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djpretzel

OCR01233 - Shining Force "Armageddon"

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Emotional intensity is the name of the game in this remix from what is in my opinion the greatest Tactical RPG series of all time.

To be honest I've been hesitant to review this piece, because it's a little over my head. I don't know a whole lot about hardcore orchestral arrangement (i.e. 20 tracks for the strings, that sort of thing) so I haven't really known what to say. I know from talking to him that Gray put a ton of work into this piece.

The effort certainly paid off. The instrumental arrangement sounds awesome, and you don't immediately realize how complicated it is. I take that as a good sign -- the complexity has been used effectively to create a whole instead of sounding like, well, a bunch of complex "stuff". If you feel like it though, listen closer and you'll see that the music is oozing with technical detail. I particularly love the chord voicings in the brass. Liten from 3:05-end to see what I'm talking about.

Orchestral arrangements are often lacking in percussion, but not this one :) It has tons of variety, action, and detail without ever being obtrusive or showy.

Now the obligatory minor gripes section:

- The intro is a bit weak/nonexistent. There's like, one brass note and some percussion swell. I've often found introductions to be a weakness in Gray's work, so it may just be an issue of artistic difference, but I'd really like it if he'd spend more time "setting the stage" for pieces. Some transitions, like the one at 2:00, seem a little rushed too.

- There are phrases here and there that get overrepeated. In particular, there's a BABC#DC#BA line, introducted at 0:46 and then double-tempo at 1:17 that gets beaten into the ground.

It's worth noting that sounds are very organic and realistic. I don't usually mention this because it's often a function of how much someone spent on their sound library, but in this case it's a combination of good sounds a skilled arrangement.

This is a great piece of work that's both technically impressive and an enjoyable listen. I know from talking to Gray that he feels it's his best work, and from a technical standpoint, I definately agree. For whatever reason, his Battle of Olympus remix with Freemind is my personal favorite, but this this one's close.

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Wow, Grey Truly amazing shiznit... ^^ Good Stuff, expect nothing but top notch quality from you now on... Is it Just me or do I keep hearing the FFT Theme Song in the mix? Probably just me.

I missed this one before. It's not just you. ^_~ Several people have mentioned this to me. There is no direct connection with FFT, but it does sound very much like it style-wise.

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Pretty damned impressive, Gray.... I'm not leaping too far, I think, by labeling this as your best remix. Not only does my affection for it include the bias of being a loyal SF veteran, but it reminds me very much of Holst, and his 'Planets' symphony. This, I garuntee you, is high praise.

Keep up the great work; moving fast.... how about a Panzer Zwei mix, eh? :)

Love the voices...

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graylightning once again proves that he's a valuable asset to the small community of quality video game remixers. this new mix takes us someplace more orchestral instead of the usual new age trips, and the result does not disappoint in any aspect.

being a huge fan of shining force and shining in the darkness (this track was first composed for and used in SITD) i was really enthusiastic to learn that gray was working on one. the final result is delicious and this is the best shining-related remix lying on the web as of today.

tension, mood and execution were ingeniously applied; the audio production is more than respectable, and the remix also benefits from clever ideas/buildups/transitions. excellent job breaking the original track apart and organising the melodies differently to obtain a more soundtrack-oriented feel.

the percussion job was also appreciated, with many different feels and some subtle elements as well. some drum rolls felt a bit mechanical, but for a sampled ensemble the overall drum work is most enjoyable. lovely instrumentation, nice choir hits and i also love the apparition of some more exotic oriented instruments in some parts.

some really evasive nitpicks would concern some of the staccato lines here and there that could have been embellished/harmonised more instead of using single notes; those were the only aspects that reminded me of the "new age" gray :)

to sum it up, a great great remix with a lot of contrast and nice concept, all that supported by good sound design and production. i really recommend everyone to check this one out. it's hands down the best shining force 1 remix i ever heard :)

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This is one of the best damn remixes I've heard yet!

Now if there were more Shining Force remixes produced.

I really didn't care for "Force of Light" as it

was heavy in Techno, that was too much for me.

It introduced the Shining series to OC Remix and

hopefully bring more in, that's what matters.

