Soundtracks of Good...

Talk about all aspect of Japanese games.

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Soundtracks of Good...

Postby Gaijin Punch » Tue Apr 24, 2007 3:38 pm

As someone who traditionally hates game music (sorry to the fans) I always get all giddy when I find a soundtrack I like. I really haven't found one recently that I like, but figured a thread should be started of good soundtracks.

Additions I would like to see in here are somewhat obscure/interesting soundtracks.

Good: Okami (just ordered this...forgot to a year ago). Very wafuu, complete w/ koto & shamisen.
Bad: ESPGaluda. While it's not a bad soundtrack by far, it is stil Ferry Corsten rip off tunes. (Okay, it's borderline, but still, it's definitely not out of the box.)

So, my list would be:
Okami
Azel: Panzer Dragoon (I have the Memorial CD which is apparently stupidly hard to find now)
Panzer Dragoon Zwei
Jet Set Radio (missing US tracks are actually good) / Jet Set Radio Future
Rez

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Re: Soundtracks of Good...

Postby zinger » Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:44 pm

edit
Last edited by zinger on Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Ganelon » Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:08 pm

Well, I actually prefer game music to sound driven and not subtly atmospheric, traditional, symphonic, or pop. I think it's excellent that game trance (like Espgaluda) offers a constant anthem with no bass to drown it out like most mainstream trance.

To that end, I like RPG music, esp. stuff from Phantasy Star (Bo, Ippo, and esp. Gaki Chan's PSIV work) and Lunar (Noriyuki Iwadare's finest IMO). Yoko Kanno's Uncharted Waters soundtrack is amazing, Michiko Naruke is too good for the Wild Arms series IMO, and Kenji Ito's tunes are really catchy (Seiken Densetsu IMO has the best soundtrack for the GB).

But these are probably the exact opposite of the "hip" soundtracks you listed, so I guess you could consider these "bad."

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Postby Strychnine » Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:49 pm

I'm with you on ESPGaluda being no so good. Trance is not that hard to make. I mean, trance doesn't bother me - it can be enjoyable, but it is definitely forgettable.

Psyvariar 1/2 - Much better techno-y/trance-y soundtrack than ESPGaluda IMO.

R-Type Final - The music is really nice and atmospheric, it made the game for me.

Shin Contra/Contra: Shattered Soldier - Nice, energetic - varies between techno and guitar-driven stuff.

Silent Hill Series - A nice mix of very weird music/sounds with traditional music. I've never actually played any of the games for more than half an hour - but I regularly listen to the soundtracks.

Thunderforce V - for the buttrock!

Zanac X (specifically Neo) - Again, a nice variety of tunes - sounds like the direct evolution of early 90s game music.

Zone of Enders 1/2 - Sounds like an anime soundtrack, but has its moments.

Grim Fandango - Great, emotive, appropriate soundtrack.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:59 pm

Wow... I'm up at 5AM... baby screams.

You know, I just played Zana Neo today after not playing for ages (1cc!... I know, it's easy) but that is partially what inspired this thread. The stage 3 track is great. It seems to me what was aimed for in ESPGaluda. I don't think ESPGaluda's soundtrack is bad. 3-4 years earlier I would've thought it was great. Trance is a genre done to death in Japan. FYI, there is no Zanac Neo soundtrack that I know of.

@Ganelon: It's not that I don't enjoy game music... I just rarely enjoy it outside of the game. I find some of the old Phantasy Star tunes quite catchy (maybe b/c it was the first game that really caught me) but it wouldn't get any time on the MP3. I actually saw both Phantasy Star Collection soundtracks in Mandarake the other day as well.

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Postby Strychnine » Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:47 pm

Gaijin Punch wrote:Wow... I'm up at 5AM... baby screams.

You know, I just played Zana Neo today after not playing for ages (1cc!... I know, it's easy) but that is partially what inspired this thread. The stage 3 track is great. It seems to me what was aimed for in ESPGaluda. I don't think ESPGaluda's soundtrack is bad. 3-4 years earlier I would've thought it was great. Trance is a genre done to death in Japan.


Zanac Neo IS great - they ought to whip out another one...I haven't done my intarnets homework, but I feel like I read at some point the company that made it is no more, though?

Trace is pretty much done to death everywhere. That's what I would listen to in college while I was studying, because I wouldn't get distracted by it at all, but it kept me alert(ish).


FYI, there is no Zanac Neo soundtrack that I know of.


Ha - you're right. I just checked the mp3s in the folder, and they're all suspiciously named "STR0001...STR0002". I imagine I probably ripped it from the game at some point.

