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View Poll Results: Favorite Composer?
Nobuo Uematsu "Final Fantasy, Lost Odyssey" 17 34.69%
Yasunori Mitsuda "Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Xenogears" 7 14.29%
Michiru Yamane "Castlevania" 0 0%
Motoi Sakuraba "Valkyrie Profile, Star Ocean, Baiten Kaitos, Tales of" 4 8.16%
Gerald Marino, Mike Reagan "God of War" 0 0%
Hitoshi Sakimoto "Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story, Odin Sphere, GrimGrimoire" 2 4.08%
Martin O' Donnell, Michael Salvatori "Halo" 1 2.04%
Shoji Meguro "Shin Megami Tensei" 3 6.12%
Koji Kondo "Mario, Zelda" 4 8.16%
Other 11 22.45%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2008-02-26, 21:27   Link #1
Z3120
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Video Game Music (VGM) Thread

It was bound to happen again. You all know it.

Rants
After attending Video Games Live (VGL) @ SF last Friday, I was wondering what American VGM composers and other Japanese VGM I might have been missing. In terms of gaming music I generally listen to nowadays, I seldom listen to stuff from my culture anymore since I fell out of love for American games as a child, mainly PC games like Counter-Strike, Starcraft, Diablo II and Warcraft 3.

I was hoping for more Japanese VGM @ VGL, but given where VGL was playing and what games are generally played by the majority of the audience there, I never expected my selfish dream to be realized. Thank God Tommy, the Co-Producer of VGL, lets you drop some suggestions afterwards. Grateful to the number of people that suggested Castlevania

It's such a difference hearing VGM live compared to a 5.1 sound setup in a living room. Hearing that Kingdom Hearts arrangement of Simple and Clean was absolutely breathtaking. I recommend anyone who's interested to give VGL a shot. Play! Symphony and Eminence are other options too depending on where you live.

Although, personally, I'd prefer going to Eminence if I had the opportunity because they do anime music too.

I am, however, recently trying to get back to listening to at least some American VGM composers again like John Debney's first VGM project Lair, Jeremy Soule's Oblivion, Gerald Marino and Mike Reagan's (I know I'm missing others) God of War I & II and Martin O' Donnell and Michael Salvatori's Halo series. Unless I'm mistaken, I believe Harry Gregson-Williams has some sort of collaboration or is the lead composer to the Metal Gear Solid series?
*Ends Rant*


Questions

Besides me asking an atypical question of what's your favorite VGM OST(s), what are some composers you're especially fond of? If you had to choose, what VGM OST would be your absolute number 1? your #1 VGM composer?

Perhaps you may want to notify me and/or others (mainly me because I want to know!) of a certain VGM composer(s) or OST you think should gain some recognition to the public or you would suggest. Similarities and differences with VGM composers you might talk of too?

Your choice what to answer and what to ask. I'll leave whatever else there is to discuss to other members of this forum and maybe one day this will be the official VGM thread of animesuki


Begins...

Nobuo Uematsu was the reason I begun liking classical and VGM music, and his work in FF7 and FF8 are some of the most musically diverse game OSTs I have ever experienced. What I like especially from Nobuo was how he was abe to use some familiar measures in some songs yet create an altogether different perspective of it. Red XIII's theme, Cosmo Canyon and Great Warrior are the only noticeable ones I know of from FF7. Also, specifically, FF8's Fisherman Horizon (reminds me of a tune from Mario's Missing) and FF7's Cosmo Canyon (love Reuben Kee's remix of this) are some town themes I absolutely found enchanting, enriching, and really, marvelous examples of creating that special atmosphere of places you think you might have visited in reality.

There's a great 1up interview I believe that talks about how Nobuo was able to drastically shift and adapt his style differently very well and competently when he was working on FF8. I can only imagine how amazing an environment and world he'll create if he had to compose music the length of both FF7 and FF8's worlds. How insane would that be? Of course, the game has to be exceptional first, right?

