Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Standout Tracks from VGM Poll Thread - Pt. 2

More awesome tracks from our best VGM poll that aren't yet getting enough love to make it on the list! You've still got 9 days to compile and post a list (by 11:59 PM EST on Friday Sept 30th) so please give these your consideration!

Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks - Destination Overworld

I was never a terribly big fan of the soundtracks in the post 16-bit Zelda games, but this track is outstanding. I guess not many people have played/liked Spirit Tracks?

Odin Sphere - Theme

95% of the music on my MP3 player (a four year old Zune, to be precise) is all VGM, which infuriates my fiance. But if there's any one song she actually likes, it's this one. Beautiful soundtrack overall, definitely underrated work from Sakimoto and crowd. Speaking of which, his and his friends' music has been getting little love outside of Final Fantast Tactics. The votes for this, Final Fantasy XII, and Tactics Ogre are crucially low!

Gradius Gaiden - Snowfield

My favorite Gradius theme, outside of maybe Burning Heat from Gradius II.

Command and Conquer - Act on Instinct

Frank Klepack is one of the best Western VGM composers out there, and much of his work with Westwood during the mid-90s is outstanding. Hell March from C&C: Red Alert gets all of the love (and more than a few votes on the poll) but I've always been partial to this one, which is the first song you hear in-game and thus the one I've associated most with the franchise. This version is the one used in-game in the original PC release - the console and CDs use one with voice samples, which I never liked as much, but don't suffer from the compression that this one does.

Crusader: No Remorse - Dimension 2012

Origin's short lived Crusader series had some amazing music by demo scene composer Andrew Sega (AKA Necros). This is one of my favorites...

Crusader: No Regret - The Traveler (Remix)

...and this is my other favorite. This one in particular is a remixed version of the title screen theme, used in the sequel, No Regret. I also learned that some outside group pitched a PSP version to EA back in 2006, which was of course shot down, but Mr. Sega went back and did another remix of this theme.

Freedom Fighters - Battle for Freedom

Jesper Kyd is an outstanding composer who's been around quite awhile. He's mostly known nowadays for Assassin's Creed and Hitman, though I've preferred his work on Freedom Fighters, which features eastern European chanting combined with awesome electronica.

Guilty Gear XX#Reload Korean - The Great Empress (Millia's Theme)

The Korean PS2 release of Guilty Gear XX# Reload had a whole new soundtrack provided by Korean rock band N.EX.T. It has a very synthesized feel similar to the arcade release of Guilty Gear X (whose soundtrack was rearranged for all home ports), but there's outstanding compositions, especially Millia's theme here.

Radiant Historia - The Edge of Green

One of the better traditional JRPGs to come out this generation, Yoko Shimimura does some bangup work on this soundtrack. This here's the boss theme, though the rest of the soundtrack is good. She also did the music for Capcom's PSP game Last Ranker, which has gotten even less votes because no one has played it. (I haven't listened to a whole lot of the soundtrack myself yet either, honestly.)

Xenoblade - Colony 9

Maybe this is too new, considering the English version just came out last month, but Xenoblade is also full of fantastic music, many of the better songs again provided by Yoko Shimomura. This is the first "overworld" theme...

Xenoblade - Gaur Plains

...and this is the second one. Both excellent. The only Xenoblade song that's charting right now is Unfinished Battle, which is a decent song, but lack the "cool breeze" sensation of these songs.

Ys: The Ark of Napishtim - Quatera Woods

Probably my favorite Ys song that isn't Be Careful from Ys III/Felghana.


  1. Color me biased, but I'm disappointed Shoji Meguro's Digital Devil Saga OST isn't getting more love. It's so delightfully moody. The ambient guitar in that game never ages for me.

  2. Ah! That reminds me I needed to update my post with a few more songs. I had the Spirit Tracks Overworld theme in my text file but haven't posted it yet. It's definitely one of the better Zelda tunes in recent memory. But I never got too into Spirit Tracks - I think I only finished the first Dungeon.

  3. I thought Jesper Kyd was mostly known for Batman and Robin's megadrive soundtrack :)

  4. I also voted for Spirit Track's overworld! I'm quite fond of it for a special reason: it seems to me like it was designed to use the sound of the train as percussion. If so, that's very clever indeed.

  5. Good to see Frank Klepacki's C&C tunes get some love (though I'm "guilty" of voting for Hell March, too).