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Do you listen to VN's Background Music or Mute it?


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A pretty simple question for you guys this time and the title says it all. Both VN developers and gaming developers are beautiful soundtracks for their games/novels lately but you guys listen to them or turn it off due to being distracting?

For VN's I always turn it off due to it being off putting when I'm trying to read but oddly will play some music through youtube in the background... It's an odd hypocrisy. I think the only VN I kept in for was No Thank You as the piano background music suited the plot and one of the characters really well as he was a pianist.

For video games it depends on what kind most RPG's I don't as it kills the immersion besides the Witcher 3's that shit was badass.

So yeah what do you guys do?      

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Just now, Thatcomicguy said:

I'll keep that in mind when Mangagamer finally puts it out haha.

Most chuunige have first-class BGMs... but charage tend to share very similar-sounding soundtracks, so I can understand switching them out, even if I don't do so myself.

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Well, to be fair I did mute BGM in one VN - I was reading one of Sonohana games and music was so dreadfully bad and unfitting that I decided to play music from another VN in its place. And (quite unexpectedly for me) I found the game much mure enjoyable after the change.

Still except those rare ocasions when I just can't stand game's own music I wouldn't mute it.

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Even if it's paticularly grating, I leave it on (though I tend to drop the volume to about 50% - 40%). It's typically composed to go along with specific scenes, and helps set a tone. If I read F/SN without the music - I'd be missing out on a huge portion of the experience.

Music generally sets a mood in any enviorment in life, and VNs and videogames are no different. a tragic scene without music may not seem as tragic, a fight scene might feel less exciting, a scene that's meant to unnerve you might not even phase you without the tense/creepy music, etc.

 

Nukiges are abit different, and usually have generic garbage playing (with some exceptions). But any real VN worth it's salt? You should allow the music to work into you subconciously while you read~

 

It's not a VN, but let me provide a good example of music playing a huge role in a scene (you mentioned enjoying W3's music, so you'll probably recognize this right away, heh):

(starts at 10:48)

It's not just about "something playing in the background" - it's actually a device to help tell the story - and I feel it's the same in VNs. There's typically a purpose behind each track. (obv. with some exceptions)

Edited by Suzu Fanatic
tidied it up, added extra thoughts
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9 minutes ago, kooolm said:

How can you say that it kills immersion? It was put in there to create that immersion in the first place!

For RPG games like Skyrim you're out there in the wilderness couching with a bow and arrow, stalking your prey not hearing a sound but your footsteps, water noises from streams and the wildlife. With music playing in the background even when its meant to fit the scene/environment just feels outta of place as if an orchestra is right behind you playing for your enjoyment. Now once I start feeling that, the mental image I just mentioned pops into my head and boom immersion gone.   

Edited by Thatcomicguy
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10 minutes ago, Thatcomicguy said:

For RPG games like Skyrim you're out there in the wilderness couching with a bow and arrow, stalking your prey not hearing a sound but your footsteps, water noises from streams and the wildlife. With music playing in the background even when its meant to fit the scene/environment just feels outta of place as if an orchestra is right behind you playing for your enjoyment. Now once I start feeling that, the mental image I just mentioned pops into my head and boom immersion gone.   

I see, your example really makes sense. But VN is more like something inbetween the novel and anime, now how does it kills the immersion there?

P.S. Can't help reading your posts with Shepard's voice in my head lol

Edited by kooolm
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2 minutes ago, kooolm said:

I see, your example really makes sense. But VN is more like something inbetween the novel and anime, now how does it kills the immersion there?

P.S. Can't help reading your posts with Shepard's voice in my head lol

Damn I just made myself really want to play Skyrim with that post haha.

Yeah it's harder to explain with a VN's music I think in part it's just become habit doing it with everything else that I'm not really giving ones without generic piano music a shot, but I still get that feeling like I mentioned in the last post with slice of life VN's so that doesn't help just picturing an emotional scene between two characters and this random passerby just drops what he/she's doing and busts out some sombre music with some instrument they were hiding god knows where and I just can't I'll be too busy laughing my ass off picturing that. That the scene loses the emotional tone. I know that's basically my fault for an active imagination but still.

 

P.S Also. Report to the ship as soon as possible... 

dfsgdsfr.jpg

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1 hour ago, Thatcomicguy said:

For RPG games like Skyrim you're out there in the wilderness couching with a bow and arrow, stalking your prey not hearing a sound but your footsteps, water noises from streams and the wildlife. With music playing in the background even when its meant to fit the scene/environment just feels outta of place as if an orchestra is right behind you playing for your enjoyment. Now once I start feeling that, the mental image I just mentioned pops into my head and boom immersion gone.   

I actually know what you mean.  For better or worse, WRPG music doesn't really help anything.  Western games, in general, suck at utilizing music to enhance the experience.  Even most jrpgs nowadays don't seem to remember how to do it right (sometime after FFX came out, they seemed to lose the ability to properly utilize a soundtrack).  However, something you should keep in mind with VNs is that, the higher quality the game, the more likely that the music has been chosen deliberately to enhance and/or create the mood of the scenes it is used for.

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I can't imagine playing a VN without listening to the soundtrack, TBH. Music is super important to me, and I'm particularly partial to games that make good use of their soundtrack: for instance, Key games get deservedly knocked for their content, but their music is top-notch and put to extremely good use. Half of the reason I like Little Busters! is probably the soundtrack.

Conversely, if a game has a crappy soundtrack, it really hurts the experience for me, but even if it's terrible, I won't even consider turning off the BGM; I'll literally just drop the game instead. The godawful soundtrack (especially the happy poppy everyday music with the world's worst synthesized brass) was a big contributor to why I hated Princess Evangile with a passion.

Fortunately for me, I have a pretty low bar for what I consider listenable. I think Princess Evangile is the only non-nukige VN I've played where I really loathed the soundtrack. Everything else is at least tolerable, and usually I quite like what I hear in games.

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I often play VNs without the sound. That's no music AND no voices. I'll probably do the same for Hapymaher. I wonder how badly[1] Clephas will want to crucify me? :P 

Good thing there's no scale for 'degree of crucification' - 1 being 'lightly crucified' and 10 being 'whoa momma!'

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Well, since they go to the effort of putting a soundtrack... I might as well listen to it, right?

Most BGMs do their job and both don't mess around and they're not great, but some companies (like Key) put extra effort on their soundtracks. Zero Escape and Steins;Gate are also good.

I'd say it goes with the rest of production values. If it's a game with money behind it, it shows in the soundtrack, too.

It's interesting to note that some VN creators and writers are also musicians, like Maeda and Chiyomaru, so they write some songs (typically the opening or the most important pieces).

Edited by Okarin
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