom, the other by, say, Electronic Arts. Are you saying it would make no difference at all...?

Maybe it wouldn't. For some it probably doesn't. But I know that there are many that will be swayed by it. Which was what my point was about.

GoldfishX Feb 8, 2006

Daniel K wrote:

I don't get what you're on about. If you think a bit about the implications of what I've written, you'll see that there is no conflict here. I was just pointing out that this kind of bias exists, whether it is less important or more is another question. This is just one aspect of the multitude of factors forming a person's tastes in this field that I focused on.

Bias from place of origin has nothing to do with taste (at least not on a widespread basis...I'm thinking maybe one isolated case here and there). To be blunt, I think it's silly to suggest that without proper back-up and it raises something of a flag whenever I see it go either way.

Daniel K wrote:

Be careful with that term, it is very ambiguous. Dictionary.com has many interpretations of it, like:

   1. A preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment.
   2. An unfair act or policy stemming from prejudice.

Words bend whatever way you want them to. But on one interpretation, one could say that any person that is such that he or she has not heard every single piece of VGM ever composed is biased, since he/she makes judgements from a standpoint of incomplete knowledge of the subject matter. I've heard thousands of soundtracks if you count all the ones I've heard ingame as well as the albums I've bought or downloaded. As a result, I consider myself knowledgeable in the field of VGM. But on the extreme, rigorous criteria I proposed above, my knowledge is very incomplete, thus unavoidably resulting in a biased view ("stemming from prejudice" - I judged before the fact). I've heard a lot of VGM, but if you take all that and divide it with ALL existing VGM, the sum of my VGM-knowing is very little.

Context is more important than a straight definition, so it's obvious what was meant given multiple definitions. I'll agree there's bias by way of musical tastes, composers, sources of music (read: games, movies, nightclubs, whatever). I don't agree that there's widespread bias by way of place of origin or that people honestly think place of origin takes precedence over liking or disliking something. If there is bias via place of origin, I believe it's an underlying product of what the place produces and even then, is less important than musical tastes and things that deal directly with how the music is presented, since it would be easily swayed if the music fulfilled certain qualities.

Simply put: If someone intentionally hated western VGM they would otherwise enjoy if it were Japanese, I would definitely agree that person is biased. If I started hammering out how Machinae Supremacy were a bunch of talentless Ishiwatari-hangons because they're European and Ishiwatari is Japanese, you'd be well within your right to call me a biased sack of shit. When I say I don't think they're AS good as Ishiwatari, but still very good, country of origin isn't even entering my mind. And I've seen enough talk over this soundtrack from a LOT of people that there isn't any kind of widespread bias against it entering my mind.

Daniel K wrote:

You do not intentionally ignore Western releases you might like, but I'd be damn surprised (given your confession of being a Japanophile, and I'm the same in this regard) if you do not to a larger degree ignore random Western VGM album X than random Japanese VGM album Y. Think about it, if you read an album description that has you kind of interested, don't you think you'd be more inclined to pick that album up if you knew it was Japanese? How about this: two albums with *exactly* the same description, but one published by Falcom, the other by, say, Electronic Arts. Are you saying it would make no difference at all...?

I'd buy the Falcom album first because it's Falcom and they have a glowing feedback rating from me...Not because it's Japanese. Normally, if a Japanese company puts out something that interests me, I've had past (and generally positive) experience with them that gives them an unfair advantage in choosing product.

As far as "leaning" towards a release that happens to be Japanese (in the example before the Falcom one), I wouldn't be any less interested if I were reading the description from a western album. There just simply aren't many such descriptions for western albums.

Daniel K wrote:

Maybe it wouldn't. For some it probably doesn't. But I know that there are many that will be swayed by it. Which was what my point was about.

You must be seeing something I'm not then, because your way of promoting something as being "non-Japanese" on top of its' other qualities makes me raise more of an eyebrow than any straight Japanese bias I've encountered. Bringing culture into play like that actually hurts what you're trying to help more than it helps it. Just a heads-up on that.

Daniel K Feb 8, 2006 (edited Feb 8, 2006)

It's obvious we have different views on this, maybe our standpoints are irreconcilable. So further discussion might just be equivalent to banging our heads in the wall. Anyway...

GoldfishX wrote:

I'll agree there's bias by way of musical tastes, composers, sources of music (read: games, movies, nightclubs, whatever). I don't agree that there's widespread bias by way of place of origin

I find the above to be a contradiction. Place of origin can undoubtedly be sub-categorized under "source of music". Japanese VGM, no matter how vastly different individual composers might be from each other, has a certain flair if you make a sweep over the entire field of it, just as grunge rock from Seattle in the early 1990s has a certain flair, just like British punk rock from the late 1970s has a certain kind of style, etc., etc.. There is an overlapping effect between the music and it's origin: to deny that is to try in vain to remove an intrinsic aspect of the music.

