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Old Dec 20, 2019, 01:20 PM
Blob Blob is offline
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Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
To answer your post in general, let's use SF64 as an example. Wakai did the majority of the score, and did not reference any of Kondo's themes in his work. I, like anyone else, appreciate the protean genius of Kondo as displayed in tracks 1-7 of this soundtrack. And then tracks 8-18 happen, and suddenly there's this striking shift in style and composition that is unforgettable. SF64 is always a stunning listen during this particular set, because from the technical beginning of the "game" (track 8), there's a constant string of brilliantly orchestrated compositions that do not let up in energy or finesse, not even for a second. I would even go so far as to call it one of the most consistently excellent, unbroken sequences of music in any game soundtrack ever. There is no downtime. There's a constant stream of inventive ideas and melody, all packaged into tightly-woven orchestral set-pieces from track 8 to 18.
I might need to give the soundtrack another listen then. What you're describing sounds compelling, but not really reflective of my impressions of the OST. I'm mostly speaking from my experiences playing the game: there's only a handful of tracks I've given a serious listen. For what it's worth, it's probably my favorite Wakai score.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
And he's the finest orchestral mind Nintendo has ever had, including the guy they usually give orchestration jobs to (Yokota), who is far less adept at the real work of orchestration.
That's a pretty bold claim. I can't say Yokota is one of my favorite composers, and I can't really speak about the quality of his orchestration, but I honestly can't think of a single Wakai soundtrack that's as impactful as Yokota's work on 3D World and the Galaxy games. How do you feel about Naoto Kubo's work on Super Mario Odyssey?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
Yes, Soyo Oka's genius passed by in the blink of an eye following the birth and death of the NES/SNES cycle, and no one really knows how good an RPG soundtrack from her would have been. Super Mario Kart will never reiterate SMK's perfection, and you don't know VGM until you've imagined a fully-arranged Yuuyuuki score.
Yeah, It's a shame Oka left. I'd love to have seen what she'd be able to do if she'd stayed at Nintendo. Sim City's soundtrack was also quite good, but far too repetitive for a game of its genre; even the best songs got irritating fairly quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
You're naming a number of tracks not composed by Wakai here. But you are pointing out the different style of direction, which Wakai helmed. Wakai is responsible for designing the SS score like a JRPG, which I think was genius. LTTP continues to be my favorite score, but SS shares way more of its DNA than OoT--less atmospheric, more direct. BGM as a focus, rather than a backdrop. A brave gamble on Wakai's part, and it paid off.
I wouldn't call Skyward Sword "brave" considering "direct" music is what the general public seems to want from Zelda music (see the tepid reception to BOTW's soundtrack), but I respect Wakai for helming a soundtrack that doesn't just fall back on rearranging or reiterating on previous Zelda themes.
But when I think back on my first playthrough of Skyward Sword, the tracks that stand out the most turned out to all be Takeshi Hama's work, not Wakai, Fujii, or Yokota. On top of that, the tracks I like the least are also the ones that play the most often, especially the flying theme. Still a good soundtrack, just not a personal favorite.
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