August 4, 2011

A Bit More Creativity Needed Here

Posted in life, music, video games tagged , , , , , at 2:21 pm by riulyn

So the vacation to China was overall a good thing despite some bad luck with planes (at least no canceled flights, but lots of delays). It’s kind of interesting to go on a vacation without most of the things that tie you down to your everyday life. I didn’t have my laptop and my music files, my videogames or free access to the Internet, etc. I always feel like vacations like these always reset my mind, in some way.

Upon returning to my rather uneventful life, I wandered over to OCRemix and since I’m such a big Suikoden series fan to see if any new Suikoden remixes had been posted there since I last checked. Unfortunately there hasn’t been anything. I know the site is very selective and such, but when a cult game like Xenogears is continuing to get stuff (then again, the music for that game is a lot better for the casual fan than Suikoden stuff), I was just a bit sad. And now with the recent news that the Suikoden team has indeed been disbanded and 5 years since the last main storyline game, the series is pretty much dead.

Anyway, since I’ve had Suikoden music and randomly Cosmo Canyon from FFVII stuck in my head, particularly “An Old Irish Song” from Suikoden I which I have already made a simple arrangement of, I have been trying to create a fancier, awesomer arrangement of that song. I really am not a good composer myself and really should brush up on music theory, etc., before I get something to type up. And I really should stick to what I do best, which is transcribing stuff. My ability to identify pitches is probably my only actual musical skill, especially since I’ve started making arrangements that I can’t even play myself…

So yeah, in summary, I want to do more with my arrangements but I probably won’t. I’m also in a Suikoden mood so when I get back to working on those “simple” arrangements, I’ll probably do some Suikoden stuff. I just started replaying Suikoden Tactics on a whim and should try to arrange one of those songs, maybe.

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December 8, 2010

A bit of procrastination…

Posted in life, video games tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:19 pm by riulyn

I have a week before I have my exam. For those of you who are curious, I am presenting my proposed thesis/dissertation research. When I was working on this proposal, I realized that I have a lot of goals for this project. I am either going to be in grad school for a very long time or fall short of the lofty goals. It’ll probably be the former. Oh well. I’m getting a stipend and I have time to work on things like sheet music and play videogames as long as I get a decent amount of work done at the bench. I hope I didn’t just fling a ton of jargon at you all. Anyway, I learned recently that, since I did relatively well on the written portion of it in June, that I’ll probably have less questions to answer next Wednesday. I’m just ready to have that done so I can start working on sheet music transcriptions again. I just checked the guestbook so I know someone is waiting for Revival from Tales of Symphonia… (I have to say my memory of that game is hazy, but the soundtrack is fun, I guess…)

So I’m posting because I don’t want to read my paper and I guess I feel less guilty if I spend a few minutes typing here. Plus, I somehow lost the .exe of the sheet music program I was using before and so I can’t open up my old files. I’m trying to figure out still how much I want to splurge on a sheet music program and if I want to use a different one. Finale has some limitations, though it is what I am used to.

While studying these past few months I’ve put on videogame soundtracks and realized that I want to replay Final Fantasy IX. I’m guessing because I listened to so much FFIX music that the game got stuck in my head, but the music isn’t that good. It is relatively simple (I came to this realization that Nobuo Uematsu’s music is usually better when it’s “simple” thus FFVI music being awesome) and I keep thinking that I’ll do more of it because it’s nice to have some quick gratification instead of hours laboring over one song. Then I remind myself that it’s the lazy bum’s route and while I am a lazy bum, I shouldn’t always be one. I might do a few to get my ears warmed back up again after such a long layoff from transcription by ear. You’ll see, hopefully in January 🙂

I’ve also majorly distracted myself at times by livestreaming college volleyball and soccer. It’s tournament time for these two sports so I have the livestream rolling while I pretend to study figures. I wonder if I learn anything during those times. Whatever 🙂

I’ve also gotten back into a side project, which is replaying the Suikoden games and typing up interesting lines. I am playing Suikoden 1 right now and the dialogue feels a bit weird. Back then, videogame characters sure talked strangely at least in the US versions of games. It was probably a combination of bad translations and not quite as much emphasis put on polishing up the speech. I’m glad the translation issue has been mostly resolved, since I still play mostly JRPGs. I have such a laundry list of languages I want to learn, so Japanese keeps being pushed further and further down the list…

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.

March 14, 2010

Favorite RPG Music Soundtracks

Posted in music tagged , , at 11:20 pm by riulyn

I wouldn’t be a RPG music arranger if I didn’t like RPG music, and if I didn’t spend hours listening to certain songs over and over again. There’s always a sense of accomplishment that accompanies each sheet music that I produce. Sometimes each note that I figure out. I have pride in my relative pitch, though it’s been failing a bit, which isn’t a good sign for RPG music arranging nor music playing in general. Maybe I should join a band again.

Anyway, I figured I might list out a few of my favorite RPG music soundtracks. I don’t know if I have an absolute favorite. I guess it would be nice to have one if, for some reason, I had to make a recommendation. At least listing out a favorite RPG soundtrack is much easier than figuring out my favorite RPG song ever…

Favorite RPG soundtracks – I feel like I enjoy these mostly for the good music, not just game preference – not in order

  • Chrono Cross
  • Xenosaga 3
  • Legend of Mana

Others I really enjoy – somewhat related to how I liked the overall game package as well

  • Xenogears
  • Chrono Trigger
  • Tales of Phantasia
  • Lufia 2
  • Final Fantasy 6
  • Xenosaga 1

I feel like I’m forgetting some, but I think the most important ones are here… You might notice that a lot of those series have multiple sheet musics on my website. Back in the day, when I used to arrange sheet music based on whatever I felt like arranging, I believe I was really cranking out the Chrono Cross, Tales of Phantasia, and Lufia stuff. Maybe one day I’ll finish a game, arrangements-wise. I wonder which game will get finished first…

March 7, 2010

Final Fantasy XIII

Posted in music, video games tagged , , , at 6:16 pm by riulyn

So I guess I have to admit being a fan of the Final Fantasy series though it’s not my favorite series. The stuff is decent. There are always nice graphics if not outstanding graphics, good or great music to accompany it, and something interesting in the story. They always make it memorable in some way or another for me, whether it is the WTF last boss, the really annoying side character, the huge gaping plot hole, or… Sorry, sometimes I’m bitter that the Final Fantasy series has so many fans when RPG series that I love more are failing and dying out (aka Suikoden, Xenosaga). Anyway, Final Fantasy XIII looks like it has a lot of potential. Every new Final Fantasy has the potential of becoming the best one, but before I play FFXIII I need to finish Final Fantasy XII. Yes, I’m that far behind. And then I might think about arranging some of its music.