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Topics - Wild Armor

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16
The Soundroom / Video Game Music Reviews: In Context
« on: June 21, 2012, 12:30:17 AM »
Hey everyone, it's me again with Video Game Music Topics! *Plays Topic Intro Jingle*

Not too long ago, I finished watching a Let's play on a video game (The Lost Angelic Chronicles of Frane: Dragons' Odyssey). Sitting there for a couple of moments, allowing the finale to sink in, I thought about a topic that I wonder gets recognition in the world of Video Game Soundtrack Reviewers; Context[1].

A great deal of music reviews--both professional and amateur--I've witnessed present a great deal of information (such as information about the composer, instrumentation, motifs used, the game/other games, developers, background info, etc) and the emotional response to the track. These juxtaposition of facts/theories and emotional responses present what the music of a game was to that reviewer, and in the end, are usually presented a satisfying/dissatisfying final words conclusion and/or score (I hate number/symbol scores and sorry I ever did it in the past!). A wealth of information and response is wonderful to those who know little about the music and game, but I wonder if the actual use of gameplay connections enter [some] reviews as a supplement to the soundtrack being reviewed, so that the reader may [audibly] witness the track in action rather than narrative/flowery prose[2].

the topic of context came up mostly because after sitting through this ~70 part playthrough of Dragons' Odyssey--after I listened to the soundtrack, of course--I had a different reaction when everything was all said in done. Some tracks, such as 'Snow Angels' and 'Holy Priest' held a much stronger emotional response when placing the moving visual in context of its use in the game.

With the introduction of the visual representation of the village that is audibly represented by 'Snow Angels' (There's a tongue-twister for ya), an attachment to the character(s) and the villagers (whether good or bad) was made, as well the events that were tied to that single location. A mixed bag of feelings were caused by these characters and events, which then changed my original emotional response to this piece, thus creating a new approach/description I would then associate with the music of Petas village in context to the villagers and events. [3]

Now, 'Holy Priest' is another story that I will put in a more theoretical backdrop. When first hearing this track outside its virtual environment, I loved this track and found it to be one of my favorite tracks on the soundtrack. After hearing it in the game, I was practically shocked on how little of it was actually played at the speed the player beat this boss (Granted, it loops at the ~1:00 part, which goes to show you how fast this boss is easily defeated with mastery use of one's character). In my mind, I wonder how anyone could even get a chance to hear this exciting track in its context, and actually makes me thankful that the Soundtracks of games are readily available (well, most of 'em). [4]

Even though this player bulldozed this boss in mere moments, the emotional attachment of disgust at the boss's attitude towards other characters (particular the reason of their journey in life), actually found me really wanting this character to be placed out of commission. This [maturing] emotional response is fed throughout the game, in which the heroes are finally able to administer the task of dispatching the villain. This excitement of battle--as battle themes and the actual battles have always caused great gusto within me in participation of each (listening/playing)--then feeds off the attachment to the characters and events, thus creating a rush of jubilation when simply kicking this character's behind, while listening to some hyped up tunes. ;)

I know that placing, and demonstration, the soundtrack in context to the game still presents a subjective music experience to its listening, but I feel that it's worth mentioning and exploring in future reviews. I suppose in way you are holding the hand of the reader and practically spoiling the game for them by showing/demonstrating these emotional connections to the game and the music, but I know for myself....I'm okay with that; it kind of reminds me in a way of the use of [J.S.] Bach's Church music (Whether St. Massion Passion/ Bminor Mass / ect) within its contextual location: the church. One was meant to hear, as well feel, the voice of God/Narrator (Organ/Bass vocalist) during these pieces, as well have a story presented to you (In regards to the Passions) of the fall and Resurrection of Jesus, which included fear, awe, and jubilation to the church audience.

I that'll be it for now...comments and/or response to my late-night thinking(s)? *Plays Topic Outro Jingle*

[1] I'm sure it does, I just haven't stumbled across it yet! (Ramza, I did see your note in the most recent review you did (Dizzy Heights: Gravity Rush), which made me laugh uncontrollably because I started writing this topic WAY before I read that review just now, haha).
[2] To explain to me in romantic and/or grotesque terms how a soundtrack caused your inner being to stir is fine and all...but to then slap a numerical/symbol score at the end--whether excellent or poor--makes no sense (Yes, I I've done this in the past and sorry I've ever done it. I was young and so full of ignorance ;) )
[3] In other words: I heard the track from the digital soundtrack and felt something, and then I heard it used in the game and felt additional/different emotions.
[4] The use of this backdrop was to present an example of the negatives of in-game context, which I then follow up with my personal response (and perhaps even others as well).

