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Final Fantasy X-2 Original Soundtrack :: Forum Review

Final Fantasy X-2 Original Soundtrack Album Title: Final Fantasy X-2 Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Avex
Catalog No.: AVCD-17254 (Copy Protected)
Release Date: March 31, 2003
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Written by Conqueso

It's the dawning of a brand new age.

In Spira, the Eternal Calm is threatened by political tension between New Yevon and the Youth League.

Squaresoft, teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, must latch onto one of its competitors to remain in business.

And Nobuo Uematsu has had absolutely nothing to do with the most recent soundtrack in the Final Fantasy series.

The Final Fantasy X-2 soundtrack will come as a shock to most longtime fans of the series, as its composers are far, far removed from Uematsu or even from Hamauzu. Gone are the sappy, hummable melodies and lush arrangements of series' past, replaced with drum loops and synthesizers. We've got MAJOR ambience here, even more ambient than Nakano's work for the Final Fantasy X soundtrack. Half of the tracks, particularly battle themes and "hurry" tracks, can barely be distinguished from one another.

Another element of this soundtrack many longtime fans of the series will find distressing is the lack of any familiar themes — not only the modernist jazz of Hamauzu's "Besaid Island" or the lush romanticism of Uematsu's Yuna, but the longtime staples of the series as well. The "Prelude," the "Prologue," and the "Victory Fanfare" are all but eliminated from the soundtrack in favor of vamps more suiting to the style of the soundtrack.

That isn't to say the soundtrack is without merit. The town themes, in particular, are very enjoyable, possibly even moreso than the originals from Final Fantasy X, and the theme piece, "1000 Words," is probably the best pop theme of the Final Fantasy series, not to mention the most well-integrated in the story. If you listen with an open mind, you're guaranteed to find a few diamonds in the rough, no matter what your tastes.

Track-by-Track Reviews

Disc One

1) Eternity ~Memory of the Lightwaves~ (Written by Chris)

There's little animosity among fans about the quality of the title theme, "Eternity ~Memory of the Lightwaves~," an elegant piano theme written in the spirit of "To Zanarkand" from Final Fantasy X. Despite its simplicity, the fluid nature of the piano lines and soothing nature of its melody make it ideal for relaxation, its ethereal nature being emphasised by the gradual layering and loudening of some light string and synth overtones. Concerned for Yuna's search for her long lost but eternal love, this is one of the few themes that reflects a slightly deeper aspect to the often one-dimensional game. (9/10)

2) real Emotion (FFX-2 Mix) (Written by Conqueso)

This pop piece, performed and, if I'm not mistaken, written by Koda Kumi, is one of the two pop pieces featured on the soundtrack. It takes a rather surprising departure from past Final Fantasy theme pieces in that it's an up-tempo, rather than a ballad. And while it lacks the subtlety of "Suteki da ne" or the elegance of "Melodies of Life," it makes for great listening. Koda Kumi has a fine voice, the melody is strong, and it's so dang fun you'd have to be some kind of pop Nazi to not enjoy it even a little. Highly recommended. (10/10)

3) YuRiPa Fight No. 1 (Written by Dcpsoguy)

One of my favorite tunes of the soundtrack, this track sports a wonderfully catchy, albeit a little repetitive, melody, that fits the point in which it plays in-game perfectly. The brass synthesis is masterfull; never have I heard a greater emulation of brass, using the PlayStation 2 hardware no less. You can't help but want to get up and dance while "YuRiPa Fight No. 1" plays. (7/10)

4) Yuna's Theme (Written by Chris)

By literally throwing away the mindless drivel of Nobuo Uematsu's overly emotive "Yuna's Theme" from the Final Fantasy X Original Soundtrack and replacing it with an energetic dance theme, Matsueda and Eguchi are making a very bold statement here. It's a musical representation of the fact that the old troubled summoner Yuna is gone for good and that the new spunky Sphere Hunter Yuna has arrived! It also shows that the Final Fantasy X-2 soundtrack will not emulate the style of its predecessor's score, so be prepared for an unusual ride. Its combination of catchy, almost jazzy (yet not overly camp) melodies and some fine synth instrumentation make this theme very uplifting and enjoyable. It almost makes you want to dance to it just like Yuna would! (9/10)

