What Is This Noise That I Hear?

Greetings all, I’m back after the one week delay! I was unfortunately caught up in real life recently, but now that I’ve crushed those matters under my heels, I’m free to blog and play eroge once again! As some of you may be aware, I only managed to clear Tsukumo no Tsuki’s prologue in the weeks following Hatsuyuki Sakura, so there isn’t much to write about regarding that, except one aspect of it that stood out to me. The music tracks are so generic they can be used in just about any RPG or eroge, and fit just as blandly. It was such a dissonance to me especially because Hatsuyuki Sakura had such masterfully composed tracks that the difference in quality jumped out to me.

Thus, I’ll be attempting a hybrid post containing some editorial content about music in eroge in general in addition to my thoughts on the limited amount of Tsukumo no Tsuki that I’ve played so far. As this is my first try at editorials, please let me know how much I suck so I can learn from my mistakes, or maybe let me know my place so I’ll stay away from such foolish endeavors in the future. But, better this than a “I’M STILL ALIVE” post right? I hope.

Tsukumo Loli Angel
Starting off with Tsukumo no Tsuki, its prologue is really short, maybe 1 to 2 hours. It begins with the protagonist having a weird dream about a white haired loli and waking up with tear marks on his face. Then we’re introduced to the adorable imouto Maya who is an irresistibly cute loli and other characters not worth mentioning, while the protagonist keeps on having those weird dreams. Now, I understand why one may want to dream about lolis, but isn’t this going a bit too far? Even a lolicon like me don’t dream about lolis, not every night at least.

But it turns out the protagonist Keita had some sort of accident, with Maya, 8 years ago and lost all his memories. Maya then suggested for them to visit a place where they’ve both been before. There, in the forest of a village located pretty much in the middle of nowhere, they meet a black haired miko whom Keita can’t stop staring and drooling over. But more importantly, under mysterious circumstances, he somehow ended up with the aforementioned white haired loli in his arms cuddling against him and calling him onii-chan while Keita has no idea what the heck is going on. And that is the end of the prologue.

Besides the music, which I’ll get to in a bit, nothing else stood out to me in a positive way, save for the loli and the imouto with their inherent charms of course. The non-loli characters don’t seem to be that interesting. There’s the stereotypical genki baka osananajimi but with a shinai, and the mysterious miko whom isn’t introduced properly yet. From the one scene for the miko, she seems to be the standard politely speaking serious type. I’m hoping that the characters redeem themselves later on, if not, I’ll stick with my original plan of playing only Tsukumo’s and Maya’s routes.

As for the scenario, I can’t tell much yet so early on in the game. But from what Micchi has said, the scenario may be better than expected. I’ve no idea what he expected though, so I’m taking that with a grain of salt. The prologue seems intriguing enough with the questions it poses; I’m interested to see how the story develops later on. Besides, the loli and the imouto alone are all that I need to play a game anyway. A shame some of their CG’s have unnatural proportions, like huge thighs in some of the HCG I see on the website.

Tsukumo Hug!

While playing the game, there is one thing I can’t help but notice. Some of the tracks are so bad, prompting me to criticize a game’s music for the first time. The track that plays during their daily lives sounds like an incessant droning noise that refuses to go away unless I turn it off. If it’s only one track, I could stand it by turning down the volume when it is playing. However, I have had the pleasure of listening to 2 such tracks so far and sadly this game doesn’t seem to have much variety in its tracks. I seriously considered listening to Hatsuyuki Sakura’s tracks while playing this game, but ultimately decided against it since the tracks’ mood won’t always fit and I’m too lazy to get it fit.

Here’s the question that allows this section to masquerade as editorial content:  do you care about the BGM playing in the background while you’re playing an eroge, or any game for that matter?

For me, I’m mostly concerned with whether a track creates the appropriate atmosphere at the time it is playing. Actually, it doesn’t always have to necessarily be that way. A light-hearted track playing during a serious confrontation, for example, or a solemn track playing during what otherwise seems to be perfectly ordinary banter, suggests that there is more going on in the scene than what the mere dialogues present. To this end, I think the BGM in a game serves an important function in emphasizing the atmosphere of the game.

