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Everything posted by omnipotentBagel

  1. Chaos isn't necessarily bad, but in this case, it's too much at once, which is literally difficult to listen to (like trying to pay attention to two separate people talking at the same time). It does start to blend better toward the end, so I definitely think you're on the right track there. I think the biggest problem is having two melodies going at the same time. Find a way to either transition between the two melody lines or hybridize them somehow and it'd make a huge difference.
  2. The arrangment definitely needs some work. Right now it sounds a lot like the two sources are just pasted over one another and it's way too chaotic. I'd say you need to find a way to make them blend together more. Keep working on it though, I love the concept.
  3. There's some great stuff on this. I'm particularly happy to know there's at least one person out there who shares my specific loves of Pink Floyd and Donkey Kong Country (seriously
  4. It's pretty short and pretty straight of a cover. It's a very nice cover, but I think it has the potential to be more than that. With the orchestra, it would be nice to hear the intro extended a bit more, maybe slowly bring in all the instruments before segueing into the full theme? Something to make it last longer and feel more like a "piece" and not just a higher-res re-orchestration of loopable BGM.
  5. So, seeing as Bionic Commando is the only OCR album from the "2013 Album Preview" to release in what my calendar claims to be 2013, I'm assuming OCR has extended 2013 into the new year. The question is, how long is 2013 projected to last.
  6. Seeing as Bravely Default, which is one of the best love letters to Final Fantasy V I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing, just released outside of Japan this past week, I can't think of a better time to announce the impending release of a bunch of Final Fantasy V music. Right? ...right? ...
  7. Oh man, I'm glad I popped by the forums and saw this. Would have kicked myself if I found out about it after it was over. Your tracks were some of my favorites on Harmony of a Hunter. Really hope you make it--the world needs more of your music in it, man.
  8. I assume every project is a prank until proven otherwise. Hell, I still don't believe Balance and Ruin ever came out.
  9. OCR is hacks they publish fake music like dubbstep but not real music why won't you post real music djp?
  10. I still think the opening sounds a lot like a David Gilmour piece (particularly "Coming Back to Life"). This is, of course, a Very Good Thing. The rest is great for much different reasons and has me even more excited for Jill's upcoming album.
  11. This mix fits a good niche where it's not only good on it's own, but it's almost perfectly written for use as BGM for a tabletop game. It's got a slow build and enough of a pattern that it's easy to set loop points and while it's got a lot of character, it's unassuming enough that it won't distract from the narrative. Seriously impressive work.
  12. And that's it for me tonight. I thought about doing Disc 5 too, but at this point, I think I'm a little too burned out on new music. Not sure I'd survive SnappleMan and norg's 40 minute epic. I'm definitely looking forward to tackling that later this week though. Overall album impressions--this is probably the best album OCR has ever put out. I'm not sure anything on it can top Fading Entity (although the opera pieces just might--I need more listens to be sure) but there were maybe two tracks I didn't enjoy (due to style preferences, not quality of arrangement). Out of 70 tracks, that's amazing. I'll have to give it about a month of regular listens to see what really stands the test of time, but there's no question this will be another Voices of the Lifestream or Serious Monkey Business for me. Really incredible work--everyone who was involved with this should be very proud. Brandon, thanks for responding. I'll definitely listen for the ukelele more closely on my next play. I agree, the track fits Mog very well.