5) YuRiPa Fight No. 2 (Written by Dcpsoguy)

Eguchi and Matsueda try something new here. This is the game's boss theme, and it works wonderfully well in-game. A heavily distorted guitar-sounding patch carries the rather evil sounding main melody. A few key changes in the melody spur up the evil-sounding motif quite a bit, but you can't help but feel that this piece lacks energy compared to its Final Fantasy X counterpart, whether it be a lack of any interesting happening in the drum track, or really any emphatic placed on enhancing the melody, perhaps by a countermelody of sorts. One fine note on this track is that the instrumentation is quite unique, and works rather well. A diverse amount of patches, such as the above mentioned distorted guitar patch and several unique varations on synth bass, are used; not really conforming to the general MIDI standards that many composers in the video game realm are attached to, and Eguchi should be applauded for trying different instrumentation — and succeeding to an extent. (6/10)

6) Mission Complete (Written by Conqueso)

For the first time in the series, not only is the victory melody gone, but the famous fanfare that precedes it as well. However — and I'll be accused of heresy for this — I actually think this victory tune is BETTER than the classic! Not only is it less corny and more subtle in composition, it's also more exciting and appropriate. (8/10)

7) Sphere Hunter Gullwings Group (Written by Chris)

A lot of the tracks that use heavy synth instrumentation in this soundtrack turned out to be annoying and eccentric. Luckily, this is not one of them. While very outwardly enjoyable thanks to its strong melodies, it's fairly innovative too in its use of a combination of electronic effects, well-pronounced brass, and electric guitar riffs. This creates unexpectedly desirable effects and helps to make one's journeys in the Celsius for the first half of the game much more fun. (9/10)

8) Mission Start (Written by Dcpsoguy)

An extremely unique track, consisting of essentially a few flavors of guitar taking over. This is typical Eguchi, demonstrating how he's always experimenting with the sounds he uses and always pushing the boundaries of the PlayStation 2 sound system. While I certainly applaud Eguchi for his constant use of unique instrumentation, this piece really doesn't have any development of any kind. It seemed Eguchi decided to improvise with this piece, and while it turned out quite different and unique, it really doesn't incite a feeling of any kind. Pretty bland overall. (5/10)

9) Gagazet Mountain (Written by Soapy)

A traditional and reverent sounding theme for the sacred mountain of Gagazet. I don't remember how this one compares with the one in Final Fantasy X, but I found that this track suited the occasion and was one of the few that weren't glossed over with funky synthesized beats. The variety of instruments used created a smooth blend to complement the theme. (8/10)

10) YuRiPa Fight No. 3 (Written by Chris)

Adopting a rock approach with its reliance on overdriven guitar lines, this theme is perhaps the most unconventional of the three battle themes. Suiting a disco more than a normal battlefield, while the theme might reflect the intensity and the frenzied ATB-driven madness of Final Fantasy X-2's horrible battle system, it loops far too quickly and is too indistinctive and unmemorable to sustain use after a while. It's indistinctive, repetitive, and enjoyable crappy rock of the most generic kind. (5/10)

11) Game Over (Written by Soapy)

Well, what is there to say about your usual game over music except that you hate to hear it while you're playing the game? Nothing too special about this one. It lasts... what... 5 seconds? (7/10)

12) Anything Is Impossible With LeBlanc! (Written by Andrew)

It is hard to try to summarize the ambitious nature of this piece. It is an attempt at a far-eastern style with a tinge of middle-eastern style. However, had they used real instruments, it would have turned out much better. The theme is precisely thirty-three seconds long, to which it repeats and plays a while in an attempt at variation until it shamelessly repeats itself. The buzzings, I believe, took a great deal from the piece. At least it qualifies as music, as it does have a chord progression... I think. This track is very impressive (for a piece written by five year olds with the help of a machine featuring many bright colours to stimulate their young minds). (2/10)

13) I'll Give You Something Hot (Written by Chris)

