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Author Topic: Why do you read Game/Anime soundtrack reviews?  (Read 3948 times)
Aurian
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« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2012, 02:00:01 AM »

Ha ha, I didn't mean to steal the topic :) I am glad you guys find the side track interesting though.

Wild Armor - Actually I sold the soundtrack because it didn't work out so well for me. :)  To me, the songs sounded too similar - I wasn't really catching a good tune from them.

Ramza - I haven't really researched in depth myself but one thing I was wondering if one difference between "good" soundtracks and "bad' was the use of an orchestra instead of creating the music digitally. I haven't been able to find information on how the music I liked was made. I definately prefer the slower songs to the faster ones - less "cluttered". My husband jokes I like depressing and/or mushy stuff :p But the livelier tunes just don't translate well!

Likes- almost every track in Xenoblade. Many of the "slower" FF songs. Last Story was LARGELY miss for me, but I loved Authority and Majesty, both versions of the Flying One, Timbre of the City, When Hearts Connect.... all slower songs :) About half of Nier, Xenosaga (although my Xenosaga file is mostly songs from 2 and 3 - Kajiura seems to work better than Mitsuda), and bits and pieces of End of Eternity, Divinity and Meguro's SMT soundtracks.

Dislikes- I am still trying to familiarize myself with FFXIII-2's soundtrack but I have already deleted big chunks of it from my iPod. Lots of people are raving about it but so much of it sound monotonous to me - I don't think my hearing is good enough for an intricate orchestral soundtrack. I had the same problem with FFXII, FFXI and FF Type-0 (nothing from those games stayed in my iPod after a couple listens through).

I had trouble with Shinomura's Seiken Desentu soundtrack which was disappointing because I liked Xenoblade and Radiant Historia so much. I am not sure if her style changed since Seiken or something? Other soundtracks didn't stick because they either were too busy (couldn't make out a good tune) or too "simple" (my ears aren't good enough to make out the differences in the notes so it ends up sounding repetitious and boring) - I can't remember which were which anymore though.

If you want more, I could probably just send a list of everything on the iPod :p I am curious if there is a pattern though so I can more easily find soundtracks in my range. FFs used to be really enjoyable, but lately they have been missing a lot. Sticking with one composer doesn't always seem to work either. Hmmm...
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 02:02:29 AM by Aurian » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2012, 02:34:54 AM »

I definately prefer the slower songs to the faster ones - less "cluttered". My husband jokes I like depressing and/or mushy stuff :p But the livelier tunes just don't translate well!

That's a bit funny because after a few years that a RPG comes out you usually find people on YouTube for example liking more the slower songs than the faster ones for whatever reason, with the obvious exception of the Final Battle theme but sometimes even that kind of tracks are slow in some RPGs.
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Aurian
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« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2012, 04:43:25 PM »

I am no sound expert but maybe slow tunes "age" better?
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Dincrest
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« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2012, 07:44:32 PM »

Or that the action scenes have your adrenaline going as you're playing the game, because there's so much going on stimulating your senses, whereas the mellow stuff doesn't, so it has to take its time to grow on you.  

When it comes to music, the stuff that sticks with me is the stuff that I may not "feel" right away, but grows on me.  
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Taelus
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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2012, 08:47:27 PM »

as a pretty big proponent of music reviewing in general, what I look for in reading another person's review is a perspective on the music that I could not have gleaned naturally on my own. Some music reviews get into the technical terms, others speak very metaphorically of the music's "soul," still others will compare this or that song to other artists' works or specific genres of music. And in almost any review, there is always the "informative" bit (information about the composer, artist, source material, etc). In all of these things, I may find an opinion that surprises me, and a way to approach the music as I listen.

In short, music reviews help me get more mileage out of the music. I learn new things and learn how to listen, just a little better. :)

Exactly this. When I review, since I have no technical basis whatsoever, I tend more towards the "well, these are the sounds you hear, and these are the emotions I feel when I hear it. But that's how I listen to music in general and why I think I prefer electronica and VGM in general to more mainstream stuff-- and to stuff with lyrics. I like to FEEL emotion rather than have words tell me the emotion. I have a pretty open mind when it comes to all types of VGM, especially in regards to games that are deemed "bad." I've said it numerous times on the podcast and on the site, but I can slog through a mediocre or even bad game if the music is fantastic. I love this stuff.

And every so often, there comes a reviewer who really does give a damn about the thing that they're reviewing: the music. I've been checking out the soundtracks section for this site for at least thirteen years now, and it's the biggest thing that has kept me coming back to RPGFan. The soundtrack reviewers have been very passionate about reviewing THE MUSIC, and not the bloody game it comes from, and I would not have found so much killer stuff if they had been predisposed to slag off the music based on whether or not they thought the game it came from was shit or not. Here, if I read a review that tells me something is shit, there are some bloody good reasons why they think it's shit, and there are also plenty of reasons given why I should maybe check it out for myself to see if I agree or disagree. I tend to agree a fair bit of the time, but you know, I REALLY like being given the option to figure out for myself why an album sucks based on somebody else's opinion, or why they think it absolutely rules when I can't find a bloody thing to like about it, and they give me enough information to maybe change my mind about it, along with the latitude to allow me to have my own opinion.
I agree, this is what drew me to the reviews here in the first place, and one of the reasons why I love writing here. For as long as there has been intarwabs and as long as there has been RPGFan, the soundtrack reviews here have spoken to me on the level that I understand and appreciate this kind of music from. Even as a young whipper-snapper, I recall saying "I can't stand these reviews on Gamespot! They just aren't looking at this the way RPGFan or RPGamer does; the way I do!" Passion is what I love to see; I saw and see it here, and it's why I write here.

