I'm a little taken aback by the amount of excellent soundtracks/albums that were released in 2015. Personally, I would link you to the calendar section over at VGMdb.net and say have fun, but that wouldn't really work out here (maybe). It tortures me to do so, but here are some selections from this year I'd like you to listen to and enjoy.
May MOTY 2016 not torment my soul as much as 2015 has with its excellent, excellent releases. ;)
One of my favorite features on Youtube is the recommended list that populates with various videos they think I would like. They know me very well, because the list always fills in with various videos of unknown video game soundtracks and JRPG trailers. Back in November 2014, it had a demo trailer of Shining Resonance on there, and as soon as the battle track played, I knew I was in for something special. I pre-ordered the soundtrack, took a listen to it upon arrival and was especially excited when I realized that one of my favorite groups (Element Gardens) composed the soundtrack! I knew I recognized that deliciously catchy music from somewhere! I know them best for their work on the Wild Arms XF & Vth Vanguard soundtracks, and as you can expect from the samples below, I'm particularly pleased with Shining Resonance's soundtrack. I highly recommend this OST for anyone looking for a relaxing and/or exciting listening experience (especially if you're in need of a JRPG soundtrack fix)!
Have you heard...Before the Fall: Final Fantasy XIV OST
Continue the musical journey in Eorzea with more awesome tunes by Masayoshi Soken.
What's that? Tales of Zestiria's soundtrack has Sakuraba and Go Shiina on it? Do I need a reason to tell you why this soundtrack is amazing and a pleasure to listen to? Okay, how about a very brief reason: you are graced with the familiar, yet unique, flavorings of Sakuraba's music, while having your ears thoroughly tantalized by Go Shiina's exciting battle and vocal tracks. Brief, as I promised. If you'd like a greater detail on this reason, keep a lookout in the near future for a review. ;)
When I first heard Xenoblade Chronicles X's soundtrack, I was certainly interested in the context for each of the tracks. I did feel many of the tracks were very grand in style, but I wasn't ready to give my full attention to it — which occasionally happens with some of the soundtracks I've listened to without playing the game. When I finally got a chance to play the game, I was very impressed with the soundtrack's placement and really loved it afterwards (especially "Black tar" and "Uncontrollable"). Sawano did a fine job making the world of Mira feel massive and I hope to see more of his projects in the future!
Also See Our Review: Xenoblade [Chronicles] X OST Review
One of my absolute favorite soundtracks of 2015 is Ryan Richko's Telepath Tactics. I remember approaching this game's music with caution because I was a little underwhelmed by the game itself at first. However, as soon as I hit the play button, those fears melted away, leaving complete adoration for the beauty that is this game's OST. Richko does an excellent job handling each piece, like when he strums my heartstrings with "Sisters," or gets me hyped up with "Onslaught." I was pleasantly serenaded throughout the listen, which also warmed my heart towards the game in general. Ah, the power of music is a beautiful thing!
Also See Our Review: Telepath Tactics OST Review
Tales of Zestiria sated my Sakurbaba thirst for the year; however, I felt a little wanting in the Go Shiina department. Thankfully, we got this incredible gem no later than a week after Zestiria's release — which
I we greatly needed. If you've heard Go Shiina's work on the first God Eater — or heard his work in general — then you can expect the same quality music, especially since the Video Game Orchestra lends their choir Força and solo vocalists for this soundtrack! It's always a pleasure to hear VGO perform beautifully and listen to the lulling singing of Donna Burke. This is another soundtrack I highly recommend if you are a Go Shiina fan and enjoy the Video Game Orchestra!
Have you heard...Legacy Sessions: GAME Generation 5
Now that's what I call game music...generation 5!
One of my favorite things about Soundcloud is the wealth of talented composers and arrangers that are waiting to be found! That's how I came across Schematist's (Calbert Warner) profile and fell in love with his music. I longed to hear more music from him as time went on, so I was ecstatic to find out he was going to score the soundtrack to a game. Schematist mentions on the Bandcamp page that he blended elements from Nobuo Uematsu and Yuzo Koshiro in creating this soundtrack, but I would still note that Warner does an excellent job interjecting his own stylings into this work. I think many of you will enjoy Oraia Rift: Oracle of Oraia's as much as I did, so give it a listen on Schematist's Bandcamp page!