Wow, it's been a long time since I've headed up a thread on these boards. . . haven't had much of a reason to in terms of the quality of video game music these days, but Masashi Hamauzu's score to 'Dirge of Cerberus' has me incredibly excited. After the semi let-down with Sakimoto's music to FFXII (although I'll reserve final judgement for the official release), I really wasn't expecting a lot out of Hamauzu's solo entry into the series.
I've listened to it in its entirety once now, and to anyone who hasn't heard this soundtrack yet, I have to highly recommend it! Its everything I wished Final Fantasy XII would've sounded like and is really a grand culmination of Hamauzu's output thus far, musically. More of the fantastic solo work we've come to know and love from the composer, but in terms of overall sound, this is quite the break from the colorfully dazzling and sweetly melancholy nature of Hamauzu's work. 'Dirge of Cerberus' is alive with the unique orchestrational choices of Hamauzu yet rich in dark overtones of which the composer has only explored lightly in the past.
Wow. . . quite the score. And not a moment too soon as I was beginning to lose faith in the music of the Square-Enix team.
P.S. For those who haven't heard Jeremy Soule's latest offerings in 'Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion' and 'Guild Wars: Factions', I would also recommend those quite highly. Beautiful, sumptuous works. . . oooo, speaking of which, so is Dragon Quest VIII Symphonic Suite.
Well it's weird. I first listened to it, and I liked it enough to buy it. I bought it (on sale for only like $20, with SCIII for $10, plus some shipping), and on second listen it didn't call to me as much....I'm definetly going to listen again, but I'm thinking it might be a nope.
You may be interested in this thread:
I like Dirge of Cerberus quite a bit. The second disc is better then the first (because it has the majority of the orchestrated FMV tracks) but the whole thing is very thematic and well-written. The two rock tracks are awful though and awkwardly placed, interrupting the soundtrack's flow.
The music is far better than the game is. I wish that Hamauzu would get a project that is worth his talents.
As for Jeremy Soule, he's getting better. His work on the Elder Scrolls games is top-notch (even though there's not nearly enough music to fill up those games). I just wish that he'd get an orchestra. His samples are probably the best in the industry but the best samples can't hide that lifeless sound that you'll get unless you use real players.
(And I like Sakimoto's work on FFXII quite a bit. It gets better with every lesson, especially that awesome final boss piece)
Last edited by Wanderer (May 06, 2006)
I definitely agree Jeremy Soule should use live orchestras more in his work (live beats synth any day), but that's not necessarily his choice, is it? Besides, he's recorded a pretty fair number of projects live: Total Annihilation, Azurik: Rise of Perathia, Guild Wars, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. I haven't played any of the Harry Potter games either, but didn't I read they had live orchestra music too? I will admit that I'm rather annoyed when he pads his orchestra with samples, though. I'd much rather have only live players even if he had to use a smaller orchestra. But the other annoyance is that the only one of these soundtracks available on CD is Guild Wars, and that's only in the collector's edition. I would so buy the others if they ever got a retail release!