It's also why I love musicians do who it for the love of music, not because playing guitar gets you some hot action. I'm not a huge fan of the kind of music Dincrest is into, but god damn if I don't love and understand his passion for it. Everyone here on the site is here because they love games, and everyone writing soundtrack reviews loves VGM. I know I'm guilty of occasionally not being able to separate my experience with a game from my love of the music, but overall I really love reading the opinions of people who truly love music-- and discussing it, which is why I am really glad you guys got this thread started. I'm a huge proponent of discussion, especially when it comes to music-- and I'm always telling people 'WRITE A SOUNDTRACK REVIEW! IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU DON'T KNOW TERMINOLOGY, IF YOU LOVE MUSIC THEN YOU'LL BE FINE!"

I think a review is, in part, a dialogue with an audience. It's why I liked the idea of and started doing the soundtrack spotlights-- to get people talking about some music, even if it's just five or six comments on Facebook. If even one person goes and listens to drammatica or Fragile Dreams and/or tells a friend "hey, this stuff is really cool!" or "this shit sucks!" then I couldn't be happier. Discuss, talk, perpetuate the love! A longtime friend of mine asked me yesterday "Hey... do you know where I can buy the soundtrack to Sonic Adventure? You really made me want to listen to that," and my heart fluttered. I couldn't hope for anything better than that.

And of course, I love music in general, especially game music, and I love talking about things I love :)

Lastly, Aurian, as everyone else said, thank you for sharing. That was really interesting to hear-- especially regarding your likes and dislikes.

Sorry for the drawn-out post, but seriously-- thanks for this thread, guys. This is the kind of thing I love to see, and definitely enjoy participating in.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 08:49:08 PM by Taelus » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2012, 11:24:13 PM »

Well said, Taelus...well said.

In regards to reviews: I always find it a great pleasure to see when a poorly-reviewed soundtrack is reviewed by another who focuses on the positives rather than the negatives. You not only receive the bads/greats of a soundtrack, but you receive the opinions of two human beings who approach a work of art differently. I am always fascinated at the amount of disgust someone has with a soundtrack and then later on I find a review on the same soundtrack, from a different person, and see nothing but positive opinions--it's as though I've entered a parallel universe--and it is times like that where observing these reviews being conducted fill my heart with joy that kind words were said (one of my hobbies, perhaps future profession, is observing the human reaction towards a video game/anime soundtrack).

In regards to public soundtracks reviews....perhaps a thread should be created for users to post their own game/anime soundtrack reviews? I am aware a great deal of rpgs that we truly love is already reviewed, some more than once by other reviewers, but it would be nice to see other(s) [users] have their take of review through a more relaxed, informal transmission of their thoughts, feelings, connections, etc., here on the boards.

Perhaps I'm being a bit pretentious with my thoughts?
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Aurian
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« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2012, 01:08:21 AM »

Maybe start threads on specific soundtracks you think merit more discussion?

I kind of liked being able to see some discussion for other soundtracks - I think the FFXIII-2 got a thread, so did Nier.
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« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2012, 01:12:37 AM »

That's a suggestion I'm more than happy to accept. I'll see what I can do :)
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« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2012, 01:36:42 AM »

Maybe start threads on specific soundtracks you think merit more discussion?

I kind of liked being able to see some discussion for other soundtracks - I think the FFXIII-2 got a thread, so did Nier.

I'd rip open that box of potential with me teeth.
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« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2012, 08:09:32 AM »

as a pretty big proponent of music reviewing in general, what I look for in reading another person's review is a perspective on the music that I could not have gleaned naturally on my own. Some music reviews get into the technical terms, others speak very metaphorically of the music's "soul," still others will compare this or that song to other artists' works or specific genres of music. And in almost any review, there is always the "informative" bit (information about the composer, artist, source material, etc). In all of these things, I may find an opinion that surprises me, and a way to approach the music as I listen.

In short, music reviews help me get more mileage out of the music. I learn new things and learn how to listen, just a little better. :)

Exactly this. When I review, since I have no technical basis whatsoever, I tend more towards the "well, these are the sounds you hear, and these are the emotions I feel when I hear it. But that's how I listen to music in general and why I think I prefer electronica and VGM in general to more mainstream stuff-- and to stuff with lyrics. I like to FEEL emotion rather than have words tell me the emotion. I have a pretty open mind when it comes to all types of VGM, especially in regards to games that are deemed "bad." I've said it numerous times on the podcast and on the site, but I can slog through a mediocre or even bad game if the music is fantastic. I love this stuff.

