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  #61  
Old 09-08-2017, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
It's a strange but intoxicating mixture. You can hear it all collide in the featured track, "Terminal March".
From what I remember, Terminal March first plays in a harbor area that was described as a melting pot for all the imports of cultures Caelondia had appropriated, so the notion of intermingling multitudinous elements is an apt detail.

I know getting into a discussion about Bastion's story might be a bit off topic, but can we acknowledge how a narrative about xenophobia is somehow even more painfully relevant today than when it was made?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz8c17upEwM
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  #62  
Old 09-08-2017, 05:15 PM
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Two more really good choices that weren't on my list!

Cave Story did cross my mind, and probably would be in my top 30 at least. Bastion I've only played through once, I bet if I spent some more time with it the music would become Important to me. Heck, if I made this list today, SMT IV would be on it, just because of the amount of time I've spent in it recently.
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  #63  
Old 09-08-2017, 05:24 PM
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I should really get around to playing Bastion (which I think I own on both OSX and PS4 at this point due to various sales/bundles).

Cave Story I have played, but tend to overlook it when compiling lists on account of having only played the original shareware version many years ago.

Both sound good!
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  #64  
Old 09-08-2017, 05:29 PM
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Bastion was my #19, and Terminal March was my pick because it is freaking badass in a completely unconventional way. Setting Sail, Coming Home and Spike in a Rail (the first track from the game I ever heard, when it was nominated for a Thunderdome some years back) are amazing, too. The whole soundtrack rules, like Adrenaline said.

I completely forgot about Cave Story, though I don't think it would have quite made my list anyways. Plantation would be my pick for best track, too.
Here's Family Jules's rendition of it.
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  #65  
Old 09-08-2017, 08:55 PM
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Cave Story I have played, but tend to overlook it when compiling lists on account of having only played the original shareware version many years ago.
That's the only version I woulda picked.

Cave Story is fantastic, and it only didn't make my list because I figured it would've been voted in anyway. I was right! Geothermal is one of my absolute favourites on that soundtrack (I have a lot of those on it). I love how mysterious and foreboding it is, and within context it works even better (probably one of my favourite parts of the game). I'm just always surprised when I think about how good that soundtrack is and how well it works in general.
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  #66  
Old 09-08-2017, 09:37 PM
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Cave Story I have played, but tend to overlook it when compiling lists on account of having only played the original shareware version many years ago.
It's freeware, but I suppose it's effectively shareware in the sense that it's so good that one will have no qualms buying a later version just to show appreciation.

That's how I got Cave Story+ on Steam… even though I didn't like any of its changes.
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  #67  
Old 09-09-2017, 02:25 AM
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Weekend! Finally some time to actually listening to the songs again.

Actually my favorite Legend of Mana track is probably Wanderer's Path. That's one of the songs I could actually recall as it's quite catchy.

Most of your favorites are just way too silent/slow for me (Title Theme, Song of Mana, Moonlight City Roa). Though The Wind Sings of a Journey I like.

----------------------------

Cave Story OST is pretty good yeah. It wasn't among the list of OSTs I bought nor on the list of games that I left running just to listen to the songs, so it wasn't among my top ~28 titles, though. But along that Main Theme makes me nostalgic. I remember liking one song towards the end, but I can't recall which one at all (as always, it's probably the fastest/loudest one).
Overall placement is somewhat near to where I'd place it too.

----------------------------

The Bastion OST however, I don't like at all. In fact I think it sounds horrible. I also found the game itself pretty bad. It's one of those things where my taste seems to be vastly different from the majority and I can't really point my finger at the reason.

----------------------------

Alright, listening to Breath of Fire III's OST now. I love the battle theme, but could hardly recall any of the other songs anymore. Seems like a good OST to listen to during summer vacation though.

Last edited by Rya; 09-09-2017 at 03:10 AM.
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  #68  
Old 09-09-2017, 06:40 AM
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Cave Story was #7 on my list. I didn't specify a favourite track, but the main theme in the video in the post was the track I had in mind. First rate beeps and boops.
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  #69  
Old 09-09-2017, 08:51 AM
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You're all monsters. According to iTunes, I've listened to "Song of Mana" 25 times in the last 24 hours. It was quite the earworm back then, and I had completely forgotten I had it in my collection until the list ran.

