The long-awaited Chrono Trigger/Cross arrangement album finally did happen... sort of. I was paying on and off attention, so it escaped my notice for a year. "To Far Away Times," a musical sequel to the 3 arcs in Chrono Cross' soundtrack. Most tracks have been coarranged by guests--not necessarily a bad thing, but it may disappoint people who were looking for a concentrated effort from Yasunori Mitsuda.
Schala's Theme arranged by Yasunori Mitsuda and Millennial Fair, To Far Away Times
This one's an instrumental from another performance, but they released a fantastic version with vocals from Laura Shigihara. Yes, indie Laura Shigihara who worked on Plants vs. Zombies, and To The Moon; I had to double check too. Following that, the arrangements are vocal-heavy this time, including renditions of Time's Scar, Radical Dreamers (well, yeah), and a few others. Oh, and that Bend of Time clip I posted long ago FINALLY got its full version, would you have it!
It's different, it's high quality, it's nice. I only wouldn't say it's the Chrono Album to Rule Them All like I had hoped. To start with, the Radical Dreamers remaster from Colours of Light was already more than good, and I didn't feel especially that there needed to be another.
I always have a list of songs to run through wherever a new pair of speakers or headphones is concerned. Umm, maybe "wherever a new pair of speakers/headphones" makes it seem a strangely common occurrence. See I pretty much maxed out my credit card this month because my brother wanted to collect a fifth pair of headphones, among some other frivolous garbage. It's not really me!
Anyway, the list includes both some of the best and worst audio I have on file.
Repulsa from God Eater & Rage Burst 2
Radical Dreamers remastered
The Last Song from Drakengard 3
Class--CIEL_NOSURGE; from Genometric Concert
Snow in Summer from NieR (still legitimately one of the best soundtracks but lol this song)
Seere's Prayer -In the Sky- from Drakengard 3 DLC: always gotta do it
Now that FFXV video up there sounds awful! Darn if I don't like it though, it's great. It's probably just the video.
I take back what I said against those headphones (Hifiman HE400i). They've easily my favourite sound out of the bunch. Punchy, crisp, enough blending so you don't get overwhelmed. It's only lacking in some sound stage, but eeeh, I'd say these headphones are certified Actually Pretty Good.
And there's a cleaner version of this song, which is doubly wonderful. Pointless 4K video aside.
How does Symphonic Fantasies Tokyo have so few views?
Come stand amidst the storm! What an incredible intro. Secret of Mana was always my favourite one out of the main four (they're all amazing in their own way, it's entirely personal preference), and I think this version is even more powerful than WDR's.
My copy of Symphonic Fantasies Tokyo came in recently. I'd heard this album some few hundred times by now, but I only got to try it on the sound system today.
I almost cried. I-it's so beautiful, I can't...!
I tried to explain to my mom why the instruments making a "wark-wark-wark" sound was so clever. She didn't care. I also said that I liked the cello better this time, although I really meant, with no way of expressing it, that the cello was sweet enough to make all your teeth fall out. Shoot, oh well, my folks love it anyway. Mmm that One-Winged Angel :D.
To my surprise, this pack of double CDs contained another bonus track (Suteki Da Ne, running at 3:43). The last time that happened, we got the final boss medley. The final boss medley is one of my favourite things ever, so you might imagine my quiet excitement here. I have to admit, I got a little disappointed to find "just" a piano arrangement. Firstly, a piano version of Suteki Da Ne already exists by the man Hamauzu himself. Then the original had a very strong melody, and I thought the improvisation was too liberal. It's hardly bad by any means, but those are my feelings on it.
I'd post the arrangement, but it doesn't exist on the Internet. I'm surprised to find that this does, though:
I love how it sounds like the cover art style looks. Straight out of the 90s.
And come to think again, it may not be that much of a surprise, considering that this channel has frickin' Dinosaur.
Oh, what could have been. I think this game didn't have enough play-testing, and what play-testing done was probably by devs. There were several maps between which the movement controls reversed (so up was down in one map, and down was up in the next). Now the load times were also ridiculously long, so getting confused here could get you stuck in a several minutes loop of going between maps.
Also one part they sat you with two members of the party, with tuning that assumed you had been leveling them the whole time. If you hadn't, which you may not have if you didn't like those characters, ahem... Well, you were probably condemned with dying repeatedly when something so much as breathed at you.
The developers might have been fans of Shadow Hearts, because they made a demonic battle system of pressing the correct buttons to a timed sequence. Actually, I think that was ok. It was the other stuff that was less ok.
They even had an Xbox sequel, which was better, but not hugely. The battle system completely changed after I guess everyone demonized the old one. Now you could spend a few seconds hitting things, and the rest of the time staring at the screen because your character got fatigued. Maybe it wasn't so surprising that the sequel was also mildly received.
Regardless that I wouldn't really recommend it either, I thought Magna Carta 2 had some top hilarity. Like the time the protagonist encountered someone who looked shockingly similar to himself. That was, similar besides the Skrillex hair, long witch nails, and androgynous fashion (so, not really similar until they insist). Whereas I first thought the protagonist had performed binary fission and lost his memory in the process, it turned out that there was just a lot of him running around. Darn, there went that totally feasible hypothesis.
You spend about the first twenty hours not knowing what's going on, because every time they get around to an explanation, either the person grandly reveals they don't know anything, or they get interrupted. Oh, the interruptions. They may as well have come in on parachutes. I mean, close enough: one time someone started talking, and a portal opened in the sky that spewed monsters. After a point, dragging something beyond undeath becomes an artform.
I also enjoyed the tutorial. You have friends teaching you to press the right bumper and X, because the protagonist got amnesia, and he forgot how to press the right bumper and X to defeat the enemy
Man I love this, it's the kind of music I wouldn't normally expect to be my thing but darn does it do it so well.
I can see the argument of the original Nier's OST being more "charming" in its own way. Nier 1's entire soundtrack was perfectly serious, whereas now we have some Emil doo ree roo ree roo, la lu la lu lah infamy. Then there's some moody ambiance, reminiscent of Drakengard 3, a bit filler-y sounding. The only issue with Gestalt/Replicant was that it had pretty bad audio, but that got cleaned up in Automata.
What good tracks we have now (and there are many) are really good. Yes, Automata is ace. Couldn't have expected otherwise.
Wow spoilers with some of those characters hanging out in the background. (In actuality, I have zero issue with Falcom's method of handling spoilers. If the sequel is coming out, it's gloves-off, casual spoiler bombing for previous games. Anticipation, not revelation, if you ask me. ;D)
Also why does the main battle theme have the fullest most ballen' rock accompaniment, but one of the leads is still a cruddy synth string sample oh my god.