Note: This is a very long post. Read with caution.
Congratulations to all the participants! All the songs are excellent! They are very close, but it is the little things that differentiated one entry from another. So here is how the scoring broke down:
Ukimalefu -- 199/210
Ravenpulse -- 197/210
Cryos -- 196/210
$lave -- 194/210
These scores are a combination of my ratings and Windbreaker's ratings. A special thanks to him for helping me judge! We agreed in some places, but had different ideas in others. Overall though, I think we scored the music accurately. In the following comments, my ratings will be in light blue, and Windbreaker's ratings will be in green.
Ukimalefu -- Total: 199/210
I've played this level some many times that I just chill and fly through it. But I was more than chillin' during this song. The marine has already experienced the whole story line of M1, so he can take on these measly tasks from Durandal right? This song has a nice beat and the music fits together like a puzzle. Good job.Interpretation: 18/20 Musicality: 20/20 Creativity: 10/10 Sound Quality: 10/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 68/70
I really liked the structure of this song, and think it fits well will the first level of M2. What made it the highest scoring song was the fact that it reminded me of the original Marathon tracks, with another layer added (more stuff in the song than in the Marathon tracks).Interpretation: 18/20 Musicality: 20/20 Creativity: 9/10 Sound Quality: 10/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 67/70
Slings & Arrows of the Uki:
Excellent instrument choice. I could see the textures through these instruments (if that makes any sense). This song takes the ominous tone of the level and mixes it with some creativity and groovyness. The sense of exploration is there, but has an underlying tone of danger. Well done.Interpretation: 18/20 Musicality: 19/20 Creativity: 10/10 Sound Quality: 10/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 67/70
Another good song. In my opinion, this one didn't fit as well with Slings' dark environment as some of the others, but it had its moments. Some creativity points were lost because the track seems generally mainstream (as I've said many times before . . . not a bad thing at all, just looking for some variety).Interpretation: 17/20 Musicality: 20/20 Creativity: 8/10 Sound Quality: 10/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 65/70
Uki Doesn't Make Change:
This level has always had that hard-core raunchy feeling to me. It may be the overwhelming use of the orange texture. This song has that raunchy feeling. It makes me feel good, but I was looking for more of an ominous feeling. I felt so good that I ran into a pack of flick'ta and got poo slapped and clawed to death. That's not the outcome I wanted, but that's ok!Interpretation: 18/20 Musicality: 19/20 Creativity: 9/10 Sound Quality: 10/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 66/70
This last song is more high-powered than the others, and fits with the level nicely. As with the last track, this one seems somewhat mainstream, but I appreciate its musicality.Interpretation: 18/20 Musicality: 20/20 Creativity: 8/10 Sound Quality: 10/10 Originality: 4/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 65/70Overall Total:Total: 201/210 Total: 197/210 Score: 199/210
Ravenpulse -- Total: 197/210Waterpark:
This song has a nice feel to it. It makes me feel relaxed, but compared to the level noise it is a little soft. But overall it is a nice song. It puts the Waterpark into the Waterloo. Well done.Interpretation: 18/20 Musicality: 18/20 Creativity: 9/10 Sound Quality: 9/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 64/70
This piece is very creative, with lots of musical space throughout. I liked the sparse waterfall effects; it really added to Waterloo's already abundant water-y atmosphere. The only thing I disliked with this track is that it has somewhat of a paradise vibe (not bad at all), which I think doesn't quite fit Waterloo's own windy/stormy nighttime vibe. That is my only complaint with this song! Interpretation: 18/20 Musicality: 20/20 Creativity: 10/10 Sound Quality: 10/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 68/70
Durandal sending you to explore a strange world sounds like fun right? And the flick'ta just enhance the experience! I used to be afraid of this level, but I've played it so many times I've gotten used to it. But this song brings that fear back. I'm exploring unknown territory and I know it.Interpretation: 20/20 Musicality: 19/20 Creativity: 8/10 Sound Quality: 9/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 66/70
Another creative piece. Scattered accents add to the vibe of the level. However, there isn't much else that catches my ear when I'm playing and listening. Interpretation: 19/20 Musicality: 18/20 Creativity: 10/10 Sound Quality: 10/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 67/70
I usually think of some hard-core dominating action when I play this level, but this song approaches the level differently. It's slow-paced, almost forlorn tone, help me see the marathon world from the marine's perspective instead of mine. It is a bit repetitive, but that constant tone really sets the mood for the level.Interpretation: 19/20 Musicality: 19/20 Creativity: 8/10 Sound Quality: 9/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 65/70
Much like Ravenpulse's last song, this one remains generally the same throughout its running. The song reminded me of something like a sun rise, very soothing, which I think fits well with Charon being the first level of daylight in M2 (not to mention it looks like the two suns are rising behind the landscape . . .). My only complaint with this song is that it didn't really go anywhere at any time, which is not a bad thing for the song itself, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that if I'm going to listen to music while playing, it has to be somewhat interesting because my attention span is so short because I'm playing a video game. There.Interpretation: 19/20 Musicality: 18/20 Creativity: 8/10 Sound Quality: 10/10 Originality: 4/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 64/70
Overall Total:Total: 195/210 Total: 199/210 Score: 197/210Cryos -- Total: 196/210Chronological:
I was groovin' so hard to this song that I actually died. Lol. It's definitely a game-opener. I can feel the tension rising as I listen to the music. The volume is a bit too loud though. I can barely hear the game noise, so the level feels more like a music video rather that a video game. That's an easy fix though, well done.Interpretation: 19/20 Musicality: 20/20 Creativity: 10/10 Sound Quality: 8/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 67/70
This is one of my favorites out of all the songs I judged. As a composition alone, it builds quite well, and has a great sound overall. The one thing I noticed is that while the song builds almost continually, Waterloo Waterpark itself doesn't really change. There are some battles here and there, but ultimately there is no climax to the level itself, which makes the song and the level contrast somewhat. Interpretation: 16/20 Musicality: 20/20 Creativity: 9/10 Sound Quality: 8/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 65/70Energizer:
Musically, this song is fun to listen to, but I think it missed the mark a bit. Slings & Arrows seems like a slow-paced level, where this song was more upbeat and lively. The beginning sounded a bit cheesy, but that's just my personal taste. The ending sounded great though. I just wish it could have captured the feeling of the level a bit more.
