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  #61  
Old Sep 30, 2015, 02:40 AM
Chris Chris is offline
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I tried to leave this a bit ambiguous just like the credits. There's no definitive proof that Kazumi Totaka composed for Pikmin 2 but very likely he had a major role determining the music's direction either way. Having only listened to the original Pikmin score, does the Pikmin 2 score have any Totaka fingerprints? Whether musical or how it is integrated into the game?
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  #62  
Old Aug 20, 2016, 10:19 AM
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Jormungand Jormungand is offline
 
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While Wakai did not compose for Star Fox Zero, he did act as sound supervisor alongside Kondo.
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  #63  
Old Mar 14, 2017, 02:12 PM
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As many of you know by know, Wakai served as the sound director for Breath of the Wild, and was featured in a mini-documentary (along with other lead staff) about the game. If somebody wants to find a good still-shot from the video, you could use that as the new image.
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  #64  
Old Dec 18, 2019, 12:02 PM
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Kinda surprised to see so much love for Wakai. I always thought he was one of the weaker composers at Nintendo. Star Fox 64 is good, but a lot of it blends together in my mind, the two songs he did for F-Zero X were easily my least favorites, and I wasn't too crazy about most of the battle themes in Wind Waker. Nintendogs is one of the few games I can think of where the soundtrack was annoying to the point that it made me want to stop playing. Star Fox Command was mostly obnoxious as well, but that's not entirely Wakai's fault. That game was repetitive by design: you mostly hear the first 20-40 seconds of each song over and over, and even the most amazing soundtrack ever wouldn't change that. Out of the context of the game, it's decent but unremarkable. Pikmin 1 had nice music, but I don't remember a lot from 2...

I don't hate his work (Nintendogs aside), but it doesn't resonate with me in the same way as Kondo, Yokota, Nagamatsu, or even Minegishi.

That said, there are a handful of Wakai tracks that I really like. Zoness and Aquas in Star Fox 64 are quite lovely, and Star Wolf's theme is a classic. I like Forest of Hope, Forest Navel, and Distant Spring in Pikmin. I was mixed on Skyward Sword at first, but there's a lot to like. I find Ballad of the Goddess and most of the overworld themes boring, but I like a lot of the cutscene, event, and boss themes (e.g. Fi's theme, Ghirahim's theme, Groose's Theme, Stalfos Battle), and some dungeon themes are pretty good as well, though I prefer the more ambient approach of the previous 3D games. I can also respect Skyward Sword for trying to push the Zelda series music in new directions, rather than relying on callbacks to Ocarina of Time.
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  #65  
Old Dec 18, 2019, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blob View Post
Kinda surprised to see so much love for Wakai. I always thought he was one of the weaker composers at Nintendo. Star Fox 64 is good, but a lot of it blends together in my mind,
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.

Yes, I love Kondo and I think it's a travesty how no one ever talks about SMW and the brilliant Zelda-esque drama of the fortress theme or the Forest Map BGM from or its absolutely impeccably-composed boss theme (one of the best all-time boss themes, like top ten, including JRPGs).

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.

But Wakai--he composes like no one else. I still can't adequately describe it. My only complaint is no Wakai's fault; that Nintendo has no placed him in a supervisory role not unlike Kondo's, and that he composes far less than he used to. 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.

Quote:
I was mixed on Skyward Sword at first, but there's a lot to like. I find Ballad of the Goddess and most of the overworld themes boring, but I like a lot of the cutscene, event, and boss themes (e.g. Fi's theme, Ghirahim's theme, Groose's Theme, Stalfos Battle), and some dungeon themes are pretty good as well, though I prefer the more ambient approach of the previous 3D games. I can also respect Skyward Sword for trying to push the Zelda series music in new directions, rather than relying on callbacks to Ocarina of Time.
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.
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  #66  
Old Dec 20, 2019, 01:20 PM
Blob Blob is offline
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Quote:
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.

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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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