Did Shenmue have the best music ever?

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Did Shenmue have the best music ever?

Postby TwiceFriedRice » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:05 am

I'm listening to the soundtrack while playing the first game for the first time in ages, and I'm not sure any game has matched it in terms of the overall feel and quality of its music. There are plenty of games with some amazing soundtracks too (Metroid, Zelda, FF, Sonic, Castlevania, Streets of Rage, etc) but I don't think you can convince me anymore that they have better soundtracks.

Just listen to these...I mean just fucking listen:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdZ3821-k8Y[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4QHpEn_zRM[/youtube]

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Re: Did Shenmue have the best music ever?

Postby Peter » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:01 am

I was exactly where you are about 2 years ago. I will never forget it because despite years of playing the game, i never sat and appreciated the music. When i put on the soundtracks i was blown away. It is easily the best videogame music by a mile, in all aspects from direction, arrangement, composition and tone. Its untouched to be honest.
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Re: Did Shenmue have the best music ever?

Postby mue 26 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:41 am

It's definitely up there, and probably my personal favourite, but there is some fantastic quality video game music out there today. A recent particular favourite of mine is the frankly epic soundtrack to Nier. Deadly Premonition's also gets an honourable mention and has some perfect tunes, though it is probably just a little too schizophrenic for me on the whole, mind, that actually works for the game to be honest. A slightly less left field choice would be the poppy but cinematic score to FF13, yeah yeah I know some of it "sounds like music the composer has already done for other games", but it fit the game perfectly and definitely added to my enjoyment of it.

Still nothing quite gives me the chills like Mue's soundtrack does.
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Re: Did Shenmue have the best music ever?

Postby Luvly KM » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:47 am

My appreciation of the soundtrack is weird. I like it because it is bad.

To unpack that statement I like how it wasn't trying to be over-spectacular with the composition. Everything sounds earthy and of the 1980's. Nothing necessarily catches your ears and even taken outside of the game doesn't really stand alone as 'great' music. But it is precisely because of those reasons why it is so good. Nothing is there to wow. It is fully aware of its own boundaries and like much of the game itself, it wasn't afraid to be anachronistic to the rest of the medium.

As standalone music, it is okay but then the aim of a soundtrack isn't primarily to sound good. Rather, It is there to foster an atmosphere, an emotion. And Shenmue succeeds in that department like no other.
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Re: Did Shenmue have the best music ever?

Postby Sailors? » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:49 am

I agree entirely, the Shenmue soundtrack is one of the big reasons I wanted to get into film and game music in the first place. It fits perfectly and adds to the atmosphere of the game, I aim to do the same in my work.
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Re: Did Shenmue have the best music ever?

Postby mue 26 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:13 am

As standalone music, it is okay but then the aim of a soundtrack isn't primarily to sound good. Rather, It is there to foster an atmosphere, an emotion. And Shenmue succeeds in that department like no other.


I kind of agree with this, even though I do enjoy it as stand alone music too. I don't think it can even really be called "bad" though, it's true it had to work within the limits that game music had back then, but some of the compositions capture that certain mystique that Shenmue had (or indeed gave Shenmue that mystique it has) so very finely. It balances the tone of the game incredibly well, always hinting at the mystic, even while Ryo is trudging through the mundane streets of doubita.

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Re: Did Shenmue have the best music ever?

Postby MiTT3NZ » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:19 am

Orchestral, maybe. Nothing beats Jet Set Radio. As for non-original soundtracks, the FIFA n Tony Hawk games have been consistently brilliant. But yeah, Shenmue's is still amazing.
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Re: Did Shenmue have the best music ever?

Postby Luvly KM » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:03 am

mue 26 wrote:

I kind of agree with this, even though I do enjoy it as stand alone music too. I don't think it can even really be called "bad" though, it's true it had to work within the limits that game music had back then, but some of the compositions capture that certain mystique that Shenmue had (or indeed gave Shenmue that mystique it has) so very finely. It balances the tone of the game incredibly well, always hinting at the mystic, even while Ryo is trudging through the mundane streets of doubita.




Bad is an inaccurate word in this instance, but you almost prove my point. It needs the game shenmue for it to work. Out of that context it really isn't anything special.

And if anything that heightens its greatness as a soundtrack composition.
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Re: Did Shenmue have the best music ever?

Postby Sailors? » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:53 am

I look at it the other way round, although it does work both ways. The game wouldn't be half as special for me without the music.
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Re: Did Shenmue have the best music ever?

Postby Feelers Rebo » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:19 pm

Or maybe they're symbiotic?
The music of Shenmue probably wouldn't appeal to me as an entity unto itself. However, I like it, and as it enhances the game, the game enhances it.
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Re: Did Shenmue have the best music ever?

Postby Rakim » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:42 pm

Shenmue and Kingdom Hearts are my top game soundtracks, with KH slightly beating Shenmue because of how frequently I still play it. The original Sonic trilogy is also up there for me.

Oh JSFR too. Almost forgot about that thanks Mittz. Its probably the best OST that features almost exclusively non-instrumental tracks.
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Re: Did Shenmue have the best music ever?

Postby MiTT3NZ » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:03 pm

Nah, I ain't talkin about Future. Didn't like it.
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Re: Did Shenmue have the best music ever?

Postby Fenix » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:07 pm

For me, yes. I use to hear the music of Shenmue everyday at every hours.
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Re: Did Shenmue have the best music ever?

Postby Kenny » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:02 pm

It had a great orchestral soundtrack, but I prefer more electronic/low-fi beats.

Kind of like that one David Cage game.
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Re: Did Shenmue have the best music ever?

Postby Bluecast » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:02 pm

Yuzo Koshiro is one of my faves but his best work is Ys I & II. Shenmue has great music. Best..hmm No. I'm a nerd who listens to nothing bt OST's and there is many out there that are flat out mind blowing amazing. While no doubt he OST is a fave among many here but objectively the best? I would disagree. I have my own faves but hard to say what game or series has the best. Very subjective. I love the Shenmue OST so much in 2003 made a mix tape on CD for my mom. We do NOT share the same musical taste (aside from Jazz) but she loves the music to it and showed her other VG musics and loved it and she hates games.

So in short no I do not believe so esp when I believe it's not even Yuzo's best work(yes I know other talent worked on it as well).
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