NSM Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Interested in contributing to the site? Give the Arrangement Formatting Guidelines a good read!

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 14

Author Topic: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column  (Read 33724 times)

SlowPokemon

  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • ********************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 16425
  • GRAAAAAHH
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2011, 06:43:10 PM »

Read my better review of the score here.

What's this? Two reviews in one day? IMPOSSIBLE, you say.

Well guess what? I'VE GOT NO LIFE BUB. SO SHUT UP AND READ.

Soundtrack Review: Professor Layton and the Unwound Future by Tomohito Nishiura

At last! Here we are at the last game of the original Professor Layton trilogy. I'm pretty sure Nishiura was just holding back the first two games; this soundtrack is definitely superior.

"The Unwound Future (Live Version)" is what this soundtrack begins with, and it is definitely some of the best material the soundtrack has to offer. It is a bit like Professor Layton's Theme but...so much more complex. It's pure, undiluted awesomeness. Go listen to this. Right now. I'm not kidding.

"Puzzles Reinvented" introduces us to the new Puzzles theme, not quite as catchy as the original but definitely a good change of pace.

"London Streets" starts off the first of several London themes (all of which sound somewhat similar). This is the present London theme, and it's definitely very good. The piano plays a simple tune that carries the song through, and it's actually a compelling melody. "Searching for Clues" is the theme for inside buildings in future London, and it's the most lackluster of the London themes. Not all that fantastic, quite honestly. "More London Streets" is the future London theme, and it has a great melody but is quite repetitive and the accordions make it seem "unclean" to me. I don't know what that is supposed to mean. Finally, "A Quiet Town" is the theme for a few buildings like the subway station and the hospital, and it's pretty and melancholy and all that.

"The Gilded 7 Casino" is quite an odd track. It's catchy, makes use of the piano, and doesn't have much accordion. It breaks away from typical Layton tracks and brings something new. It's actually a great casino theme.

Not long after, we have "Chinatown," a great Asian-sounding piece that uses chimes and violin to play off the general London theme heard other places.

Next is another piece where the accordion works perfectly: "Puzzle Battle." Fast, bouncy, and tense, this track is very fun to listen to. "The Towering Pagoda" works well as a tower theme, and the beginning is reminiscent of "Into the Depths of the Dark" from Diabolical Box. "The Professor's Deductions" works well as an indicator of the mystery continuing to be solved. This is the theme during the game where the professor relays his theories and the like, and your eyes get wider and wider until finally you can only say "WTF!" It's exactly the type of theme we've come to expect from a Layton game.

Hooray, more awesome tracks next! "The Research Facility" is particularly great, as well as "The Mobile Fortress"; both of them are dangerous and whatnot, as the game begins to draw to a close. "Puzzles Reinvented 2" is a faster version of the theme, used for the extremely hard puzzles near the end of the game.

Next are the minigames the Professor has in the trunk, all of which use the same theme with heavily different arrangements. "The Picture Book" introduces this theme with a soft, music box arrangement. "The Toy Car" is the best of the three, using an upbeat and more "hummable" version. Finally,"The Parrot" uses the accordion in a waltz arrangement of the theme. All of them are pretty awesome.

End theme time! "Time Travel" is the name of the third game's end theme, and like "Iris" from Diabolical Box, there is the original "Time Travel" with Japanese vocals as well as the U.S. instrumental version. Rather than a music box arrangement, we get a piano version afterwards. It's a wonderful theme, perfect for soothing your tears that are undoubtedly flowing from the leaky faucets that are your eyeballs after finishing the game.

Finally, the bonus tracks. We have three live tracks in addition to the Unwound Future theme heard at the beginning. "More London Streets (Live Version)" is pretty much the best piece on the soundtrack. It's a great example of how much better a theme can be when performed by an orchestra. "The Research Facility (Live Version)" and "The Mobile Fortress (Live Version)" are both completely epic as well. The high quality tracks this game are "The Towering Pagoda"and "The Toy Car," and they still are pretty much unnecessary.

