Press Start and Listen: The Videogame Music Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Star Wars And Film Music' started by Son of the Suns, Sep 7, 2002.

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  1. Son of the Suns Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    star 6
    <<This is an offshoot of the Nobuo Uematsu thread, which has been mostly ignored in The Amphitheater. Videogame music is pretty close to film music in the spectrum of music, so I thought this would be a better place for discussing it.>>

    I have been playing videogames since I was very young and I've always felt that the music of these games played a very important role in my enjoyment of them. More recently, I started listening to videogame music outside of the games, and more often than not, these pieces of music have stood on their own.

    Unfortunately, since videogames are often viewed as "mindless entertainment" in the US, their music is treated with very little respect. In Japan, the genre is a lot more popular, which is why most game soundtrack CDs are only released over there. The few CDs that make it to these shores become increasingly hard-to-find, as few stores carry them. But thanks to the internet, a lot of this unreleased music can now be heard.

    Now, let's talk about the music! If you share my love of this underappreciated genre of music, join me in discussing it. Post about your favorite composers, cues, scores or whatever else you want to discuss that relates to video game music. :)
  2. Darth_Insidious Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2002
    star 4
    Uematsu is the best, hand's down. I used to rank Kondo at the same level as him, but his latest music for Super Mario Sunshine really let me down. Whereas Uematsu's latest, Final Fantasy XI, is definitely in the same league as his other quality work. Not quite as good as FFX's in my opinion, but still damn impressive.

    I really do wish they'd have game music concerts here in the US like they do in Japan. I read about the recent Final Fantasy and the upcoming Smash Bros. ones, and it pisses me off that they won't be coming here.
  3. Son of the Suns Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    star 6
    I agree, Nobuo Uematsu is in a league of his own. Koji Kondo isn't that far behind, though.

    I also agree that it's a shame that there aren't any big game music concerts in the US. The performances I've heard from Japanese concerts have been stunning.

  4. Darth_Insidious Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2002
    star 4
    Emiko Shiratori gave a great performance of Melodies of Life at the "Music From Final Fantasy" concert a few months back. I listened to Rikki doing Suteki da Ne there also, but was really let down; it didn't hold a candle to how well she did it for the game.

    At first I didn't even like that song, but after listening to it for a while it really grew on me. My favorite vocal though is still Melodies of Life.
  5. Son of the Suns Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    star 6
    I love both "Melodies of Life" and "Suteki Da Ne". "Eyes on Me" is also wonderful. Does Final Fantasy XI also contain a song in that style? I really don't know much about that latest FF score.

    Coincidentally, I listened to that concert performance of "Suteki Da Ne" online earlier today. I agree, her vocals were not as strong as in the original recording.

  6. Darth_Insidious Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2002
    star 4
    The Vana'diel March has some vocals in it, but there's nothing in the same style as Melodies of Life or Suketi da Ne. Still a very good score though.
  7. ouchbox Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2002
    Hey guys, I love videogame music too. The score for Final Fantasy 3/6 for SNES is what got me into videogame music.

    I think Uematsu is good, but he's very melodic and can get boring after a while. I REALLY think Hitoshi Sakimoto is the best. The scores he wrote for Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story are unbelievable. His work on those games reminds me of John Williams Starwars-style.

    Also, Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono, Xenogears) writes some lovely tunes. Then there's Masaharu Iwata (FF Tactics), Hiroki Kikuta (Secret of Mana), Yuzo Koshiro (Actraiser), Hajime Hirasawa (Star Fox SNES), Koji Kondo (Mario, Zelda, other Nintendo titles), Hiroo Tanaka, Kenshi Yamamoto and Minako Hamano (Metroid, Super Metroid).

    I suggest anyone who likes game music give The Vagrant Story soundtrack a listen.
  8. AdamBertocci Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2002
    star 7
    I like the old-school video game music myself. Bleeps and bloops, y'know?

    Mario, Zelda, Sonic... all the classics. Zelda theme rules.




