Vagrant Story made an unfortunate choice of instruments that led to a huge deterioration in quality. The melodies were fine, but none of them sounded good anymore. I only salvaged seven good songs from the entire soundtrack, and I think even that was being generous.
Radiant Silvergun only had ten songs to begin with, so it was never going to make much of an impact whether it was good or not. It had a much higher percentage of quality songs, though, with seven entries to the hall of fame of its own.
Lastly comes Dragon's Crown. 27 songs made the cut out of 54, exactly 1/2. This put Hitoshi Sakimoto 3 songs higher than Yasunori Mitsuda, pushing him back into third place (in quantity of good songs at least.)
Dragon's Crown was a treasure mine of good music, but it all sounded like just one giant song. You could probably stitch it all together and play it as a symphony like the ancients used to do. Listen long enough and it falls into an abyss of samesound.
There's still something unique about Final Fantasy Tactics and Ogre Battle that separates itself from Hitoshi's other works. The songs back then were so powerful, so refreshing, so original. Now it feels like Sakimoto is just phoning it in.
Hitoshi Sakimoto is an excellent composer who's composed for 80+ games, but how many of them did he truly love? How many did he really care about?
Stella Deus also had tons of good music, but nothing truly great. I guess these things are just once in a lifetime moments, when you transcend to the heavenly spheres and compose God's own music, instead of just your own innate genius.
It's nice for novelty's sake to have new music to listen to, even if it's inferior to what I already owned. The new Yasunori and Sakimoto tunes will enliven things before they get too musty. The work of the past week was by no means wasted. But I suspect I could search through hundreds of game soundtracks and never find another Chrono Trigger, FF Tactics or Ogre Battle. It's just not meant to be. Lightning never strikes twice.
Next up, I think I'll check out Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny and Bloody Roar. There should still be some treasure out there.