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  #1  
Old Jun 2, 2015, 04:30 AM
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waxattax waxattax is offline
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Default What could have been... Alternate OSTs

While not all VGM is created equally, I tend to appreciate all of it on some level or other. That's not to say I've never imagined what could have been had a different composer- or even the same composer from a different era- composed at least a certain part of a soundtrack instead. If you've ever played a game where you thought one specific song or even the entire soundtrack could have been better, here is your chance to do better!

I'll give a basic example. I much prefered Shunsuke Kida's Demon's Souls OST to Motoi Sakuraba's Dark Souls OSTs. I can only imagine what Kida could have composed for subsequent Souls games, so in this thread I would replace both Dark Souls music with that of Demon's Souls. This is all hypothetical but yes, I did enjoy that music enough to hear it three games running instead of Sakuraba's nonsense in two.

You can go as basic (as I did) or elaborate (such as specifically swapping each individual song) as you like. Works in progress are also welcome if you'd like to begin a project here and refine it over time.

The three guidelines I'd like to establish are:

1) Where applicable include composer(s), OST name and track number(s) (if not their individual names) as listed on VGMdb.net so we can follow along at home if we choose to do so.
2) If you post a comment or critique someone else's post you should also include your own suggestion(s) for a better OST of your choosing giving them an opportunity to respond in kind.
3) Let's limit this to music that would appear on VGMdb.net.

We can expect some frustrated venting, but since unmet expectations are already implied let's focus on the positivity of our custom OSTs. After all, it should be fun making the OST we always wanted.

This thread inspired by Jormungand's entertaining Mitsuda > Sawano posts.
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Last edited by waxattax; Jun 3, 2015 at 02:46 AM.
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Old Jun 2, 2015, 07:23 AM
Ramza Ramza is offline
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I often wonder what would've happened if Noriko Matsueda hadn't left VGM.

I imagine she would've contributed to XIII-2 and Lightning Returns, helping bolster the jazzy side of those OSTs. I already love those soundtracks as they are, but they were collaborative efforts, and having Matsueda as part of that collab would've been amazing.

Another one I think about a lot ... and this is the same composer ... I really wish there was an 8-bit / FM synth version of the Etrian Odyssey 4 soundtrack.
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Old Jun 2, 2015, 08:20 AM
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I'm starting to miss an ignore feature on this board. Poor Matsueda also lacked it so she left.

Edit: Found the hidden ignore feature, good to know it's only reachable from the user profiles.

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Old Jun 2, 2015, 10:11 AM
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Oh man, Matsueda&Eguchi combo doing FF XIII-2 and Lightning Returns alongside Hamauzu would have been epic. Literally.
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Old Jun 2, 2015, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramza View Post
I often wonder what would've happened if Noriko Matsueda hadn't left VGM.

I imagine she would've contributed to XIII-2 and Lightning Returns, helping bolster the jazzy side of those OSTs. I already love those soundtracks as they are, but they were collaborative efforts, and having Matsueda as part of that collab would've been amazing.
+1 from me. On the other hand, XIII-2 not only showcased Mizuta's strength but also allowed Suzuki to really come into his own.

Ah, the subject of this thread is actually something I admittedly think about all the time. In fact, I've already played two RPGs where I replaced the entirety of the soundtrack with other carefully selected music. It really improved the overall experience for me. Unfortunately it's really only effective when you can mute the music separately from other audio. I've got two sets of speakers in front of my TV, one for the game audio, one plugged into my PC. It might sound ridiculous, but for me, it's pretty important to have enjoyable music.

I first started putting serious thought into this because of--I guess there's no surprise here--Yasunori Mitsuda. (side note: because he's part of current discussions elsewhere, my opinion of him might be misperceived: he's really not my best composer evar). I still play JRPGs regularly (what few there are that aren't straight-up action games, that is), but I've found that my favorite composers don't score them anymore. Take Mitsuda, for example: you've got some Inazuma Eleven games here and there, but he hasn't touched an RPG (that I would consider playing, anyway) for years. The last new RPG I played that he composed a reasonable amount of music for was Arc Rise Fantasia in 2009!

Mitsuda is just a convenient example. Many of the greats have either A) moved on to another field or B) been relegated to mobile composition. It's sad too, because there's just so many options out there. Let the younger generation of composers do all the mobile stuff: give the serious works to the experience composers. Perhaps that sounds a bit elitist, but maybe a bit of mentoring for the younger composers would help them reach their full potential. Just think of how many of your favorite composers have mentioned in an interview about being influenced by a resident senpai (pardon my rough usage of that term as an analogy).

