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736  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Any really good recent RPG soundtracks worth picking up? on: January 02, 2011, 03:35:42 AM
Got to listen to Radiant Historia today.  Wowie-zowie!  It is excellent!  It sounds like Yoko...which can be good, it can be bad - but on he bright side it is the best of her "style" worked in here.  I just wonder what she'll do for the mature looking FFVersus, her "fairy tale" style is perfect. (haha I made a typo on "fairy" and put "farty tale"...yeah).

Speaking of female composers... I miss the Wild Arms composer, Naruke, with all my heart....

Chronix : Falcom is awesome, a live performance sounds amazing!
It really was an awesome concert. The two vocalist are really silly, and the time during the break had me a laughing even with my limited knowledge of Japanese. There was only one downer and that was Dragon drive. They let the guitarist who normally handles the rhythm play lead and he really botched it. A picture of one of vocalist posing beside the lead guitarist.


Got to listen to Radiant Historia today.  Wowie-zowie!  It is excellent!  It sounds like Yoko...which can be good, it can be bad - but on he bright side it is the best of her "style" worked in here.  I just wonder what she'll do for the mature looking FFVersus, her "fairy tale" style is perfect. (haha I made a typo on "fairy" and put "farty tale"...yeah).

Speaking of female composers... I miss the Wild Arms composer, Naruke, with all my heart....

Yeah, Radiant Historia is surprisingly awesome. I would recommend you check out her music for "Last Ranker" too. That one really blew me away. I have high hopes for Vs XIII's soundtrack (the game itself, well ... we'll see).

As for Michiko Naruke. I miss her dearly as well. I wonder if she'll ever get back to doing what she does best. Really, I don't think she was built for the "music factory" massive quantities of music that other composers do. If she could get away with writing one hour of good music per year, I bet she could do that. But compare that to Shimomura, or to powerhouses like Sakuraba or Sakimoto ... you get the idea. I believe Naruke herself said she took a diminished role in WA3 and WA4 because of health issues. This is the same thing Mitsuda said when he started to get really bogged down circa 2003. For musicians, "burnout" is a dangerous thing for your career and your body.

Also, if you're wondering what Naruke has done recently, she arranged those piano solo tracks on the Lunar: SIlver Star Harmony bonus disc, and she's done some more arrange work in 2010. Furthermore, she stated the following in an interview on 1Up (conducted by an ex-colleague of mine named Jeriaska):

Quote
1UP:  In closing this conversation on the subject of your music, what goals are you currently pursuing with your upcoming videogame score?

Naruke: First of all, I'm working very hard on this one.  This top secret project is an RPG, a genre that I earnestly hope will survive the natural selection processes of the game industry. I donít want role-playing games to become a relic of an earlier time.  For people like me who love RPGs, rest assured that I will do my best to support this category of game.

So... that's kind of a big deal. Source: http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=9044415

ANOTHER female composer I really miss is Noriko Matsueda. There's another story of burnout. A friend of mine. Chris Greening of SEMO, writes this:

Quote
Matsueda subsequently worked on 2004's acclaimed Final Fantasy X-2 International + Last Mission and her three arrangements of the Final Fantasy X-2 Piano Collection. Written with the intention of leaving a legacy, Matsueda decided to leave the gaming industry immediately afterwards to the distress of her friends Shimomura and Eguchi. Her intensive job brought sleeplessness, loss of appetite, sharp weight decreases, and rough skin and Matsueda found this increasingly affected her with age; the reception towards Final Fantasy X-2 was the last straw. She currently resides in Japan living a relatively quiet life, but continues to listen to and play music as a hobby and actively follows her former colleague's careers.

Source: http://www.squareenixmusic.com/composers/matsueda/biography.shtml

It's really a shame. If people could do game music at their own pace instead of at the schedule demanded by the publisher, we'd have better music (if less music) and less people dropping out. Maybe someday Matsueda will "come out or retirement" and just take small arrangement jobs like Naruke has been doing the past year.

