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Thread Author: NeoGeoNinja
Thread ID: 3149
Thread Info
There are 4 posts in this thread, and it has been viewed 1982 times.
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ACTUAL GAME vs IN-GAME MUSIC...
NeoGeoNinja
IN SHORT...
1) what game do you consider average/poor actually made up for by it's amazing soundtrack
2) what game do you consider average/poor partially down to it's rubbish soundtrack

Below are my (long-winded!) examples... Grin

------------------------------

THIS PARTICULAR SUBJECT...
was sprung clearly into view whilst looking over my games collection, selecting the odd title here and there for the 'eBay Basket'.

My PS1 collection has been the most scrutinised as off late due to a combination of unemployment vs very good prices for certain titles. Anyway...

This process has made me put some games on that I haven't played in a while and in particular, there's one title in the collection (of 3D fighters) that I remembered liking, but couldn't remember why.

THE SPECIFIC GAME...
I am now referring to is: Kensei - Sacred Fist.

Now, I don't know how many of you have ever played this game but, it's basically Konami's first proper stab at making a 3D fighter to rival the likes of Tekken & VF back in the 32-bit era. Needless to say - as you may never have heard of it - it failed. And there is ONE good reason why: the gameplay lacks. It doesn't completely suck, but it's just, well, not a very engaging experience. I admit though, I do have a soft-spot for this game as I feel it was a VERY ambitious attempt by Konami (with loads of unlockable characters etc) but it just misses the mark - due to bad gameplay and the characters are pretty amusing (unintentionally!) and uninteresting...

WHAT IS INTERESTING...
however, is the soundtrack! The music to this game is quite simply awesome and some of the best music I've ever heard in a fighting game - in particular 3D fighters. This is by no means thanks to Konami's Akira Yamaoka of (Silent Hill fame) having his involvement with the musical composition.

Whilst each level of gameplay etc is MUCH BETTER in rival videogame titles, the in-game music in Kensei makes it a definite keeper! Like I said before I DO actually enjoy the game too, but the music definitely adds a huge appeal to the game for me. IF the music was dull or boring, I doubt I'dve hung on to the game this long. It's true... The music adds to the experience.

------------------------------

NOW ON THE FLIP-SIDE...
of this discussion, we have games that can be made or broken by their lack of or indeed inclusion of a bad soundtrack. I know for some this is one of the SOLE issue's they have with KOF 97. It's a great game but I can understand why people would prefer 96 or 98 over it - as for some (including myself) a great soundtrack is key to enjoyment - pretty much like food I guess. The smell has to be great to accompany the flavour - they complement each other!

NOW MY PRIME EXAMPLE...
of a promising video game experience that was COMPLETELY let down by it's horrific soundtrack has to be (without doubt) Marvel VS Capcom 2. The music, amongst other negatives (i.e. crap BKGD designs - IN 3D, 3D effects > 2D, long-winded 3 on 3 battle's, 4-button layout etc) had a really BIG IMPACT on my dislike for this game. I'll agree, that when I first fired up MVC2 on my DC on it's release date I was overwhelmed and couldn't wait to get to grips with the HUGE roster and mix and match characters from the previous titles, which I loved all of up until 'this' point' - and initially, it was all good.

But once that gimmick had worn off (a week or two) I lost interest in the game and have always gone back to the original Marvel titles and VS games on the Saturn - as pound for pound - they're better games - smaller roster or not. And one key element in help making those games great and memorable was the music (and nice backgrounds) of which MVC2 got tragically wrong.

I could live with the BKGD's being poor, but the music in videogames is VERY key for me as part of the experience. I have a friend who used to turn the sound off and put a CD on 'over the top', but it defeats the point for me - as usually, the music is tailor made for the game. God only know's what they were thinking when they made MVC2! Here's to MVC3 repairing the damage. Thumbs Up

------------------------------

HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES...
of the in-game from Kensei. If you like any of this, the rest can be found on the guy's YouTube channel Smile

YouTube Video


YouTube Video


YouTube Video


YouTube Video

i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv359/NeoGeoNinja/NGNsignatureRev1.jpg
 
boogiepop
I'm trying desperately to adhere to your guidelines and not make this a debate about music solely but... aw hell...

I listened to a couple of those Kensei tracks as well as some MVC 2 ones to compare and I was really shocked at what I heard. Now, I could understand if this were a simple matter of differing tastes but I actually think its more than that. Allow me to explain and no, I'm not trying to start an argument or be a jerk. I'm just having a very difficult time understanding your complaints/praises. I'm going to compare the first tracks I heard from Kensei and MVC2, being Garage and River Stage respectively.

The first thing I'd like to point out is the selection of instruments. How many can you find in Garage? How many can you discern in River Stage?
Garage is largely dominated my guitars and drums whereas River Stage employs a full horn section, including bass through alto saxes, electric bass, keyboards, and drums with occasional singing to boot. Now this wouldn't make such a difference if not for point 2...