I'd like to revisit this again, but off the top of my head:
Bravely Default. Producer Asano wants fantasy rock, does he? Ryuji Sasai is his man, and his recent collaboration with Square on SaGa 3 proves he's still in top form.

Drakengard 3 & NIER. Nobuyoshi Sano reinvented what a "game soundtrack" can sound like, and this is no hyperbole. His absence from the later Drakengard installments was painfully apparent.

Tales games. I mean no disrespect to Sakuraba fans, but Tales' soundtracks (and scripts, for that matter) need some life injected into them. I made this years ago as an example of an Aoki/Kaida pair taking over the music.

Front Mission 4 + 5. Though I'd have preferred a solo Matsueda effort, any configuration of previous series composers would've been better than what we eventually got.
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Old Jun 3, 2015, 03:37 AM
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Update:
If you're like me and normally don't reread the beginning of a thread I did rephrase a few things. Foremost is the specific inclusion of Anime music, which I unintentionally excluded last time. Anything that would appear on VGMdb.net is fair game. I just wanted to avoid suggestions like "Candle in the Wind" for a very specific scene in FF VII. You know what I'm talking about.

I also changed "must" to "should" as far as offering your own replacement suggestions. I somehow set this up like a drinking game before. No idea why. Guess it was just an attempt to keep this going for a while. But do it your own way. Enjoy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramza View Post
I really wish there was an 8-bit / FM synth version of the Etrian Odyssey 4 soundtrack.
Agreed. I was considering this as another suggestion. I was able to begin playing EOIV a day before release and a little over 100 in-game hours later I just finished it earlier this year. Thoroughly enjoyable, but the only way I could see myself pursuing a second play through in earnest is if the FM version of the soundtrack was unlocked. That would be sweet.

I don't mean to do this to Sakuraba fans, but my second suggestion is going to be the replacement of Phantasy Star Nova's OST with that of Phantasy Star Online including Songs of Ragol Odyssey. That's some of my favorite VGM and as far as the Phantasy Star series is concerned I don't believe it will be topped anytime soon. Ever, if I'm honest though I'd like to preserve some optimism.

Special emphasis to be placed on these:
From PSO
Track 2 A song for eternal story
Track 16 After the story 2
From SoRO
CD 1
Track 2 Premonition
Track 4 Crossing3084
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Last edited by waxattax; Jun 3, 2015 at 04:06 AM.
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  #7  
Old Jun 3, 2015, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waxattax View Post
I just wanted to avoid suggestions like "Candle in the Wind" for a very specific scene in FF VII. You know what I'm talking about.
Elton John playing on that scene would have made if better in the end, at least I wouldn't be bored of the scene. But then, why play FF VII for stuff like that when Suikoden I and II gives way better scenes for me.

And speaking of Suikoden, really would have like to hear Higashino doing the fifth one, would probably had cemented the game in same status as I and II.
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Old Jun 3, 2015, 06:46 AM
GoldfishX GoldfishX is offline
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Originally Posted by Razakin View Post

And speaking of Suikoden, really would have like to hear Higashino doing the fifth one, would probably had cemented the game in same status as I and II.
I'll extend this and say I wish Higashino had stayed with the entire series. Her music combined the best of both world music and classic game melodies. The folks that took over the series afterwards were pale imitations of her style and I found the blandness of III's OST particularly offensive. The first Genso Suikoden soundtrack should be a teaching tool for prospective RPG composers, right alongside the FFVI OSV, as it attempts just about everything and nails everything. This is one of my ultimate "what could have beens".

One of my longtime wishes would be a continuation of the Marvel vs Capcom soundtrack into Marvel vs Capcom 2 (I'm sure everyone knows the story here by now). 56 characters could have led to 56 amazing character themes, some new, some arranged. They did fix this for Marvel vs Capcom 3, but I hated the sound design...They made the music too edgey and modern (if we want to define "modern" as a bunch of thin, gritty synths and guitars). Similarly, I feel the Capcom vs SNK soundtracks were a total waste, concentrating on a small handful of bland stage themes, as opposed to the colorful and fun character themes that both Capcom and SNK were known for. Literally, I would have just stuck the traditional SNK team on this one and let them work their magic.