That is not to say I don’t care about the qualities of the tracks at all; I do. The tracks in Tsukumo no Tsuki all do their job right in what I consider to be the most basic sense: they give you an idea of the mood of what is happening on-screen. The tracks have to do more than that, they have to be pleasant to listen to so you can enjoy listening to it or at the very least won’t be wanting to turn it off. The tracks in Tsukumo no Tsuki fail in this regard the moment I even thought about turning them off, which is something I almost never do since I’m not that picky. In contrast, I downloaded Hatsuyuki Sakura’s OST so I can listen to it even when I’m not playing the game. Needless to say, I won’t be doing the same for Tsukumo no Tsuki. I like the OP by nao though, which I’ve already downloaded.

So what do you think? Should the BGM be something you want to listen to whenever? Or is it sufficient that it merely does its job of creating the atmosphere? Or are you the kind who turns the BGM off completely and listen to your own music instead?

Thanks for bearing with me here if you’ve read this far. As always, any kind of criticism is welcome. I’d prefer constructive ones, but I can handle whatever you want to throw my way too.  For now, I’ll be going full throttle on Tsukumo no Tsuki for the loli goodness you can see in the last image. And for whom it may concern, Amoirsp mainly, I’ll be putting up route spoilers for Hatsuyuki Sakura shortly so you all can spoil yourselves to your heart’s content.

About Aedes

Seriously siscon eroge enthusiast and alliteration adorer.

23 thoughts on “What Is This Noise That I Hear?

  1. When judging a game I focus sometimes almost exclusively in the plot, so I’d probably be able to enjoy a good one even silent. Shoin, for example, has a very limited tracklist, and maybe half the time is completely silent; despite that, is one of my favorites VNs.
    However, good bgm, the kind you would want to listen even when not playing, can make good scenes even better, or even make uninteresting scenes good. I’m thinking in things like Saya no Uta (maybe not that listenable outside, but it makes an excellent job in setting a mood), Demonbane, Kusarihime, Sekien no Inganock. They probably wouldn’t make a bad game good, but can give 1 or 2 points to an at least decent one.
    On the other hand, the only case I remember when the music managed to get in my nerves is Hitokata no Ou, whose uninspired tracks where made worse by the narration that dragged on forever (though that game also had other, greater, problems). And I didn’t mind even Tsukihime’s music (then again, it was my first VN, so maybe I didn’t know any better).

    • And think about Twinkle Crusaders’ battle BGM …. I can say, withot shame, when a battle started I told “Ready, Go” hypnotized by the game and its music (and a battle can last just few seconds) … in that game, then, you heard a certain music and you thought “Ah, now there is a scene with this character”. A music, well used and done, is a very important part of the game. Characters and scenario are surely more important buf if they lack a good music … all the game loses much and the interest and the will to play it can go down.

      • Ah, yes. I neglected to mention the character songs. They help shape the character’s image in those scenes. Music is indeed a very important part of the game. Tsukumo no Tsuki’s music may be one of the reasons besides time constraint I’m progressing so slowly.

    • I can’t say the same for myself, since I am a very audio oriented person. It’s the sole factor that makes me reluctant to read the many great manga out there, in addition to the silent VNs you mentioned. Well, the graphics are a factor too; I confess I probably like eye candy more than the average player.

      I agree good BGM can’t make a bad game good, but perhaps it can make it less bad? In my opinion, good BGM is a plus for any game. Tsukumo no Tsuki’s music is the first time the music got on my nerves. I’ve always managed to bear with the music without complaining too much.

  2. The last time I saw this page i read “Tsukumo no Tsuki, I played just its prologue till now, I don’t like its music” or something like that, now, reading “Tsukumo no Tsuki’s lolis are the best.” what should I think? A typical case of Dissociative Identity Disorder, I would tend to say if I was a doctor … but “lolis” is the keyword … Aedes, the characters were too much loli to resist them after all, it’s a thing become famous with the name “The call of the Wi … cough cough …of the Lolis”. Then thinking that new games will be soon released (less than a week), you could want to finish lolis characters routes before to receive … Dracu-Riot!, I think you’ll buy it it. The BGM … I remember this weeek lesslighter and i told you “Turn it mute and play the game” but it was an advice to accept only in that case as you had again in mind Hatsuyuki Sakura’s music. I never turn the BGM mute but I’ve not played Hatsuyuki Sakura again … after playing it, who can say it, I’ll tell your same things. In that case, please remember me what I told you now and in the tweets.

