Video Game Music of the Week - 312


Final Fantasy XII (PlayStation 2)

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Tracks:
Dalmasca Estersand, Giza Plains, Theme Of The Empire, Eruyt Village, The Cerobi Steppe

Composer(s):
Hitoshi Sakimoto, Masaharu Iwata, Hayato Matsuo


Final Fantasy XII released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2, five years after Final Fantasy X, which was the previous single-player Final Fantasy game. Final Fantasy XI did release in-between both games, but was an online-only title. The game introduced a new battle mechanic that had a more seamless transition from real-world travel into battles, with a unique system, labeled as the Gambit System. A remastered version was released this year for the PlayStation 4.



The Dalmasca Estersand
The
Final Fantasy XII soundtrack features a more grander and cinematic sound than all games before it. It marks another transition in the series, which occurs commonly throughout each game as it strives to set each individual story and experience apart from each of their predecessors. The Dalmasca Estersand is one of the games first explorable locations, but even being one of the early environments, it still has quite a grand feel to it.




Giza Plains
This track is another early area in the game, but has quite a heavy feel to it once it gets started. It makes players aware of the dangers surrounding the plains, but still has a slight magical and pleasant sound to it during lighter moments.




Theme Of The Empire
There is no doubt that Final Fantasy XII takes much inspiration from the Star Wars series, from both the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy. This song is a great musical showcase for this comparison, with its heavy marching drum beat, general musical progression and striking similarities to the Imperial Death March theme from Star Wars.




Eruyt Village
The location in where this track plays is a hidden forest of sorts, and the background theme tries to accomodate this idea with its magical, and calming melody.




The Cerobi Steppe
The Cerobi Steppe is one of many large, open areas in Final Fantasy XII. The music invokes a majestic feel that solidifies its awe-inspiring environment.




Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 311


Final Fantasy X (PlayStation 2)


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Tracks:
Besaid, Spira Unplugged, Calm Before The Storm, Launch, Battle Theme, Zanarkand

Composer(s):
Nobuo Uematsu
Masashi Hamauzu
Junya Nakano


Final Fantasy X released in 2001 for the PlayStation 2 and was the first Final Fantasy game to release on the system. It marks yet another shift in the series, being the first game to introduce voice acting into the series. As far as the music goes, it was the first game in the series that was not solely composed by series composer Nobuo Uematsu. He worked alongside Masashi Hamauzu and Junya Nakano.

Note*
We featured Final Fantasy X in our 3rd VGM of the Week article. As our podcast didn’t exist at that time, we lost the chance to feature the games soundtrack in-depth on the show because our podcast is directly influenced by the VGM of the Week articles. We are featuring the game yet again, to showcase the games music in our Video Game Music podcast, which will happen with other similar games in the future.



Besaid
The background music to the island of
Besaid is like no other song in the Final Fantasy series. The track really helps to showcase the unique environmental elements of Final Fantasy X with its remarkably tranquil sound.




Spira Unplugged
Like Besaid, this track is a very harmonious theme with a completely peaceful sound. It features the melody from one of the games main themes, Suteki Da Ne, yet almost sounds like a complete different tune with a very different feel.




Calm Before The Storm
Many of the environments in Final Fantasy X are diverse, colourful and very memorable. The areas that make up the world in the game help to make Final Fantasy X such a great game because of their creative designs. As such, the music plays on these design choices by enhancing the overall feel of each area. Calm Before The Storm is one of the games area themes that plays in Macalania Woods, one of the games mysterious and mildly-haunting areas.




Launch
Launch is ones of the games many action themes. It plays towards the end of the game, usually surrounding high tense moments in the Airship, including the amazing battle against one of the games major enemies.




Battle Theme
This is the games standard Battle Theme. Most of the battle themes from Final Fantasy I through IX have a similar opening and a slightly similar sound. Each of those songs are excellent themes, and with this track, the series takes a completely different approach. It's yet another design choice that shifts the series in another direction.




Zanarkand
Zanarkand is easily one the games most memorable and emotional themes. The track itself is very important to the story, playing during many moments in the game, including the title screen. It has since been a main staple to those who discuss music of the Final Fantasy series.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 300


Psychonauts (PC, Xbox, PlayStation 2)

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Tracks:
Title & End Credits, The Catwalk Phantom, Whispering Rock

Composer(s):
Peter McConnell


Psychonauts is a Platform game developed by Double Fine Productions and well-known game designer, Tim Schafer. The game released in 2005, with a sequel currently in development.



Title & End Credits
This theme plays during the title and end credits. The song has very cartoonish elements to it with its wild orchestration.




The Catwalk Phantom
This cunning theme has obvious elements of deviousness and trickery. It jumps from low-key moments to grand, quick-hitting sections.




Whispering Rock
This western-style theme has a very gentle and harmless melody. It has some assorted guitar moments that remain unique as the song progresses.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 299


Beyond Good & Evil (Various)

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Tracks:
Home Sweet Home, Hyllian Suite, Violent Jade Suite, Funky Bar

Composer(s):
Christophe Héral


Beyond Good & Evil is an action-adventure game that released over multiple home consoles and PC's in 2003. The game received quite the cult following and a sequel was finally announced at this years E3 expo.



Home Sweet Home
This song features a very enticing opening with its strange background sound and core piano line of music. The theme suggests an adventurous setting with some elements of mystery and grandiose layered within.




Hyllian Suite
Hyllian Suite features a very tribal and natural sound. The flute-like melody brings a sense of wonder to the theme, with the songs string instruments giving it a more ambitious feel at the same time. The xylophone segment is also one of the themes more memorable moments.




Violent Jade Suite
This theme is immediately noticeable as a very action-oriented and tense piece of music. The main section of the theme is extremely fast, delivering an almost agitated sound.




Funky Bar
This track has a great jazz feel with it's cleverly delivered trumpet solo. The beat box-backing only helps to deliver one of the games truly unforgettable themes, proving the unique qualities that the game possesses.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 266


Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes (Arcade, Various)

vgm266

Tracks:
Mode Menu, Airship Stage, Swamp Stage, Training Mode

Composer(s):
Tetsuya Shibata
Mitsuhiko Takano


Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes released in 2000, just two years after the previous game in the series. The game continues to be one of the most talked about collaboration games in modern gaming and is still loved today by many fighting-game enthusiasts.



Mode Menu
This track is all about the electric guitar and its infectious riff. It's a fairly neutral song with a short melody, but positions itself perfectly as a mellow Menu theme.




Airship Stage
The Airship Stage theme has a very mild sound that intertwines with some funk and jazz elements. This track, and many of the other themes in the game feel quite different to any previous fighting game soundtrack.




Swamp Stage
This song is very much a Funk-themed track with its bubbly opening and remarkably memorable horns and distorted vocals. The theme has many unique elements that define what the Marvel vs. Capcom 2 soundtrack is all about.




Training Mode
The Training Mode track features a plethora of Funk instruments and sounds. It has a wild structure and its melody and sounds vary mildly throughout.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

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