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…

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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.