    • Mind you, lolis and the music are separate matters. Lolis are awesome in their own right – bad music does not make lolis any less so. That’s what I’m aiming for. Finish the loli routes, then Dracu-Riot! For now, I’ll suffer through the bland music for just a few more days. Can’t be bothered to manually play Hatsusaku’s tracks so the moods fit.

  3. I expected nothing.

    I usually listen to whatever BGM they have, no matter how unmemorable it is. However, there have been times when it’s so bad (or short or badly looped, etc) that I wanted to skip through just to get the BGM to go away. On the other hand, a good BGM can enhance the feeling you get from a scene, usually those with high emotion or action.

    • I see. As expected of you, playing just for the lolis and imouto. Same here. 😀

      I usually listen to whatever BGM they have as well. This is the first time I was tempted to turn it off; other times I merely turn it down. And of course, good BGM is always a plus for any game, for the reason you stated and more.

    • I agree that BGM’s can enhance or sometimes ruin the atmosphere or the mood.
      Fortunately for myself I haven’t played a VN with bad music yet. Eventhough of them had dull or unmemorable BGM’s, but atleast they were not distracting.

  4. Stay alive! Otherwise, all your loli’s will never forgive you 😀

    Hmm, BGM are important to me (I love good instrumental music), but I would not say it is a game breaker for me. Some the musical tracks are not given much care (depending on the producer), so for those that have expectational stories are usual ones that have the BGM to match. However, their are exceptions to the rule like Yumemiru Tsuki no Lunalutia and another RPG eroge title I can’t remember (has some the best music I ever heard, despite the low budget animation) that have moderately well soundtracks. BGM’s definitely do affect my mood during the story as the text and voices would, so my stance is more on a equal ground.

    Although, I would gladly look past it all for a busty meganekko or shy bookworm. ^_^

    • Of course. There is no way I’d leave my lolis all alone by themselves. They need their onii-chans and I need my lolis – it’s a symbiotic relationship.

      BGM is never a game breaker for me either. But needless to say, I always appreciate a good BGM. That is something I noticed as well, good music are usually accompanied by good BGM. Another exception that came to my mind is Cure Girl; I love its BGM though its story isn’t that impressive. They all combine to set the mood. 😀

      Yep, I do place significantly more emphasis on the characters too. I’m glad our preferences don’t clash. 😀

  5. I’ve once wondered the same thing, but came to the conclusion that the BGM, no matter how much you dislike it, is part of the package that makes up the game. So I usually leave as is (plus I really wonder if substituting would work..i.e. Hscene etc).

    On a side note, I don’t think there are many eroge tracks that I disliked. Most are pretty fitting for the mood and the exceptional ones are the memorable ones.

    • I never turn off the BGM, as much as I want to in some cases especially this one. For the exact reason you stated, substituting simply doesn’t work unless you painstakingly play the other tracks by hand to avoid that very situation.

      Now that you mentioned it, putting the memorably awful ones aside, aren’t the memorable ones precisely the exceptional ones? If we remember them long after we listened to them, I would think they have the qualities that make it so.

  6. Ill just be technical in this… BGM… yes they do improve game playing value and atmosphere but if your listening about stopping entropy while listening to a piano piece… you would’nt take it seriously would you? now… for example… nakonade… guh… nekonade…mmm… distortion… in anycase the music for the game didnt fit it at all it was toooo iyashii-kei for a story delving to unknown territories of multi-verses and entropy… but none the less its what made me kept the OST and dump the game herp derp…

    • Piano pieces could be serious, no?

      Nekonade? What’s that? I can’t remember it due to a trauma in the past involving parallel universes.

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