I forgot to mention Half-Life 1 and 2. Both are great soundtracks, although the songs are frequently way too short.

Black/Matrix is also pretty neat for the variety of music that they pack in, though very videogamey sounding. Ah..another game I bought in my Dreamcast frenzy that I never played because it's all in high-level moon-language.

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Postby Ganelon » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:01 pm

I'm a huge fan of anthem trance but most of the Euro stuff nowadays either really sucks or lean far too much towards techno/electronica or on the opposite side to pop. Game soundtracks are IMO one of the few places where it's still being done right, because gamers won't tolerate a monotonous beat and slow build-up. Also, there are no voices, which is a definite plus.

Yeah, it's about as hard to find good future-themed melodic trance as it is to find good smooth jazz, ones that you can actually "feel," as if you were living in a condo in a big city rise, the full moon high in the sky, a gentle gust blowing through the balcony, and a glass of bourbon on the table.

Even in a series built around techno/trance music like Wipeout, the only song I find remotely interesting is the outstanding Xpander Edit. Everything else is too heavily geared towards techno fans. On the other hand, Border Down and the Psyvariar games have a killer score for every stage. And maybe this is weird, but I happen to prefer recent Cave soundtracks over the oft-touted Zuntata and Tecno Soft tunes.

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Postby zinger » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:17 pm

Ganelon wrote:Lunar (Noriyuki Iwadare's finest IMO)

I need to listen to that. I enjoy his compositions for EX-Ranza and the older NCS Masaya titles (Langrisser II, Gleylancer, Gynoug).

Ganelon wrote:And maybe this is weird, but I happen to prefer recent Cave soundtracks over the oft-touted Zuntata and Tecno Soft tunes.

Pink Sweets? :? Muchi Muchi Pork? :? :? :? Well, Manabu Namiki (DOJ, Mushi, Mushi Futari, Ketsui, ESPGaluda 2) still produces quality stuff. He and Yack are two of the few composers, IMO, that have managed to blend oldschool with newschool in a good way, compared to Shinji Hosoe (Ibara) who's really lost the spark...

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:34 pm

Well, I think most of most genres sucks. To find the good stuff, you have to wade through shit. While I like Border Down, I don't know how much I would like it outside of the game. Some of it is slighly cheesy, but it definitely has some creativity in it. I just played Psyvariar, and didn't mind the tracks too much.

As for Wipeout & Ghost in the Shell... while I don't find the soundtracks spectacular (although there are many good ones on there) I like the idea of having non-game musicians working "unleashed" on game productions. I know that there are many famous local Japanese DJs (Shinkawa, Tomo, Yo-C, Yoji) that worked on Virtual On. I asked Shinkawa if they just made the tracks and submitted them, but he said they were guided as to what type of sound they wanted. No bueno if you ask me. I wonder how much of that goes on in all game soundtracks.

I've never liked the majority of Namiki's stuff. For the most part, I've liked 1 track in each of those games:

DOJ: 2
Mushi: 4
Mushi Futari: 3
Ketsui: 5
Galuda 2: 6 (and the stage 5 tribute to the original was good)

EDIT:
@Strychnine - yes, Compile, the company that created Zanac & Zanac Neo are essentially gone.

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Postby JoshF » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:06 am

I'm fond of Sega's arcade game music, especially during the Sega Sound Team and B-Univ days.

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Postby aerithhime » Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:23 am

I listen to all types of VGM including recordings from old systems.
Panzer Dragoon Azel's music is one of my top favs. I'd just leave it running to hear the music sometimes.

CD wise I like arranged ablums from games. Suikoden had some Asian and Celtic arranges that were good. Also the recent Okami Piano arrange is very nice.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:37 am

I actually just bougth the Okami soundtrack. A whopping 5 discs with over 200 tracks. Very complete, to say the least. I see the Okami Arrange one, but not sure if I'll like it. I like Okami's music b/c of the use of the Japnaese instruments.

Really want an PD Orta soundtrack... don't want to pay 20,000 yen for it though.

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Postby kaiser knuckle » Wed May 02, 2007 2:49 am

Hello GP, everyone. I found my way to the site late last year and lurked on and off since.

I'm a big fan of Masafumi Takada's (God Tracks, Killer 7, Samurai Champloo (game), Samurai Western) work. I don't think I've heard a soundtrack by him that I didn't think was good, though some are stronger than others. Michigan is one of the weaker ones. It's got the same sort of problems as the Biohazard Sound Collection: it's not very fun to listen to screeching strings and other harsh, dissonant sounds.

In general Takada is a lot of fun to listen to, though. He has this tendency to try out what seems like every single synth patch and sound effect he has available.

