I don't like the Japanese tendency to try to use the music as a main character, rather than using the music to support and enhance the game. The music is usually too bombastic, too omni-present, too stereotypical to be enjoyed. That is especially true in a good number of JRPGs, where most of the music is either battle themes or "main map" themes.
Music like Vigil, from Mass Effect 1, when used in Mass Effect 3 has an emotional impact, harkening back to the earlier game, to a simpler time for the characters...it's vastly superior to the typical JRPG score. Especially when there are variations on the theme, like this:
Mass Effect - Vigil: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7bE3hUwylQ Mass Effect 3 - Citadel DLC - Liara's Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xokmq-EnywM
THAT is how you use music to create a scene.
Even open-world RPGs can have a great, diverse soundtrack, like Skyrim: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atM3ZhF8MVs
Sure there are some music tracks that are from a Japanese game that are good. And there are some that deviate from the stereotypical. But, on the whole, I dislike their style and approach and would easily argue that the "best" game music doesn't come from Japan.
I still disagree, but I understand where you're coming from.
I feel music is most emotional whenever it exhibits some kind of callback. Using the same song remixed, using themes as part of a different song, or integrating them in some way. Kingdom Hearts is the best example of this I can think of for this, and it's one of my favorite soundtracks.
Also, while I like music to be emotional and make an impact, I'm also fine with it just being nice to listen to. I often listen to music from games I've never even played, just because it's good. --- http://backloggery.com/khff123 http://myanimelist.net/animelist/A_Metal_Pipe