    Rick McCallum loves you!
  9. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Well, I've noticed video games lately, the bgi ones at least, often come with a soundtrack CD: Myst III and WarCraft III both spring to mind.
  10. TenorAprentice Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2002
    star 4
    Personally, I love Yoko Kanno. She is typically known for anime music, but my favorite work of hers is Uncharted Waters.... and amazing score if I have ever heard one, and available on CD. definately worth a listen.
  11. Jeff 42 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 1998
    star 5
    I own the soundtrack to Halo, and it is a really great score. It has a lot of choral parts, percussion, synthesizers, and strings, including electric guitar in a few tracks. Various tracks include religious monk-like chanting, screaming guitars, rousing action cues, relaxing synthesizer melodies, and more. Martin O'Donnell really did a brilliant job capturing the various moods of the game and heightening them with the music.
  12. CopernicusDent Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2001
    star 2
    "Kondo at the same level as him, but his latest music for Super Mario Sunshine really let me down."

    Ah, Kondo is great. Does anyone know as to way Mario Sunshine?s score wasn?t orchestral (ala Super Smash Bros.)?

    I read awhile back that both Mario and Zelda for GameCube were to be orchestral. I sure as hell hope Zelda will still be.

    I?ve also heard a few Nintendo orchestral concert pieces: Zelda, Mario, Metroid, Star Fox etc. But with the exception of Zelda?s Hyrule Symphony Orchestra has there been any other albums?
  13. dolphin Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 1999
    star 4
    My favorite score would have to be Koji Kondo's SM64 track.


    Then FF7
  14. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    Once I saw a Trailer for Final Fantasy VIII and recorded the music off it.
    months later, I found out its title and knew that my first Final Fantasy music track was Liberi Fatali

    That was 2 years ago
    now I have a nice mixed collection and quite a few favorites. Above all is Suteki da ne. I really love it. It's so stunningly beautiful.
    Next comes Fragments of Memories. And and and ... ;)

    I once found an orchestrated version of the Donkey Kong Country Theme. The middle part is beautiful.

    And Zelda is really nice


    But my favorite is and will always be: Secret of Mana :D
  15. CopernicusDent Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2001
    star 2
    "I once found an orchestrated version of the Donkey Kong Country Theme. The middle part is beautiful."

    Awesome! Who produces orchestra's for these orchestral video games pieces anyway?
  16. AmeiaSkywalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2001
    star 3
    The music for the trailer of Warcraft III is very beautiful, but you can only get the soundtrack, that I know of, if you buy the special edition Warcraft III. I wish they would just sell it by itself.
    I also like the Majesty music.
  17. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    "Who produces orchestra's for these orchestral video games pieces anyway?"

    I have no idea, but maybe some guys from Nintendo? IIRC the themes played in those concerts were all Nintendo; Donkey Kong, Super Mario (cool, too - somehow Jazz-like or something), Zelda, etc.

    (why do I attempt to answer, if I don't know? ;))
  18. Son of the Suns Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    star 6
    Those orchestral performances are from the very rare Orchestral Game Concert CDs. RPGFan.com (which has a very good section devoted to RPG game music) has some reviews with clips from those CDs, including the aforementioned Donkey Kong Country track:

    OGC 1
    OGC 2
    OGC 3
    OGC 4
    OGC 5

  19. CopernicusDent Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2001
    star 2
    Wow, now I know where that incredible Legend of Zelda piece came from.

    Quite frankly, a number of those tracks are far better than at least 98 % of the scores that came out this year. The orchestrating with, Zelda, Mario, Metroid, Kirby... perfection.

  20. Son of the Suns Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    star 6
    Oh, I agree. Hearing those old themes orchestrated like that is a real nostalgia rush.
  21. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    GAH! I keep forgetting the name of the Secret of Mana Theme: Fear of (the) Angels!
    Must... remember... name ... :mad:

    I have to fix my playlist ;)



    Oh, and I ... ahem ... got ;) the Piano Version of Suteki da ne today - very nice


    The first piano track I heard was The Oath from FF-VIII and I totally fell in love with that, too
    The orchestrated version is great, too :)
  22. Emperor_Dan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 1999
    star 4
    Don't forget our own LucasArts. Monkey Island, Outlaws, Full Throttle and Grim Fandango have all had some of the best videogame music.

    And.. Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb will be one of the first titles to have all of its game music performed by a live orchestra! :)
  23. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    OMG, how could I forget Grim Fandango. I love the game, and the music is sooooooo cool and fitting.
    *cues some tracks* :D
  24. CopernicusDent Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2001
    star 2
    "Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb will be one of the first titles to have all of its game music performed by a live orchestra!"


    Money...

    Let?s hope there?s an album planned for release.

  25. Emperor_Dan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 1999
    star 4
    You'd think so.. they've made a big deal about it.
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