Yuko Araki's work on Phantom Dust is really good, too. It's generally these weird, electronic rearrangements of classical music (IIRC there's some Beethoven (Moonlight Sonata), Bizet's Carmen (L'amour est un Oiseau Rebelle in particular), Debussy (Reverie) etc.), but there's also an inexplicable (/inexcusable) Vincent Gallo track on there.

I like the Rockman Zero soundtracks alot, but I fall into the hit-or-miss camp in terms of their cd arrangements.

I'm really of two minds when it comes to videogame soundtracks: on the one hand, I just like good music -- music that stands on its own, that I can walk around and listen to, or play while I'm working, or what have you. On the other hand (and this is something I have a harder time articulating so please bear with me) when it comes to in-game music I think there's something much more important and interesting happening when elements of the music are dependent on player input -- music as sound effect, maybe? I'm not even thinking so much of a game like Rez (although it's a good example) as I am of something like Taniguchi Hirofumi's work on Chibi-Robo.

I really like the fact that each footstep prompts a different musical note, with the sound of the instrument dependent on what surface you're on and how fast you're moving. If you try to dig into an "indestructible" surface with your spoon, you're greeted with dischordant piano notes. Using the toothbrush to clean up a stain generates plucked guitar chords and so forth. Even the speed at which you walk changes the tempo of an area's music. While there are some strong standalone songs on the cd, it's peppered with a whole bunch of these 6 second, 12 second and 30 second tracks. Listening to it independently of the game can be a bizarre experience. So I would say it's a brilliant soundtrack but could rightfully be seen as a mediocre cd.

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Postby Strychnine » Wed May 02, 2007 4:41 am

Gaijin Punch wrote: I see the Okami Arrange one, but not sure if I'll like it. I like Okami's music b/c of the use of the Japnaese instruments.


I really enjoy traditional Japanese music...but unfortunately I don't really know where to begin (throwing "shamisen" into google is less than helpful). Do you have any names, groups, or people that I should search for?

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Wed May 02, 2007 5:59 am

The closest thing I have to traditional Japanese music is a series of CDs by Geinou Yamashirogumi (the guys that the Akira soundtrack). Very good stuff across the board. They often take a style of ethnic music (kecha, for example) and modernize it, often throwing in some Japanese instruments... not always a koto or shamisen, but some pretty interesting stuff, nonetheless.

I think there were two Japanese guys that toured (some cities in the states even) that played some relatively new music on two shamisens. Pretty cool stuff.

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Postby zinger » Wed May 02, 2007 10:53 am

[quote="kaiser knuckle"][/quote]
Now that's a great soundtrack! I actually got the Kaiser Knuckler cart becauseo of the music only. Can't get into the game at all. :)

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Postby aerithhime » Mon May 07, 2007 9:45 am

Gaijin Punch wrote:I actually just bougth the Okami soundtrack. A whopping 5 discs with over 200 tracks. Very complete, to say the least. I see the Okami Arrange one, but not sure if I'll like it. I like Okami's music b/c of the use of the Japnaese instruments.

Really want an PD Orta soundtrack... don't want to pay 20,000 yen for it though.


About the piano collection it's very slow and relaxing selections. I have a thing for VGM piano arranges so it's heaven for me. But without the Japanese instruments you might not like it. PD Orta costs that much... yikes!

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Mon May 07, 2007 9:55 am

Seems that was a fluke. I located a couple under 10,000 yen. I've even posted one for sale. Great soundtrack, unfortunately not 2 discs of love like the Azel soundtrack.

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Postby ZebraAirforce » Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:48 am

I'm going to agree that the Okami soundtrack is, indeed, great, and that Chibi Robo has a very interesting soundtrack too. Unless you played and enjoyed the game, however I'm not sure how much you'll like it.

GP, you only liked four songs on the Mushi 1 cd?? Well, I guess that's four out of five stages. I personally liked Stage 3, 4, 5, Boss, and Final Boss (not TLB!) Cave Fanboy (Caveboy?) sidenote: I love how they return to the regular boss music on the LB's second form. It's like a really strong aural cue to give it your all. Awesome!

As for soundtracks I'm partial to, I would say mostly Famicom and Super Famcom stuff. For instance, Megaman 1 and 2, Seiken Densetsu 3, Chrono Trigger, Earthbound... Here's a little secret for you guys:
Hat Trick Hero 2 for SNES has some really awesome music! If you ever get the chance to check it out, I highly recommend it! It's very jazzy and really fresh.