The Seiken Densetsu revival could have lead to a whole shit-ton of new Kikuta soundtracks. It didn't. And I was sad. Seiken 4 was particularly a waste of disc space, aside from some of the 4th disc. That said, I just pretend Alphabet Planet is a "proper" new Mana soundtrack whenever I put it on.

I truthfully can't tell most of the classic Rockman composers apart. However, I feel Makoto Tomozawa is criminally underused. I would love to see him get the reins for a full classic or X game. Strikeman (from 10) happily stands among my favorite Rockman tracks (no small feat) and Megaman Legends is a soundtrack I constantly return to (it has a lot of atmospheric tracks that don't bore me, again no small feat).

I've tried and failed many times to get into the "new" Phantasy Star soundtracks and each time, I either fall asleep or lose interest. It's too much bland music that just lingers in the background. My simple solution: Plug the classic Phantasy Star composers in there.

And lastly, anything with the name "Takeharu Ishimoto", I would completely gut and replace with someone else. ANYONE else. Square completely and totally lost me when this guy became one of their de-facto composers. Nowadays, there really aren't too many composers I outright hate, but this guy is one of them. I do feel similar about Mizuta (the best tracks I've heard from this guy are average at best) and would love to see something positive come out of all that FFXI music.

Last edited by GoldfishX; Jun 3, 2015 at 06:59 AM.
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  #9  
Old Jun 3, 2015, 06:51 AM
GoldfishX GoldfishX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post

Mitsuda is just a convenient example. Many of the greats have either A) moved on to another field or B) been relegated to mobile composition. It's sad too, because there's just so many options out there. Let the younger generation of composers do all the mobile stuff: give the serious works to the experience composers. Perhaps that sounds a bit elitist, but maybe a bit of mentoring for the younger composers would help them reach their full potential. Just think of how many of your favorite composers have mentioned in an interview about being influenced by a resident senpai (pardon my rough usage of that term as an analogy).
I have thought about this and I would think it's for budget concerns. I imagine it's easier to put some no-name on a project than someone with a glowing resume. In any case, +1, as mobile is pretty much a dumping ground for disposable, ambition-less games that are forgotten 10 minutes after you download them. The compounding problem is that console releases are really slowing to a crawl.
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Old Jun 3, 2015, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
Many of the greats have either A) moved on to another field or B) been relegated to mobile composition.
Wrt Japanese composers if you want less of A you'll need to get used to B. In Japan console gaming is essentially dead sales wise, handheld gaming dying (unless a 3DS successor can pick up steam again) and mobile gaming soaring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
Tales games. I mean no disrespect to Sakuraba fans, but Tales' soundtracks (and scripts, for that matter) need some life injected into them. I made this years ago as an example of an Aoki/Kaida pair taking over the music.
Tales is an odd case. Sakuraba still never go to use live musicians (aside for the Abyss anime) and Tales has no sound director as the completely diverging directions and budgets of Sakuraba's and Shiina's contributions for Zestiria have shown. The Zestiria DLC added Eriko Sakurai as composer so I guess future Tales games may actually have bigger groups of composers involved, but Tales definitely needs to return to and improve on the polish and consistency of pre-Xillia games. Funnily enough tri-Cescendo was involved with developing Zestiria, so it should be easily to bring in its president Hiroya Hatsushiba as sound director again (he did that for Phantasia). Surely would be great regardless of the composers involved.
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Old Jun 3, 2015, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
Front Mission 4 + 5. Though I'd have preferred a solo Matsueda effort, any configuration of previous series composers would've been better than what we eventually got.
400% agreed, I still see FM2 as the best contribution Matsueda ever made to VGM; this album is a gem. One can only wonder what she could have done, ALONE, on FM4/5..
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Old Jun 4, 2015, 06:14 AM
GoldfishX GoldfishX is offline
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Originally Posted by Datschge View Post
Wrt Japanese composers if you want less of A you'll need to get used to B. In Japan console gaming is essentially dead sales wise, handheld gaming dying (unless a 3DS successor can pick up steam again) and mobile gaming soaring.
The quantity of games might be there (and fast profits) but I sincerely doubt the quality is there. If mobile gaming ever amasses the same amount of quality soundtracks that the SNES, PS1 and PS2 have (among other systems), I'll be shocked and will happily eat my words. I think it's a giant bust cycle waiting to happen.
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Old Jun 4, 2015, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by GoldfishX View Post
The quantity of games might be there (and fast profits) but I sincerely doubt the quality is there. If mobile gaming ever amasses the same amount of quality soundtracks that the SNES, PS1 and PS2 have (among other systems), I'll be shocked and will happily eat my words. I think it's a giant bust cycle waiting to happen.
Imo the quality is already there (comparable to early 1990s console gaming wrt to usual amount and lengths of tracks), just keep in mind that even with console gaming "AAA" productions are exceptions in a huge sea of smaller "lesser" works. Mobile gaming is no different in this regard.
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Old Jun 4, 2015, 12:38 PM
GoldfishX GoldfishX is offline
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Suggestions plz. Like I said, I will happily eat my words if I'm wrong.

