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Wasn't this in the PS1 adaptation for the final boss of MechaRameses coming out of the Red Sea at the last moment and you have to force him back?

 

Well it would have fit.

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Hearing this the other day in a review just threw me right back into a feeling of awe and nostalgia, something video game music doesn't really do for me unless it's something like Soule's Hogwarts theme which I heard a million times as a kid in multiple variations. Probably helps that this is attached to one of the best gaming experiences I've ever had, even if it's so recent.

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I recommend Titan Quest's 2006 OST

It has such a relation with most fantasy RPG scores like Titan Quest's ancient mythological setting has with fictional worlds. It just has a certain... "real" ancient feel to it.

Featuring: traditional Greek, Egyptian, Middle-Eastern & Chinese  instruments, nice melodies and several leitmotiffic designs. The end credits song is wonderful too, sung in Greek and with meaningful lyrics.

 

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Last night, this just popped into my head and I was overjoyed to remember its existance. It's great.

OK, the memories of the toughening and quickening gameplay, and that goddamn elevator endurance round add to it a lot, but it has that "things are escalating and will soon draw to a close" feel to it.

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19 minutes ago, Holko said:

Last night, this just popped into my head and I was overjoyed to remember its existance. It's great.

OK, the memories of the toughening and quickening gameplay, and that goddamn elevator endurance round add to it a lot, but it has that "things are escalating and will soon draw to a close" feel to it.

 

Oh crap, I didn't remember the music getting real. I played the game 10 years ago until I unlocked the original, then I used Sands of Time pretty exclusively as a Prince of Persia emulator. I eish it was longer and built up even more, it feels like it could be a real barnstormer.

 

In general, one of my favorite things jn a video game is when the music amps up the game to the top and tells you on no uncertain terms that this is it, this is the final leg. Such an awesome confluence of music and game design, mixed with the emotions you as a player bring in by pure virtue of having to steer the experience.

 

Some favorites off the top of my noodle:

 

Here you and hopefully a buddy sitting next to you are brawling through ninjas and corrupt Secret Service types on a mad dash to the White House  to prevent an evil robot clone of a high public official from holding a lethal press conference. 

 

 

 

And at this part of Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, you're literally

Spoiler

fighting God

 

 

Talk about going hard (especially around 2:13); dayum!

 

And these two tracks from Silent Hill 2 and 3 respectively: 

 

 

 

 

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The climactic escape, you're running from a forest fire and being chased by a giant shadow demon owl, every ability at your disposal, your heart and blood pumping, and still dying once every 5-10 seconds... While the music revisits many motifs from earlier parts of the game and gives them a dire rythm. I cannot recommend Ori enough to anyone liking the art style and marginally interested in the Metroidvania genre.

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Backers of the Tomb Raider Suite got to have it two days early via digital distribution. I have to say, I love the new arrangements of the incidental music.

 

Here's the theme being played on Classic FM:

 

 

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When I was 16 I randomly discovered on some blog a download for the "Mario & Zelda Big Band Live CD."  The one with "BIG BAND...OF ROGUES!!!"  It was one of my favorite albums as a teen.

 

61sZjLOwXEL._SY355_.jpg

 

In particular, the above bluegrass performance of the "Athletic Theme" from Yoshi's Island blew my mind.  When I first listened, I immediately thought, "THIS is what Mario music is supposed to sound like."  That wonderful 1920's inspired blending of bluegrass and jazz/ragtime.  I had grown up marinating in Mario music nearly every day, and it just had never occurred to me until then how inspired by early 20th century American music Mario had always been.  This was partially due to finally hearing it the connection made explicit via the more accurate instrumentation (instead of the chiptune synths).

 

Then lo & behold, 7 years later I heard the "Puzzle Plank Galaxy" cue in Super Mario Galaxy 2.  In many ways, I still consider this my platonic ideal of Mario music.

 

 

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Obviously this is true of most composers, but there's something about Peter McConnell, his work really comes alive when played by actual musicians, and be dead in the ground with sample libraries. Compare it to someone like Hitoshi Sakimoto, whose work stands up pretty well with virtual sounds.

 

 

Though both are really skilled at supplementing virtual ensembles with select soloists to really fluff it up.

 

 

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I don’t mind the sample stuff in-game, but of course Thieves in Time makes for better isolated listening than the original trilogy scores. If anything, given what a piece of hot garbage the game itself is, Thieves in Time is better off in isolated listening.

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@Warrior of Wet Dreams So that infamous track was actually probably a programming error...I was shocked to play the game and find out most of the music was good, the basement track is really out of place. Someone fixed the "routing", and here's what it was probably meant to actually sound like. Much more in line with the rest of the score.

 

 

 

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It's been awhile since I've heard a really good video game soundtrack.

 

  • Alien Isolation had an excellent score that teased the Alien motifs quite nicely particularly the slow staccato flute stabs.

 

  • The Uncharted games have excellent fully orchestrated scores that hold up well. The main theme is catchy and fun to hum. 

 

  • Red Dead 2 had a great score that was ambient in the most perfect way. Micro motifs that were memorable but didn't get annoying over time.

 

Most of the time video game scores are a little too ambient for me, which is fine and usually necessary but not worth listening to in isolation. I still think my favorite scores are by Giacchino, and to this day I still feel like his orchestration was a lot more interesting than it is now. For some reason his scores are a lot more dry and flaky nowadays, whereas Medal of Honor and Secret Weapons Over Normandy are rich and full of life. I wonder if he went from having a few dedicated orchestrators to doing most of it himself, because his voice has definitely changed over the years and not necessarily for the better IMO.

