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  #1  
Old Mar 20, 2013, 09:59 AM
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Geez what a hack job this Jason Graves is.

Last edited by DanteLectro; Mar 20, 2013 at 10:05 AM.
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  #2  
Old Mar 21, 2013, 07:55 AM
Lashiec Lashiec is offline
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Is it really that bad?
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  #3  
Old Mar 21, 2013, 08:16 AM
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He is.
I've heard Dead Space 1, 2, 3 before. His compositions fall into two categories: unpleasant chaotic mess for action; or mortally boring mediocrity for story and everything else. I thought it was only the horror and space genre with him, but this is adventure & action and it still sounds the same, they're almost interchangeable.
He's proficient in composing, but lacks taste and originality.
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by DanteLectro View Post
He's proficient in composing, but lacks taste and originality.
Welcome to 90% of all western soundtrack composers. :P
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  #5  
Old Mar 21, 2013, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by dissident93 View Post
Welcome to 90% of all western soundtrack composers. :P
Yeah. Create content/product for commission in given time and move on versus an opportunity to create art and express oneself, passionately.

Last edited by DanteLectro; Mar 28, 2013 at 04:10 PM.
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  #6  
Old Apr 3, 2013, 12:12 PM
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Wouldn't say that Graves is a hack job, especially based on Tomb Raider. At least the music did work just perfectly on the game, especially the main theme / Lara's theme, whatever it should be called. Haven't yet listened to the soundtrack though.
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  #7  
Old Apr 4, 2013, 02:11 AM
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Dead Space 1 & 2 are widely considered some of the most innovative game scores in recent years. I can definitely understand why people would find them difficult or unpleasant to listen to on a stand-alone basis, but they're hardly derivative.Only the third game stoops into commonplace Inception-style scoring approaches. I also think Jason Graves does a good job of creating big, sweeping themes as soundtracks like Section 8, Silent Hunter, and Blazing Angels show, the former even having a strong rock influence.

And with a few exceptions, I feel that the stagnation of a lot of Western game and film scores is due to the producers, not the composers. Even Steve Jablonsky, whose soundtracks generally bore me to tears, produced an interesting work when given more freedom on Steamboy. These days though, I feel the game industry is more innovative -- so many big-budget Western video game scores (more than 10%) these days try to do something different and push boundaries. Recent examples: Journey, Black Ops II, Torchlight II, Dead Space 2, SimCity, BioShock Infinite...

Last edited by Chris; Apr 4, 2013 at 02:19 AM.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 03:06 AM
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...this is just me with my personal opinion; a lot of people here are biased (as expected) - almost everything from the east is gold and almost everything from west is shit. I really can't say I share that view.
...carry on...
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  #9  
Old Apr 4, 2013, 07:21 AM
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Recent examples: Journey, Black Ops II, Torchlight II, Dead Space 2, SimCity, BioShock Infinite...
Journey and Torchlight II were big budget stuff? Interesting if so, because them being indie games.

And one thing why I think western scores do get shafted into the abyss of FUCKTHISSHIT, is mostly because they try to sometimes really badly emulate movie scores instead of trying something different. Which again eastern side does give sometimes a plenty.
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  #10  
Old Apr 4, 2013, 07:46 PM
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Their scores were lavishly produced with full-orchestral performances and the artists involved were established ones. thatgamecompany and Runic Games might be independent developers, but I wouldn't call their productions low-budget. But I agree that the independent production technique can inspire more creativity.
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  #11  
Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris View Post
Dead Space 1 & 2 are widely considered some of the most innovative game scores in recent years.
By who exactly?
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Originally Posted by Chris View Post
they're hardly derivative
In a sense i described in post #3, they are: action tracks are mostly interchageable in Tomb Raider and any Dead Space. For a counterexample, look at Hitoshi Sakimoto's Breath Of Fire V vs Odin Sphere vs Final Fantasy XII. All recognizably his style but distinctly different approaches, each acutely matching the subject matter.
By Graves' lack of originality i didn't mean he copied someone else (though i can hear some Bioshock in there), but rather by definition (the lack of) "the ability to think independently and creatively, the quality of being novel" in his slower non-action tracks, and the thing that all of his action tracks sound alike. Novel is not just different or new, it has to be those in an interesting way. When one comes up with something that sounds much like something else he often heard or made or it's just boring, he should have the restraint and be able to throw it away.