Truth be told, FF7 was the first FF game I finished with FF6 (emu) and FFT being FFs I played but didn't finish. I know I should (and hopefully with enough time) begin to eventually play other games from Nobuo's past FF works. I already like some of his old works on FF like FF1's Matoya's Cave, FF3's Eternal Wind and FF6's Forever Rachel and Terra, but sadly, not enough time and motivation to finish all those FF games (and other games in general). Perhaps if I had finished a previous FF game like FF6, I might have liked the music more than FF7, but emus were horrible then (I had no sound besides sfx ) and/or my computer.


Masashi Hamauzu famously did Saga Frontier 2 and Unlimited Saga. Both are pretty mediocre at best games (personally, I still regard SF2 as a great game), and I have yet to play Unlimited Saga. Without an absolute doubt, to those that have played and heard of the music in one of these games, it goes to show you what wonderful music can do to an otherwise average gaming experience.

Even though I can't reason this explanation, I feel Masashi sounds more classical than Nobuo. Perhaps the reason why I think this is because I generally only heard of Beethoven, Mozart and the like and common pieces like Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata to immaturely label Masashi, but irregardless (Stewie is going to get me huh?), it's a joy being able to hear music like SF2's Rosankranz and Todfiend with such liveliness. The example eludes me, but it had something to do with theater... (fill in the blank for me?)


I'll mention more later. It takes awhile for me to gather my thoughts.
Poll will eventually be reworked depending on responses.
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Old 2008-02-28, 23:42   Link #2
GreatTeacherKen
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Man, this poll is too difficult for me, I can't narrow it down to one. For me I personally like Nobuo Uematsu, Koji Kondo, Yasunori Mitsuda, Yoko Shimomura. i think all of them show a great deal of versatility in their music (Kondo tends to remix a lot, but I'd still say he's pretty versatile, his work for Mario is definitely different from Zelda) and their stuff really enhances their games.

I'm not sure about my #1 favorite video game soundtrack, but the two recent ones that made an impression on me are Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash bros. Brawl.

Super Mario Galaxy: Who knew orchestral music and Mario can mix so well? Seriously the soundtrack is awesome and I love how it subtly changes depending on your actions in the game. listening to the soundtrack, it really does feel like an intergalactic adventure. And I certainly would love to hear more from Mahito Yokota who composed the majority of the music.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl: Staggering quantity of music and fortunately for me also very high quality. Love most of the remixes of the classic themes as well as the new songs which I believe were mostly composed by Nobuo Uematsu.
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Old 2008-02-29, 22:45   Link #3
Davad
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Hmmm, I'd say Yasunori Mitsuda. I -loved- the soundtrack of Chrono Cross, it was amazing. I couldn't belive how deep that music could be, especially the theme of "Otherworld". Just amazing. But my secound choice would be of course Nobuo Uematsu, for all Final Fantasy soundtracks wich i spent hours listening to, and now the amazing Lost Oddysey music.
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Old 2008-03-01, 00:01   Link #4
ishiki
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I voted for other. But I can't really choose between Daisuke Ishiwatari and Akira Yamaoka.

Daisuke Ishiwatarim because the Guilty Gear X OST is overall my favorite soundtrack.
Makes me wonder why rock and metal isn't used more often in video games.

Akira Yamaoka because Laura's Theme from Silent Hill 2 is IMO the best Piece ever written for a video game.

Yeah, I like guitars
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Old 2008-03-01, 18:54   Link #5
Amray
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Nobuo Uematsu without a doubt. I've always liked his work.
"One-Winged Angel" topping them all! ^_^

And yes, "Theme of Laura" is an absolutely amazing song!! That song was one of the reasons that I bought the Silent Hill 2 OST, So I could blare it out! >=)
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Old 2008-03-02, 07:23   Link #6
Timeless Enigma
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I won't vote, I'll simply state the VGM artists I enjoy that are probably overlooked. Right now I can't do an extensive post but I'll give a few tidbits.

Namco Sound Team
The music producers at Namco (now Namco-Bandai Games International) take great care in their music (when they actually do their music in-house instead of getting licensed stuff). More often than not their music match the mood of the game very well. A lot of the music I enjoy from Namco games carry an electronic influence. They also have some good orchestral pieces as well.