Shining Force CD's soundtrack was kickass.

Maybe someone will work with that or other

Shining games.

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Another great piece by Graylightning to add to the playlist. When I think GrayLightning I don't think driving "military-esque" music but I love the percussion work especially. Love to see more Shining Force remixes. Especially by talented remixers like him.

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As member of the Shining Force Central community and a longtime SF fan, I can honestly say I'm truly disappointed in this song. It has forthrightly ruined one of the best tracks on the original SF soundtrack. I do not like it at all.

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If to compare with the original version we will see that this remix is perpetual on to an incredible orchestra of the original version.

The work was incredible, arrived at an important conclusion, this remix could be introduced in a more recent game version.

I believe In This.

Good work, GrayLightning! :nicework:

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I don't think I've played the original SF yet. That gives me a project today outside of downloading gobs of ubercool remixes! And this is definitly one of them. I've only heard the midi of the original tune but as a mix of it and even as a stand-alone piece, it's wonderful. Very FFTish which gives it kudos right there from me. :) Very professional. Clean. *melts* Must go play th'game now...

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This is an amazing remix of an amazing game. Shining Force is an old favorite of mine, and I must commend Graylightning for the work he has done with the music. 'Tis a shame there aren't more Shining Force remixes out there...

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I love this remix, its just so hot.

The vocals are well timed, I really get off on the fast moving violens while the background fades away. The drums come in perfectly. Its just an amazing piece of work.

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This is one serious remix. The vocals are well done, which you don't see very often. Very dark and militaristic, something to play war games to. Definately an addition to my UT2004 playlist.

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...I've come to the conclusion I was bit wrong about my first review.

I'll say yes, it is a good song -- but as a remix I'm still a bit disappointed. The overall handling of the source material is less-than-superior -- the original melodies get drowned out in the massive arrangements.

That is not to say that is not good. It is, in fact, excellent, to the point of being a mini-masterpiece.

But ONLY as a stand-alone tune. It does not go well with the original song. Which, in this small case, is actually alright.

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...I've come to the conclusion I was bit wrong about my first review.

I'll say yes, it is a good song -- but as a remix I'm still a bit disappointed. The overall handling of the source material is less-than-superior -- the original melodies get drowned out in the massive arrangements.

That is not to say that is not good. It is, in fact, excellent, to the point of being a mini-masterpiece.

But ONLY as a stand-alone tune. It does not go well with the original song. Which, in this small case, is actually alright.

My arrangements tend to be liberal and can divide opinions. :) In this case, I wanted to explore some of the other elements. Cheers for giving it another chance though and reposting a follow up. It's cool and interesting to hear you found some enjoyment though for other reasons.

Thanks.

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When I first heard this a couple of years ago, I had a lot of trouble hearing Shining Force in it. I didn't enjoy the piece back then, and this style doesn't appeal to me that much, but right now I appreciate it better. There are some good intensity and feel changes. I also like the synth elements thrown in with the orchestra. Overall it stays a bit samey despite different parts and variations, I feel that the part that begins at 2:00 is too close to the beginning. Nevertheless, a good listen.

--Eino

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A little on the liberal side, but it still carries a lot of excitement. I loved the percussion and the strings. I think a few additional dynamic elements would have improved it, but overall it's a pretty good track. :-)

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Mixes like this used to be my thing back when I was a new to the site. I ate this stuff up and ignored pretty much everything else that wasn't orchestrated (and well-orchestrated, at that). And while I'm happy that my taste and appreciation has broadened a great deal, it's easy to see why I gravitated to mixes like this one.

It marries complexity with an almost visceral satisfaction, and even at a naive age I could understand that. You've really got to love the layered approach to the production and the great use of vocals, strings and brass. Fantastically cinematic, and restrained at the same time. The nice break from the escalating violins in the bridge is really cool and one of my favourite moments. This is full of remarkable little touches and comes out incredibly refined because of it.

It's mixes like this one that made me such a mega-fanboy for this site and the music on it. Truly impeccable work. Now where the eff is GrayLightning? I feel like I'm praising to a brick wall here.

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