Its a real shame with Naruke. I really enjoyed her Wild Arms work. I also miss other female composers seem to have all but disappeared....
Miki Higashino Suikoden composer
Fumie Kumatani who composed Nights into Dreams 
737  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Game of the Year-2010 on: January 01, 2011, 09:44:21 PM
Just out of curiosity, why do you all think a great game like Sakura Wars bombed? The failure of So Long, My Love pretty much doomed the series in the US.

It's not like it was a bad game(like Growlanser V) or had a bad localization(like Ar Tonelico 2). They did everything right.

So why did it fail?
Well for one thing it was too much like a visual novel/date sim and not enough RPG for some people. Also enjoying the game relies heavily on whether you like the character archtypes or not. I thoroughly enjoyed the game, but i can see why some people did not.
738  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Happy New Year! on: January 01, 2011, 01:08:00 AM
Happy New Year
739  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Any really good recent RPG soundtracks worth picking up? on: December 31, 2010, 06:33:16 PM
I received that Falcom live dvd today. I  ordered it from amazon jp, because I just did not feel comfortable with sending my credit card information to someone by email.The dvd  itself is awesome, about a hour 20 minutes of Ys/Legend of Heroes music, most of which coming from the later games. Besides a few mistakes here and there mainly by the rhythm guitarist, the musicianship is exceptional . There are some vocal songs on the set list. I thought songs with male vocals were pretty good, but the female vocals  were only so so. The highlight of the DVD was the encore version of "To Make End of Battle" I  Would definitely recommend it to any Falcom fan.
740  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Any really good recent RPG soundtracks worth picking up? on: December 26, 2010, 09:41:06 AM
Falcom themselves DO ship internationally.

Music CDs here:

http://www.falcom.co.jp/cd/index.html

Some instructions on how to order here:

http://falcomcdcatalog.heroku.com/order

(the page seems outdated: they cite "cocoebiz" when it's vgmworld now, for example... but this method still works IIRC. I used it to get Oath in Felghana on PC when it was on sale for $10).

If someone wants to confirm that that email address... order_h19@falcom.co.jp ... is still good, go for it. Be warned, S&H is going to be steep no matter what.

Though you might be thinking "Falcom only has new stuff, right?" About 15% of their total discography from King Records has been reprinted internally and they still sell it. And by 15%, I mean 50% of the really good stuff. If you want to get into Falcom, I say order direct!
Thanks alot for this information.l will be picking up that live DVD. One of my favorite guitarists has been doing guitar work for JDK band.
741  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Merry X-Mass on: December 25, 2010, 10:39:22 PM
Merry Christmas!
742  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FFIV Complete Collection for PSP on: December 23, 2010, 08:39:21 PM
Masashi Hamauzu is arranging the soundtrack?  Nice :)
OMG!!!!All kinds of win! I probably won't buy  the game. I will most likely import  the ost.
743  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Movie Trends that NEED to Stop on: December 22, 2010, 07:26:24 PM
1. Generic comedies. National Lampoon,  Americaan pie spinoffs and other similar irk need to die a  dog's death.
2. Bad, just horribly bad parody movies that keep getting churned out. *COUGH*MacGruber*COUGH*
3. Making comic book and anime movie adaptions just for the sake of making them. Barring a few exceptions most of them are bad.  This is mainly a Marvel and anime problem.
#1 movie trend that NEEDS to stop - People need to stop going to shitty movies! Guess what, folks? If you stop paying for shitty movies, "they" will stop making shitty movies! It's not that hard!
#2 - The overall derision I am seeing from the general public for movie reviewers. "Movie reviewers suck!" "They only like pompous arty films" "I don't bother reading reviews" *shakes head*
They key is to find the right reviewer that jives with your taste in movies. Sure, there are plenty of schlocky reviewers out there. But there are also some really great ones. My fave is http://flickfilosopher.com/. I may not always agree with her, but she knows how to write a review, and even make it entertaining to read.
#3 trailers that give away the whole damn movie. Thanks for that! Now I don't have to bother with your crappy movie. I get pissed, though, when it's a movie I'm interested in.
QFT.
744  Media / General Games / Re: Shira Oka on: December 21, 2010, 09:53:37 PM
There are good artists all over the place. Its not like you are doing actual animation. Just character art and cg work.

