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Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack Complete Box :: Review by Shimomura Fan

Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack Complete Box Album Title: Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack Complete Box
Record Label: Toshiba EMI
Catalog No.: TOCT-26221/9
Release Date: March 28, 2007
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


I recall writing a review about four months ago on the Kingdom Hearts II soundtrack, citing how disappointed I was in the shortness of each track, as well as the excessive use of synthesizers and subpar remixes. However, with the release of the Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack Complete Box set, I'd just like to thank Yoko Shimomura and everyone involved in the creation of this set for finally giving the music of Kingdom Hearts the exact musical perfection and care it deserved.


I'll start by renouncing all of my criticism about the Kingdom Hearts II soundtrack. Gone is the meaningless abbreviation of practically all of the Kingdom Hearts II tracks and the tracks previously missing in the original soundtrack have returned. Even better, because of the removal of each piece's terrifying shortness, the Kingdom Hearts II section flows flawlessly. True, the synthesizers of some of the tracks are still present, but now that a listener can actually settle down and listen to the soundtrack instead of being rushed around like in the previous soundtrack, everything seems to blend together brilliantly, just as a good soundtrack to a good game should be.

As for the Kingdom Hearts section of the boxed set, not much has deviated from the individual soundtrack released previously. There were no additions or subtractions in tracks or the times of each tracks, but it still has the same Kingdom Hearts goodness we've all grown to love and become deaf to. Other than that, not much else can be said...

What excited me the most about the set was its inclusion of an updated soundtrack from the Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories remake included in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix +. Seeing as the official soundtrack to the original Game Boy Advance version to Chain of Memories was never released, it was very satisfying to finally hear the wonderful music included in the game. Although I'm disappointed in some of the "loud" arrangements, most of the pieces have substantially upgraded from their original MIDI counterparts.

But wait, what's this? The set includes one last surprise: a ninth CD containing all of the "secret" tracks scattered throughout the Kingdom Hearts series. This is arguably the best CD in the entire set, as one can not only listen to previously released "secret" songs, like "Disappeared" and "Another Side," but also tracks originally created by Yoko Shimomura for Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix +. Other than containing the music from Christmas Town and the infamous battle with Roxas, the disc also hints at the next additions to the Kingdom Hearts series by providing the music heard in the secret trailer and the battle with the Enigmatic Soldier. Frankly, this CD alone increases one's anticipation for the next Kingdom Hearts by tenfold.


The only negative comment I can really give is that the boxed set might scare away fans of the series because of its price. $140 does sound like much, but I assure readers that the Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack Complete Box is well worth its price. I can safely say that I haven't heard a game soundtrack this good and this faithful to its source material in a very long time. Kudos to you, Ms. Shimomura, and all the creators of this boxed set, for fortifying one of the most whimsical and fantastic series ever created with a soundtrack worthy of standing beside it.

Overall Score: 9/10