Oh, crap, now I want to hear it again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peklo View Post
Legend of Mana's music isn't really a favourite, but I'm glad there are vocals in Swedish in it.
I assume they are decent lyrics and the singer actually pronounces them right? Because Shimomura's previous try at a non-english non-japanese track was Parasite Eve's "Somnia Memorias", which has serviceable spanish lyrics but you can tell right away the singer is just mimicking the words.

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Originally Posted by Peklo View Post
a tiny "um, actually" if you'll bear with me: it's Sakimoto, not Sakamoto.
Oh, man, I know this, but a) it was late and b) I've been spending too much time with Persona 5 and that jerk Ryuji Sakamoto. But yeah, my bad.

You know? I might have run out of cute animal pictures to offer as apologies.... But Thorgi says thee nay!

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  #70  
Old 09-09-2017, 08:56 AM
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By the way, lots of games didn't make it into the top 50, but that doesn't mean they're not worth celebrating. On weekends, we're going to highlight some of those games, and maybe introduce them to a wider audience. First up are Conchobhar's and my own personal choices, and I'm going to highlight something that I didn't expect to place, but I certainly couldn't believe I was the only one who voted for it.

Honorary Mention — Civilization IV
14 points • 1 mentions • Highest rank: #22 (Positronic Brain)

IntroIn The BeginningIsabellaMontezuma

Composed by:

Jeffery L. Briggs
Christopher Tin
Mark Cromer
Michael Curran

Platform: PC • Release date: November 4, 2005
Also known as The One Narrated By Mr. Spock

Can a single song a great soundtrack make?

My answer would be no, of course it doesn’t. A soundtrack is a whole, not a single track. There can be one amazing song in that OST, but if a single track defines whether the entire OST is amazing or not, well, then it can’t be that amazing to begin with, can it?

And yet, and yet….

The Civilization IV track is mostly functional. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I really like it. Following tradition, it is a mix of original tracks and rearranged melodies from all periods of history, from Bach to Hendel to Lecuona. The tracks in the main map are varied in style, from the percussions of the Iron Age through the choruses and classical musical of the Middle Ages to the minimalist tracks of the Modern Age. Also, each Civilization leader has his or her own theme, and it goes through its own variations. Seriously, the entire track list is huge and not even Wikipedia is sure who is the composer behind every track.

The melodies are very nice, from the spanish guitars in Isabella to the middle eastern motives in Saladin and the ayacachtli-like sounds in Montezuma…. but they don’t get in the way. They are nice to listen to, but they lack… well, presence, by design - Civilization IV is a turn based strategy game, it is intended for you to take your time and think it through. And you don’t want a bombastic 40-chord vocal track to be on the foreground while you’re deciding if building that university in your border city will create enough culture to offend Gandhi enough that he’ll finally have an excuse to nuke you into oblivion. The music is good, pleasant and orchestrated to just be there, you know.

And then there’s Christopher Tin’s Baba Yetu.

Featured Track:
Baba Yetu


It plays during the one time where the game can have your attention without you having to worry if opening your borders is a good idea or not: the menu screen. It is the one chance the soundtrack has to take the foreground, the one moment it doesn’t have to share your attention with strategic decisions or cinematics. It is the one moment the soundtrack has to stand out and, by the deity of your choice, it does so masterfully. Seriously, listen to it. I’ll wait.

Wasn’t that wonderful? A powerful, powerful piece with lyrics in swahili (“The Lord’s Prayer”, no less). Paired with the title screen, as you see the world below you as day and night cycle endlessly… I don’t linger around title screens, you know, but there’s no other game where I leave the title screen on for minutes and sit back just to take it all in. Experiencing it for the first time was one of the greatest highlights of my gaming life. A freaking title screen. All because one single track.

A single song a soundtrack does not make. But if powerful enough, it can push it into greatness. Baba Yetu is that one song.