  13. Disc 4 impressions A Glimmer of Hope –Of all the great music from this game, I have particularly high expectations for Searching for Friends. I’m not sure why that is, it’s not even in my top five favorite pieces from the game. And yet, I’m uniquely picky about remixes of this song. That said, this track nails it. That mix of loneliness and hope. The sense of desolation is evident in the piano at the beginning. And then the spirit of exploration shines through and it becomes more encouraging and uplifting, before settling back into a calmer and more reflective mood at the end, which encapsulates the second half of the game pretty well, if you ask me. Go-Go Gadget Gonkulator – Okay, after binging on Disc 1 for a couple weeks, I’m pretty sure I can recognize an XPRTNovice track when I hear one. Have you ever looked back on something you thought was good and realized, only in retrospect, that something rather serious was lacking the entire time. That’s how I feel about my music collection before this album. Everything this guy does is so much fun! Katabasis – I don’t have a lot to say about this. Very pretty. Fits the source well. 13th Floor Demonstration – This sidequest is weird and just a touch spooky. This track doesn’t really do much with the spooky aspect, but it definitely captures the “weird”. It’s not an immediate favorite, but it strikes me as one of those pieces that grows on you with time. The Narshmellow – This a great example of how to adapt a song fairly straightforward without just straight-up covering it. This sort of sounds like a bunch of laid back dudes from the 70’s just sort of hanging out and jamming. And I can dig it. The Endless Stair – Damn Level 20 Magics. Okay as far as creepy goes, the Fanatics Tower probably takes the cake. A bunch of cultists who wander around and worship the madman who is destroying the world? Yeah, that’s pretty weird. Combine that atmosphere with a long climb filled with very deadly enemies and you have a very memorable sequence that this song captures quite well. It’s fairly subdued for the bulk of the piece, which belies the true creepiness and serves as contrast for the middle section where the bass kicks up and the strings, horns and chorus comes in and it’s kind of awesome. Trauermarsch – Ah movement IV of Cantata for Dancing. Been waiting for this track nearly three years (really ever since Also Sprach Kefka came out) and it does not disappoint. I’m going to need to listen to this a lot more to be able to critique it properly but on first listen I can say it’s rich and complex as I’ve come to expect from Derek and Jeremy. It’s long but no section ever overstays it’s welcome, and I fully enjoyed the ride. Demon, Fiend, & Goddess – Here we go, Dancing Mad. This is—the big one. The Black Mages have the definitive version of this so there are some big shoes to fill here. Synth-rock is an interesting. Similar energy and sound to the Black Mages but a distinctly different style. At first the deviations from the original were distracting but once I got over that, it drew me in pretty quick. Love the soap-opera-y organ and Mannheim-Steamroller-y brass. And the final movement of the source track (the adagio section) will never not get to me. It may be my all-time favorite moment in all of VGM. Overall very well done. Ending Suite – I imagine it’s hard to do a terribly unique take on a track that’s a medley to begin with., but if you’re going to try, having Shnabubula and Gabe Terracciano tackle it is a good move. They have some history of success with this sort of thing. This feels like a fairly straight adaptation at times (until Shnabubula’s fingers start to run wild), but that certainly doesn’t reflect badly on the track nor on the stellar piano and violin work. There’s only so far this sort of musical-style medley can go and the track flows decently from theme-to-theme. It’s not seamless, but it’s not that kind of medley (aka the kind where you don’t realize it’s a medley if you don’t pay attention). This is more of the “remember how awesome all these things were” kind of medley and really, that’s all it needs to be—the character themes of this game speak for themselves. Favorite bits: Shadow’s Theme (because I love Shadow’s theme) and Strago’s theme which turned out just incredibly fun. Humble Beginnings, Great Expectations – Took me a while to get into this, mostly just because the Prelude is so permanently embedded in my mind that I couldn’t stop comparing it to every other version I’ve heard. But sometime toward the middle I stopped actively listening to the track and just sort of let it happen and then I really got it. It’s kind of hard to explain but I appreciated it a lot more when I stopped trying to analyze it and just allowed myself to experience it more loosely.
