October 19, 2012

Why I still buy JRPG Soundtracks

Posted in music tagged , , , at 10:49 am by riulyn

JRPG soundtracks are expensive in comparison to the games, at least for U.S. consumers. Typically they are at least $30 new even from some of the cheaper suppliers. Add in shipping and a currency conversion fee for another few bucks. So why are they worth buying, despite the ease of getting the tracks from the Internet for free? (I’m not endorsing this, just saying that it exists.)

Well, for me, I listen to video game music almost all the time. Right now I’ve been addicted to the NieR soundtrack and have played the entire soundtrack every day for a week. I listen to video game music not just because I run my sheet music website but because I genuinely enjoy listening to it. I work to it, I study to it, I browse the Internet to it, I read books to it, I even sometimes play the soundtrack I’m more into while I dungeon crawl in Persona 3 Portable. Compared to how much time I spend playing a game, I spend many more hours listening to the music.

Of course, I probably won’t go out there and buy soundtracks for every game that has one that I’ve played and even enjoyed. It does feel like a bit too much to buy a soundtrack that I don’t love. Sometimes for those games I might browse through the soundtracks on YouTube or other means when I want a fix. But soundtracks are more of what I like to collect instead of figurines and posters and artbooks, though those things are great too.

Unfortunately there are a few soundtracks I want which I may have to obtain the “wrong” way, just because they are so rare, such as the Suikoden III soundtrack. But right now I’m slowly trying to add soundtracks as well as games to my collection.

Today’s purchase was the amazing NieR soundtrack and the Radiant Historia soundtrack. I think you appreciate NieR’s soundtrack more if you’ve played the game, but the soundtrack by itself is very beautiful and worth a listen. “Emil – Karma” is my favorite track off that at the moment. As for Radiant Historia, it’s a little painful to spend $40-ish on 1 CD, but Yoko Shimomura really does great work here. The song “Where the Wind and Feathers Return” is really the only song I’ve listened to a lot, but from playing the game and watching a LP of it, I know I will listen to this soundtrack a lot. I just have to cut down on spending money on expensive chocolate, stuff like that šŸ™‚

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