Rating: ****

Track list:
1. The Unwound Future (Live Version)
2. Puzzles Reinvented
3. London Streets
4. Searching for Clues
5. Tension
6. More London Streets
7. A Quiet Town
8. The Gilded 7 Casino
9. Sorrow
10. Suspicion
11. Chinatown
12. Puzzle Battle
13. Memories
14. The Towering Pagoda
15. The Professor's Deductions
16. Crisis
17. The Research Facility
18. Puzzles Reinvented 2
19. The Mobile Fortress
20. The Picture Book
21. The Toy Car
22. The Parrot
23. Time Travel
24. Time Travel (Instrumental Version)
25. Time Travel (Piano Version)
26. More London Streets (Live Version)
27. The Research Facility (Live Version)
28. The Mobile Fortress (Live Version)
29. The Towering Pagoda (High Quality Version)
30. The Toy Car (High Quality Version)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 08:34:09 PM by SlowPokemon »
Logged
Fuck logic, that shit is boring, lame and does not always support my opinions.

SlowPokemon

  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • ********************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 16425
  • GRAAAAAHH
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2011, 02:33:37 AM »

Soundtrack Review: Mario & Luigi RPG Sound Selection by Yoko Shimomura


Alright! This was a promotional CD given out to Nintendo club members in Japan. It's a compilation of several tracks from the Mario & Luigi series, which includes the games Superstar Saga, Partners in Time, and Bowser's Inside Story.

Ms. Shimomura has been universally acclaimed for her epic music of the Kingdom Hearts series. She also composed for the game Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. However, in the Mario & Luigi series, she does something completely different, bringing out her suitably silly side for a wacky series. If you have ever played any one of these games, you know that their bizarre plotlines and zany humor really give them a sort of quirky charm, and the music carries this charm.

Alright, so let's get to reviewing.

First, Superstar Saga. This game was for the Game Boy Advance, as opposed to the Nintendo DS platform of the other two, so of course the music lacks depth and isn't quite as good. Still, it has a certain charm and Shimomura makes up for the sound capabilities with charming tunes. "Preparing for Traveling" is the title screen theme, and it's the best of the selections from this game. It's bouncy, fun, and introduces the player to the world of M&L. The two battle themes, "Come on!" and "Come on, Again!" are both fun, the latter being the better of the two. "Welcome to the Beanbean Kingdom" is kind of exotic, which works as this is a foreign kingdom for the bros. Next we come to some fun villainous tracks. "His Name is Fawful" is a very short theme that is perfect for the rambling minion with psychedelic glasses, and this theme is later fully fleshed out in "Fawful, Cackletta." "The Last Stage" and "The Final Cackletta" are both evil, but there's nothing really fantastic about them. Same goes for "The End of Traveling," the end credits theme.

Next, Partners in Time. There are only a scant amount of selected tracks from this game, but they are all awesome. "Hello, Time Travelers!", the title screen music, is extremely catchy, almost too much for its own good. "Attack the Enemy" is the bouncy normal battle, and it's alright, but the truly epic themes come next. "Crisis for the Red and Green!" is the boss battle music, and it's really good. Catchy, tense, and it really never gets old--perfect for those annoyingly long bosses in the game. The next tracks are the two last battles. "Overture for the End" is very tense and the catchier of the two, but "Yet Another Requiem" is the true winner of the two, and we get a glimpse of the epicness Shimomura usually reserves for Kingdom Hearts. Finally, the end theme, "Dance With Babies," is a fittingly creepy waltz with lots of accordion and light harp.