  14. Disc 3 First Impressions Flava de Chocobo – I… uh, I’m not really sure what I’m listening to here. Oh, it’s a chocobo song, I guess. Hmm, 70’s club style, I think. This beat feels like the trailer to some Blaxploitation parody. Well it’s certainly well done. I think I need a few more listens to decide whether or not I like it though. Johnny’s Got that Funk – Well, it’s a far cry removed from late 50’s R&B that’s for sure. Turn of the 60’s teens certainly wouldn’t be ready for this yet. Let’s hope the average OCR listener is. For the record, I’m cool with it. Wouldn’t say I love it, but I’ve always been somewhat ambivalent toward funk. Gestahlian Sonata - Ahh, wouldn’t be FFVI without some soft, moody Terra. Oh, hello Kefka, always good to hear more. Ah, I see, this must be a Gestahlian piece. I like it. Somewhat disjointed, but in an enjoyable way. The many quick changes between keys and themes is really interesting. I love the way Terra and Kefka weave their way through the theme. This would be an awesome piece to hear performed live, I think. Megiddo Brigade – Not much to say about this. Devil’s Lab was always one of the less interesting pieces for me. This is definitely drawing me in though, almost subconsiously. Keep catching myself moving with the beat. I bet it'll make for a good track to have on in the background. There’s Nothing Like Flying – High-register chiptunes, not my favorite way to start to a track. Okay, it’s a lot better once the backing material comes in. Yeah, I can definitely get into this once the melody starts. Mogstradamus – I have a very tenuous relationship with ukulele music. Fortunately, throwing in a heavy dose of dub-steppy electronics in a good way to spice things up. In fact I kind of wish the ukulele didn’t sort of vanish when the heavy stuff comes in. It would have been nice to hear the two contrasted more. Then again, maybe the artist tried that and it didn’t work. Aggressive Blue Magic – I see this is where all the dubstep was tucked away. I don’t really know how to critique dubstep. I mostly enjoyed this but it felt a bit long for me. Pure Essence – I like the stylistic choice for this piece. Relm’s theme is the sort of peaceful, nice music you’d expect for an innocent 10-year-old girl. Thing is, Relm is kind of weird. She has one heck of an attitude, easily befriends a dog (allegedly) known for eating strangers, and, oh yeah, she can bring her paintings to life. This track captures that weird essence of Relm’s character without losing the peaceful, somewhat innocent melody. Illusionary – Not really sure what to say here. I always felt this track was a little repetitive in the OST and this mix does it’s best to keep things interesting, but I still can’t really get into it. Black Genesis – A very metal approach to one of the more hardcore tracks in the game. The incorporation of Omen and Fierce Battle in the middle was a good choice as well. Sounds like it would be right at home in Strader’s FFI-III albums. Meditations on an Apocalypse – Very James Bond-esque opening. I like. Good use of a track that was mostly just a re-play of part of the opening scene. It definitely takes on its own identity here. Evisceration – Hmm, The Fierce Battle was far from my favorite battle music in the game. This is probably more interesting to me than the original version at least. A Tranquil Rest – Turning a thirty-second game over jingle into a nearly 2 minute orchestral movement without just stretching it out. Elegy for a Ruined World – Oh I recognize these samples. This a Derek Oren/Jeremy Robson piece. Hmm, a bit more plodding than I’d like, but still good. Could almost be the prelude to the Cantata for Dancing suite, particularly with the hints of Kefka and bits of Omen sprinkled in. I really like the fade-out too. Event Horizon – From the first few seconds I thought this was gearing up for some Spanish guitar. Then the square wave came in and it became some sweet electronica instead. Good, but I can’t help but wonder what that Spanish guitar version would have been like. Blackjack’s Breakup Bossa – I will never not love slightly cheesy mall music. The vocals were a great touch. That is all.
  15. Okay, without looking at this thread (or anything beyond track names after the fact), I will be presenting my initial impressions of Discs 2 - 4 with more detailed reviews of my favorite pieces. I'm skipping Disc 1 because I've listened to those tracks far too many times to present initial opinions (and I didn't think of doing this until recently). I'll totally be reviewing a few of those tracks in detail though. Disc 2 Wild Child Ballad – Darangen’s Solitary Sorrows has kind of ruined Gau’s Theme, in that I can’t hear it without thinking of his lyrics. The little string-and-woodwind recurring bit does sort of help this piece stand out on its own though. river of sine waves – Okay this NES-chip percussion reminds me of something but I can’t quite place it. Combined with easy-listening piano and plucked guitar this is very pleasant and laid back, not quite what I expected from the Serpent Trench. I particularly like when the Prelude arpeggios come in at the end. Idle City Street – Okay this has to be a Pot Hocket piece. Very nice. Totally going with Daydreaming Again and Sleep My Sephy on my “Peaceful Sunday Afternoon” playlist. Courage, Failure, Rosebud – Gonna have to look up those lyrics later, I can’t quite make them out here. Really I’m not sure I have much to say about this yet (other than that I dig the overlapping vocals at the end). Bad Octopus – This sounds like the Transiberian Orchestra… If they hired on Danny Elfman