17
The Soundroom / Why do you read Game/Anime soundtrack reviews?
« on: February 04, 2012, 05:31:17 PM »
Out of curiosity, I'd like to know the reason(s) why you would read a Game/Anime soundtrack review.

For myself, I enjoy reading the opinions of others in regards to what they perceive as "good" and/or "bad" music to them. There are times when the reviewer specifies that their comments is of their own personal reflection(s) on a soundtrack, but at times you'll find a reviewer who drops the absolute,"The isn't Music" line (hardly is it ever direct/verbatim said; rather it is stated in a particular phrase of dissatisfaction or ambiguity).

Though, regardless of whatever review I read, I hardly ever allow it to determine my purchase. What I like, is what like, and no words from another reviewer can deter me otherwise.

A note: Worry not rpgfan ost reviewers, I enjoy your reviews very much. ;)

18
General Discussions / Your First Ebay Purchase...
« on: January 19, 2012, 02:08:45 PM »
Weird topic to bring up but I thought it might spark a bit of nostalgia (or awareness of prodigality) in you guys and gals.

My first ebay purchase wasn't intentional...I was messing around with an ebayer who really wanted a copy of Thousand Arms for the Playstation. I've always wanted to give it a try but had no intention on buying it. I saw a copy of it for 15 (starting bid) and bid on it out of boredom. I noticed someone else wanted it (a lot more than I) and posted .50 over my bid. This continued until I stopped at around $20 (I forget the actual price) when I pretended to not show interest and stop bidding...and at this time I knew this guy, or girl, had bid that .50 cent over me. Knowing myself and other ebayers, I was very aware that they would have added more than just that .50 cents to secure their bid...so at the last 5 seconds of the bid I dropped a 1.50 (something like that) over and won. Needless to say I got myself a copy of Thousand Arms not because I really wanted it...just because I wanted to test how far a buyer would go to achieve their coveted game.

I do not own the game any more, in fact I sold it to one of the members of this board, but now you know the story of my first ebay transaction and the story of how I achieved that game.

Was your first ebay purchase as much an unnecessary war as mine? ;)

19
The Soundroom / What are your likes in Video Game and Anime Music?
« on: July 09, 2011, 01:06:58 AM »
I burn through Video Game Soundtracks whenever I get my hands on one, hoping to find something that would peek my interest or amaze me. It's a hit or miss, but there are times when I get a good amount of tracks that I can indulge myself in that are wonderful to my ears. Usually the tracks I end up loving have at least one of these traits:

- Lyrical [Orchestration was awesome and Soprano's Line is reminiscent of that of Mozart's Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen. Click for more info and comparison.
- Symphonic
- Exotic
- Exciting
- Bombastic
- Unusual
- Heroic [Just first 35 seconds, the rest is eh]
- Beautiful
- Heartwarming
- Dream-like
- Mysterious [Bulgarian voices: Mysterious ;)]
- Menacing
- Goofy
- Relaxing
- Complexity
- Wit

One characteristic that encapsulates me in complete bliss is the build up to a climatic end (Or middle) that explodes. A good composer to listen to that has music of this nature is Debussy. His "Afternoon of a Faun" and "Girl With the Flaxen Hair" are examples of buildup, one explosive while the latter a beautiful release. What's amazing about these pieces is there ability to build up to that climax, it's literally orgasmic in a vulgar way to describe it. BUT WAIT, VIDEO GAME.

A composer that totally captures my ears and check-boxes most of those characteristic above is Noriyuki Iwadare, Specifically talking about his Grandia I Soundtrack.

Grandia - Ghost Ship

In regards to the buildup, his "Ghost Ship" is a constant push and pull to a finale. It's funny now that I think about it, because when I first played this game and heard this track, I hated it. It sounded uninteresting to me, granted I was probably 14 or 15 when I first played the game. 7-8 years later I hear it again, and it ended up being my favorite track from Iwadare's repertoire. His composing and orchestration was just on point in this track, I even love his devil's laugh insert [0:38] on the violin during the beginning of this track. This piece kind of bears a resemblance to a symphonic poem...

What are your likes in Video Game Music?

20
The Soundroom / MPR - Top Score (Video Game Music Podcast)
« on: May 30, 2011, 08:12:29 PM »
Quote
Minnesota Public Radio's Classical station has created a new podcast that takes notice of some of the fantastic work being done in video game scores by the myriad of composers working in the field today. Hosted by Emily Reese, the program is entitled Top Score. According to MPR, it "explores the inspiration, process and meaning behind the often beautiful and sometimes haunting music found in video games. Music has had the power to inflect different emotions in listeners for centuries, and video game music is no different."

