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The Best Gaming Music Ever.

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Meant to post this on the day Crash Bandicoot 4 came out on Switch, but while I'm not completely 100% with Crash 4's soundtrack it has some really good tunes!

 

 

 

David Wise is that you?

 

 

^ Favourite track in the game

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

 

 

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I've been thinking about a certain kind of remix today. Mostly because I've started playing most of the console entries of the Wonder Boy series (I'm dubbing that the "Wonder Bender").

The kind of remix I'm thinking about is the remix that subverts expectations by adding a new section to an original track in some way.

Whenever I think about this, Death Mountain in A Link Between Worlds comes to mind.

Here's the original.

A pretty great song. But the version that appears in it's 3DS version is one that I absolutely adore.

You hear that? That little extra bit at 42 seconds? It's a small thing, but I think it really elevates the track while not sounding out of place. The way it flows into the last few notes of the song is just brilliant.

Anyway, moving on to Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap, the game that got me thinking about this in the first place. Here's a song from the Master System version.

Pretty catchy, huh? Nice beat to it. Here's the remake version.

OK, it has to be mentioned, but taking that original version and making it sound absolutely melancholic in comparison is already pretty amazing, but that's not even the aspect I'm thinking about.

At the 1:20 mark, just when you're thinking "Oh, it's looped, that was quick" the song takes a sudden swerve from melancholy to bombastic! It's such a powerful moment and it gives me goosebumps.

Speaking of goosebumps, back to Zelda and the game that takes subversive remixes to the extreme, Link's Awakening.

It's 51 seconds long, and while it does have some atmosphere to it (as atmospheric as the Game Boy can do, in reality), it can get really repetitive.

Enter the Switch version.

I mean, wow. What else is there to say? I might have spent 5 minutes standing still in the first room of that dungeon just to take it all in.

Apart from 80% of the Link's Awakening Switch soundtrack, I have to say, I can't think of many other examples of this kind of thing. Which is a shame, because I think it's really powerful when done right.

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Agreed.  It’s not a very common approach for a remake to take with its soundtrack (even amongst those that might be considered full “Retellings”; like Metroid Zero Mission), but I do wish that more remakes would take a similar approach! It’s really great when it does happen!

 

Actually, come to think of it... some games DO do this when they include rearrangements of music from previous entries in the series... The “Final Fantasy Prelude” is perhaps the best example that immediately springs to mind...

You might be fooled into thinking that what you know as the “Prelude” has always been what it is, but you would be WRONG!

Here is the original version...

Here is Final Fantasy 3’s version...

And HERE is Final Fantasy 4’s version; where the additional section that we know today was added...

This isn’t that uncommon of an approach for a long running series to take with recurring themes, but it IS uncommon to see in a remake.

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Oh my daze, I feel stupid for forgetting Final Fantasy's prelude. I knew that fact beforehand as well!

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Posted (edited)

BTW, this has nothing to do with anything we were talking about before, but I just started playing through Castlevania: Circle of the Moon again after listening to some of its music and HOT DAHYM does it have a great soundtrack!

Special shout-out also goes to the amazing arrangement of Awake as heard in Super Smash Bros Ultimate though!

I NEVER thought that we’d ever get to see any sort of love given to COTM, as oft forgotten as it is by Konami (and also IGA himself), but I was SO delighted when I saw Awake surface in SSBU! :D (Oh! And there’s that extra little addendum at the end in this arrangement too @Glen-i ;) )

 

On a bit of a tangent, I think it’s safe to say that throughout all of video game history, Castlevania has the most consistently amazing soundtracks of any long running series.  Even the absolute shittiest, most utterly awful Castlevania game has an AMAZING soundtrack to go along with it!

Edited by Dcubed
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1 hour ago, Dcubed said:

Om a bit of a tangent, I think it’s safe to say that throughout all of video game history, Castlevania has the most consistently amazing soundtracks of any long running series.  Even the absolute shittiest, most utterly awful Castlevania game has an AMAZING soundtrack to go along with it!

I want to argue for Pokémon Mystery Dungeon's case, but it's only 5 entries long, so I don't think it can stand up to the likes of Castlevania. It's still super consistent with the high quality of the soundtracks.

I love that Smash Ultimate gave Castlevania so much attention in the music department. It must have been a nightmare whittling down those songs to the selection we got.

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Speaking of Castlevania music I'm playing through Symphony of the Night and I will definitely agree, all Castlevania games have such great soundtracks. I hadn't really heard much of Michiru Yamane's stuff but man, she's done some amazing music...

 

 

 

 

^ (This song was also in Smash Bros. but the Judgement version. The original is far better imo)

 

 

(This boss theme rocks... literally!)