I'm not; Shira Oka was, though. At least, I've heard there's actual animation within the game itself as well as the opening video. I don't actually own the whole game so I can't speak from experience. (And I couldn't comment much on it even if I did; since as a semi-competitor it would be inappropriate.)

Quote
Backgrounds do not have to be supremely detailed either.

Again, if you haven't actually tried hiring people for that kind of work you might be surprised at the difficulties you'll run into, even in the exact places you recommended looking for people to hire. :) Particularly with backgrounds (a lot of artists really hate them).

A depressingly large number of artists sign up for projects they can't complete, leaving the client out of pocket and with art they can't use because it's not enough to complete the game, so it ALL has to be replaced. More professional artists are sometimes only interested in working for larger clients, as well.

And on top of that, people's taste in art isn't all the same. I've seen some indie devs (not for VN) state what they paid for art and I've looked at what they got and can't believe they actually paid for that... much less paid a thousand dollars they didn't entirely have to spend. But in their artistic judgment it was apparently good.

I'm not debating the quality or lack thereof of any given title here, or saying that every choice made is the best one. And obviously, if your game doesn't look that great, some people are going to be reluctant to play it. I'm not angry at people for failing to love any game in particular.

I just feel a bit of sympathy when the subject comes up of whether indie games "should" do more.

I can totally see where you are coming from. That is the dangerous part of commissions. its kinda Russian roulette. It is great when it works out but you are screwed if the artist backs out or does not meet your expectations. I wish you  and the Shira Oka people luck. Its just not the type of work I could see myself paying those kinds of prices for.
745  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Any really good recent RPG soundtracks worth picking up? on: December 21, 2010, 07:11:07 PM
Most of the old stuff is probably out of print.  Your best bet for old Ys soundtrcks would probably be Amazon Japan. GameMusic.com used to be awesome for getting Osts.

Yes, FFXIII OST is amazing...I've listened to it all and love it. Still haven't played the game, but from what I hear I'm not missing anything much.

Where can you buy official Ys soundtracks? I've checked cdjapan.co.jp and they don't seem to have any...is that possible? I thought they had everything.

http://www.amazon.co.jp/Ys-I-II-Chronicles-%E3%82%B2%E3%83%BC%E3%83%A0%E3%83%BB%E3%82%B5%E3%83%B3%E3%83%88%E3%83%A9/dp/B002SSA39A
be warned... the shipping prices absolutely rapes

edit: added information.
746  Media / General Games / Re: Shira Oka on: December 21, 2010, 06:38:37 PM
You just mentioned  the main problem with a lot of the western indie scene. They want to charge 20-25 dollars for their stuff, but can't take the time to find a decent artist to do the artwork. Presentation counts for a lot, at least in my book.

I suspect you underestimate the cost and difficulty of getting the artwork to the level it _is_. :)

(Or maybe not, as I don't know your background. And certainly there are other downloadable games with ridiculously high art budgets, like the more recent HiddenObject games. But those are usually made by studios, now, not individuals... individuals simply cannot manage those costs. It's all well and good to say that your game would sell better with a $100K art budget, but where are you going to get the $100K from?)

I was not involved in the production of Shira Oka and I don't know its actual dev budget. But I know there were a large number of people working on it for multiple years, plus animation and voice acting and convention booths and whatnot. I suspect the actual figure would give me a heart attack.

Sadly complaints about artstyle are leading a lot of indies contemplating these games to scale back their projects to have as little art in them as possible, or to rely on ready-made kit art, like the RPG Maker games do. I'm guilty here too - my most recent VN Date Warp has vastly less art in it than Fatal Hearts did and uses a lot of premade elements. Which gets it much better artistic reviews. Sigh!
 
There are good artists all over the place. Its not like you are doing actual animation. Just character art and cg work. Backgrounds do not have to be supremely detailed either.