This track is used during any boss battles against the LeBlanc Syndicate. It has always been a bit of a 'something about nothing' for me. Its well-punctuated melodies and original guitar use are enjoyable as are some of the theme's chord progressions. However, it doesn't really manage to form a coherent whole and lacks melodic unity and musical order in places. It is also pretty obvious that the harmonies took just under two and a half minutes to create. It might be one of the better battle themes, but look what it's being compared to... (7/10)

14) Shuyin's Theme (Written by Totz)

This is easily one of the best pieces of this Original Soundtrack, if not the best. Its dark and eerie mood is perfect to suit a villain. It has one flaw though: it's not very long. Seriously, couldn't someone come up to Eguchi and Matsueda and say: "You know, it's fun when pieces go over one minute without looping 7 times." Even with this flaw, I consider it to be the best theme on this soundtrack by far, and one of the best villain themes ever written. I only wish the rest of the Original Soundtrack had this kind of brilliance, instead of what I call the "First-30-seconds-part-followed-by-a-10-seconds-part then repeat forever" syndrome. But I digress. To sum up: this track = sheer brilliance. (10/10)

15) Besaid (Written by Soapy)

One of the few tracks on this soundtrack that has an acoustic component. Like some of the other tracks, this one was short too and ends up looping and repeating itself. The theme is a bit somber for Besaid, but it has its charm and peacefulness. The intro is a bit deceiving since you're not too sure where it's heading. Once the other instruments join in, it picks up a little but it has a very nostalgic feel to it. A really simple piece that I enjoyed, but it's not one of those melodies that stays in your mind for very long. (8/10)

16) Kilika (Written by Chris)

Although by no means a masterpiece, this track is one of the better town themes of the soundtrack. Well-supported by inputs from panpipes, a didgideroo, tuned percussion, and a Matsueda-esque jazzy bass line (of all instruments they could have chosen, huh?), it has a tropical feel while boasting a great melody. It compares well to its respective "Silence Before The Storm" in the Final Fantasy X Original Soundtrack and, while not as melancholic, its much more adventurous and upbeat nature makes it much more appropriate for representing the new and re-built Kilika. The only criticism I would offer is that the sound programming can be a bit dodgy at times with the most effective balance between the melodies and harmonies not always being reached. You'll see what I mean if you listen to it! (9/10)

17) Luca (Written by Conqueso)

Another town theme. Many of the tracks on this soundtrack can't really live up to their Final Fantasy X counterparts, but this is an exception. The easygoing track which was associated with this city in the original game was scrapped in favor of this upbeat, vaguely nautical-sounding ditty which really captures the feeling of bustling seaside town. Unfortunately, it's very short, even compared to some of the other tracks on the soundtrack, but its quality more than makes up for it. (9/10)

18) Mi'ihen Highroad (Written by Chris)

Just like its Final Fantasy X counterpart, this track is filled with the light-hearted spirit of voyaging. Its fresh-faced and breezy styles are absolutely ideal for journeying up and down Mi'ihen Highroad! I particularly enjoy the low dissonant passages that emerge later in the theme to contrast with its more conventional features. However, this track can be quite repetitive given it gets stuck inbetween the endless refrain of two rather simple motifs thus leaving it little chance to develop. Likeable, but with lost potential. (7/10)

19) Mushroom Rock Road (Written by Conqueso)

This is one of the weirder location tracks. It starts out in some sort of electronica style (I'm not sure which — I'm not up on my electronica), but soon a snare drum enters, turning it into a trippy march. Toss in some random piano arppegios and you get this totally unclassifiable track. It has no melody to speak of, but its unusual instrumentation makes it deserving of at least one listen. (7/10)

20) Young Alliance (Written by Soapy)

The theme for the rag tag bunch of miscreants that call themselves the "Youth League." Majestic sounding, with trumpets blaring and cymbals clashing, it's a fitting piece for the Youth League headquarters. This one is fun to listen to once, but after that it becomes a bit obnoxious. Especially when I keep picturing the brown nosers that I encounter in the game. (6/10)

21) Machina Faction (Written by Chris)