Finally, Bowser's Inside Story. There are a lot of BIS tracks on the album. "To the New Adventure!" is the title screen, and it's got that quirky charm. "Oki Doki!!" is the battle theme for Mario and Luigi, and it's kind of kiddie and fun to listen to--I especially love the brief intro part. "SHOWTIME!!" is Bowser's battle theme, and it's more tense than fun. "They're Pretty Tough, Should We Be Careful?" is the boss battle theme, and it's completely fantastic. Zany, fast-paced, and also slightly dangerous. It's mostly fun though, alluding to the light side of the game rather than the dark boss theme of Partners in Time. "Fawful Is There" is the jazzy theme for Fawful now that he's the head honcho. Next we have the area themes, which have both the overworld and inside Bowser versions in the same track. "The Wind is Blowing at Cavi Cape" is a pounding theme, sounds rather mysterious. "Beachside Dream" is the ridiculously catchy theme for Plack Beach. "Let's Meet in the Mysterious Forest," or Dimble Wood, is an example where the inside Bowser version is better than the overworld. "Grasslands, All the Way" is the calm and fun theme for Bumpsy Plains. "Stolen Koopa Castle" is a winner here, being dark and insistent and quite fitting, but the inside Bowser version is quite as good as the overworld version. "Short Break in Mushroom Town" is the really pretty theme for Toad Town. "Waltz in the Lake" is a fun and bouncy underwater theme. "The Road Leading To The Secret" is also a winner, being sneaky and dark. Finally, "Deep Castle" is the theme for the final level. It would be better if the final level didn't take so long--you end up hearing this song for SO LONG. >__> Then we have "Dr. Toadley," the catchy and upbeat clinic theme. Perhaps the best battle theme so far is "The Giant," the giant Bowser battle theme. It's just amazing; Shimomura really made this awesome. Even better is "In the Final," the final battle theme that outclasses all of them. Also great is "Traveling About on a Journey of Memories," the end theme which incorporates most of the area themes.

This is a great selection, I really enjoy listening to it. My biggest complaint: there really should be more Partners in Time tracks.

Rating: ****

Track list:
1. Prepare for Traveling
2. Come on!
3. Come on, Again!
4. Welcome to the Beanbean Kingdom
5. His Name is Fawful
6. Fawful, Cackletta
7. The Final Stage
8. The Last Cackletta
9. End of Traveling

10. Hello, Time Travelers!
11. Attack the Enemy
12. Crisis for the Red and Green!
13. Overture for the End
14. Yet Another Requiem
15. Dance With Babies

16. To the New Adventure!
17. Oki Doki!!
18. SHOWTIME!!
19. They're Pretty Tough, Should We Be Careful?
20. Fawful and Midbus

21. The Wind is Blowing at Cavi Cape
22. Beachside Dream
23. Let's Meet in the Mysterious Forest
24. Grasslands, All the Way
25. Stolen Koopa Castle
26. Short Break in Mushroom Town
27. Waltz in the Lake
28. Bowser's Path
29. Deep Castle
30. Dr. Toadley
31. Clash of the Titans
32. In the Final
33. Traveling About on a Journey of Memories
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 08:33:57 PM by SlowPokemon »
Logged
Fuck logic, that shit is boring, lame and does not always support my opinions.

SuperFireKirby

  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • ********************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 7691
  • Resident Avatar Expert
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2011, 02:34:52 AM »

*SFK is still wondering why the LoTR soundtrack wasn't the first thing Slow reviewed.*
Logged

After viewing both FMA:Brotherhood and Naruto Shippuden, it would be frivolous to even consider watching an anime as unbearably mediocre as Melancholy. NARUTOxHINATA 4 LYFE!!!

SlowPokemon

  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • ********************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 16425
  • GRAAAAAHH
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2011, 02:47:23 AM »

Cause I've never listened to it besides with the movie, and it would take time to actually do that D:
Logged
Fuck logic, that shit is boring, lame and does not always support my opinions.

fingerz

  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • ********************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 2782
  • ...Where's Paper Luigi?
    • View Profile
    • Mario And Luigi Entertainment
    • Email
Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2011, 11:19:20 PM »

OMG thanks for doing the Mario & Luigi games! Do you accept requests for reviewing soundtracks?
Logged
NOOOOOOOOO! My signature has disappeared!! D:

DrP

  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • ********************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 6099
  • #coffeeisbeautiful
    • View Profile
    • My Facebook
    • Email
Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2011, 11:44:36 PM »

OMG thanks for doing the Mario & Luigi games! Do you accept requests for reviewing soundtracks?
There is a long line, though.