How would you rate the complexity of each arrangement? Kensei generally sticks to the "do it four times, then do something else" concept. The only significant break in the guitar riffs is at around 1:05 but even this is totally predictable. Tell me you didn't wholly expect the drums and bass to kick back in at 1:16 (though you've probably heard it enough times now that it'd be difficult for you to pretend hearing it for the first time). In any case, I knew it was coming. It's very old hat.

Now let's look at River Stage: within just the first few seconds we get a complex intro with the rythme section (electric bass and drums) laying down a groove with the horn section jumping in to surprise you. Suddenly all the instruments come in together to tell you "yeah, things have started" and the singing starts. But wait... it doesn't last long and the horn section begins to dominate, with altos jumping out to make short little "solos" if you will. Then we get a break with just the drums and bass and... we're not even a minute in yet.

Okay, so River Stage has a more complex arrangement and interesting assortment of instruments. What does it matter? Well, it doesn't - so long as you're not arguing that the music is Tailor Made To The Game. MVC2 shows serious effort whereas Kensei, quite frankly, does not. Maybe you don't feel that fusion jazz has any place in fighting games, but at least Capcom went about it in a serious manner. Kensei has that garage band feel which to me, smacks of negligence. And anyway, what kind of music does your friend play over his games? I'm guessing it's more guitar driven rock (unless you're going to surprise me and tell me it's country western). MVC2 should at the very least be the more original one (and wouldn't that also make it more"tailor made?).

I apologize since I know this comes off as an attack on your musical taste. I just don't understand where you're coming from. I'd actually like to try MVC2 now!

Anyway, to get back on topic... Bad game with awesome music - Chakan. Good game with bad music - 97 was the first thing that came to mind (though would simple lack of music count?). God I hate that amusement park stage.
Edited by boogiepop on 14. February 2011 15:39
If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
 
boogiepop
Sorry, I'm a total bitch. Not really an excuse but I've got a tonsil like a golf ball and it's got me all out of sorts.
If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
 
STE C
Umm as a lover of music and amateur ( dodgy bassist) musician myself I do think music is an important part of gaming and like Boogiepop & Ninja I do listen out for ( not purposely) instrument/ music arrangement's in games. I dont think you need to apologize Boogiepop its a free thinking site with comments and debates welcome, not rating the music is fine as you have gave a logical reason why as opposed to saying its crap. I actually think its pretty good for a 90s game if maybe a bit mish mash as you described.

So interesting thread Ninja, one of them ones only you could come up withThumbs Up, I will start by saying that I also own Kensie ( a cdr from about 99) and although I have not played it for 10 years I do recall enjoying it, obviously me being a big fan of Yie Ar Kung Fu any Konami beat em up ( which is a rare thing) got me a little exciced at the time.

On the subject of KOF97 I think the game suffers terribly due to the lack of you know what, shame as a good soundtrack might have made this preferable to KOF 96/95 for me and a good alternative to 98 for my 90s KOF kicks. The game in general especially the backgrounds are great but it feels empty because of the lack of music I reckon. Funny thing is I am sure I have read somewhere that KOF 97 was the highest grossing KOF of the 90s ( correct me if I am wrong and I cant recall were i read it).

As for people who play music cds when they are playing games, well I sometimes used to do it when I was younger but now I never do, perhaps with me being a bit older and hopefully more cultured I would rather listen to the effort the musicians have put into the game. Yet I did play Ghosts 1-4 by Nine Inch Nails last year when I was playing Quake on the Dreamcast as the copy I have does not have the NIN effects on it and this seemed to tie in rather well ( suppose it should as its the same bloke/genius done the original music/effects).

As for listening to game music when I am not playing games, well when I was decorating last week I put my NGCD version of SS4 in the hifi and it was fantastic it really put me in a sublime state of mind. I also have the soundtrack to Shenmue which can bring a tear to my eye when listend to with a nice glass of wine ( surely the purpose of beautiful music is to stir emotions).

Er I recall Kensie had some cowboy type fighter/wrestler bloke, even for 99 standards that was a poor character design.

Word of note, I recently went to see an up and coming indie band here in Carlisle who were very good indeed. after the gig I got chatting to the band and was not surprised to hear that they have to gig & gig like slaves just to earn a living due to the fact that unless you are an established artist or made your money before about 2003 it was near impossible to become wealthy or even earn a reasonable wage from being in a band. This is due to the intenet/downloads ect, they said net is great for info and getting your music heard but very few people are seldom honest and actually pay for the music. They were actually supporting a VERY big 90s band called The Bluetones, who now are also constantly gigging because they cant make a living off record sales ( although their commercial appeal has waned ) it makes you wonder if new bands wont just give up. I know a life of doing something you love is worthwhile, but if you cant make a living out of it when it would have made you wealthy ten years ago must be a sickener.
This brings me to this point, I reckon musicians who contribute towards successful videogames will have their music heard by a much larger margin than even the most established bands.
Edited by STE C on 15. February 2011 11:02
 
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