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43 minutes ago, YoYoMama said:

I still think my favorite scores are by Giacchino, and to this day I still feel like his orchestration was a lot more interesting than it is now. For some reason his scores are a lot more dry and flaky nowadays, whereas Medal of Honor and Secret Weapons Over Normandy are rich and full of life. I wonder if he went from having a few dedicated orchestrators to doing most of it himself, because his voice has definitely changed over the years and not necessarily for the better IMO.

His orchestrations were simplistic back then. It was the great melodies that he wrote which propelled the scores. Nowadays he is all orchestral quirks and no themes. 

Or maybe there is just so much more time to compose for a videogame than for a film or tv episode. Orchestrations come naturally with experience if one just understands how to do them, but to actually find out where the music should go to sound great, second after a second.... Look at my JW quote below.

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7 hours ago, YoYoMama said:

It's been awhile since I've heard a really good video game soundtrack.

 

  • Alien Isolation had an excellent score that teased the Alien motifs quite nicely particularly the slow staccato flute stabs.

 

  • The Uncharted games have excellent fully orchestrated scores that hold up well. The main theme is catchy and fun to hum. 

 

  • Red Dead 2 had a great score that was ambient in the most perfect way. Micro motifs that were memorable but didn't get annoying over time.

 

Most of the time video game scores are a little too ambient for me, which is fine and usually necessary but not worth listening to in isolation. I still think my favorite scores are by Giacchino, and to this day I still feel like his orchestration was a lot more interesting than it is now. For some reason his scores are a lot more dry and flaky nowadays, whereas Medal of Honor and Secret Weapons Over Normandy are rich and full of life. I wonder if he went from having a few dedicated orchestrators to doing most of it himself, because his voice has definitely changed over the years and not necessarily for the better IMO.

All the examples you listed are great but I don’t understand how that equates to you not hearing a good one in awhile.

 

Listen to the slew of music by Austin Wintory.  

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I wouldn't say that there has been no very good videogame music recently either

 

I know of:

Fallout: New Vegas (2010)

Slavov's Two Worlds 2 (2010)

Waldetoft's music for Paradox games (2010, 2014)

Griskey's Force Unleashed/2 (2011?)

Velasco's Company of Heroes 2 (2013)

Bioshock: Infinite (2013)

the Total Wars? (2012 is my fav)

The Journey? (2012/2019)

Witcher 3? (2015/2016)

 

I definitely do agree, however, that we are yet to hear something that can top videogame music from ca. 15 years ago. (MoH, Age of Empires 3, Paraworld...) There have always been A scores, but weirdly no S scores as of late....

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I quite like these adaptations of the Kingdom Hearts music, they're quite powerful when they're arranged properly, outside of their usage in the games (which are shortened and looped).

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Black Prophecy (2009) has this high-budget sound and a certain elegance to it that most videogame scores lack. For the time being definitely my next to favorite Dynamedion score. 16 out of 37 tracks are available on youtube, but such a selection doesn't do it justice.

I am happy to have had an autographed copy sent to me as a surprise gift by the composers :)

 image.png

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On 2/10/2019 at 1:39 PM, Fabulin said:

Orchestrations come naturally with experience if one just understands how to do them, but to actually find out where the music should go to sound great, second after a second.... Look at my JW quote below.

 

And I guess Williams benefits from listening to real artists: those whom most call "uncatchy" "jumbling messes" of early 20th century composition; then Williams having a particular fondness of some tiny second of it and saying "that would be cool as a repetitive motif." There are thousands of good ideas for catchy themes within these more advanced developments that inexperienced ears fail to conceptualize, the cinematic texture of favored effects of the orchestra are already there, but most composers are lazy in that they want to just create without developing respectful relationships and understandings with history.

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6 minutes ago, Borodin said:

 

 

And I guess John Williams benefits from listening to real artists: those uncatchy and jumbling messes of early 20th century composition, then Williams having a particular fondness of some tiny second of it and saying "that would be cool as a repetitive motif." There are thousands of good ideas for catchy themes within the jumbling mess of old art, but most composers are lazy in that they want to just create without studying music.

 

 

While I agree that not only as musicians but as humans we must acknowledge the shoulders we stand on, I don't understand what you mean by these, could you please explain? 

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Sorry, the goal in my wording there was (A) sarcastically catering the popular perspective's description or lack of understanding what they're hearing, ie. "Real artists: you know those "uncatchy confusing" classicists who didn't know about rock and pop."

 

But also (B), a weighty niche of these compositions even we find jumbling and difficult to listen to. But upon extrapolated listens, the appreciation of the bigger ideas there start to sink in, ie. through forceful acceptance, we grow our understanding of the creative processes.

 

More or less, a historian or artist tends toward this, while a businessman doesn't. That is because an artist's personal interests are their business, while the latter's business is simply of their interest.

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48 minutes ago, Borodin said:

Sorry, the goal in my wording there was (A) sarcastically catering the popular perspective's description or lack of understanding what they're hearing, ie. "Real artists: you know those "uncatchy confusing" classicists who didn't know about rock and pop."

 

But also (B), a weighty niche of these compositions even we find jumbling and difficult to listen to. But upon extrapolated listens, the appreciation of the bigger ideas there start to sink in, ie. through forceful acceptance, we grow our understanding of the creative processes.

 

More or less, a historian or artist tends toward this, while a businessman doesn't. That is because an artist's personal interests are their business, while the latter's business is simply of their interest.

 

 

*takes long drag of cigarette*

 

 

 

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