Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Zane Sep 21, 2006 (edited Sep 22, 2006)

I was toying with the idea of getting a few threads going where people could post their favorite soundtracks that begin with a certain letter and share why they love the albums so much. I was thumbing through my iPod and thought it would be kinda cool to start something like this. Maybe every week or every several days we could post about the next letter and make our way through the alphabet, get the discussion going, share some albums that people might not normally have heard about or have listened to before, etc.

It might sound lame, but I think it's worth a shot. Here's mine...


ABANDONER Original Sound Track

Hoo boy. KT2 is one of my favorite composers, hands down, and this is one of the most solid CDs that he has put out yet. It's equally emotional, beautiful and depressing, and that's a real tough blend to keep static throughout a whole disc. KT2 knows mood like no other VGM composer, and he really shows his skills on this album. I actually prefer it to his Lost Child Infinia disc now that I've heard the entire album as opposed to the several tracks from History Repeats Itself (also highly recommended). It's a little expensive over at Y!J, but it was worth the trouble and the cash money to get myself a copy of the disc. Great, great stuff.

EDIT

As far as an honorable mention goes, I need to give All Star Pro-Wrestling II props where props are deserved. This album has some short track times, but Sekito rocks out, and he rocks hard. Think Black Mages blueprints but with more character. Usually goes for pretty cheap, too.

XISMZERO Sep 21, 2006

Actrasier. It was my earliest inspiration to seek out game music and I was exposed to it all in 1991. Remains to be my favorite game soundtracks simply because of it's superb compositions and outstanding sound design for a cartridge-based soundtrack.

oddigy Sep 21, 2006

Not sure if "All Sounds of SaGa" counts, but if it does, it's my favorite.  Particularly the arranged track on disc 2.

If it doesn't count, Atelier Iris:Eternal Mana wins. :) The style fits the game perfectly, and there's just something about the... separation of the instruments that makes the sequence programming really appealing to me.  I can't describe it.

Alcahest Sep 21, 2006 (edited Sep 21, 2006)

Anubis Zone of the Enders.
Dunno if that one counts but if it does it's my fav.
It contains some remixes of the old ZOE, even a Gradius cameo and overall is excellent.
check Zakat, Jehuty- Vivid Transparency or Bahram Battleship if you don't believe me ^^
Later,

Alcahest

CHz Sep 21, 2006

Can we throw arrange albums into the mix too, or just original soundtracks?

Not that applies to any of these answers, but it'll be good to know if the series continues.

Ace Combat Zero The Belkan War Original Soundtrack
The soundtracks to Ace Combats 4 and 5 are a bit hit-and-miss with me, with some tracks being wondrous feats and others being mere indiscriminate fluff (more of the latter, sadly). However, the addition of the Spanish guitar to the AC formula puts the ACZ soundtrack leagues ahead of them, making tracks like ZERO breathtaking. Even the more "normally" instrumented tracks like DIAPASON and MAYHEM managed to be better on average than their counterparts on previous soundtracks.

Runners-up:
[-Aka-] Complete Edition Original Soundtrack - Primitive (hentai game love~)
Arcana (Card Master)
Area 88 (SNES version)

Zane Sep 21, 2006

CHz wrote:

Can we throw arrange albums into the mix too, or just original soundtracks?

Sure, man. Why the hell not? smile

GoldfishX Sep 21, 2006

Meh, why not...

Winner: Atelier (series)/Ar Tonelico

Both start with 'A', both have the same set of composers. Steady flow of upbeat RPG tunes that have basically carved themselves out a very distinct sound over time. Ar Tonelico mixes things up a bit with strange voice samples and is much more somber overall. The two SSH-arranged discs improve a number of the hard rock themes that have become prevalent in the series, particularly the Iris series and I see no reason why we shouldn't expect ones for Ar Tonelico and AI: Grand Fantasm

Runners-up: Ace Combat (series)

Something I picked up during my time spent at Gamingforce, as I never paid this series any mind prior to that. Soaring orchestral cues mixed in with good underlying doses of rock and electronica and JUST the right mix of melody and atmosphere. I have trouble picking a favorite, as all of the releases have their good and their bad and it needs time to sink in, but Belkan War's OST (Mayhem and Zero in particular) is among my favorites this year. I think 5 probably wins overall, just for the sheer quantity of quality tunes. It's easily one of the largest non-RPG scores ever made.

Arc the Lad Original Soundtrack

This is for the arrange disc, that was labeled as an original soundtrack. Very nice jazz-fusion arranges that find a nice mix of improvisation and staying true to the originals. I'm not too keen on the orchestral material, just because it sounds kind of flat and non-distinct, but the rest make up for it.

Art of Fighting 2 Image Album

The AoF series had its' 3 months or so in the sun, but this is still among the best arranges SNK has put out. Not much "rock your face in" material, but maintains the grunge-tastic edge of early SNK music, along with a sleek, jazzy vibe throughout the album.

Amazingu Sep 21, 2006

I'll divide this into Original and Arranged so that I can list both of my "A" favorites:

OST: Alundra

AST: Actraiser Symphonic

Actraiser Symphonic is simply one of the best AST's I know, and Alundra, even after all these years still manages to give me goosebumps. Great Boss themes and beautiful Dungeon themes, definitely one of my all-time favorites.

