Kingdom Hearts III OST: Shimomura, Ishimoto



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Forsaken Shadow

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While the music of KH3 is ground breaking as always, I can't help but some tracks don't quite sound like Yoko Shimomura's style, and instead seem to have been composed by Ishimoto instead.

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What other tracks do you notice are distinctly Shimomura's work, and which ones are obviously Ishimoto's?
 

SerDuncan

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I can't really speak for what does and does not sound like Shimomura... but I was disappointed overall with this game's soundtrack. I think it's probably my least favorite OST of the series... except perhaps Re:coded. Very few of the tracks were memorable, the Disney world's music was just okay instead of stellar like usual.

After most KH games I feel like I can hum along to 5 or 6 of my favorite tracks from the game, even after just one play. With this game? I can hardly remember what the basic battle theme sounds like, let alone hum along to 5 tracks. Sure, some of the callbacks were cool, but I felt like... perhaps the jump to Orchestrated music lost some of what made the KH soundtracks so lovable, so memorable in the first place.

It kind of reminds me of a series I'm sure few here have heard of: Ace Attorney. The tracks in the first 4 (or 6 games, I guess) are made using the classic video game chiptune sounds. They're memorable, get stuck in your head, and really get you pumped up for the games. Once they made the jump to 3ds however, they switched to Orchestra soundtracks, and ever since then the music has lacked the same oomph, the same style. It's just not as memorable. That's how I feel about this game. Not a single track here can stand up to even lackluster tracks in the old games. I think part of it might also be the new composers. Maybe it's just me.
 

Forsaken Shadow

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I completely agree with what you say about Ace Attorney. It's not just the music, but the new series overall that has lost its charm since the jump to 3D. Although I don't feel the same way about KH - the reorchestrated tracks from the ReMixes made them sound so much more breathtaking.

For me the part of the music that disappoints is when there is no real understanding of the characters and the situation on the part of the composer. The final boss music was just a mashup of
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Does anybody know why Shimomura didn't do the whole soundtrack herself as always and who composed which tracks?
I can’t speak on all of the tracks in the game because there are well over a hundred of them, but you can tell the difference between each composer without much difficulty. Ishimoto’s are featured in the Caribbean and San Fransokyo. A few in Monstropolis, Vanitas’ battle theme...quite a few battle tracks, actually.

Sekito did the Gummi Ship music, and a track or two in I believe Toy Box. I’m sure there is more but again there are over a hundred songs in this game. It’s hard to keep up with them all.

Also Suzuki who worked with Shimomura on XV also worked on KH3 so a lot of arranged tracks on the album are not just her work but likely Suzuki making a new arrangement.

As to why Shimomura didn’t compose all of the tracks? She’s freelance composer who probably has very high rates and also likely isn’t comfortable with certain styles (i.e. urban or rock like Ishimoto handles). Also, Sekito and Ishimoto have been working with her for years on older titles, but officially became composers with BBS.
 

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Does anybody know why Shimomura didn't do the whole soundtrack herself as always and who composed which tracks?
I can’t speak on all of the tracks in the game because there are well over a hundred of them, but you can tell the difference between each composer without much difficulty. Ishimoto’s are featured in the Caribbean and San Fransokyo. A few in Monstropolis, Vanitas’ battle theme...quite a few battle tracks, actually.

Sekito did the Gummi Ship music, and a track or two in I believe Toy Box. I’m sure there is more but again there are over a hundred songs in this game. It’s hard to keep up with them all.

Also Suzuki who worked with Shimomura on XV also worked on KH3 so a lot of arranged tracks on the album are not just her work but likely Suzuki making a new arrangement.

As to why Shimomura didn’t compose all of the tracks? She’s freelance composer who probably has very high rates and also likely isn’t comfortable with certain styles. Also, Sekito and Ishimoto have been working with her for years on older titles, but officially became composers with BBS.
 

Tartarus

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I can't really speak for what does and does not sound like Shimomura... but I was disappointed overall with this game's soundtrack. I think it's probably my least favorite OST of the series... except perhaps Re:coded. Very few of the tracks were memorable, the Disney world's music was just okay instead of stellar like usual.
I didn't dislike the soundtrack by any means, but it did seem on the weaker side... That said, I don't have a definitive opinion right now because I usually have to listen to the soundtrack separate from the game to form an opinion, overall.
 

furusatoe

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The main issue with the soundtrack is that it sounds more like a Greatest Hits compilation. I cannot recall, off the top of my head, any really great original songs. Most of the standouts are remixes of older tracks. To the point above, though, my opinion may change when I listen on headphones.
 

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I completely agree with what you say about Ace Attorney. It's not just the music, but the new series overall that has lost its charm since the jump to 3D. Although I don't feel the same way about KH - the reorchestrated tracks from the ReMixes made them sound so much more breathtaking.

For me the part of the music that disappoints is when there is no real understanding of the characters and the situation on the part of the composer. The final boss music was just a mashup of
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The thing is, Nomura still reviews and critiques each track before giving the composer his approval. We don't know what the thought process was behind this particular one, but clearly Nomura deemed it fitting for the final battle. I get that you're disappointed but try to keep in mind that they work through a pretty long process that requires numerous revisions, and not just throwing together whatever and calling it a day.
 