And certainly there are other downloadable games with ridiculously high art budgets, like the more recent HiddenObject games. But those are usually made by studios, now, not individuals... individuals simply cannot manage those costs. It's all well and good to say that your game would sell better with a $100K art budget, but where are you going to get the $100K from?)

That point is so invalid. Many people do their own artwork and succeed.

Say hello to Touhou, made solely by ZUN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQLIaZUOnBU

How about Dust: An Eysian Tail? Made single handedly too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmSAQwbbig8
There are plenty of fans out there that better artwork then some of the stuff I have seen.  Check out some of the better artists on Deviant art,conceptart. org or Pixiv (If you know someone who speaks Japanese) for instance. I am sure some of those artist would love  to get  work and exposure and would not be too pricey on their commissions.
 I am glad you mentioned Touhou. Its amazing how high quality of some of the doujin work is within the community. Some of the games are really nice considering  they are entirely fan made.Alot are clones of 2d favorites, but are very well done with nice art for a fan made game.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjOjmWb7z8s&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0vwB36O58Y
A short anime sequence completely made by fans
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTe1JMTlwwc

I am not looking for Nitro+ studios quality cg from a Indie publisher but I am looking for a certain quality when the price for this stuff is $20+ . Alot of people on this board had to be prodded with pitch forks to give Nier a try, and some still are. people tend to be vain especially, when money is involved.


It's a good idea. As far as the customer is concerned, you won't win points for going the extra mile to add substandard (from their viewpoint, anyway) content. Rather, it introduces more things that can be criticized.

It's the same with game mechanics. You could polish three well-realized features and stop, or try to add another three that don't really work. The first option probably results in happier gamers.
Narcissu  is very well received despite the fact it has very little artwork, and is short, because of its story, and presentation.
747  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Will there be a Lunar 2 on PSP? on: December 21, 2010, 06:42:19 AM

They removed what...? I downloaded demo but haven't played it yet seems like I should before buying it.
I never played Lunar 2 so I'd love to buy it for psp (+ psone version is SO overpriced on eBay now), but if sales are bad why should they bother porting/releasing Lunar 2. Not like it was more popular than 1st.
The game is by no means a bad remake, just not a great one  It was just no where near as dramatic of a change as the PS1 version was. I would advise you to download  PSN  version instead of buying the umd, if you are planning to get it. I have heard that cuts down on the loading times a bit. I am impressed that Xseed kept most of the Working Design script intact, that was the number one thing I was worried about.

I was a fan of the original Lunar and Lunar 2. Wish I still had those old Sega CD games... Anyway, I rebought the PS1 rereleases and saw that the games were rereleased on almost every system under the sun. Do these games on the other systems offer anything really new to the games?

The main notable thing added to the story was a few flashback scenes . They also added a new special attack system to the game that made an already easy game a joke if you use it. The battles are so easy that they might as well made it a Visual Novel. I always hoped Game Arts would have made a real prequel to the first game and showed us why Alex idolized Dyne so much.....instead we get a billion remakes/updates.
748  Media / General Games / Re: Shira Oka on: December 19, 2010, 02:12:49 PM
I think it has nice art compared to a lot of indie things I see Neal review.
Including some that looks like from rpgmaker and some not so much.
I downloaded it but I need to be an administrator on this computer and I'm not.
You just mentioned  the main problem with a lot of the western indie scene. They want to charge 20-25 dollars for their stuff, but can't take the time to find a decent artist to do the artwork. Presentation counts for a lot, at least in my book.
749  Media / General Games / Re: Shira Oka on: December 17, 2010, 09:12:00 PM
Honestly, I'm not digging the art style much either (character portraits look somewhat rough and amateurish; I like glossy art that doesn't look low-res/pixilated in my PC dating sims/graphic adventures), but the gameplay is addicting. 
The art is what really rubs me the wrong way, otherwise I'd be all over it, even with the 25$ price tag. It looks just a couple step above some of the flash games I have played.
750  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Looking for RPGs with a particular cliche. . . on: December 16, 2010, 12:22:35 AM
One of the routes you can choose near the end of Growlanser II sorta fits your description. It a complete bastard move.
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