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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, '15, 3:41 am 
I totally agree about the older game music versus newer thing. I'm a sucker for memorable melodies and strong rhythms and all the things that make the older songs epic, and I just generally don't hear it in modern soundtracks. It's all gotten so orchestral and symphonic and cinematic that nothing is memorable anymore, it all sounds the same, for the most part. That said, there's still good stuff, I loved Xenoblade, for example, that soundtrack was amazing. It managed to be sweeping and orchestral while also extremely melodic and memorable.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, '15, 2:37 pm 
Bragatyr wrote:It's all gotten so orchestral and symphonic and cinematic that nothing is memorable anymore, it all sounds the same, for the most part.

I have to say, I feel that's an unfair overgeneralization at best. Orchestral, symphonic, cinematic I can agree on to a point, but "cinematic" is one of those terms that I know what you mean but is kind of hard to really define. But saying it all sounds the same because of those three things is stretching it bigtime, at least in my opinion. I feel it's like saying Rush sounds the same as Pink Floyd because they use a similar set of instruments. Or saying Amon Amarth sounds the same as Insomnium because they're both melodic death metal bands. Or Beethoven sounds like Berlioz because they both wrote music for orchestras. Looking at the first three things I posted last page, I think saying Far Cry 3 sounds like The Last of Us sounds like Remember Me is blowing off what all three games have to offer musically off without giving them any consideration at all. They hold very little in common, even though words like cinematic, orchestral, and symphonic can apply to them at some level to varying degrees. None of those three things means there can't be good, interesting and memorable melodies - see The Last of Us theme for an example (at least in my opinion), which is on page 3 of this thread (and calling that one orchestral and symphonic is really a stretch, as it's far more acoustic than anything else). There are common threads and elements, but common threads and elements are not the same thing as sounding the same. Tracks from all three games, and many other modern games, are very memorable for me, just as memorable as some of the tracks from my favorite retro classics.

If I said that the music of older games all sounds the same because they're all a bouncy, melodic simple collection of beeps and boops (well, said it and meant it seriously) I hope everyone on this site would laugh me off this forum and into the internet's time-out corner. It's an overgeneralizing dismissal based on a couple adjectives and common threads that are true on some level, but are analogous to scratching the surface of a diamond with a toothpick - it's looking at it from the most superfluous, surface-level standpoint possible, and barely even trying to get any deeper than that. I feel brushing off modern soundtracks because of a few adjectives like symphonic, orchestral and cinematic that often apply at some level is very similar. Games, and the music that go with them has changed and I fully accept different opinions on that overall change, including the music. If one generally prefers the style of either retro game music over new game music (or vice versa) I can totally get that. But generalizing one or the other is all too easy and as with many generalizations, they only go so far (usually not very) before exceptions and variations are found all over the place.

That said, I think talking about music of any type has these questions. You can talk different elements and styles of any song or genre until the cows stampede home, but no amount of discussion is going to get at why a given piece may be awesome, loved and very memorable for one person, but the same piece is 'eh,' disliked or ignored and wholly forgettable to someone else. And neither of those individuals are necessarily wrong, because in music, eventually you leave the realm of the objective elements and enter the realm of the subjective preference.

Last edited by Wolf Bird on Sun Mar 15, '15, 9:29 pm, edited 5 times in total.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, '15, 5:18 pm 
I kind of agree with Wolf Bird. Even though most games do use that orchestral synth, they rarely sound like symphonic music. I'd say that would be pretty nice if it did, though. Kind of like how Castlevania sometimes goes for a baroque-ish sound in their games. Like, I wouldn't be complaining if this was a videogame soundtrack :p (think around like 4:07)

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, '15, 2:22 am 
Dragon Age: Inquisition has the official soundtrack (a lot of which arguably follows the "orchestral" trend, which I don't mind, though I do miss the trombones in the main theme of the first two games), and then the separate "Tavern Songs" collection.* I always liked the tavern music in the first two games and thought they were among the best tracks, so having ten in one game is even better! My favorite of the collection is "Sera Was Never" - players tend to either love or hate Sera as a character, but there's no denying that the song is SUPER catchy!

*The tavern songs didn't come with the official soundtrack, but Bioware released the collection of MP3s for free not too long ago. As a bonus, during the free giveaway weekend, they also made available PDFs with the melody, lyrics, and chords for those ten songs. Yay!

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, '15, 11:17 am 
Bragatyr, if you prefer older electronic game music, you are bound to think like you do. I sort of share your opinion but some newer games still wield really powerful and memorable songs.

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