So far the show has covered some interesting composers, including Inon Zur (Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II) and Jason Graves (Dead Space, Dead Space 2), and Garry Shyman (BioShock, BioShock 2).

What's great about the show is that it's not just a "mixtape" style podcast, where they play various tracks from a game's soundtrack. Reese actually brings the composers in the booth, and asks them thoughtful questions about both their creative process and how they hope their music interacts with the player's experience as well as playing selections from the game's soundtrack. As a sometime listener of Minnesota Public Radio Classical, it's great to see game composers being treated with the same respect and level of seriousness that the station affords to artists working in more traditional realms of classical and film music.

If you care about game music at all, it's well worth your time. The podcast is available for subscription on iTunes, and you can also listen to mp3s and or a stream of individual episodes on the link below.

Top Score homepage


Listening through the Bioshock interview and love it! This is exactly what I wanted in a podcast in regards to game music, to hear the composer talk about their techniques and styles in his soundtrack while hearing his thoughts on the game. Perhaps you might find this approach interesting as much as I do....

Link for iTunes podcast: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/top-score-emily-reese-minnesota/id434473316
So far, the episodes are free, and hopefully remain that way :3


* Info taken from game Informer post: Minnesota Public Radio Launches Video Game Music Podcast Top Score

21
The Bazaar / Wild Armor's Warket
« on: February 14, 2010, 09:19:33 PM »
****NOTICE****
List is updated. You now have the option to barter piano books/scorebooks of videogames for the games I have listed. Ones that will net you a better exchange rate are listed as well.
Warmest regards,
Wa
****NOTICE****

WISHLIST

1.     Pocket Monster Black 2 White 2 Piano Solo Music Score Book
2.     Violet no Atelier - PS2 Score Selection Band Score
3.     Dragon Quest VIII - Piano Score (ISBN 9784285102314)
4.     Chrono Cross Piano Music Score

Name your own price. US Shipping is $3.99 US for Xbox [360] / PS2 / PS / Gamecube and $2.99 for DS / GBA / GBC. If you buy more than one thing, then the shipping lowers in price for each. If you do decide to buy a couple, I’ll PM the shipping price. If your ordering from outside the US, PM for shipping rates.

Nintendo DS

1.   Asphalt
2.   Blue Dragon Plus
3.   Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoir of the Rift
4.   Lunar: Dragon Song
5.   Magical Starsign
6.   Trace Memory
7.   Pokemon Pearl
8.   Puzzle Quest
9.   Super Robot Taisen OG Sage: Endless Frontier
10.   Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
11.   Summon Night

Gamecube
1.   Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

Playstation
1.     Alundra 2
3.   Metal Gear Solid

Playstation 2
1.   Crimson Tear
2.   Grandia II
3.   Katamari Damacy
4.    Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-revis
5.   NEOGEO Battle Collection
6.     Orphen: Scion of Sorcery
7.   We <3 Katamari
8.     Shadow Hearts: From the New World
9.     Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater (original black label, no manual)
10.   Ape Escape 3
11.   Taiko Drum Master
12.    DDRMax2
13.   DDR Super Nova 2

Playstaton Portable
1.     Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
2.     Star Ocean: Second Evolution
3.     Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
4.    Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time

Xbox 360
1.   The Last Remnant
2.     Soulcalibur IV
3.     Lost Odyssey

Nintendo Wii
1.     Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
2.     Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers
3.     Sin and Punishment
4.     Sonic and the Secret Rings
5.     Sonic Unleashed
6.     NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams
7.     Spectrobes Origins
8.     Arc Rise Fantasia
9.     The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (comes with free crappy version of motion plus adapter/ No music disc)
10.   Sky Crawlers
11.   Sin & Punishment

DVD
1.     Coin OP TV DVD Volume 2

Please take into account that some of these games have GameStop stickers of New and Used on the corner or other retailer stickers. I don’t pull them off because it leaves that sticky residue, and I don’t think that’s something you enjoy dealing with. If it is, let me know and I’ll pull them off for you before I ship them ;).

Just PM or post below any questions about a specific game. All of them are guaranteed to work; I would not have posted them otherwise. If you’re worried that the delivery man or post office is going to play hockey with your game, we can talk about doing Insurance on it as well. Oh, and for the perfectionists, I will take pictures on request.

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