I thought that any track intended to replace Nobuo Uematsu's off target "Djosé Temple" from the Final Fantasy X Original Soundtrack would beat its predecessor hands down. I was wrong. This track opens on a one bar electric guitar melody about as inspiring as a toddler playing a xylophone for the first time. I would be able to tolerate the annoying nature of this melody if it were used as just an introduction, however, it actually manages to repeat a total of 13 times throughout the duration of the track making it the primary (and only) melodic feature. The rest of this track is a mixture of harmonic incoherency and needless repetition. Although there is a small development section in the middle of the track, it doesn't amount to much and fails to recede the predominant tedium otherwise going on. While it works marginally better in the game than in comparison to the soundtrack, it is awkward nonetheless. It can be summarised definitively therefore as 'dire' in my book. Avoid this track like the plague! (2/10)

22) Guadosalam (Written by Soapy)

Theme to the home of the Guado. The string instrument used really gets on my nerves. I want to say it's some sort of Asian harp but I'm not sure. It has a good rhythm though, going at a moderate pace. There's a fiddle that jumps in for a bit to add a little flavour. The mysterious and secretive feel to this track definitely represents the area of the game well. The track is very short, but since it repeats, it doesn't really matter. (6/10)

23) Thunder Plains (Written by Chris)

Having just read my review for "Machina Faction," I bet you thought there couldn't be a track worse than that one, didn't you? Well, you were wrong. "Machina Faction" and "Thunder Plains" can be labelled 'dire' and 'absolutely dire' respectively (excuse the redundancy in labelling an absolute term with an absolute term that indicates relativity >_>). Indeed, "Thunder Plains" manages to be even worse than "Machina Faction" due to three key reasons. First, its 30 second loop is shorter than even "Machina Faction." Second, its heavy electronica style used is much less convincing in the game, considering that Thunder Plains didn't have quite the same exposure to mechanisation as Djosé did. Finally, I can somewhat understand why Matsueda and Eguchi may have seeked to replace Nobuo Uematsu's "Djosé Temple" with something completely different, but it seems a terrible and arrogant insult towards Hamauzu's marvellous "Thunder Plateau" in the Final Fantasy X Original Soundtrack for them to pulverise his original with something this bad. (1/10)

24) Macalania Forest (Written by Totzh)

A very minimalistic track that mainly uses ambient noises to convey the idea of a forest, "Macalania Forest" works quite well in my opinion. After some time, the melody starts, and it's neither bad, nor good. Overall, a good track. (7/10)

25) Bikanel Desert (Written by Chris)

Considering I listened to the Final Fantasy X-2 Original Soundtrack long before playing its accompanying game, I felt extremely cynical as to how well Bikanel Desert would be represented by a track dominated by such heavily distorted and rather oppressive electric guitar sounds. This was particularly so after Hamauzu's impressionist "The Scorching Desert" from the Final Fantasy X Original Soundtrack. Actually, having unfortunately played the game, I can safely say that I was wrong. It manages to reflect both the natural hostility of the desert as well as the increased mechanisation going on there. However, musically it is less successful, suffering from being deadly repetitive and having a loop that is far too short to offer much appeal. It isn't bad, but it could have been much better. (6/10)

26) New Yevon Party (Written by Conqueso)

This big, majestic track was one that really stood out to me the first time I heard it. God knows why, since it's just a bunch of choral chords, but it's still a very effective track... except for that weird flute squeaking at the end. I won't complain about the length, because every track in the friggen' game is this short. (6/10)

27) The Calm Lands (Written by Chris)

A 'new age'-influenced solo piano piece that represents Spira's rejuvanation, "The Calm Lands" is a breath of fresh air with a great melody. (9/10)

28) Zanarkand Ruins (Written by FinalFantasyMan)

"Zanarkand Ruins" doesn't blow anything away by any means, but it does set a nice mood of reminiscence and nostalgia and I thought it fit very well with the 'new Zanarkand' of sorts. I'm not a music expert or anything so I couldn't even begin explain technical things, but when I listen to this track I get a sense of Yuna's sorrow and Yuna's determination at the same time. (8/10)

29) Sphere Hunter (Written by Chris)

