VGMdb
Go Back   VGMdb Forums > Discussion > Video Game Music Discussion
Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old Dec 1, 2013, 04:33 PM
Mindphlux Mindphlux is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 45
Default Japanese Soundtracks More Complete...

How come Japanese soundtracks aren't afraid to be 2, even 3 or 4 disc soundtracks while American released soundtracks are usually only 1 disc and often incomplete. Is there a reason why Japan takes the extra effort to include ALL of a soundtrack and America does not?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Dec 1, 2013, 05:00 PM
Phonograph's Avatar
Phonograph Phonograph is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,843
Default

I'm not sure there is an answer to that question
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Dec 1, 2013, 07:09 PM
GoldfishX GoldfishX is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 266
Default

Because for the longest time, VGM was a complete afterthought to most Americans. For Japanese releases, there is a longstanding tradition of releases (both original soundtracks and arranges...check the calender and see how many American releases you see near the beginning) and the medium is given much more respect. Over the past decade or so, this has changed somewhat and the idea of listening to music from videogames is not such a foreign concept to American gamers. So it is more common to see complete releases nowadays for non-Japanese releases (although many times, they are in digital format).
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Dec 1, 2013, 08:24 PM
Ramza Ramza is offline
VGMdb Staff
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,381
Default

I also think that for Western games, many soundtracks were treated akin to film and television score: as musical cues, etc.

So for small, 45-second "variation on the main theme" tracks that exist, they don't get published. But in Japan they do. Recurring motifs of all shapes and sizes get their time in the spotlight, but in American soundtracks we tend to just get the big main version, and not all the tiny variances.

We also tend not to get music that's *too* ambient, doesn't strike enough of a chord that the publisher thinks it's worth publishing. The same has been true of Western film soundtracks (not as egregiously, but certainly it happens!).

But ultimately, even Japanese soundtracks are rarely *100% complete*. Compare the published soundtracks of any 8bit, 16bit, or 32bit RPG with a gamerip of all the audio (or from an in-game soundtest) and things will be missed. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it true that when Capcom made up for the laughably incomplete Breath of Fire III OST (one disc) with the *three disc* version found in the BoF box set ... even THAT three disc set is missing a few songs?

(I could be wrong, but I swear someone told me that...)

Okay, those are my two cents.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Dec 1, 2013, 09:23 PM
GoldfishX GoldfishX is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 266
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramza View Post
I also think that for Western games, many soundtracks were treated akin to film and television score: as musical cues, etc.
I was trying to avoid saying this, but I also felt like there was (is) a number of composers that really tried to run with the idea of VGM as being more akin to a film score, when the technology became available. As if being "game like" was a negative trait. The Japanese have never really cared, they published chiptunes on CD early on and continued with the technological advances of various consoles/computers throughout the years. It's that idealogy why I have a greater degree of respect for Japanese composers, they've just been plugging away at it longer and most of my favorite VGM came early on from them, when most US VGM composers and/or the game developers weren't taking the medium seriously.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Dec 2, 2013, 10:57 AM
pepak's Avatar
pepak pepak is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 193
Default

Not only composers and producers. How many people do you know who are willing to buy a game music CD? It makes little sense to spend thousands of dollars on a product which will be bought by maybe 100 people worldwide.

For some reason such people are much more common in Japan. That's a mystery I'd like to see solved.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Dec 2, 2013, 11:34 AM
GoldfishX GoldfishX is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 266
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pepak View Post
Not only composers and producers. How many people do you know who are willing to buy a game music CD? It makes little sense to spend thousands of dollars on a product which will be bought by maybe 100 people worldwide.

For some reason such people are much more common in Japan. That's a mystery I'd like to see solved.
Eh, you burn/press music to a CD, throw some liner notes on it, add a jewel case and sell it as a companion with the game. Or add like $5 for a full FLAC download. Of course people aren't going to blindly buy a $30 CD online (I have always said one of the problems Japanese VGM has had is the prices, even the normal retail prices before us diehards start importing). But as a companion piece to a game they're buying, it is somewhat of a no-brainer. I mean, if I'm buying a game and I have money left over, I'd probably opt for a soundtrack over a strategy guide, given the two are the same price.

To me, is simple marketing. Add-on sales for complimentary goods.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Dec 2, 2013, 12:32 PM
Mortavia's Avatar
Mortavia Mortavia is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 141
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramza View Post
whole post
Agreed on everything! I've always thought that Western soundtracks select the "best" songs to release on soundtrack, the songs that people will be "most interested" in hearing (as if we don't want to hear it all, folks!).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramza View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it true that when Capcom made up for the laughably incomplete Breath of Fire III OST (one disc) with the *three disc* version found in the BoF box set ... even THAT three disc set is missing a few songs?
Yeah, that's true! I think it was missing some weird variation of Escape and... something else... but I'm pretty sure it was still missing a couple songs.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Dec 13, 2013, 06:44 PM
Jodo Kast Jodo Kast is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Missouri
Posts: 318
Default

The most notable example that comes to mind where the West clearly outdid the East was the Perfect Dark soundtrack (N64 version). It was going to be released in Japan, but was cancelled. Not only was it released in the U.S., but it was complete.
__________________
Switch Friend Code = SW-0516-9380-0234
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anno 2070 Complete Edition Soundtracks AcidBeast Album Discussions 1 Feb 19, 2016 01:49 PM
JAPANESE TV DRAMA SUMMER SEASON 2015 - List of composers & soundtracks Porter Miscellaneous Discussion 1 Aug 3, 2015 10:50 AM
List of Japanese Drama Soundtracks (Jan 2013 - July 2013) Porter Miscellaneous Discussion 3 Jun 17, 2013 06:44 AM
DOME Complete Soundtracks CHz Album Discussions 0 Feb 3, 2012 08:07 PM
N/A: 38 Man Kilo No Kokuu Complete Soundtracks Liontamer Album Discussions 1 Mar 3, 2009 10:05 PM