to compose for them… Very fitting piece for saving Espers and beating up Ultros though. Great ending. Train Suplex – Feels a bit too slow. I guess I’m spoiled by all the metal covers out there. Honestly there are enough excellent straight covers of this piece in my library I was hoping this would be a bit looser with the theme. Still hard to go wrong with one of the best boss themes of all time. There Will Be Blood – Not for me. Too (I don’t know this genre well enough so this might be entirely the wrong term, but) industrial? I dunno. It’s not bad, just not my jam. Then again, Metamorphosis is far from my favorite Terra track, anyway. Honestly the genre is a pretty good fit for the track, thematically. Terra’s Resolve – This is more like it. Not that there was any chance of this track being anything less than perfect. What it really needs is something to set it apart from the (not kidding) thirty existing Terra track’s I’ve got. This is already a better (ie-less conservative) orchestration than the Distant Worlds version, so that puts it in the Terra in Black/Deadly Promises/Death on the Snowfield range right off the bat. This one definitely merits a more detailed review later. A Simple Flip Can Change Fate – Oh man, acoustic guitar duet, what a perfect choice for Coin Song. I’ve always really loved Stevo’s acoustic work (okay I cheated and looked this one up because the guitar seemed familiar and I couldn’t place it—turns out I was thinking of Gliding on a Silver Lining). I think this going on my playlist with Idle City Streets, but I’m also putting it in my standby playlist for D&D games for a scene that really needs some extra emotional resonance. Electro de Chocobo – Hmm, Techno de Chocobo opens with piano. How great would it be for this of all songs to be a nice traditional-sounding piece? Really mess with some pre-conceived notions and get a few weirdos all indignant. …oh well, can’t really complain, even if it’s the obvious choice it’s still good. Not gonna beat Kweh! though. That’s still my gold standard for Chocobo mixes. Hey, how about a pure Chocobo album, guys? That’s got to be at least as versatile as Sagat’s theme right? If OCR’s not up to it, I’m sure the Bad Guys could handle it… Reverie of the Broken Phoenix – I wasn’t really feeling the intro to this but then at 1:20, the strings came in, and it clicked. Then the percussion came in and it really clicked. I really like how this track just keeps steadily building until the end when it drops back to the almost ethereal tone of the intro. Slam Shuffle – There’s shuffling. And slamming. What more could you ask for? I guess film-noir-esque horns and echo-y piano. Can’t say I dig the super-electronic-sounding bass, the heaviness of it really drags the track down in my opinion, especially when compared to the first 80 seconds or so. Fiddlesticks Rag – Sounds like something that would be playing in a saloon. Perfect. The Nightmare Oath – For some reason the orchestrations of the opera, this movement in particular, always felt a little awkward to me. Like something just felt off about hearing the lyrics sung out loud. Especially in such an earnest opera style. This on the other hand, feels right. Bit more of a rock-opera tone than traditional opera which is way more my jam and the vocals really work in this setting. Hell of a great title as well. The Impresario – Oh man, ten seconds in and it’s already living up to the hype. Props for the Brian May-esque guitar work and the vocal harmonies. Although the voice itself tends to lean more Weird Al than Freddie Mercury sometimes in the harmony, that’s hardly a bad thing. Song feels like it’s trying to be Bohemian Rhapsody a little too much at a couple points, which I feel works against it, but those moments are fleeting and more often than not it nails the inspired-by-but-unique feel it was going for. God, I could go on about how great this is, but I think the write-up on the site says everything that needs to be said (I looked it up afterwards so I could link it to a friend). Til We Meet Again – Whoa, Gilmour-led Pink Floyd vibes from these first few seconds of guitar. Okay, this is obviously a zircon/pixietricks joint. Wouldn’t sound out of place on Origins. Not sure I can say much about this other than wow. Jill is incredible as always. Feels a bit like a “sequel” or companion piece to Deliverance of the Heart, especially at the end. Full Speed Ahead – Likewise, this feels like a sequel to Golden Feathers with a bit of Airships Make Me Happy. Sorry, I don’t mean to keep comparing this to Voices of the Lifestream but I can’t help it. I don’t know exactly what zircon’s vision for this album was but the similar guiding influences between the two are noticeable.
  16. Dude if you have a time machine, why wouldn't you go back in time and donate?
  17. I'm a big geek and an engineer and a writer, so I like tearing a game apart and figuring out how it works. Not in a "look at the source code" sense, but in looking at the mechanics and the controls and the story and the graphics and the music and anything else notable about it, and looking at how they all work together to make a good (or bad) experience. My favorite thing about games isn't actually playing them but in looking at the experiences they provide. Stuff like the in-depth analysis people did about the first Bioshock, particularly in the final scene and how it plays with the illusion of choice and how it manipulates a basic instinct/mindset of gaming for narrative impact. Plenty of people do reviews, but you usually don't get that level of dissection of a game outside of forum/blog posts.