WhinyAcademic

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I also agree that the final boss theme was lackluster, but I am still delighted that it used Destati to bookend the series if nothing else.

The main issue with the soundtrack is that it sounds more like a Greatest Hits compilation. I cannot recall, off the top of my head, any really great original songs. Most of the standouts are remixes of older tracks. To the point above, though, my opinion may change when I listen on headphones.
That’s a great way of putting it. I feel like one of Yoko’s greatest strengths has been remixing old stuff and making it sound new and fresh. Eye of Darkness was a boss remix of Destati; L’Oscurita dell’Ignoto was Rage Awakened + Darkness of the Unknown; etc. The one “original” track so far that really stood out to me was the theme versus the Chief Xehanort’s.
 

Face My Fears

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I think it was my TV, but the dialogue and battle sounds (grunts/strikes/magic etc) seemed to always be louder than the music, so I never really got to hear it properly. With that said, I feel like I wasn't able to take in the newer tracks as I should have (although I really like the music in Hiro's garage, the gummi ship music, and Monstropolis music). I loved the remixed version of The Other Promise/Vector To The Heavens and the mashup of Xehanort themes (apparently called "Ultimate Darkness"). Other than that, I do feel like the original music wasn't as memorable as the other numbered titles. Even now I can easily hum the music from worlds like Beast's Castle, Land of Dragons, and Atlantica from KH2, while I struggle to even remember how original songs I liked go from KH3 (like Hiro's garage). Maybe it's because I only played through the game once and need to play it as many times as I did KH2.

Does anyone know when the soundtrack will be released?
 

TepidShark

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It seemed like the cutscenes were scored more like a film then then a game, in terms of the track being unique for the scene in question and having a beginning and ending. This is in contrast to the music in past games not specific to something being a loop that can go anywhere, for the most part. I thought it helped with the vastness of the story being told.

I also like the idea at times that a piece of music in cutscene would move from one theme to the next yet still somewhat being one continuous piece. Not all the time, but John Williams does that a lot in Star Wars.

In terms of original pieces,
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I think it was my TV, but the dialogue and battle sounds (grunts/strikes/magic etc) seemed to always be louder than the music, so I never really got to hear it properly. With that said, I feel like I wasn't able to take in the newer tracks as I should have (although I really like the music in Hiro's garage, the gummi ship music, and Monstropolis music). I loved the remixed version of The Other Promise/Vector To The Heavens and the mashup of Xehanort themes (apparently called "Ultimate Darkness"). Other than that, I do feel like the original music wasn't as memorable as the other numbered titles. Even now I can easily hum the music from worlds like Beast's Castle, Land of Dragons, and Atlantica from KH2, while I struggle to even remember how original songs I liked go from KH3 (like Hiro's garage). Maybe it's because I only played through the game once and need to play it as many times as I did KH2.

Does anyone know when the soundtrack will be released?
They haven't announced anything yet, unfortunately.
 

siegleeagle

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I also felt weird about the music in 3. I don’t think the tracks are bad, as I think they are amazing and they sound Kingdom Hearts. My problem is every world has the same type of sound for its normal just walking around track and its battle themes.

In passed games we had, jungle drums (tarzan/lion king), arabian inspired (alladin), songs ripped from films (nightmare before christmas/atlantica), waltzes/baroque/older styled music (beasts castle/wonderland), asian inspired music (mulan), etc. Then even when we had more worlds that had similar tones they still made the tracks sound different by either making them slower tones, darker, happier, etc. An example of this is the 3 disney princess worlds from BBS. They could have easily done 3 very similar sounds but slightly different. But each of those worlds felt unique musically.

In 3, every world had a grand sweeping and whimsical orchestral track as its main theme. Sometimes even the battle themese sounded too similar to the normal theme to the point I couldn’t tell it had changed. I feel like they should have used more styles like in previous games to bring out unique traits of the world your in rather than, “OMG DISNEY MAGIC ORCHESTRA,” in every world.
 
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Harmonie

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Yeah... Sadly the remixes of old themes stuck out to me much more than the new ones. The Disney world themes were appropriate, but they felt more like generic movie music than the unique style that I've come to love from Shimomura. There are still some great tracks to be found there, but they aren't great in the way that I usually associate with KH. They're more mature and "epic", with less playful, fun romps of the older games (Corona's theme being a notable exception). It is sad to see that change.

The remixes of old themes, though... Shimomura did a great job with them. Had me crying a few times there. lol.

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Laurel

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Yeah the remixes were the most memorable, I can't remember the field and battle music for any of the Disney worlds except for Toy Story which I think is a shame since I love KH music, but the new ones for this game weren't as catchy. I did like Scala's and the Final World's music though. Oh and Anti-Aqua's theme is def on my list of top boss themes in KH.
 

LostArtist

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I liked the new soundtrack, the remixed songs: distant from you, that Union cross moment, and all the other remixed songs that play throughout the different worlds.

And also the new ones. I thought it was so cool that the worlds had more than one field and battle theme. All the music from Corona, Arendelle, and Monstropolis sound so good. The final world song is so good. That one new song with dearly beloved in the background is so good too. And I loved the final battle soundtracks at scala. And this is after just one playthrough with no going back to previous worlds(cept twilight town)/or really exploring the worlds fully.
 
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