Ever since I saw the article “The Best JRPG Soundtracks”, I had the urge to say “this is so wrong!”.
I know that this is the personal list of the Kotaku staff, but still: trying to do justice to decades worth of JRPG soundtrack with a mere 20 entries is just impossible. Calling this “The Best” is not really doing it justice.
Someone has to do a curated, well-planned list eventually, and that one might as well be me.
But not without the help of others of course.
Here’s the plan: Everyone will write a post about their favorite JRPG soundtrack. You have to explain why it’s so special. Think about its style, the emotions it invokes, the overall style, variation and quality. Just anything you believe makes it special in the first place.
You may include two different tracks (aka YouTube videos) from your game in your post. One title just isn’t representative, and more would break Kinja when someone views all of the comments, so two is a good compromise.
Be sure to use tracks that represent the soundtrack as a whole. If the main title, for example, isn’t necessarily the best choice for representation purposes, then by all means just exclude it.
As for what qualifies as an JRPG, everything that Wikipedia labels as such is fair game. Even some non-Japanese made games are ok, as long as the gameplay fits the formula of most other games.
And yes, strategy games such as FF Tactics and Valkyria Chronices, as well as games that have little to no exploration (Final Fantasy XIII) still count. As long as a game has a combat system and some form of level-up or upgrade system, it qualifies.
And yes, you may create more than one post, should Kinja allow it. But if possible, please wait and check other posts to prevent identical game entries. Otherwise there will be like 10+ entries for the same game.
This will be one hell of a task, but I’m up to it.
EDIT: As of August 10th, 1 PM EDT, the following games have been mentioned in the comments:
- Atelier Ayesha
- Bravely Default
- DrakeriderFinal Fantasy VI
- Final Fantasy VIII
- Radiant Historia
- Secret of Mana II/Seiken Densetsu 3The World Ends With You
- Xenoblade ChroniclesYs: The Oath in Felghana
I’ll keep on updating this portion of the article, so you don’t have to check every post yourself every day.
After a while, I’ll start to create a list, and post that list on Google Docs. You can then view it and read the various explanations, and make suggestions or improvement tips. Hopefully, someday, we can create something that is fine for most people.
I’d love to make this a completely open and democratic process, but the truth is that someone has to do some form of sorting out and curation work, otherwise we’ll not get anywhere. Someone has to be the evil guy and make the cuts. Otherwise, everyone would vote for their games, and the list would become way too huge.
Remember, the goal of the list is to create something that gives people not familiar with the genre a good impression of what JRPG music have to offer. This article can still function as a huge master list in which people can get lost in.
Aaaaand that’s it! Happy posting!