A theme about as successful as "Sphere Hunter Gullwings Group," "Sphere Hunter" is a brass-led dungeon theme filled with bubbliness and bounciness. Its cheesy melodies are its winning feature, as they don't grate, yet do hook you. Unfortunately, despite the occurrence of a few decent interludes, the opportunity for the introduction of a good secondary melody is missed here, so the theme verges on a repetitive side. Other than that, very few themes possess the ability to make you smile and feel upbeat as this one does. Sweet! (8/10)

30) Temple (Written by Totz)

The use of the choir makes the track very atmospheric, and it does convey a certain sense of holiness, if you know what I mean. Unfortunately, like a lot of pieces on this Original Soundtrack, it's not fully developed (well, it starts to develop, but it just stops, for some reason), and ends up being short and kind of boring to listen to. (5/10)

31) Tension (Written by Chris)

Prior to the end of Disc One, Matsueda and Eguchi decide to introduce us to the primary 'dark' motifs that dominates a considerable number of tracks in Disc Two. These motifs may be nothing too noteworthy melodically, but are sufficiently dark for them to be effective within the game. Pity they end up getting totally overfriggin'used... (8/10)

Disc Two

1) Gullwings Group March (Written by Chris)

Here, the composition is rather good, carying a fun and well-developed melody, featuring all sorts of humourous sound effects from seagulls, fireworks, and whatnot, and having all the right features for it to be an upbeat march. However, it sounds simply repulsive unless listened to in a very particular way. This is no fault of the composers, but rather Kawamori's execution, which is so over-the-top that the theme simply feels forced on the listener to the extent that they might just fall off whatever they're sitting on. Technically, it's excellent, but it's also tasteless. Implementation like this does nothing to improve the accessibility of an album overall. (7/10)

2) Great Existence (Written by Chris)

This track begins well with a rather impressive piano solo that dominates the track with great prowess. However, sadly after its brief introduction it departs into a bland and repetitive refrain based on "Tension." (6/10)

3) Good Night (Written by FinalFantasyMan)

What can I say? I guess it's one of the longer rest themes I've heard from a Final Fantasy game. It's short and sweet and I suppose serves its purpose in the grandeur of the overall theme and feel of the game. (7/10)

4) Anxiety (Written by Chris)

Finally a track that demonstrates Matsueda and Eguchi successfully experimenting! This odd track is effective in its aim to represent apprehension and anxiety. The way it is built up is highly enigmatic with the use of instruments being unimaginably obscure. Among some of the most unusual of these are the sporadic occurrences of flugelhorn fanfares, the clashes of dissonant suspended string notes, and even the synthesised sounds of heavy breathing in the darkest passage of the theme. The soundtrack's most creative theme, though also pretty inaccessible... (10/10)

5) Infiltration! LeBlanc's Hideout (Written by Soapy)

A great piece of music while you're sneaking around in LeBlanc's chateau. A bit creepy and it also adds a few odd sounds here and there to keep it upbeat and fun. Not a musical masterpiece, but the various instruments and sounds were well put together to give that underground secretive mood. (8/10)

6) Rikku's Theme (Written by Totz)

Finally, a decent, listenable main character theme! I think this one is a great, upbeat track, perfectly reflecting Rikku's character in the game. This one is so good that I won't even complain that it only lasts 0:53 seconds before looping again. IT'S THAT GOOD. YES, ALL IN CAPS. (9/10)

7) Chocobo (Written by Totz)

Also known as "Godawful de Chocobo," "My Ears are Bleeding de Chocobo," and "Good God Make it Stop de Chocobo." This track is wrong and bad! There should be a new, stronger word for "Chocobo" like "badwrong" or "badong." Yes, "Chocobo" is badong! And when you think it can't get worse, out of the blue a crazy woman shows up and yells rubbish at you! And that's one reason I won't give this track 0/10. Giving it a 0 would be like giving that woman a compliment on her terrific work. At least it has one good point: after listening to it, every other track will sound so much better! Heck, even the worst pieces from this Original Soundtrack will sound like good pieces, "Thunder Plains" and "Machina Faction" included! (-12/10)

8) Paine's Theme (Written by FinalFantasyMan)