The thing with console games is the amount of releases was already controlled. So even if one views the 16 bit era as "Square and then everything else", that everything else still held up well. Yes, there were bad games and bad music by extension, but the release standards were much higher. Mobile gaming (like Indie gaming) is its own worst enemy in that regard.

The first couple pages of album discussion here are all console or handheld (PSP, 3DS, DS, etc) games. That is kind of an indication mobile soundtracks to games aren't exactly lighting up people's interest.

Last edited by GoldfishX; Jun 4, 2015 at 01:28 PM.
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Old Jun 4, 2015, 01:40 PM
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I don't think I have good suggestions for you in particular as you appear to want the sounds back that are simply long gone. Also I don't think you have heard the 1000+ games for each console to be able to state that its standards were higher than on mobile. So speak for yourself, I'm not interested in proving your personal tastes wrong. That mobile gaming has taken over in Japan is a reality we can't change anyway.

For the stuff I'm familiar with: Terra Battle is pretty great, has nice production value and a surprisingly extensive soundtrack still being expanded. And I find Sakuraba's mobile works are, on a per track base, above much of his Tales output. Outside of that I personally don't really care either way, but the awful lack of soundtracks (or preservation in other ways) applies even more to mobile games and other digital-only releases.
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Old Aug 11, 2015, 10:41 AM
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This is now an established routine in my gaming life. To sum up my feelings as succinctly as possible: I prefer console RPGs, and most of my favorite composers don't compose for console RPGs anymore. Their replacements aren't very good--either because they're genuinely bad, or just do not/have not yet developed a personal and recognizable style.

So I mute the bad and turn up the good.

I have a few rules I personally hold myself to when selecting replacement music:
1. It can't be from a game I have already played (I've made very few exceptions to this).
2. The overall music selection should have consistent hardware powering it--so no mixing of lo-fi DS recordings and CD-quality OST music.
3. Try to stick to a single composer--mostly. This helps the cohesion.
4. Always give the actual OST of the game I'm replacing a fair chance... later. I can usually decide pretty early on if it's a bad fit and needs to be replaced.

I'll list the games I've done with this so far. The results have been positive. My experience with all of the games was dramatically improved by replacing the music.

I should note that I'm very particular about my replacements. I don't just put on a playlist and let it run. I mute the game's BGM, and play specific tracks through my PC. I have folders with copies of the music, renamed to display what they are used for. I manually change the music as the game normally would!

Tales of Graces f --> Yasunori Mitsuda
Soma Bringer OST. Fit the art style of the game perfectly.

Tales of Xillia --> Yasunori Mitsuda
A variety of selections from Mitsuda's higher-sound quality scores. Mostly work from the last decade. This one was very entertaining for its variety, yet was also highly stylistically consistent.

Tales of Xillia 2 --> Yasunori Mitsuda
Haven't played it yet, but ToX2 reuses many of the same areas from Xillia, so I'll reuse the same tunes for consistency. Any leftovers will be used for new areas and events.

Tales of Zestiria --> Hiroki Kikuta
Yes, I plan ahead. For this game I'll be using the music of Shining Hearts and Concerto Gate.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD --> Noriko Matsueda
Haven't played yet. A variety of selections from Racing Lagoon, PlayOnline, The Bouncer, and Final Fantasy X-2 International (Last Mission additional music).

Dynasty Warriors 8 --> Oboromuramasa OST
This was an omnibus by design. Mitsuhiro Kaneda, Kimihiro Abe, Azusa Chiba, Hitoshi Sakimoto, and Masaharu Iwata all have their own story path.

Drakengard 3 --> Drakengard OST
I made a big exception here, having played the original Drakengard to death. But I was so disgusted by the ingame BGM of D3 that I had to flush it out with the pure madness that is the original masterpiece by Nobuyoshi Sano and Takayuki Aihara. It fit so much better.
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