I suggest you have a way too atomistic and detached view of what I'm trying to say. I'm definitely not saying that place of origin is the ultimate arbiter of a person's tastes, or even a major factor. But what I am saying is that it is a factor that is there, and if you deny it, the only thing you're doing is fooling yourself.

Let me illustrate my point with some very crude examples...

I do not look to Japan to find good dark ambient releases. I do not look to Argentina to find good metal releases. I do not look to Egypt to find good industrial releases. I do not usually look much outside of Japan to find good game music releases.

I do this because I discriminate and discern out from my experience and knowledge up till now. I am unavoidably trapped in a biased view whatever I do. This bias may have very securely founded grounds and in essence even be largely true. But that doesn't really change the fact that it will work as an inductive filter that I apply everytime I need to make a quick judgement. To illustrate with your own points:


GoldfishX wrote:

(...)If there is bias via place of origin, I believe it's an underlying product of what the place produces(...)

(...)I'd buy the Falcom album first because it's Falcom and they have a glowing feedback rating from me (...) Normally, if a Japanese company puts out something that interests me, I've had past (and generally positive) experience with them that gives them an unfair advantage in choosing product. (...)

Entirely agreed. So what are we fighting over...? As I suggested before, it might be the ambiguity of the word "bias". In my view, the word applies very well to the sentences by you that I quoted just above. It doesn't matter really how well-informed your opinion of something is, once it is in place as a filtering faculty, you are operating under bias. If you didn't have that ability, you wouldn't even know where to start to look for music. To make it even more fundamental: if you didn't have that ability, you wouldn't even be able to discern what you call "music" from every other succession of auditory input. You have cut out a certain path or mold for what you like based on previous experiences. And part of this picture is place of origin of the produced music (how big this part is, however, is another question). Place of origin will always be of certain consideration to you when you decide what new music to explore. Hence = bias.



GoldfishX wrote:

You must be seeing something I'm not then, because your way of promoting something as being "non-Japanese" on top of its' other qualities makes me raise more of an eyebrow than any straight Japanese bias I've encountered. Bringing culture into play like that actually hurts what you're trying to help more than it helps it. Just a heads-up on that.

I must certainly be seeing something you're not.

And as for "your way of promoting something as being "non-Japanese" on top of its' other qualities"... Please go to the top of this thread and start to read it again, carefully. Who started to bring up this question...? (Hint if you don't want to read through all of the thread again: it's mentioned the first time in post #9). You are really making a hen out of a feather here, I've never crusaded this issue anyway near as hard as you suggest. I still remember having a similar (though much more confused, on both sides) discussion with you 4 years ago in a thread I started regarding the Halo OST (too bad the archives don't stretch that far back - it would've been a blast to read now!). Other than that and my original thread on the Jets'n'Guns OST, there hasn't really been much. And even if you go back to my original thread on this matter, the most you'll find is: "Since it isn't done by a Japanese composer, I know some people will want to overlook it by default, but I URGE anyone into metal music to check it out. " I added that bit since I knew there would be people reading it ready to dismiss Machinae Supremacy as yet another The Minibosses-esque Western VGM cover band that wasn't worth shit, and I still think that consideration is entirely valid. The vast majority of what I wrote in my post was a description of the music itself, and I tacked that on almost in passing. "promoting something as being "non-Japanese" on top of its' other qualities"...? Please.

In a way, your view that I'm "promoting something as being "non-Japanese" on top of its' other qualities" is just another example of a judgement passed from a standpoint of incomplete knowledge...

GoldfishX Feb 10, 2006

"If there is bias via place of origin, I believe it's an underlying product of what the place produces"

Okay, so we agree on this. The main difference is you put more stock into it than I do, as I would only use it under extremely specific circumstances. "Japanese VGM" is not one of those circumstances and isn't even close, considering VGM isn't even a musical genre. J-Pop would work, but I don't quite make an association with J-VGM and the reference looks silly to me (and practically indistinguishable from talking about musical style or the actual culture of the region).

"Since it isn't done by a Japanese composer, I know some people will want to overlook it by default, but I URGE anyone into metal music to check it out. "

This sentence annoyed me when I read it...Not because I thought it was aimed at me, but the "Japanese composer" part does come off sounding bad, as it assumes a deal of ignorance beforehand. I'm not saying it was the most emphasized part of the description, but it raised something of a flag that overshadowed the rest. I can understand not wanting the comparison with bands like the Minibosses though.

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