Nice poll, man! wink

Wanderer Sep 21, 2006

Probably Actraiser. The music elevated the game to new heights (and it's a game I try to replay at least once a year). Too bad the same can't be said for the crappy sequel.

Kirin Lemon Sep 22, 2006

Akumajou Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight Original Game Soundtrack

Awesome.  Awesome to the max.

Nick G Sep 22, 2006

I've always enjoyed the Armored Core soundtracks. AC3 was the only real disappointment in the series for me but even it had a few highlights. One thing that's guaranteed on every Armored Core soundtrack is the coolest song titles!

Crash Sep 22, 2006 (edited Sep 22, 2006)

I'm going to go with All Over Xanadu.  It's got that classic early Falcom arranged sound that's hard to beat.

Actraiser Symphonic Suite is nice, but all those interludes are a bit over the top (not to mention the last track that seems like a John Williams lawsuit waiting to happen).

Edit:  Just as a side note, what's going to happen when we get to "F"?  Or "Y"?  Asking people to pick their favorite Final Fantasy or Ys soundtrack could prove a dangerous undertaking.

Idolores Sep 22, 2006

Alcahest wrote:

Anubis Zone of the Enders.
Dunno if that one counts but if it does it's my fav.
It contains some remixes of the old ZOE, even a Gradius cameo and overall is excellent.
check Zakat, Jehuty- Vivid Transparency or Bahram Battleship if you don't believe me ^^
Later,

Alcahest

Agreed on all counts. Anubis had a wicked-awesome soundtrack. "Beyond the Bounds" still remains as one of my favorite songs from a PS2 soundtrack to date, edging out even Snake Eater for sheer coolness (at least in my opinion). And "Zakat" is perhaps one of the most bad-ass boss themes out there. It has a seriously cool driving industrial beat, and also makes the eponymous battle all the more epic. Flying around above a massive city, clouds billowing around as lasers and missles fly in every direction, with said song just amplifying every aspect . . . pure gaming awesomeness . . .

Favorite "A" soundtrack? I was going to be a smartass and say "Angan Midnight: Max Tune", omitting the "W" from the beginning, because that's all I've been listening to lately. That, and Anitial D.

avatar! Sep 22, 2006

I pretty much agree with what's already been said:

Arc the Lad (the first CD is quite awesome)
Albert Odyssey (mediocre game, but music is superb!)

also, I really liked the Age of Mythology soundtrack as well smile
It's more background music than anything else, but I dig it!

cheers,

-avatar!

Nemo Sep 22, 2006

Akumajo Dracula X Demon Castle - OSTs of Rondo and Bloodlines, 4 arranged tracks from X68000 Dracula, AND an arranged version of "Cross Your Heart"?! Badasstical.

Megavolt Sep 22, 2006

I hate to sound redundant here, but Actraiser is my favorite.  It's just once of those special soundtracks that advanced the argument for game music as a legitimate art form.  A true classic.

I'll go with Arcana as an honorable mention.  The music was a big part of what kept me playing through that one.

Angela Sep 22, 2006

I love the last three Ace Combat soundtracks with equal measure, with The Unsung War possibly edging out just slightly.   If we count VGM scores that never had a soundtrack release, though, the true award goes to Ape Escape 2.

Great thread idea, by the way!

XLord007 Sep 24, 2006

jb wrote:

Another Mind, Arc the Lad Piano Album.

~jb

You stole my answer! ;-)

Also, for the record, I keep all my Castlevania albums listed under "D" so I'm not counting them for this poll.

TerraEpon Sep 24, 2006 (edited Sep 24, 2006)

Same here, anything Dracula is under Dracula, All sounds is under Saga, etc.  I'm not at home, but I think I have exactly four 'A' albums -- Alundra, Arc the Lad Anniversary or whatever it is, Acr the Lad Piano, and Tsuganai (Au something...).

Of course, were I to have Actraiser, either OST or orchestra, those would goto the top.

-Joshua

Yuvraj Sep 24, 2006

TerraEpon wrote:

Same here, anything Dracula is under Dracula, All sounds is under Saga, etc.  I'm not at home, but I think I have exactly four 'A' albums -- Alundra, Arc the Lad Anniversary or whatever it is, Acr the Lad Piano, and Tsuganai (Au something...).

Of course, were I to have Actraiser, either OST or orchestra, those would goto the top.

-Joshua

Yeah that's right. Dracula is D or C.

I don't have anything of A myself. There are only three 'A' soundtracks I like (and would like to have); Aquales, Another Mind and an cinniuint. Favorite is probabely Aquales for it's oldschool charm.

I think this poll is going to be a bit difficult if there's no uniformity in the rule for alphabetical listing.

Shoebonics Sep 24, 2006

I have to agree with Angela, file Ape Escape 2 under Awesome.
It's just a great, whimsical soundtrack with plenty of catchy hooks and fun, memorable tunes. The variety in musical styles is nice, too.
I'll never understand why it didn't get an official release (especially being a Sony Japan game) but thankfully Angela picked up the slack and gave it the release it deserved.

dma Sep 24, 2006

What comes in my mind atm is:
- Ace Combat 0 - The Belkan War
- Ace Combat 2 - Original Sound Invitation
- Atelier Iris Eternal Mana: Deceitful Wings
- Auto Modelista

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