Is this REALLY supposed to be a theme that defines Paine...? Quite frankly, I don't think it does. Rikku's theme was nice, in that it displayed her personality through the track. However, I see Paine as a darker and more reserved personality and the track chosen here does not do justice to anyone. BUT, seeing as how this track is primarily used for the fun mini-games provided in Final Fantasy X-2, it's isn't all too bad when used in that context. But to blatantly use this track as Paine's theme is a great miscarriage in Final Fantasy music lore and the actual music does NOT make me think Paine when I listen to it. (3/10)

9) Bevelle's Secret (Written by Soapy)

Nothing amazing about this 1 minute track, but the voices made it very creepy. It gave me the chills as I walked around Bevelle's secret chambers. The rare piano notes that you do hear come and go before you even realize that they're there. It's all very ghOriginal Soundtrackly and secretive. Excellent background music to an interesting section of the game. This track definitely served its purpose. (7/10)

10) Under Bevelle (Written by Chris)

"Under Bevelle" is the perfect action theme — energetic, tense, yet not 'in-your-face' enough to be oppressive. The main motif used is highly enjoyable in nature and has a melodic and upbeat pulse. The use of synth effects and distorted guitar is effective too — again, pronounced yet unforced. A nice contrast, particularly after "Tension Variation #143". (10/10)

11) Yuna's Ballad (Written by Soapy)

This touching and poignant piano piece comes on whenever Yuna reminisces or has something especially moving to say. This track on its own wasn't that effective until I heard it in the game. During one of Yuna's best dialogues they had this playing in the background. So whenever I hear it, I think of what she said, which brings back memories of the game itself and all the sappy, cheesy parts. This piano solo is fairly simple, sometimes wistful but more often than not it's very melancholy. Definitely one of the most memorable tracks in the game. (10/10)

12) Help Store Gullwings Group (Written by Chris)

This track manages replace "Sphere Hunter Gullwings Group" as the theme aboard the Celsius for the latter part of the game. It shares its amazingly catchy qualities and utilises synth just as well. The brass synth is superb as ever and this allows the main melodies to pound out strongly and eccentically over the slightless less colourful harmonies. The addition of a jazz piano solo in the latter part of this theme was also a welcome addition, albeit a bit brief. Overall, this is a great track that goes well beyond being just 'bearable.' (8/10)

13) It's Our Turn Now (Written by Totz)

First of all, kudos to the composer. The tarck doesn't loop until 1:21. However, I don't think it developed very well. I mean, the second part's got nothing to do with the first, then the third's got nothing to do with the second. It sounds like one of them started the track and went to the bathroom. The other saw the track unfinished and composed a bit more, but it was already their lunch hour, so they stopped. When the first one returned, he/she continued the track from where the other had stopped. That's why it makes no sense. Brilliant, huh? Besides, it doesn't sound like it's a "counterattack" track. It's just... "eh?" (4/10)

14) Labyrinth (Written by FinalFantasyMan)

To be honest, I actually liked this track a bit. It isn't your typical Final Fantasy dungeon theme, but when it opens up with the cello, you instantly feel that urgent sense of danger. And though the track doesn't exactly have the SCARE factor to it, it does have kind of a Hitchcock-era feel to it. There are also moments in the track where only a single instrument plays, but it makes the mood feel so quiet and fearful. And seeing as how this game has taken a peppy-cheesy appeal to it, I find that some of those pep-cheese moments on the track are quite fitting. (9/10)

15) Confusion (Written by Chris)

Talking of Alfred Hitchcock, here is Matsueda's and Eguchi's own homage to the soundtrack for Psycho! The discordant and 'dirty' brass passages portray a great sense of evil while the harrowing basso ostinato barely relents throughout the piece. The fear, agitation and confusion here is furthermore emphasised by the orchestral discords that are randomly and horrifyingly placed throughout the piece. Pity this is another variation of "Tension" that loops after 23 seconds... Yeah, it sucks... (6/10)

16) Summoned Beast (Written by FinalFantasyMan)

While this track is more of a traditional boss theme, this doesn't mean it's great. It does a pretty good job in setting a frantic mood for the aeon battles, but considering that "Yuna's Ballad" was used during the fight with Bahamut, I felt it would have been more appropriate to go with something more along that line. After all, as Yuna would put it, these aeons WERE her allies and, I suppose, friends. Something a bit more melancholy and bittersweet would have been nice. Plus, there is this kind of "bubbly" sound that is heard throughout and I just couldn't handle that. It also lacks any real development and is REALLY short. It is what it is I suppose. (6/10)