~ Positronic Brain
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  #71  
Old 09-09-2017, 09:02 AM
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As an addendum, Baba Yetu has won many awards, including “real” ones like a Grammy. Christopher Tin left such an impression in the Civilization series that they brought him back to score the title screen of Civilization VI and while Sogno Di Volare didn’t make lightning strike twice, it is still one of the best game title songs in existence.

And as a second addendum, Civ IV launched at a very difficult time for me. I had always been a Civ fan, and when IV was released I had just moved to Spain, and I was in the middle of cultural shock, and there were very few stable points in my life... But somehow, I don't remember how exactly, I managed to get myself a Collector's Edition of Civ IV with the soundtrack CD, and it helped a lot, both as a videogame to lose myself on and as an audio companion to those commutes in still strange lands.

Today, 12 years later, that Collector's Edition has a place of honor in my shelf, next to the special editions of Civ V and Civ VI and Civilization Chronicles... And even though I don't play one quarter as much Civ as i used to, this series is close to my heart.

And Civ III is the best game in the series
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  #72  
Old 09-09-2017, 09:37 AM
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I haven't heard Vagrant Story's or Legend of Mana's Soundtrack, since they both fall on my blind spot of 1990s/early 2000s rpgs, especially on the PS and PS2! But both of these sound awesome and I'll have to check them out more.

I didn't vote for Bastion, although I probably could have. Darren Korb does fantastic work here making a soundtrack that fits Bastion's futuristic-western vibe, and all of the character songs are very thematic.

Cave Story also sits about where I'd expect it. Very good chiptune, all incredibly solid. Jenka in particular is one of my favorite songs from Cave Story, but Moonsong and Grasslands all stick out in my mind, too. I don't regret not putting it on my list, but it definitely deserves to be here! RushJet1 does the remixed soundtrack on the Switch version, and it's an interesting take.
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  #73  
Old 09-09-2017, 11:20 AM
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The only Civ games I've ever played was Civ II. I listened to Baba Yetu now, at first I just thought "Oh another one of these silent / slow / ambient songs I just don't like", but when singing began I actually liked it.
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  #74  
Old 09-09-2017, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Positronic Brain View Post
I assume they are decent lyrics and the singer actually pronounces them right? Because Shimomura's previous try at a non-english non-japanese track was Parasite Eve's "Somnia Memorias", which has serviceable spanish lyrics but you can tell right away the singer is just mimicking the words.
The vocalist is a native speaker, and the pronunciation of the lyrics reflect that. It's good. My Swedish is barely extant, but the side-by-side transcriptions of the lyrics also read fine to me.
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  #75  
Old 09-09-2017, 12:54 PM
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There are certain soundtracks I didn't include because I realized I was including them for just one song. DuckTales didn't make the cut for that reason. It's a delightful NES soundtrack but I was only including it for The Moon Theme, so I axed it.

I also gave myself a self-imposed requirement of having played and finished the game. In hindsight, this probably wasn't wise. Be that as it may, I have played Bastion, Cave Story, and Vagrant Story but never finished them, so it didn't even occur to me to include them on my list.

I was very disappointed with Legend of Mana but I can't find too much fault with it's OST. Fun trivia: I still have the music sampler CD for Legend of Mana that was released as a bonus with the game. Chrono Cross also had one, and I believe Threads of Fate as well.
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  #76  
Old 09-09-2017, 01:00 PM
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Oh man, I haven't thought about Threads of Fate since Penny Arcade ran in OPM.
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  #77  
Old 09-09-2017, 01:25 PM
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Ah yes, the Summer of Adventure, in 2000. Yeah, it was Legend of Mana, Threads of Fate and Chrono Cross - you also got a bag if you reserved all of three, and a Chrono Cross clock if you pre-ordered that one. And the game is that kicked it all off was Vagrant Story, which came with a promotional disc with demos and/or videos of all three.

Good times.

That's how Song of Mana got into my song collection. And I still treasure that bag - it's all broken now, but that's one of the few things I brought over when I moved, and currently is stored next to Ms Brain wedding's dress.