 

 

 

Surprised this one didn't make it into Smash tbh...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(The last two got into Smash too)

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On 11/04/2021 at 11:50 AM, Dcubed said:

On a bit of a tangent, I think it’s safe to say that throughout all of video game history, Castlevania has the most consistently amazing soundtracks of any long running series.  Even the absolute shittiest, most utterly awful Castlevania game has an AMAZING soundtrack to go along with it!

I mean I haven't played as many Final Fantasy games as I would have liked to, but I've listened to a lot of their soundtracks (they just ended up in my daily mix) and I would have to imagine it'd be in contention for delivering high quality over a very long period of time consistently (I would have to imagine across more games too?). Almost feels like cheating though when you've got someone like Uematsu, and most of the games he composed for ended up with soundtracks which are about as flawless as you can get. 

I would throw Dragon Quest into the ring if not for Sugiyama being a right old weirdo and the obvious reliance on previous soundtracks from my limited exposure to the series, but at the same time, it creates nostalgia for games you might be experiencing for the first time, and that's no mean feat.  

I haven't played any of the Metal Gear games, but have heard one or two tracks from those earlier games and they seem strong, and I think the series as a whole (when we consider Solid too) delivers very consistently on the soundtrack front. Don't think it's a coincidence that we've heaped quite a bit of praise on Konami games here, because even smaller games like Suikoden ended up with some absolutely stellar soundtracks. Hell, even PES I would say had much better soundtrack selection than FIFA back when I was still playing it! :laughing:

On 11/04/2021 at 1:06 PM, Glen-i said:

I want to argue for Pokémon Mystery Dungeon's case, but it's only 5 entries long, so I don't think it can stand up to the likes of Castlevania. It's still super consistent with the high quality of the soundtracks.

Yeah, the Mystery Dungeon games at times touch that Chrono Trigger level of too stupidly good to be true. 

If we're talking about quality, I think the main series Pokémon games have music which has for a long time been far better than the games themselves. I really wasn't a fan of how Sword and Shield turned out (ditto for X and Y, and to an extent even Sun and Moon), but those soundtracks are still great to my ears. Plus, you can totally cheat and point to some great rearrangements from the anime too! 

 

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2 hours ago, Julius said:

I mean I haven't played as many Final Fantasy games as I would have liked to, but I've listened to a lot of their soundtracks (they just ended up in my daily mix) and I would have to imagine it'd be in contention for delivering high quality over a very long period of time consistently (I would have to imagine across more games too?). Almost feels like cheating though when you've got someone like Uematsu, and most of the games he composed for ended up with soundtracks which are about as flawless as you can get.

Final Fantasy defo has some of the most heaviest hitting soundtracks in gaming, but if we're solely talking about being able to maintain consistency, there's a really noticeable dip in quality once Nobuo Uematsu stopped composing for the series around Final Fantasy 10. That soundtrack, while good, is noticeably weaker than the PS1 entries.

And then you get to FF 12, which is disappointingly forgettable. Probably the lowest point of the series as far as music goes.

I'd also say that Dragon Quest let's itself down because stingy Sugiyama hates everyone outside of Japan and greedily refuses to give them access to orchestrated soundtracks in the games.

When your soundtracks have a golden opportunity to reach many potential new fans via Smash Bros and you fob them off with MIDI arrangements that don't even include the super famous main theme, then you're just handicapping yourself with your own arrogance.

(Of course, no concrete confirmation if that was the case, but given how Sakurai expressed his disappointment on not getting that track and having to make do using only the last 6 notes in Hero's victory theme, it's pretty obvious)

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, there are lots of series with great music, but I wouldn’t say that there are many out there that really can be said to keep up that really high level absolutely consistently.  And the longer a series goes on? The harder it is to keep that unwavering winning streak going (even the Zelda series has Phantom Hourglass’ soundtrack dragging down the average).

That being said? Monster Hunter is a good shout; 7 mainline games in (and however many spin-offs) and they’re all pretty great.  There isn’t really a bad piece of Monster Hunter music out there! And that’s really pretty darn remarkable!

Ace Attorney is another good example; very very consistently good music, 10 games in!

But yeah, Castlevania is just in another league.  20-30+ games and ALL of them are winners! That’s just insane!

Edited by Dcubed

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, drahkon said:

Her voice is simply outstanding.

One of the best songs of the generation, IMO.

I legit laughed my back off watching this. The powerful performance on stage was amazing to watch and then I look to the left to see your Astrobot avatar dancing away to the music. :D 

Edited by Hero-of-Time
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18 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

The powerful performance on stage was amazing to watch and then I look to the left to see your Astrobot avatar dancing away to the music. :D 

THE SIIIIIINS NEVER DIE

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CAN'T WASH THE BLOOD OFF OUR HANDS

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