Ace Combat Music (Orchestral, with some rock elements, Electronic)
Key Artists: Keiki Kobayashi, Junichi Nakatsuru, Tetsukazu Nakanishi, Hiroshi Okubo
Recommended Albums: Ace Combat 5 or Zero OST


Ridge Racer Music (Electronic music)
Key Artists: Hiroshi Okubo, Tetsukazu Nakanishi, Kohta Takahashi, Asuka Sakai, Shinji Hosoe, Ayako Saso, Takayuki Aihara
Recommended Albums: R4: Ridge Racer Type 4, Ridge Racers, Ridge Racers 2, Ridge Racer 7


Katamari Damacy Music (mostly Electronic influenced music, but very diverse)
Key Artists: Asuka Sakai, Yu Miyake, Hideki Tobeta
Recommended Albums: Katamari Fortissimo Damacy, Minna Daisuki Katamari Damacy / We Love Katamari OST


Tekken Music (Electronic influence, Rock influence)
Key Artists: Nobuyoshi Sano, Keiichi Okabe, Satoru Kosaki, Yu Miyake
Recommended Albums: Tekken 2, Tekken 3, Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken 4, Tekken 5 & Dark Resurrection

Getting away from the Namco Sound Team...



Some Square Musicians

Yoko Shimomura
I was blown away by her work in Parasite Eve, but really that's the only stuff I've really heard from her. I think she did some Kingdom Hearts music but since I loathe that series I haven't bothered trying the music. She is set to do the Final Fantasy VS XIII music which seems to be a dark game so I am hoping for the same dark brilliance she showed in Parasite Eve.
Recommended Albums: Parasite Eve OST

My favourite VGM artist is... well it's probably Keiki Kobayashi from Namco, I think my last.fm account speaks for that: http://www.last.fm/user/Tsushima_Mas...subtype=artist


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Old 2008-03-02, 07:34   Link #7
Mueti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timeless Enigma View Post
Katamari Damacy Music (mostly Electronic influenced music, but very diverse)
Key Artists: Asuka Sakai, Yu Miyake, Hideki Tobeta
Recommended Albums: Katamari Fortissimo Damacy, Minna Daisuki Katamari Damacy / We Love Katamari OST
Yeah! I don't own a lot of videogame music but this is clearly my single favorite album up to date. An awesome OST, beats 98% of other pop-music.
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Old 2008-03-03, 17:52   Link #8
Z3120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timeless Engima
I won't vote, I'll simply state the VGM artists I enjoy that are probably overlooked. Right now I can't do an extensive post but I'll give a few tidbits.
Now that you mention it, Hideyuki Fukusawa would be one very underappreciated VGM composer in my book. First heard of him from the first anime OST he did called Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto and instantly fell in love with his style. Then I later found out he did the Chaos Legion OST, and soon after, Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams. The style Hideyuki uses resembles that of Castlevania and Devil May Cry although I haven't played enough of both games extensively to make a clear judgment.

And I believe Yoko Shimomura has also done the Legend of Mana OST. Personally, I love Shimomura's work more in LoM than in the KH series. While I did like the music in the KH, it was only if the song wasn't an arrangement of any of the original Disney scores. The arrangements weren't bad as you wouldn't want to drastically change a classic score. Otherwise, when she did her own original pieces to KH, I very much liked them a whole bunch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ishiki
Daisuke Ishiwatarim because the Guilty Gear X OST is overall my favorite soundtrack.
Makes me wonder why rock and metal isn't used more often in video games.
I wonder myself sometimes too...
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Old 2008-03-14, 17:12   Link #9
ElementSun
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Yoko Shimomura should of definitely been on that list for her outstanding work in the Kingdom Hearts series. She's the only person who has composed a song that made me shed a tear...

I love Motoi Sakurabai for his work on the Golden Series. The music was so epic for a simple handheld game. It was unparalleled.

Last edited by ElementSun; 2008-03-15 at 14:06.
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Old 2008-03-15, 12:21   Link #10
angel.shade
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Akira Yamaoka. The Silent Hill series has excellent music.