I think if you just send them to him (if he doesn't have 'em, he'll listen to 'em and write about them)
Logged

SlowPokemon

  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • ********************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 16425
  • GRAAAAAHH
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2011, 11:45:36 PM »

You can request but I can't guarantee that I'll write a review of it if there's something else I want to do more. ^^ and DrP I haven't even looked at those yet, I've been busy. And lazy.
Logged
Fuck logic, that shit is boring, lame and does not always support my opinions.

fingerz

  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • ********************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 2782
  • ...Where's Paper Luigi?
    • View Profile
    • Mario And Luigi Entertainment
    • Email
Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2011, 11:29:30 PM »

Up.
Logged
NOOOOOOOOO! My signature has disappeared!! D:

SlowPokemon

  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • ********************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 16425
  • GRAAAAAHH
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2011, 12:49:43 AM »

Nope, I'm definitely not doing that right now (I may in the future though). I am going to write a review for another (better, in my opinion) soundtrack by Giacchino, the soundtrack to Ratatouille.
Logged
Fuck logic, that shit is boring, lame and does not always support my opinions.

SuperFireKirby

  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • ********************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 7691
  • Resident Avatar Expert
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2011, 01:16:54 AM »

*SFK is still wondering how Slow hasn't done a Studio Ghibli film soundtrack yet* <this one I'm actually really surprised with.
Logged

After viewing both FMA:Brotherhood and Naruto Shippuden, it would be frivolous to even consider watching an anime as unbearably mediocre as Melancholy. NARUTOxHINATA 4 LYFE!!!

SlowPokemon

  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • ********************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 16425
  • GRAAAAAHH
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2011, 01:24:41 AM »

omg how could I forget?!? Everything else on my to-do list is now not my top priority. brb writing review
Logged
Fuck logic, that shit is boring, lame and does not always support my opinions.

SlowPokemon

  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • ********************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 16425
  • GRAAAAAHH
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2011, 01:55:45 AM »

December 9, 2012: Read my better review of the score here.

Bam.

Soundtrack Review: Howl's Moving Castle by Joe Hisaishi

Thank you SuperFireKirby. I don't know how my brain forgot about one of the most epic composers of all time, Joe Hisaishi, who is most well known for scoring all of Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli films. He conducts the orchestra as well as playing the piano for the soundtrack, making for some interesting performance videos.

Howl's Moving Castle is a detour from all the typical Japanese music the Hisaishi enjoys incorporating into his work. This music has a heavy European influence, the movie being set in Europe. I quite enjoy it; it's probably my favorite soundtrack of his, next to Spirited Away and Ponyo.

Casually listening to the tracks, you'll probably come across a central theme that plays throughout the album, the Merry-go-Round of Life theme, which is excellent to the infinite degree. It's pretty much the best movie theme ever. It's simplistic and very hummable, yet also complex and extravagant. It first appears in the very first track, "Opening ~ The Merry-go-Round of Life," as a soft piano theme, very light and not at all fully developed. It is arranged into great versions later on. Let’s look at the other tracks in order of appearance.

"Cheerful Cavalry" is the insistent war theme, as the soldiers march proudly into the town square. It's short but catchy enough. "Sky Stroll" is great, opening in a playful plucked string version of the main theme and leading into a wonderfully extravagant version of it. "Heartbeat" is a 20 second or so emotional piece focusing on the piano. "Witch of the Wasteland" has a creepy clarinet solo opening and a tense middle section. A good character theme, which is used again in "The Indelible Curse."

"Wandering Sophie" is one of the best tracks on the album, featuring one of the best arrangements of the merry-go-round theme that utilizes first the accordion and harpsichord and leading into a full orchestral arrangement. "Magic Door" is a lengthy playful piece that's fun and quite catchy at times. After the somewhat forgettable tracks "Spring Cleaning," "To the Lake of Stars," and "Quiet Thoughts," we have "In the Rain,"the best piano arrangement of the main theme that becomes playful with time.