EDIT:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rya
The only Civ games I've ever played was Civ II. I listened to Baba Yetu now, at first I just thought "Oh another one of these silent / slow / ambient songs I just don't like", but when singing began I actually liked it.
Hey, I'm honestly glad to hear that! That makes writing these entries worth it ^_^
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  #78  
Old 09-09-2017, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Positronic Brain View Post
...and a Chrono Cross clock if you pre-ordered that one.
I still have that clock laying about somewhere. I never use it though because it eats batteries. It's a Time Devourer, if you will.
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  #79  
Old 09-09-2017, 04:32 PM
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Yup, I also have the Chrono clock somewhere (though it's broken) and I think the sampler soundtracks for both that and LoM. In fact I ended up with two copies of one of 'em somehow; I think I gave the extra out during some Festivus many years ago.


Oh man, Baba Yetu... I love that track but I didn't even think of it for this list because I haven't played Civ IV at all. My exposure came when Christopher Tin put an entire album headlined with the track up in a Humble Bundle (the one that also had a Sakamoto Valkyria series sampler in it). That was a sweet deal. Love the whole album to death. Are the rest of the tracks in any actual Civ game? They're all very diverse in language and influences.

I think the only time I actually played Civ was a little bit of Civ II (and maybe the original Civ) in college where a suite-mate owned it, but I mostly just watched him play.
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  #80  
Old 09-09-2017, 05:30 PM
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I was just looking at my Chrono Cross clock like a week ago when I was cleaning out my storeroom. I'm pretty sure I've never bothered to put a battery in it.

I heard Baba Yetu performed by a live orchestra when I visited Ottawa to see Video Games Live. It was pretty good. I love that song, and Civ IV was in my long list, but I wasn't willing to vote for a soundtrack based on only a single piece.
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  #81  
Old 09-09-2017, 05:49 PM
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Baba Yetu is soooo good. As many Thunderdomes as it's been nominated for it's a shame it's never won one. It's also one of the very few pieces of game music to gain mainstream legitimacy. It's been performed by so many groups at so many levels. A few:

Alex Bouye w/ BYU Men's Choir and Philharmonic

Angel City Chorale and Royal Philharmonic

United States Navy Band

Cape Town Youth Choir

Dar es Salaam Children's Gospel Choir

Nanyang Technoloigical University Choir (Singapore)

Stuyvesant High School Choirs
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  #82  
Old 09-09-2017, 05:51 PM
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Wow.

I haven't played Civ 4 (not my kind of game), so I'd never heard "Baba Yetu" in its proper, in-game context.

Seeing it paired with the day/night cycle of the Earth is transformative. I'd already liked the song, but… this makes it something else.
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  #83  
Old 09-09-2017, 09:40 PM
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With cutscene
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  #84  
Old 09-10-2017, 10:04 AM
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Honourable Mention — Ecco the Dolphin (Sega CD)
38 points • 2 mentions • Highest rank: #11 (conchobhar)

Featured Track:
Aqua Vistas (Title Screen)


Home BayVolcanic ReefWelcome to the Machine


Composed by:
Spencer Nilsen

Platform: Sega CD • Release date: June 1993
Stars: ★★★★⭑, on his forehead.

Ecco the Dolphin is a Sega classic, and a mainstay of Sega's various retro compilations. But inevitably, the version included is the original Genesis version, and not the one for the Sega CD; and that's a shame, because the CD version has an all-new soundtrack that's worth appreciating.

Spencer Nilsen was one of three musicians credited on the Genesis release, but his work here couldn't be more different. Gone are the Genesis' hallmark dingy synths and thumping percussion, replaced with lush, layered soundscapes made possible thanks to the Sega CD's Redbook audio(™). You could classify it as "new age", but that would do it a disservice; it's more complex, nuanced and— for lack of a better word— purposeful than that genre typically is. Likewise, it avoids sounding like cliché "underwater music" by making use of a wider variety of instruments and trying for a more exotic sound instead. And as soothing as Ecco can be, it's hardly music to meditate to; there's always an element of mystery and danger lurking just beneath, enrapturing attention.

No, the comparison I'd make is to Tangerine Dream, the pioneering German electronic ambient band. But while that band lost eventually their way, Nilsen carries forth all the excitement, intrigue and wonder that graced their most famous works; it's tempting to think of it as a "lost album", because it's certainly better than anything the band themselves had put out in the decade leading up to Ecco. In that light, Ecco is a gift.

