A View From The Road: Play It Again, Sam

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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A View From The Road: Play It Again, Sam

All John Funk wants for Christmas is some proper boss battle music in his MMOGs.

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Vierran

None here.
Oct 11, 2009
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Although my like of JRPGs has stayed constant since i started playing them i completely understand what you mean, the music in those games is matched so well in some cases that you have trouble separating it from the scene in which it played, which is a good thing.

I think that MMOGs have a slightly harder time connected great music with great scenes becuase of the exact reasons you stated but also because alot of people who play aren't nearly as interested in whether a boss will have great music, which is something i always find myself doing when playing a new RPG, consequentially i find that i look forward to the OSTs of JRPGs almost as much as the games themselves.
 

Sass0519

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Jul 16, 2009
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I totally agree with the importance of music to the feel of a game. Good battle music really sets the tone for the fight. On top of that, it gets stuck in your head (which I'm ok with as long as it's good music like this). I still find myself humming music from Chrono Trigger and FFX.
 
Feb 13, 2008
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Where is the equivalent to these compositions in Western MMOGs?
There is one, and surprisingly it's Conan: Hyperboring Adventures.

While it does a lot of things meh, the "signature" characters all get a MIGHTY EPIC BATTLE THEME, that actually does feel like you're going toe-to-toe with someone tough.

EQ/EQ2/CoH has lovely "place themes", like Neriak, Plane of Fear or Atlas Park; but yeah...Conan is the only one that manages that little trick. LotRo, for all it's talk of wonderful player created music, is mindnumbingly dull with the ingame stuff.

Final Fantasy goes RIGHT the other way though...when you're fighting a rat it's RATTA! RATTA! IT'S AN EPIC RAT! RATTA!
 

Dhatz

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Aug 18, 2009
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If we consider only this sort of music epic(or more precisely if we can make epic music only in this style), then I believe in survival of this civilisation even less than I did a while ago.
 

far_wanderer

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Oct 17, 2008
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One very important thing contributing to this that you left out is that JRPGs (especially the ones with turn-based combat) tend to have VERY significant differences between walking-around-mode and fighting-something-mode. MMOs (and I'll broaden that to western RPGs since I don't play any MMOs) tend to accomplish both with the same engine. So a JRPG has the whole transition time to fill that would be even more boring and repetitive than it usually is without epic music to pass the time. Whereas in a WRPG the time that would normally be spent listening to the start of epic music is spent either frantically hitting buttons or screaming at a cut scene for putting your characters in tactically unsound locations.
 

ben---neb

No duckies...only drowning
Apr 22, 2009
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The Roars of the Warrior is EPIC! I love it so much I'm going to...

[note: this message cannot be completed as the user has just chucked himself out of the window screaming a battle cry.]
 

JugglerPanda

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Apr 23, 2009
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This article reminded me of how good Tales of Symphonia music is. Now I feel like playing through it again.
 

UnravThreads

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Aug 10, 2009
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I love the music in western RPGs, even if it sounds utterly fake (see Puzzle Quest!).

WoW has some of the most amazing music in Northrend, I'll agree. "Arthas, My Son" is one of the most chilling tracks I've heard, probably followed by the music in Howling Fjord that isn't Vrykul related. Dragon Age also has an amazing soundtrack, as does Neverwinter Nights 2. I've gotten to the point in WoW where I can't focus that well if the soundtrack isn't playing naturally in-game. Instancing to, say, Animal Collective is a much harder task for me than listening to the "natural" music of the place.

I would adore it if there was boxset released with 10-15 soundtracks from games. I would sell the rest of my CD collection for it, as I enjoy it much more.

I have to go see Video Games Live or Play! one day. I think I would cream myself with excitement.
 

AvsJoe

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May 28, 2009
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Ahhh... the music of JRPGs... so many memories... very few games very few genres of game can match up to the epic boss battle themes from Japan from Robotnik/Eggman's recurring ditty in the old Sonic games or Nobou's incredibly composed themes in the Final Fantasy series. To this day I get chills running down my spine when I hear the overworld theme from Shining Force 2.
 

p3t3r

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Apr 16, 2009
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whoa am i the only one who doesn't really listen to the music. the only time i actually pay attention is in mw2 to see if there is a juggernaut near by
 

sunpop

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Oct 23, 2008
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Bronze Jam is exactly what came to mind when you mentioned wow of course I had no idea what the song name was but the boss fight came to mind.

I really wish they would have more amazing boss fight music, Aion had some good music when you took out your blades. Unless you were in the abyss and the techno music drove you insane..well more insane.
 

Voltano

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Dec 11, 2008
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Ah, growing up on the memories of "Chrono Trigger" or "Secret of Mana" games with their songs have made me appreciate the songs in them. The latter had two great songs for the last two final bosses, Thanatos [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLWc6iG-iuI] and the Mana beast [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Vo6hTc5on0]. I still listen to a lot of their songs and even though I tend to brush off JRPGs now, I admit that one would occasionally come around that would have great battle music.

Though I think another reason developers may not want to make any kind of "epic" music for bosses would be that they would get repetitive, especially if that boss is just designed to be farmed repeatedly. I repeatedly played "Duel of the Fates" here as a kid when we got the soundtrack so much that everyone growled at me when ever I put on "the dreaded No. 2" (which is the number the song was located on the CD).
 

MrSnugglesworth

Into the Wild Green Snuggle
Jan 15, 2009
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Duel of the Fates amazes me to this day.



I AM SO PLAYING THROUGH FORCE UNLEASHED WITH THIS JAMMING ON REPEAT!
 
Jun 6, 2009
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Music is a major part of gaming and should never be overlooked.

Western RPG that cashed in on this happens to be Fallout 3, albeit they didn't make that music, and got recordings from the 40's and 50's.

But for some reason While Japan excells in music ever since Final Fantasy, and I personally think the west is exceeding in story, but... I also wish they could excell in both. Originally. So Bioshock also doesn't count because the music that you could faintly hear in the background was also old recordings, but it helped create a creepy atmosphere.

I hold TWEWY as a gem in soundtrack, (Well to me anyways) and doesn't have bad story to it as well. Call me a sucker for Urban scene games from Japan, (Jet Grind Radio) but.... It works!

Oh yes and for the greatest song from TWEWY....


I play this whenever I'm in an FPS.
 

Taco of flames

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May 30, 2009
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Three reasons my guild dungeon group can't beat the Godfather of Souls: 1. I'm an undergeared healer who doesn't have much experience in healing. 2. We have to get a tank and extra dps from the LFG system, and are not familiar with those players and don't feel comfortable using VC with them. 3. The music is epic, so much so that we are distracted by the thoughts of "what's that sweet music?"

And the blasted severed soul orbs. They can go spend 10 levels in outland.

Edit: I'm aware that my group sounds incompetent. We are. Don't judge us.
 

Tarkand

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Dec 15, 2009
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Couldn't agree more, I also 'outgrew' my jrpg phase but still miss how they could do such a kick ass job of tying music to something.

The FF 'victory song', the chocobo song and for the old school among us, the FFII boss battle music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C6iHlBN_ZM&feature=related

WRPG don't really have anything close to those.
 

Donrad

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Aug 21, 2008
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jrpg's DID have excellent soundtracks, but sometimes i have my own music on so i dont notice !