And every so often, there comes a reviewer who really does give a damn about the thing that they're reviewing: the music. I've been checking out the soundtracks section for this site for at least thirteen years now, and it's the biggest thing that has kept me coming back to RPGFan. The soundtrack reviewers have been very passionate about reviewing THE MUSIC, and not the bloody game it comes from, and I would not have found so much killer stuff if they had been predisposed to slag off the music based on whether or not they thought the game it came from was shit or not. Here, if I read a review that tells me something is shit, there are some bloody good reasons why they think it's shit, and there are also plenty of reasons given why I should maybe check it out for myself to see if I agree or disagree. I tend to agree a fair bit of the time, but you know, I REALLY like being given the option to figure out for myself why an album sucks based on somebody else's opinion, or why they think it absolutely rules when I can't find a bloody thing to like about it, and they give me enough information to maybe change my mind about it, along with the latitude to allow me to have my own opinion.
I agree, this is what drew me to the reviews here in the first place, and one of the reasons why I love writing here. For as long as there has been intarwabs and as long as there has been RPGFan, the soundtrack reviews here have spoken to me on the level that I understand and appreciate this kind of music from. Even as a young whipper-snapper, I recall saying "I can't stand these reviews on Gamespot! They just aren't looking at this the way RPGFan or RPGamer does; the way I do!" Passion is what I love to see; I saw and see it here, and it's why I write here.

It's also why I love musicians do who it for the love of music, not because playing guitar gets you some hot action. I'm not a huge fan of the kind of music Dincrest is into, but god damn if I don't love and understand his passion for it. Everyone here on the site is here because they love games, and everyone writing soundtrack reviews loves VGM. I know I'm guilty of occasionally not being able to separate my experience with a game from my love of the music, but overall I really love reading the opinions of people who truly love music-- and discussing it, which is why I am really glad you guys got this thread started. I'm a huge proponent of discussion, especially when it comes to music-- and I'm always telling people 'WRITE A SOUNDTRACK REVIEW! IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU DON'T KNOW TERMINOLOGY, IF YOU LOVE MUSIC THEN YOU'LL BE FINE!"

I think a review is, in part, a dialogue with an audience. It's why I liked the idea of and started doing the soundtrack spotlights-- to get people talking about some music, even if it's just five or six comments on Facebook. If even one person goes and listens to drammatica or Fragile Dreams and/or tells a friend "hey, this stuff is really cool!" or "this shit sucks!" then I couldn't be happier. Discuss, talk, perpetuate the love! A longtime friend of mine asked me yesterday "Hey... do you know where I can buy the soundtrack to Sonic Adventure? You really made me want to listen to that," and my heart fluttered. I couldn't hope for anything better than that.

And of course, I love music in general, especially game music, and I love talking about things I love :)

Lastly, Aurian, as everyone else said, thank you for sharing. That was really interesting to hear-- especially regarding your likes and dislikes.

Sorry for the drawn-out post, but seriously-- thanks for this thread, guys. This is the kind of thing I love to see, and definitely enjoy participating in.


Wow. I didn't expect my 3 AM angry, drunken rant to receive any notice at all, so, thank you for that! Incidentally, I've always wanted to do a fan review of a favorite soundtrack here, but my own inferiority complex kind of beat me down a bit (not to mention, the supremely badass Mr. Gann pretty much summed up everything I wanted to say, only far more eloquently and with less fanboy gushing!). I tend to be very passionate about the musical side of games, of any kind, not just RPGs, and I don't really have a filter when it comes to discussing the subject.

Although, since you've opened that door, I might just try my hand at it.

In all seriousness, though, that's really the first thing I notice about any game I play, and it's been that way since I first started playing games way back in the mid 80s. There's a reason that the main theme from Super Mario Bros. sticks in so many peoples' heads: it's a bloody catchy tune! It elicits a very visceral, emotional response, and to me, that's what music is supposed to do, no matter what genre it belongs to, or what medium it's presented in. And again, this brings me back to my bias against "professional" reviewers, because they just come off as a sort of jaded, pretentious prick who won't give the music itself the time of day because they're biased against the game, the composer, the band, etc. I'm the guy who will go straight to the "Sound Test" section of a game if presented with the option to do so, and I'll listen to every single track there. If the music holds up, I'll buy that soundtrack. Might not be getting a great game, but I'll be getting some killer tunes.

Also, Aurian....great bit of posting there! Not being a person with an aural handicap, it's not something I've ever had to really think about, but after reading your posts in this thread, I can honestly say that it's changed that way that I think about and listen to music in general, and I thank you wholeheartedly for that. I like to try to experience things from different perspectives as much as I can, and you've certainly provided me with that. I'm profoundly glad that you are still able to find stuff to enjoy, and I think that a lot of people could take away a great lesson or eight from you. :)
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« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2012, 11:15:53 AM »

Or that the action scenes have your adrenaline going as you're playing the game, because there's so much going on stimulating your senses, whereas the mellow stuff doesn't, so it has to take its time to grow on you.  

When it comes to music, the stuff that sticks with me is the stuff that I may not "feel" right away, but grows on me.

Like the song that plays in the older Resident Evil games when you save your progress.
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