"Aqua Vistas", the title screen, is naturally the best introduction to this game's music. Listen to how it begins with a quiet fade in, accompanied by scattered bits of dolphin vocalization, and gradually builds to a dense, layered piece; it's as if the listener is being submerged into this underwater world.

But I encourage you to listen to the others I've listed, too. "Home Bay", the theme of Ecco's home, is appropriately soothing, and I like that it uses a flute in place of what could have easily been choral singing (dolphins, of course, wouldn't have that). "Volcanic Reef" is the soundtrack at its most upbeat and active, centred on a trumpet with percussion backing. "Welcome to the Machine" is dark, foreboding and oppressive, albeit with a small speck of light in the form of a quiet synth line— perhaps representing Ecco himself.

A selection of Nilsen's work from both Ecco games was later collected in a standalone release called Songs of Time, which features the greatest credits I've ever seen:

Quote:
Noises By
Spencer Nilsen - Keyboards, Synthesizers, Textures
David Young - Keyboards, Programming, Sound Design
Mitch Manker - Wind Synthesizer, Pocket Trumpet
Brad Kaiser - Drums, Percussion, Keyboards (uses Zildjian cymbals)
Jennifer Kruska - Samples, Programming, Sound Design
Brian Coburn - Sound Effects and General Weirdness
Erik Frykman - Guitars, Effects
Whales & Dolphins - Themselves
Yes. They credited the whales and dolphins. And if that's not worth an honourable mention, I don't know what is.

~ conchobhar
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  #85  
Old 09-10-2017, 12:47 PM
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Man. I wish I could love the Ecco games as much as I love this music.
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  #86  
Old 09-10-2017, 01:20 PM
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Man. I wish I could love the Ecco games as much as I love this music.
There's no game that's so pretty yet so unplayable.
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  #87  
Old 09-10-2017, 02:03 PM
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Ah shit. I got so busy I missed the deadline. Then I missed the thread starting!

Here now at least.
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  #88  
Old 09-10-2017, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
Honourable Mention — Ecco the Dolphin (Sega CD)

Platform: Sega CD • Release date: June 1993
Stars: ★★★★⭑, on his forehead.

Ecco the Dolphin is a Sega classic, and a mainstay of Sega's various retro compilations. But inevitably, the version included is the original Genesis version, and not the one for the Sega CD; and that's a shame, because the CD version has an all-new soundtrack that's worth appreciating.

Spencer Nilsen was one of three musicians credited on the Genesis release, but his work here couldn't be more different. Gone are the Genesis' hallmark dingy synths and thumping percussion, replaced with lush, layered soundscapes made possible thanks to the Sega CD's Redbook audio(™). You could classify it as "new age", but that would do it a disservice; it's more complex, nuanced and— for lack of a better word— purposeful than that genre typically is. Likewise, it avoids sounding like cliché "underwater music" by making use of a wider variety of instruments and trying for a more exotic sound instead. And as soothing as Ecco can be, it's hardly music to meditate to; there's always an element of mystery and danger lurking just beneath, enrapturing attention.

No, the comparison I'd make is to Tangerine Dream, the pioneering German electronic ambient band. But while that band lost eventually their way, Nilsen carries forth all the excitement, intrigue and wonder that graced their most famous works; it's tempting to think of it as a "lost album", because it's certainly better than anything the band themselves had put out in the decade leading up to Ecco. In that light, Ecco is a gift.
Yeah. Ecco the games are kind of wonky, but the CD quality sound and the atmosphere that Spencer Nielsen achieved here fit perfectly with the kind of image Ecco was trying to portray.

And not just that, but even if you know nothing about Ecco, even if you don't like "typical" game music, this is some fantastic music that everybody should try.
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  #89  
Old 09-10-2017, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falselogic View Post
Ah shit. I got so busy I missed the deadline. Then I missed the thread starting!

Here now at least.
You were warned!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daikaiju View Post
Hurry everyone, or my all votes are worth more for your lack of action.

CAN YOU HANDLE SUCH A BURDEN?
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  #90  
Old 09-10-2017, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
Aqua Vistas
Umm, wow.
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