  18. I just love that they're finally giving Luigi the spotlight he justly deserves.
  19. I felt like the handling of Ocarina of Time 3DS was about perfect for a port. Polished the graphics, tweaked the interface and control scheme to reduce trips to the menu, but otherwise leave well enough alone. They showed good judgement in knowing what to mess with. No idea if the same people are involved with Wind Waker, but if they follow the same strategy, it'll turn out great.
  20. I have been waiting for high-res sprites and super artistic hand-drawn stuff since last generation and it's incredibly sad to me that hardly anyone is even considering it. I had hoped Rayman Origins would convince people that it's okay to do sprites and traditional-style platforming, but no big names seem to be getting that message. I share your worries about Yoshi's Island, but I guess I'm a little more optimistic. I've really been enjoying most of Nintendo's 3DS output lately and I'm hoping that the fact that we haven't seen very much of the game at all means that the good stuff is all still coming. I have to believe like the glimpses we've seen are rough, early production material (no idea if that's true, but I want it to be).
  21. Agree with you 100% on this. No. It's not. You know what makes Mario Kart and Golf and Party sub-serieses? They feature the same characters as the SMB games, but they aren't 2-D platformers. You know what is a 2D platformer? NSMB. It's a sub-group, just like the first three games were (Mario Bros), but they're as core Mario platformer as anything. I'm sorry they were so disappointing to you. Teams change all the time. Are the Oracle games and Minish Cap not proper Zelda games because Capcom made them? It's not the same aesthetics, no, I'll give you that. But it's high-fidelity graphics, which is literally the only qualifier for "high-def" or "next-gen" graphics which is what you were originally asking for. Yeah, I don't like the style and think they could do way better (although I don't necessarily want detailed backgrounds or the MK8 look, but that's just a matter of personal taste). What you are saying is you would like a 2-D Mario platformer with live-rendered, highly detailed 3-D backgrounds and new, more dynamic and stylized models, with a more classic feel. That's cool, I would love that too. Just say that next time instead of being all petulant about it. If you'd have said "I don't really like NSMB and want to see Nintendo do something different with 2D Mario's", I would have been absolutely with you. Eh, I suppose I'll let it go. It's really not that important and it's detracting from what really matters, which is talking about games we like and are excited for. And on that note... Are you excited for the new Yoshi's Island? I am really excited for that game (although also a little nervous, since the last time they tried to make a sequel, Yoshi's Island DS, I thought it was pretty disappointing). But what I've seen so far looks better than that at least.
  22. [Citation Needed] Seriously, how the hell would NSMB not be a "main Mario series"? It's about as traditional 2D platforming as you can get. The DS title was kind of weak, but NSMB Wii was really well-made and I had a lot of fun with it. New Super Mario Bros Wii U is pretty much exactly this. Graphics don't get much "better" than that for a Mario game (although aesthetics sure do--I feel the designs themselves are kind of stale and boring). And I still don't know what "serious" means--this is a game where you play as a chubby plumber who gets bigger when he eats mushrooms and stomp on turtles who wear underpants underneath their shells. It's fine if you weren't a fan of the NSMB series, but you can't just claim the games "don't count". If that were how it worked, I'd be sitting here complaining about how Square hasn't made a Final Fantasy game in 13 years. I get where you're coming from, Super Mario World is one of my most favorite games of all time, and I'd love to see something that plays similar to that (hell, give me the same mechanics with updated graphics and new levels and I'd be thrilled), but it's facetious to complain that Nintendo "hasn't released a 2D Mario game in years" when they've released a whole lot of them that you just didn't enjoy.
  23. People keep talking about this and I have no idea what they mean. What exactly, makes a Mario game "next-gen"? Adaptive-AI Koopas? A browner, bleaker looking Mushroom Kingdom? Realistic fireball physics? It's Mario, the definitive 2-D platformer. They already gave us a version in 1080p, what more are you looking for? I'm not criticizing, I'm actually curious.
  24. So it sounds like David Wise is working on the soundtrack for DKC:TF, which brought it up from "I'll keep an eye on it, I guess" to "genuinely excited" for me.
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