Anyway, in defense of western composers, I've found plenty of game soundtracks that i really liked:

Jesper Kyd - Assassin's Creed series
Garry Schyman - Bioshock series
Chris Tilton - Black
Russell Shaw - Fable series
Mark Morgan - Fallout 1, 2
Andrew Hale & Simon Hale - L.A. Noir
Paul Arnold & Andrew Barnabas - Medievil
Harry Gregson-Williams - Metal Gear Solid series
Solar Fields - Mirror's Edge
Need For Speed 2, 3, 4, 5 - various
Stewart Copeland - Spyro
Patricio Meneses - Zeno Clash

And also plenty more by eastern composers, that i didn't like. Overall, in music, i've encountered fewer genres i didn't like than those i did. I'm not biased and there's no point in dealing in extremes.

There are many factors to blame for single-purpose or vapid music: lack of talent, taste, and self-restraint; time, budget, uninspiring subject matter, limiting instructions from the producers or developers, and approach. Movie soundtracks mostly consist of event music that closely follow what goes on in the scene, while video game soundtracks are often made up of background music for levels and themes that are looped or recur, which make for more listenable tracks on their own. Western composers of VGM tend to more often approach games as movies, probably becuase they and the producers/developers are heavily influenced by Hollywood, or even come from the movie industry; they like to go safe and conservative. On the other hand, eastern composers of VGM are apparently more influenced by the history of their own medium, and Japan's big heritage of video games and unadulterated video game music; they're also much more playful, colorful, adventurous and willing to entertain.

Nonetheless, i know of some nigh infallible western composers like Jerry Goldsmith, Elliot Goldenthal, Alberto Iglesias, Philip Glass, John Williams, Howard Shore, who consistently deliver soundtracks that are not only outstanding but also work in and out of the subject matter; opposite of people like Jason Graves. I also can't understand things like Austin Wintory's 2013 Grammy nomination for Journey, and Dario Marianelli's 2007 Academy Award for Atonement and 2005 nomination for Pride & Prejudice, all of which were a torment to sit through, i must've really missed something. Before someone says it's because i'm unsentimental or even emotionally unreceptive, i'll say Joe Hisaishi or John Williams can really tug at my heart strings.

Being experimental is not enough in itself. If a certain music works in a movie or game, that's commendable indeed, but it doesn't guarantee it will be entertaining or even listenable in and just by itself. This is why, for example, that while i love 2001: A Space Odyssey with all its superbly integrated stylish eerie music, i don't listen to the soundtrack, unless i want to be outside alone at night and experience existential fear.

People like Masashi Hamauzu can regularly walk a thin line and pull off universally great works (of art) on demand, people like Jason Graves are just very far from them.

Last edited by DanteLectro; Apr 19, 2013 at 09:59 AM.
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  #12  
Old Apr 5, 2013, 02:14 AM
Chris Chris is offline
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Each to their own, I guess. I haven't properly listened to Tomb Raider yet, so I can't comment fully on that, but both Dead Space 1 & 2 were both littered with awards and praise. I think in large part this was because the soundtracks worked so well in the game, but pieces such as "Lacrimosa" were also interesting and different on a stand-alone basis.

Cool that you're a wider fan of film and game music. I face-palm whenever I see people dismiss ALL Western game music (and the converse), as I feared might be happening here. Glad that you're not opponent of Western game music as a whole, just specific soundtracks. I'm also a big fan of most of the artists you just listed, especially Goldenthal, Goldsmith, Williams, Hisaishi, Schyman, and Kyd. I also admire the creativity of Hitoshi Sakimoto's works up to and including Final Fantasy XII, but haven't heard too much surprising from him in recent years.
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  #13  
Old Apr 8, 2013, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efendija View Post
...this is just me with my personal opinion; a lot of people here are biased (as expected) - almost everything from the east is gold and almost everything from west is shit. I really can't say I share that view.
...carry on...
This is from the same category as being biased about consoles PS3 RULEZ XBOX SUXX! or any other similar West VS East ridiculous arguments. Blind fanboyism is something that people eventually grow out of... or maybe not.

Anyway, I haven't heard Tomb Raider yet, but I do think that Dead Space 1&2 were only good as sound design for the games. It worked great inside the game, but as a stand alone thing - nope, not a chance. Try to listen to it separately, there's nothing to listen to.
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  #14  
Old May 17, 2013, 08:22 PM
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I just remembered Chris, it was Dead Space 1's sound design that was often praised.

Game Audio Network Guild Awards for Sound Design of the Year and Audio of the Year, DICE Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design, the GDC Award for Best Audio, as well as two BAFTAs for Use of Audio and Original Score.
http://www.edge-online.com/news/dead...-awards-hoard/
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  #15  
Old May 18, 2013, 05:29 AM
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Well, I think with that list, you're actually showing the music got a lot of recognition too. Audio encompasses music and there was the BAFTA. But I personally feel the score for Dead Space 2 is by far the best in the series.
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