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Blog link: https://videogamegrooves.com/2023/04/12/episode-104-sonic-frontiers-the-music-of-starfall-islands
Occasionally the weird world of video game music presents us with something on vinyl that is so confounding, we simply have to talk about it. This is the case for today’s episode as we dedicate this show to a box set with is truly special and wholly unexpected: Sonic Frontiers: The Music of Stafall Islands, by Tomoya Ohtani. The Data Discs release captures Anthony’s heart and bends Jeremy’s head as we try to make heads or tails of the gravitas and the quiet power of one of the best(?!) games of 2022. As we glide through the musical movements of the in-game islands, we hear from the composer’s notes about the cultural flavors he aimed for, the musicians of past Sega games that contributed, and the existential miasma of fishing with Big the Cat. We will probably not be the same after this show.
We also cover new releases and announcements in the world of video game music on vinyl, and we end on a rather downer note as we reflect on the recent announcement of the significant downsizing of Mondo after it was bought by Funko last year. Is there something educational or even positive that might come from it? Probably not.
Outro: “Theme of Starfall Islands” – Tomoya Ohtani, Sonic Frontiers
Twitter – @vg_grooves, @jeremy_lamont, @ajohnagnello
Suikoden (Ship to Shore) (Black Screen Records) (Very OK Vinyl) (Chipfreq)
Time Once Lost (Majora’s Mask arrangement) (Mango Mage Records)
Sifu (Laced Records)
Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection (Konami Shop)
Final Vendetta (Bitmap Brigade)
The Last Spell (Kid Katana Records) (The Algorithm, Bandcamp)
p e r s o n a (Wizard of Loneliness, Halcyon Tapes)
The Order 1886
From_. piano works
Here’s my thoughts.
Before this news about Mondo broke, the line from people was that “Mondo caters to scalpers with their limited editions and small print runs”. Years before, people were upset with Mondo because they bought out Death Waltz records and for getting their records pressed at Rainbo. Suddenly people are now saying they’re these amazing talented people who are the victims of the great evil that is Funko. It honestly feels like a complete and artificial flip-flop.
I don’t have an interest in the pops, but I never liked the general hatred that people had for people who enjoy or collect the Funko pops. This really just feels like low-hanging fruit to justify their vitriol. It’s disgusting hypocrisy from those in the vgmvinyl scene.
And honestly? Mondo kinda had this coming.
From switching to likely inferior eco-friendly mixes to kowtowing to people complaining about scalpers and ‘FOMO’, releases have suffered. A recent repress that took months to sell out they stuck a 1 copy limit for its entire duration and never lifted it. There was no valid reason to put one on in the first place. Their business just in general began to nosedive and IMO shows how the behavior in this community has been souring for awhile.
But I’m more nuanced. Funko also should have been more responsible, knowing that their company’s profits could tank at any moment, they should have not acquired other companies if they would tank with them. An absolutely irresponsible decision.
Despite Funko’s news of saying they’ll make a new plant is definitely coming off as PR backpedaling and trying to appease the vinyl masses, I sure hope they follow through and maybe prove something. Whatever it is, I’m not sure, but something to show that maybe someone there is trying.
Lastly, while Agnello is once again present with his usual craptakes, props to him for calling Sonic Adventure what it is, overrated trash.
Thank you for humoring this rando collector’s rant.
Fair points all around. Especially the part about Anthony’s crap. But I agree with you, we tend to have pretty choosy standards for who gets labeled as good guys and bad guys depending on the prevailing narrative.
In that same spirit, I think the trouble that people had with Mondo was less about malevolent policies and more about the practicalities of producing a finite consumer good. Personally I’m not a big believer in corporate activism or benevolence. (But I’m a big believer in cause and effect and unintended consequences.)