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Motoi Sakuraba Appreciation Thread


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This composer has ranked to be one of my all time favorites ever since I was first exposed to his work via Star Ocean 2 & Valkyrie Profile. It's hard for me to explain what makes him special, but he just has his knack for making epic orchestral tracks along with some rockin' battle themes and tear-jerking soothing melodies for towns. He also manages to use synth like a boss in some of his tracks. He almost feels like a one-man progressive rock band to me.

Even though I'm making this thread partly as a shameless plug for a project I'm running, I'd love to get some discussion going on. What are your favorite Sakuraba-composed games and sountracks? Why do think he's amazing? What are his negatives? Thoughts on his recent work for Kid Icarus: Uprising? YouTube links to your favorite works by him are also appreciated.

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I didn't really care about who did VG music until I played Star Ocean 2. I've always liked VG music but the music in SO2 made the game so much better. After I learned who he was I realized he was in several earlier favorites of mine like Final Zone on the Genesis.

My only beefages with the guy were with the Star Ocean 4 soundtrack. A few awesome tracks aside it wasn't quite what the Star Ocean 3 OST was. Which was amazing. Stab the sword of justice from SO2 i thought got a pretty crappy remake in SO4.

My favorites:

0:50 Stage 1 Final Zone

So3 Battle music

So3 Confidence in the Domination

My favorite track from SO2
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I will now link one song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0J3l9NC8bY

'Nuff said. GENIUUUSSSS Agh I guess enough wasn't sad yet. He's a genius.

I will now list the soundtracks I've heard (mostly games I've played)

Tales of Vesperia

Golden Sun

Star Ocean 3: Till The End of Time

Star Ocean 4: The Last Hope

Infinite Undiscovery

Resonance of Fate

Eternal Sonata

May not be a ton of his work I've heard, but it's enough for me to fall in love with

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I'm not that familiar with Motoi's newer stuff, as I mostly heard his 16-bit soundtracks in games like Earnest Evans, Sol-Deace, Arcus Odyssey and Granada on the Genesis. He used the same basic sound fonts for his music, which made his OSTs stand out because of their familiar feel going from game to game. Of course, there was also the fact that the OSTs contained good music with catchy beats and such, but that's beside the point ;-)

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Sakuraba wrote the music in over half the games I've played...which means I've played too many Tales games :) Anyway he writes some of the best battle themes. Even if sometimes they sound similar to each other, they still rock. His other stuff is solid usually.

I think my favorite of his works is Valkyrie Profile and Tales of Phantasia.

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Holy crap. Yes. I adore Motoi Sakuraba. <3

A couple favorites of mine from him are the Star Ocean 2 and Valkyrie Profile soundtracks. Phenomenal stuff.

That was one of the first themes I heard when I popped in Star Ocean 2 for the first time, and I knew I was in for a treat.
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This song alone hits hard, especially if you've played even a bit of Valkyrie Profile. The scenes this song is associated with... phew. Potent.

Oh yeah. When this plays with the cut-scenes, it's tear jerking. BTW, the arranged OST of Valkyrie Profile is just epic. While I love the original "Valhalla" track, the arranged version is one of my absolute favorite VGMs ever!

This. This. Man...absolutely epic. Still give it a listen to this very day.

I will now link one song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0J3l9NC8bY

'Nuff said. GENIUUUSSSS Agh I guess enough wasn't sad yet. He's a genius.

Hell yes. The synth in this track is just beyond cool! I love the music of Star Ocean 4, and this track is one of my favorites as well. Since we're talking dungeon themes, here's one that I like from SO4 as well:

Man...the bass in this one, absolutely awesome. Headphones required.

Has anyone picked up his solo album Force of Light off of itunes?

He has an album on iTunes? Is it available in the NA store? 'cause I will go get that immediately if it is!

Holy crap. Yes. I adore Motoi Sakuraba. <3

A couple favorites of mine from him are the Star Ocean 2 and Valkyrie Profile soundtracks. Phenomenal stuff.

That was one of the first themes I heard when I popped in Star Ocean 2 for the first time, and I knew I was in for a treat.

An arranged version of Rena's theme, eh? Forgot this track existed, but hey, it's Rena's theme...like, one of the best character themes EVER. Dale North's OCR arrangement is highly recommended.

Speaking of which, have you guys ever seen his live videos? You gotta see the amount of keyboards this guy surrounds himself with:

He should do more live concerts! I'd go if it's close. :)

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Geeeez. The man loves his keyboards, don't he?

IIRC, he played synth in a prog rock band before composing game soundtracks.

I've also got to chime in with Sakuraba love. The Star Ocean 2 and Valkryie Profile arranged albums were -- and still are -- some of my very favorite game compositions. Just listen to the bleak emotion poured into "Nigh to the Twilight of All"!

And can't help but love how the man rearranges his own music.

Also one of the most funky, underrated villain themes:

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Oh YES! I decided a long time ago that my favorite game soundtrack of all time is Star Ocean 3's. Star Ocean 2 blew my mind because I was young and impressionable but I felt that Star Ocean 3 just improved on it in a lot of ways.

Awesome Star Ocean 3 moments:

Fighting a big-ass dragon to this:

Walking on beautiful plains to this:

Freaking out and yelling, "THE VENDEENI!?" to this:

HELL YEAH!

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I haven't play Golden Sun but I hear that the soundtrack is awesome.

Motoi Soundtracks in the order I heard them.

Star Ocean 2

Valkyrie Profile

Baten Kaitos

Star Ocean 3

Valkyrie Profile 2

Radiata Stories

Eternal Sonata

Star Ocean 4

Resonance of Fate

If you guys haven't heard CHIPP's Valkyrie Profile remix yet...you have to, it's amazing.

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I haven't play Golden Sun but I hear that the soundtrack is awesome.

Motoi Soundtracks in the order I heard them.

Star Ocean 2

Valkyrie Profile

Baten Kaitos

Star Ocean 3

Valkyrie Profile 2

Radiata Stories

Eternal Sonata

Star Ocean 4

Resonance of Fate

Radiata Stories is not composed by Sakuraba. The bulk of the work was by Noriyuki Iwardre, composer of the Lunar series. Still an absolutely awesome and jazzy OST...and some of Sakuraba's signature tracks make an appearence.

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Radiata Stories is not composed by Sakuraba. The bulk of the work was by Noriyuki Iwardre, composer of the Lunar series. Still an absolutely awesome and jazzy OST...and some of Sakuraba's signature tracks make an appearence.

Iwadare is pretty damn awesome in most of his work, too. The original Grandia is still one of my favorite video game OSTs.

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