Seconding Yoko Shimomura as well. Parasite Eve's soundtrack is one of my favorite video game soundtracks of all time.

Also Kelly Bailey, the man behind the music for the Half-Life series. His work is really good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gK3hfVqYMhQ = Kelly Bailey "Abandoned In Place" ~ Half-Life 2: Episode 2 OST

Other notable mentions are the Homeworld soundtrack (excellent ambient music) and the Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura soundtrack. Arcanum's soundtrack was done entirely by string quartet, and it fits the mood and theme of the game amazingly. The Front Mission series has exceptionally fitting music for the subject matter as well; a very martial blend of orchestral instrumentals and electronic music.

P.S. Akira Yamaoka did the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night OST.
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Old 2008-05-13, 19:39   Link #11
Z3120
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I'm simply mesmerized by this piece. First heard of it live from Video Games Live and then a fan mix of video game music reminded me I should be looking for it. Without further ado, I highly recommend listening to Baba Yetu composed by Christopher Tin for Civilization 4. I strangely found it for free to download on wikipedia.

Yes, I know I'm advertising. But hey, I might as well ask if there are any other PC games with this same sort of vibe like Baba Yetu.
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Old 2008-05-14, 05:01   Link #12
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I really like several of the composers on the list, but I picked Nobuo Uematsu. His works are just a cut above the rest. Every time I listen to music he has composed, regardless of what game or etc, I get this uplifting feeling inside of me. More so than any other composer that I have listened to. Mr. Uematsu deserves all the credit and hype he gets, IMHO.
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Old 2008-05-19, 03:49   Link #13
qtipbrit
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I clicked Uematsu, but in retrospect, I should have gone with Mitsuda. As is with both of them, a few songs in each of their works stand out above the rest, but there were about as many in Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger as there were in the 7 Final Fantasies that I've played (and Uematsu headed musically).

In my opinion, while they can easily be much more fun and gripping, American games don't hold an unlit candle to Japanese games in terms of aesthetics beyond graphics: plot, music, characters, etc. are just superior when coming out of Japan.
Actually, that's pretty broad.
Eh, Square's team at least.
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Old 2008-05-19, 06:38   Link #14
Oppius
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Too bad there is no God of War and Bully soundtrack on the list. They have best instrumental OST than most other games, including Japanese ones. Both have great demand in youtube.
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Old 2008-05-19, 11:34   Link #15
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Haven't heard much from those but Martin O' Donnell and Michael Salvatori are 2 of my favorites. Thanks to their music they can set the mood just right.
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Old 2008-05-19, 11:53   Link #16
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Uematsu because, well, he's Uematsu.

Ishiwatari Daisuke has given birth to one of the best assortments of instrumental rock and power metal songs in the market.

Mitsuda is a fine composer, too. A couple of his songs were a favorite of mine in the Chrono Trigger days, though I think he was a bit sloppy and inconsistent in Chrono Cross.

I never paid too much attention to Western game musicians (mostly because I don't play Western games too much), but when I was a kid I was fascinated by the Spyro the Dragon soundtrack, composed by Steward Copeland, standing drummer for The Police.

(However, they are all overshadowed by Kanno, who has now returned to the game music scene with her score for Ragnarok Online 2 ).
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Old 2008-05-21, 05:14   Link #17
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mine was others..

cause I like Takeharu Ishimoto who made the soundtrack of FF7:Crisis Core
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Old 2008-05-21, 08:47   Link #18
V33D12AG0N
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Uematsu for sure.
He's the one who impressed me through his fantastic "Liberi Fatali" (The opening song for FFVIII) so that I'm addicted to Final Fantasy series.
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Old 2008-05-23, 03:32   Link #19
gold_orb
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atelier iris series from gust studios.

to me the music was unparallel. especially the boss music. "red lucifer rising" and "deceitful wings".

i never belived there could be a perfect song, until i heard "Carmine"
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Old 2008-05-23, 03:38   Link #20
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Uematsu. Though his work is a hit or mis for me. I can do say most of my favourites are from him. Harry Gregson-Williams is awesome btw. :O
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