Final Fantasy XIII Original Soundtrack Plus :: Review by Don
The Final Fantasy XIII Original Soundtrack Plus is an album featuring prototype versions, localized versions, and extended versions of tunes heard on the Final Fantasy XIII Original Soundtrack. It gives a rare insight into a work-in-progress, but features no brand new tracks. If you already have the original soundtrack, is this album worth getting?
The album opens up with two pieces that accompanied the initial trailers in 2006 and 2007. They give a small preview into some of the sounds to expect, with a sweeping orchestral version of the main theme and a preview of "Defiers of Fate." While nice, the music heard on the original soundtrack is more definitive, especially for the former.
Speaking of which, "M306 OPN2 'Defiers of Fate' Palamecia Assault Version" is considered the full version of the tune. Unfortunately, the version appearing on the original soundtrack is edited to be shorter in length, so this version is clearly definitive and features richer electronic stylings. The album also features the very first version of "Blinded by Light", which was altered in the end product due to the speed of battles. As such, it's slower to start, but ultimately the same tune once the main violin melody comes in.
There are also some instrumental versions of vocal themes on the album. These include "The Gapra Whitewood," which I find to be a bit more enjoyable than the original, and "The Sunleth Waterscape", which loses its magical effect somewhat. When it comes to the choral less version of "Fighting Fate," while still powerful, I think the lack of powerful choral tones makes the track much less enjoyable.
In addition, there are some international versions of the tracks "Chocobos of Cocoon" and "The Sunleth Waterscape." While the music remains identical, the vocals are much clearer to understand and are thus a bit more enjoyable. Finally, there are also alpha and prototype versions of various themes, like "Sazh's Theme" and the final battle. However, I find that their end results featured on the Final Fantasy XIII Original Soundtrack are stronger and more indicative of their true purpose.
In the end, I only recommend this album for those who want all the music of the Final Fantasy XIII universe. Most of the music is better in the original soundtrack and this soundtrack feels more like a quick cash in to include some themes that should have been on the original soundtrack to begin with, such as the extended version of "Defiers of Fate."
Overall Score: 3/10