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Postby Macaw » Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:48 am

Heres some of my OST recommendations of games from old computer platforms:

Cosmic Psycho
A great adventure eroge with shooting sections thrown in (Yes, hentai games can be remarkable) released for the PC98 and I think also the x68k. This soundtrack is a must for people who like 80's style sci-fi type stuff with a fair amount of jazz thrown in.


Tamashii no Mon - From Dante's Divine Comedy
Incredible arrange album to what is without a doubt in my opinion one of the most amazing games ever made. Released on PC98 and FM-Towns by Koei, this is a sidescrolling action game based on Dante's Divine Comedy (mostly Dante's Inferno) and anyone who's read that book would know that presenting visuals that depict Dante's journey though hell as described in the book would be an unthinkably tough task for even the most imaginative and artistically talented people, but they pulled it off in an amazing way and the end result is completely insane. If you've ever seen one of those crazy biblical pictures where dozens of naked people are in a hellish landscape such as this http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... 07-108.jpg
then you would understand how tough a task it would be creating the visuals and atmosphere for this game, yet Koei succeeded.

But back to its OST, its certainly one of the most bizzare albums ever made, especially for game music. I honestly cant really describe it, but imagine classical, techno, and ambient music rolled into one. I really like it, but its certainly the type of music you have to be in the mood for.


Policenauts
This speaks for itself


Burai Joukan
The first in a series that spanned many titles on computer platforms and eventualy onto the PC-Engine. This first title was originally released on PC88 in 1989, and had 2 different soundtracks. The first one 'Burai Prototype' was actualy released a couple of months before the game, and has a bunch of metal/rock/pop tracks some of which were created by the band 'Show-Ya'.

There was then the original soundtrack of the game containing the original synth called 'All sounds of Burai', a lot of which I think is quite good.


Elm Knight
Really fun album to the PC98 1st person mecha action RPG developed by Microcabin. Standard old-school game music type stuff, so not for everyone, but I certainly get a kick out of it.
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Postby EOJ » Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:33 am

ZebraAirforce wrote: For instance, Seiken Densetsu 3,


Yes, most definitely. SD3 is one of the few game soundtracks I quite like. Really nice compositions.

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Postby zinger » Fri Jun 15, 2007 9:46 am

Macaw wrote:Cosmic Psycho
A great adventure eroge with shooting sections thrown in (Yes, hentai games can be remarkable) released for the PC98 and I think also the x68k. This soundtrack is a must for people who like 80's style sci-fi type stuff with a fair amount of jazz thrown in.

This is a great soundtrack! I actually met the composer / sounddriver coder for this game when I was in Japan (Ryu Takami), it was written by him when he was 17 years old! :o If you like this style, check out EVE: Burst Error! (PC-98) or Yu-No (PC-98), also by Takami. I'd also recommend Keishi Yonao's work, he produced the Saturn version of Yu-No aswell as a lot of other great stuff.

EDIT: Cool recommendations by the way, I love old school game music and haven't listened extensively to those you mention (exept for Cosmic Psycho). I'll make sure to give them a second chance! :)

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Postby Macaw » Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:35 am

zinger wrote:This is a great soundtrack! I actually met the composer / sounddriver coder for this game when I was in Japan (Ryu Takami), it was written by him when he was 17 years old! :o


Are you sure he was the composer? The Cosmic Psycho OST lists the composers as PANDA (famous eroge composer who worked for Cocktailsoft, Cats Pro, Melody, and later started his own company pandahouse) and akirakun (who I have never heard of before)

Perhaps Ryu Takami is akirakun?

zinger wrote: If you like this style, check out EVE: Burst Error! (PC-98) or Yu-No (PC-98), also by Takami. I'd also recommend Keishi Yonao's work, he produced the Saturn version of Yu-No aswell as a lot of other great stuff.


Indeed I am very fond of these great soundtracks.
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Postby zinger » Sat Jun 16, 2007 8:23 am

Yes I'm sure, there were several composers / friends of him around to confirm that. I tried to ask him about the nicknames since I was also confused, but I was to drunk to remember the name "akirakun" (akirakumi?), and his english was basically non-existant. There are two other guys listed as authors or something in the booklet, BAKI and RAY, but I guess Takami would have to be Akira, since he's the only one listed under both 'MUSIC SYSTEM' and 'SOUND PROGRAMMER' I'll try to sort it out next time I talk to one of his friends.

This is his hompage, lots of cool demo soundclips:
http://risque-fellow.com/

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Postby zinger » Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:34 pm

[14:23] <hallywork> He answered that RAY was him.
[14:27] <hallywork> At the time he stayed in the UK/Sauth Africa, his name was often pronounced "Ray" or "Dyu" by English/Dutch speaking people. That's why :)
[15:15] <hallywork> he did most of x68000 versions.


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