Wouldn't call it "foresty" really, but that could just be me. Hard to be objective.
It wasn't meant to be. The first three tracks are recent picks, and those don't have to follow the theme.
HA! You're right, of course, and I forgot that because of the first two "recent" tracks. That makes me dig having Antipyretic there all the more, since it's plopped right in the middle of all these forest themes.
Idea: should I take a shot every time someone says "foresty" in this episode? I have a good feeling about that one.Thoughts on Rhythm Encounter 27, continued
- Extensive Forest Green / Ys SEVEN
As someone who bagged on Jawsh for calling Ys music "far superior" to Zelda's, this is easily up there with a lot of Zelda tracks. Still has that trademark "Ys energy", but is much more melodic, which I appreciate. Love the upbeat percussion that drives it, too. That's really what makes it feel special. Unfortunately, too short.
**Yes, "energy and movement" are good words for this one. Nice, Lian.
- Totems of the Grizzlemaw / World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
This doesn't really match its title at all. The name evokes gnarled, leafless branches under a red sky. But the music itself is like... the frickin' forests of Lothlorien or something. I did like the changeup to the fiddle-driven, Old Celtic feel when it hit (reminded me of Braid), although it sort of clashed with the ethereal feeling established at the start (which was most welcome when it returned). An interesting and beautiful track, and i'm glad it made it in to the podcast at the last minute. I especially enjoy the river sounds in the background, which I find quite calming.
**So that "fiddle" I heard was actually this "nyckleharpa" or whatever? I have never heard of that thing.
- Rain in the Dried Up Valley / Atelier Ayesha
It was a bit jarring to jump into these heavily synthesized instruments after the last track, but after the initial impact it began to feel familiar. I do enjoy the Gust synth soundtracks, and Atelier is always pretty good when it comes to having an acceptable style to their soundtracks. This one feels a bit jumbled, but pleasant. I feel like there's a particular brand of "happy" that Japanese composers seem to have nailed down, and you can hear it here. It's difficult to describe, but I think you know what I mean.
- Moogle Woods / Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers
I think one complaint that nobody with ears has ever made against this game is that it's soundtrack isn't good. Some of my all time favorite VGM tracks are from CC franchise, and this beautiful mood piece here is a good example of why. I love music that makes me feel like I'm actually in a fantasy world, and this piece nails that feeling so well. Although it lacks a really memorable melody, it still transports your mind with those synths and flowing hooks. Everything in this piece feels "soft", which I like.
- The Venerable Forest / Star Ocean: The Second Story
I'd say this track is an All-Time Great. Honestly, the SO2 "sound font" is so... odd, with it's highly synthesized orchestra with layers and layers of synth piled on top of each other. But, back when I was young, it definitely achieved a sense of "epicness" that I had never felt from game music before. Not only that, but its distinct style makes it easily nostalgic, too. So every time I hear this piece, I'm back on Expel with Claude and Rena and I have that same feeling I had before; like I'm exploring a strange and beautiful medieval planet. The melody here is so evocative I can hardly stand it. The minor key stirs up my heart every single time.
**YES, "sounds important", that's the perfect way to describe the feelings it still gives me.
**"Dias is the most kickass character in the game." Is he, though? In battle, I mean? I feel like Claude and Ashton both outclass him easily in battle. You're right about Leon, though. Useless kid.
**There are plenty of hot guys in games whose bodies are spilling out of their outfits. Not Dias, though. Or the dude from Berseria.
- Eruyt Village (FINAL FANTASY XII) / The ETHEReal String Project
I feel like XII's soundtrack is oft underrated, so I really enjoy it when it gets some tracks rearranged like this. This one really brings the melody forward, but without making it the centerpiece and losing that ambience that's so strong in XII tracks. True to the name, the string instruments really stand out here, even when they're just establishing mood. They resist the urge to let the piano take over, and I think the track is stronger for it.
It would be nice to read a book outdoors with this playing in the background for a while.
**Man, I remember my roommate making so much fun of Eruyt Village. He was always like "Hey, a village full of Playboy Bunnies. How creative." I mean, it definitely feels like paradise when you're there, but he has a point.
**Building a treetop village is probably the first idea I've ever heard that makes Minecraft sound somewhat appealing.
- Kingdom of Ixa'taka / Eternal Arcadia [Skies of Arcadia]
Ha! This is great! Not only is the melody bouncy and great, but I love the whooping in the background! This put a smile on my face right away. The contrast of the mournful sounding flute with the happy melody is so interesting, and of course the Spanish guitar underneath it all totally works. This track is the complete package. I tried Skies of Arcadia once and couldn't get into it, but I really should try again. What's the best format/console to play it on? Could I play it on my Wii U gamepad perchance?
- Yakou Mori / Xenoblade Chronicles X
The soundtrack of this game got a lot of hate from some fanboys, but man I loved it. The OST here has a ton of personality, and you can REALLY feel it in this track. That "one by oooonnnne...ONE BY ONE" feels so awesome every single time! And then the high pitched flute melody kicks in and it's like GRRAAGAHGAHG!!!! I'm getting goosebumps from this one. I don't know how well it would work if I hadn't played Xenoblade X for over 100 hours, but it definitely takes me back to the amazing moments I had exploring this corner of the planet that you hear it in. Over many many hours, I still could never resist whistling that melody.
**Dice: ........no. No. No "Final Fantasy Ecks". Stop that nonsense now. That's even sillier than pronouncing the letter X as "cross". I get that people have a way that they're accustomed to pronouncing something, but when you know it's obviously wrong then you revise your behavior. Do the moral thing, Dice. I believe in you.
**I also agree with Dice in principle about doing away with Normal Battle themes so you can keep hearing the overworld themes, but that normal battle music served an important gameplay function in Xenoblade X in that oftentimes it was the only thing that really indicated to the player that an enemy was coming after them.
**Also: FINISH THE DANG GAME. :P
- Lost Forest / Legaia Duel Saga
I had to double check, but yes, this is the game that Sakimoto and Mitsuda BOTH worked on along with Michiru Oshima. And yet it doesn't necessarily have the "signature style" of either composer. It, of course, is still really good though. On this track (not sure which composer did it), that driving acoustic guitar is right up my alley. I mean, honestly, this track has so many layers of gorgeous, I really can't help but wish somebody would pony up the requisite cash required to get these three folks collaborating on another game.
**I agree that his one feels "more Sakimoto", but more in the structure than the sound.
- Makna Woods / Xenoblade Chronicles
This track is beautiful. The piano melody is truly special, although sparse, and when the flute takes over it's just as good. On top of that, you've got a sweet sounding acoustic guitar riff playing underneath, and then the whole thing breaks down beautifully, only to be built up again. So I'm VERY curious to hear what Dice's complaints are about this one. The short loop, perhaps?
**Yep, I think I got it: grinding in a forest with a short loop. Not good.
- ??? / Guest's Choice Super Mario RPG - Beware the Forest Mushrooms
Turns out I've heard this one a bunch of times and various VGM radio stations I listen to. Had no idea what game it was from. It's DISTINCTLY this composer (trying to avoid spoiling it), though, especially this version. My favorite part of this arrangement is that violin. Everything else feels familiar, but that violin over the top of everything makes it special.
Awesome episode guys, I'm so grateful for all of your hard work!
And, for the record, although I think I have already posted about it, I enjoy the length of the show very much. I like having many different tracks in each episode. HOWEVER: if shorter shows means more frequent
Rhythm Encounters, then I would be in support of that, too.
As it is now, though, each episode feels like a treat, an event. And I love it. As I've said before, of all my podcasts, this is my FAVORITE podcast.