Interpretation: 15/20 Musicality: 18/20 Creativity: 10/10 Sound Quality: 10/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 63/70
Aside from the acoustic guitar (which I don't think quite fits with the level) this song sounds a lot like the first one, which might not be a bad thing (depending on what CryoS was going for), but the environments have changed so I think the music should too. My opinion is that the song might have too much going on in it (be like Miles Davis!), considering the level is generally dark, has a little number aliens, and not much variety in architecture. Again, that's just my opinion.Interpretation: 15/20 Musicality: 20/20 Creativity: 8/10 Sound Quality: 10/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 63/70Proof of Demise:
This song hits the spot. I feel trapped while playing Charon, and this song added to that feeling. The beginning definitely fit into the surroundings and it looped almost seamlessly. Well done.Interpretation: 18/20 Musicality: 20/20 Creativity: 10/10 Sound Quality: 9/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 67/70
This composition is a little different than the first two of CroyS's in that it centers on the piano and drum machine, instead of the giant orchestra (still there, though). Out of CryoS's three songs, this song fit best with its level (the upbeat tempo at the start, coupled with the sad piano complemented the daylight of the outside settings and the darkness of some of the inside settings, which I thought was nice). Also, the orchestra is prevalent in all of CryoS's songs, which can become repetitive/annoying after a while. Interpretation: 18/20 Musicality: 20/20 Creativity: 9/10 Sound Quality: 10/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 67/70
Overall Total:Total: 197/210 Total: 195/210 Score: 196/210$lave -- Total: 195/210
If I had just awakened from a stasis, I would be a bit confused and scared. This song brings those emotions to life. It has an ominous feel to it, which shed a new light on the level for me. Well done.Interpretation: 19/20 Musicality: 19/20 Creativity: 9/10 Sound Quality: 9/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 66/70
A nice song, with good dynamics. Quite similar to Ravenpulse's Charon song. To me, it seems a little calm for Waterloo, which is somewhat of an upbeat level.Interpretation: 17/20 Musicality: 20/20 Creativity: 10/10 Sound Quality: 9/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 4/5 Total: 65/70Shaft (Slings & Arrows):
Do you like sewage levels that are shrouded in darkness? Heh, they creep me out, I'll admit it. Before I left the first room, I was already feeling goosebumps. That's how well this song helps shape the atmosphere of the level. It blends into the level, but it seems a bit too quiet at times. There are wonderful sound effects though, well done!Interpretation: 20/20 Musicality: 18/20 Creativity: 9/10 Sound Quality: 9/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 66/70
The atmosphere of the song and the atmosphere of the level go hand in hand in this level. Overall, a very nice piece and in my opinion, better than $lave's first song. Like $lave's first and last songs, this one is calm as well . . . I think there can be more variety. Interpretation: 18/20 Musicality: 20/20 Creativity: 10/10 Sound Quality: 10/10 Originality: 4/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 67/70Norach:
As I already stated before, I usually associate Charon with terror. This song puts a new twist on it though. The marine is in the unknown, but while the unknown can be frightening, it can also be beautiful too. I feel this hidden beauty while listening to this song.Interpretation: 18/20 Musicality: 17/20 Creativity: 9/10 Sound Quality: 10/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 5/5 Total: 64/70
This piece was about the same speed and volume of $lave's previous two. Like others, there wasn't much to this song, just basically a synth with some additional percussion (very quiet) at the beginning, which subtracted points. Also, the song seems a tad too short. Interpretation: 15/20 Musicality: 18/20 Creativity: 8/10 Sound Quality: 10/10 Originality: 5/5 Length: 3/5 Total: 59/70Overall Total:Total: 196/210 Total: 191/210 Score: 194/210In conclusion:
All of these entries exceeded my expectations. It was extremely hard to critique and after listening to a few songs, I realized any of them could have gotten a perfect score, so it ultimately boiled down to my personal taste, which didn't make judging much easier since I am open to almost any kind of music (except pop, which can suck it). Some of the things I commented on might be different from what others think, but these critiques are just my opinion and what I thought while playing through the level. Music is too objective to have any single winner, but these are my thoughts on each piece.
Building off of Windbreaker's thoughts, I congratulate all the participants on their songs. The scores were much closer than I imagined they would have been. Hopefully for future contests, more people will join.
These 12 songs now make up the Lh'owon Album. You can get it on the new Fileball
The final M2 Soundtrack will feature the song that received the highest rating for its corresponding level. Here are the first 3 tracks:
Ukiloo Ukipark -- 67.5/70 -- by ukimalefu
Arrows/Slings -- 66.5 -- by Ravenpulse
Proof of Demise -- 67/70 -- by CryoS
This contest turned out better than expected! I'll be starting the next Marathon Groove Session in a few days or so. Great songs everyone!
Phew, that's a lot of typing.