"Vanity and Friendship" is one of the most playful pieces on the album, outlining Sophie's walk to the castle, and it's not all that epic but is quite fun to listen to. I can see Hisaishi grinning broadly as he conducts this bouncy piece. After "A 90-Year-Old Girl" we have the insanely awesome "Suliman's Magic Square ~ Return to the Castle," which first highlights the awesome tension in Madame Suliman's room before leading into creepy chanting and then an epic danger version of the main theme. The incredibly moving track "The Secret Cave" brings something unexpectedly emotional from Hisaishi. "Moving" is another unexpected piece that manages to be nostalgic and pleasant. The same theme is later used in "Family." We then have one of the true winners on the soundtrack, "Flower Garden," which uses almost entirely a string orchestra to develop the merry-go-round theme into an incredibly moving arrangement.

Following the playful track "Run!" is a slow piano version of the theme, "It's Love, Isn't it?", a very sorrowful version of the theme. "Love of War" and "Escape" are both tense tracks, but "Sophie's Castle" brings back the danger theme heard in "Suliman's Magic Square ~ Return to the Castle."

Finally, we have the last two tracks, each being amazing. The shockingly moving and lengthy "The Boy Who Drank Stars" builds on the Secret Cave theme, and reminds me of a Desplat soundtrack. Lastly we have "Ending ~ The Promise of the World ~ The Merry-Go-Round of Life." It begins with a four minute or so vocal piece, sung in Japanese, "The Promise of the World." It's very beautiful and it's immediately followed by a full-blown orchestral arrangement of the main theme.

I love this soundtrack so much. Ultimately it's the merry-go-round theme that makes it exceptional, but it's not the only highlight.

Rating: *****

Track list:
1. Opening ~ The Merry-go-Round of Life
2. Cheerful Cavalry
3. Sky Stroll
4. Heartbeat
5. Witch of the Wasteland
6. Wandering Sophie
7. Magic Door
8. The Indelible Curse
9. Spring Cleaning
10. To the Lake of Stars
11. Quiet Thoughts
12. In the Rain
13. Vanity and Friendship
14. A 90-Year-Old Girl
15. Suliman's Magic Square ~ Return to the Castle
16. The Secret Cave
17. Moving
18. Flower Garden
19. Run!
20. It's Love, Isn't it?
21. Family
22. Love of War
23. Escape
24. Sophie's Castle
25. The Boy Drank Stars
26. Ending ~ The Promise of the World ~ The Merry-go-Round of Life
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 08:34:37 PM by SlowPokemon »
Logged
Fuck logic, that shit is boring, lame and does not always support my opinions.

triforced1

  • Rupee Ragtime
  • *************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 1055
  • ech
    • View Profile
Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2011, 01:58:44 AM »

One of my friends has this movie and we used to watch it every time I came over. It didn't make much sense at the time, since I was like 8 xD
But the soundtrack is great. And Studio Ghibli is great in general. And Slow, you sir, are great.
Logged

Ruto

  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • ********************************
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 3794
  • I have a new hat.
    • View Profile
    • My Flickr
Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2011, 03:53:03 PM »

*SFK is still wondering why the LoTR soundtrack wasn't the first thing Slow reviewed.*

I've owned the first two full soundtracks for 4 years and I've haven't had the time to listen to it all xD

Odd thing is that when you buy the CDs, there's actually 2 copies of the entire soundtrack in it ;)

I'm also waiting for you to do Spirited Away :P
Logged

I seem to be missing a piece of my ear.

SlowPokemon

  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • ********************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 16425
  • GRAAAAAHH
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2011, 05:04:51 PM »

Coming next. :) I actually like Spirited Away's a bit better than Howl's Moving Castle. XD
Logged
Fuck logic, that shit is boring, lame and does not always support my opinions.
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 14
 

Page created in 0.189 seconds with 22 queries.