Yeah I kinda fell out of the habit of making Amazing VGM Pieces haven’t I? The last one I did was for The Dark Colossus Destroys All from NieR and that was back in October. Perhaps I should capitalize on the game I just reviewed then? Dragon Quest II it is! Particularly I would like to go with the two world map themes and their variations. The first of these tracks is titled “Distant Journey” (Also sometimes referred to as “A Lonely Youth”) and plays on the world map with an incomplete party and is thus the first one you here.
Dragon Quest II is often glossed over when discussing the legacy of the series. While Dragon Quest I is noteworthy for being the first game in the series and Dragon Quest III is noteworthy for being motherfucking Dragon Quest III, Dragon Quest II just seems to be known as “that one that’s really really hard and comes between Dragon Quest I and III.” I often see people act as if Dragon Quest II is completely unremarkable and that is just not the case.
Dragon Quest II is a pretty badass game when you get right down to it. I should note that I have not played the NES original this time around and am thus only familiar with it from a lets play I saw years ago and from what I’ve looked up about it. From what I can gather the later versions definitely seem more polished and well structured, that is unless you are playing and English fan translation of the super famicom version that is. Read more
Given the niche of people who read my stuff, I am sure most of you are aware of the impact the Dragon Quest series has on JRPGs as a whole. There is a strange sense of disconnect when thinking about how popular the series is in Japan when comparing its overseas releases. While the series is moderately popular in the west, the Dragon Quest series is pretty much mainstream in Japan. Today I am going to look at the game that started it all.
Prior to about a month ago, I have never played the first three Dragon Quest games (and still have not played the third as I am writing this). I beat the first Dragon Quest a few weeks ago and am very close to completing Dragon Quest 2. For the sake of context, the version I played through was the SNES version but I played a bit of the NES version until my emulator went kaput and made me lose all my progress. I plan to briefly talk about each version though and this piece is meant as a critique of the game overall. Read more
Ah yes, three of my most shilled games in a row for Amazing VGM. I’d normally do something from Saya no Uta since I just reviewed it but I kinda hinted at this one last week so I better follow through. Anyway I’ve been meaning to touch on this one for a while since it really is an amazing track from an amazing game.
Welcome to this week’s VGM. I have decided that I would go with something that is from a game especially nostalgic to me, Final Fantasy VII. Of course, I’m never one to go with the predictable tracks like “One Winged Angel” or “Aerith’s Theme” or even slightly less common but still talked about tracks like “Still More Fighting” and “The Great Warrior.” The first track that comes to mind when I think of Final Fantasy VII is either “Interrupted by Fireworks” (which I honestly find more beautiful and emotionally moving than “Aerith’s Theme”) or “Holding My Thoughts in My Heart.”
This week’s VGM is going to be quite a doozy. Shadowlord is in my top 5 for best RPG final boss themes, up there with Dancing Mad, The Battle for Everyone’s Souls, Hopes and Dreams, and… okay I don’t know what the fifth one is yet. I do hope that I have made it abundantly clear at this point that I am a huge fan of both NieR titles. Even though there were a few qualms I had with the original, it was still such a powerful experience that I would easily play it again some day. I will admit that having an amazing soundtrack always helps, and NieR has one of the best I’ve ever seen (for those wondering, my favorite game OST is Undertale, which is why there has been such a focus on it, even though it is beaten out by both NieR Automata and Earthbound in terms of favorite game overall).
The last VGM I have covered from NieR was the hauntingly beautiful and sad “Emil Spoiler in Title” and I also touched upon the end credits theme “Ashes of Dreams” in my countdown of the most Beautiful JRPG Ending Credits Themes, so this isn’t the first time I’ve covered this series music wise. However, I will need to go into some plot details to fully explain the use of this music so SPOILERS AHEAD for NieR.
Just a heads up, the reason the review is no longer up this site is because it is now up on Brash Games, and I figure they wouldn’t want their content hosted elsewhere. There was a lot that I had to say about this game seeing as how it is currently in my top 3 favorite RPGs (or games in general for that matter).
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My experience with NieR was… really something. While it is pretty weak in the gameplay side of things, it really makes up for it with a very well crafted story, albeit one that has some pacing issues on the first playthrough. NieR was one of the last games by Cavia, a company that has been previously known for the Drakengard series. NieR also takes place after one of the first Drakengard’s ending D.
NieR is pretty much a game that is driven on its narrative, and it manages to hold its own well enough that it will still be a very impactful experience by the time you are done. Yes the gameplay is undeniably bland, but the overall artistry of the game makes it one that is definitely worth playing. Read more