August 23, 2010

Feel-good RPG Music

Posted in music, video games tagged , , , , , , , , at 8:08 pm by riulyn

I’ve started playing Grandia III recently and Noriyuki Iwadare’s music just makes me feel good. Something about his style makes me feel like I’m 10 years old, snuggled in a blanket and experiencing a fun story. Today his Lunar Eternal Blue music, which I listened to on my computer last night, was stuck in my head while I was doing lab work. I think I was very chipper in an otherwise very long day. If anyone reads this and wants to comment, why don’t you tell me what your feel-good RPG soundtracks are?

I guess, unlike Motoi Sakuraba, Iwadare hasn’t composed a crazy amount of soundtracks, but he has been the man for the Lunar and Grandia series, and Wikipedia also lists him for Phoenix Wright and Radiata Stories and other games. I’m sure I’ve made the realization before, but playing Grandia I was like “wow this is Lunar-style fun music”. Considering that I enjoy the Lunar soundtracks immensely, when I remember that I have them (just the PSX version of the games’ soundtrack included with the game), and I don’t remember Grandia II that well but Grandia III’s music has been fun, I can’t say he’s written anything horrendous. If you haven’t heard any of his stuff, I definitely recommend Lunar music as a starter. Lunar Eternal Blue is more fun music-wise than Lunar Silver Star Story in my opinion. Of course, play the actual games too if you can 🙂 They are fun times (once again I prefer LEB over LSSS but play them both).

August 1, 2010

You guys really like Tales of Symphonia

Posted in music tagged , , , , , at 10:34 pm by riulyn

Like the numbers geek I am, I took inventory of the songs with the most number of votes on my request list. With Zelos’ theme currently at 71 votes, Tales of Symphonia songs lead the way with the top 9 highest votes. The tenth song is from Tales of Vesperia.

I find the enthusiasm for Tales of Symphonia song arrangements interesting, because unless one person has figured out a way around the voting system and voting as much as possible for the ToS songs, I have to believe there is actually a ton of interest in getting more ToS arrangements. I wonder a few things, like

  1. Why this soundtrack by Motoi Sakuraba, in particular? I think I’ve stated somewhere that I think Tales of Phantasia has Sakuraba’s most interesting stuff. Meanwhile, plenty of other Tales games have come out since Tales of Symphonia.
  2. Is the ToS music just that well-loved or are other soundtracks that are also highly rated being arranged faster by other people so you don’t vote at my site? It’s not a problem if that’s true; I am a slow arranger after all and I spread myself thin.
  3. Is it just me and Steph and NintyFresh doing the majority of ToS music arranging at the moment? Is that why you are voting so rabidly here?

Well, I have to admit, I can’t remember the music well from Tales of Vesperia, Abyss, Legendia, or Eternia/Destiny 2. I remember Tales of Phantasia the best because I’ve played it multiple times as well as had the music files on my computer for a long time. Then I sort of remember Tales of Destiny and Symphonia. Still, the newer games have such large soundtracks that it’s hard to keep track and really, not that memorable. That’s why you guys give me requests so I don’t have to go digging for the good songs, right?

Edit: Whoever wrote the comment said something about Tales of Symphonia being mostly written by Shinji Tamura brings up an interesting point. Too bad he or she asked me to delete the comment because it was posted using the wrong account. Personally I don’t think Motoi Sakuraba alone sucks, even if Baiten Kaitos might have been weak. He did a decent job with Valkyrie Profile, though I suppose the Star Ocean soundtracks, Valkyrie Profile 2, Eternal Sonata and some other stuff I’ve forgotten aren’t really that good. Then again, every videogame composer, at least for Japanese RPGs, seems to have at least one “bad” soundtrack, and Motoi Sakuraba has written the most that I can think of, so if we play probabilities, he has more chances to write bad songs.