17) Abyss of the Farplane (Written by Chris)

A poignant instrumental variation of the "1000 Words" main theme, "Abyss of the Farplane" is a suitably epic last dungeon that is beautifully crafted and boasts excellent melodic features. Kept that short, huh? (9/10)

18) Eternity ~Band Member Performance~ (Written by FinalFantasyMan)

I love this theme. absolutely love it, though not as much as the regular "Eternity ~Memory of the Lightwaves~." But, in any case, the band member performance of Eternity is just as nice and soothing as its piano counterpart. The "flute" sounds that comprise the melody of this track are beautiful and I love how there are a plethora of different instruments used to make up this track. Without going into technical details and such (frankly because I have no formal education on such), this track does the Eternity tracks justice, I believe, in portraying a nostalgic, soothing, and warm feel. (9/10)

19) 1000 Words (Final Fantasy X-2 Mix) (Written by Jared)

Well, what can I say about this track? It is absolutely wondeful and is my favorite on the soundtrack. The vocals are great, the music behind it is great, and the emotion is overwhelming. It's a great track, sung very well, and I recommend it to everyone. To me this is one of the better vocal themes of the Final Fantasy series, and hold up with classics such as "Eyes on Me," and "Melodies of Life." (10/10)

20) Nightmare of the Cave (Written by Chris)

This ominous piece of music is highly atmospheric throughout, despite being a little short. It begins with an impressive and foreboding piano solo, something that is even more powerful in the Final Fantasy X-2 Piano Collection album. Unfortunately its transition into the second part of the piece, which features some rather unusual synth effects, is less than impressive and feels rather disjointed. I feel it would have been better to elongate the piano solo rather than introduce a second section and feebly transition into it. It works better in the game, however. (7/10)

21) Akagi Party (Written by Totz)

I think someone wrote an intro to a track and forgot to add the rest, because this track is just the same drum roll and the chorus singing the same sequence of notes (or chords, or whatever), with little to no variation. Sure, it sounds great when you first hear it, but by the tenth time you hear the same thing go on and on and on, you'll just skip this track. And considering what comes next, you'll be doing the right thing. (4/10)

22) Vegnagun Starting (Written by Totz)

A piano. Snare drums and an organ. Choir and cymbal crashes. A timpani and a trumpet. What do these forces all have in common? They are all part of this piece, of course. One of the best pieces I've ever heard, it makes the other battle themes sound like rubbish. Um... more rubbish, if possible. If you think that combination of instruments doesn't work, you're clearly wrong. I was surprised with the choice of an organ, because I would have never imagined an organ in this album. I expected some synth stuff to follow the piano, but they seem to have come to their senses and chose a more traditional approach. But nothing is perfect. And the problem this track has plagues the entire soundtrack. Yep, you guessed it — it loops too soon. I mean, it is greatly developed, but there could have been more. (9/10)

23) Clash (Written by Soapy)

This is nothing more than a minute and a half of noise which in the game kind of builds up the mood for things to come. It's not that this is a bad track, but there is nothing too special about this battle theme that repeats itself. The whine of trumpets in the background eventually start to get on my nerves, but thankfully this track isn't long enough to leave that much of a lasting impression. (3/10)

24) Struggle (Written by Chris)

This track has its good points: the effective string use helps to build up tension and agitation as do the rather paranormal vocal chants that appear sporadically throughout the track. Despite this, the simple fact is that this piece is simply too dull and repetitive to withstand prolonged listening and thus fails in a similar way to the track before. After all, 32 seconds is not acceptable for a loop, is it? (6/10)

25) Destruction (Written by Chris)

In nature, the final battle themes are disappointing; they cannot possibly compare to Final Fantasy X predecessors, are underpinned by a descending progression of three chords, feel quite understated, and share a little too many similarities with the near-endless list of formulaic tension-creating themes listed above. In reality, though, thanks to excellent execution, they basically satisfy. "Destruction" features some intricate string descants to maintain the pace and create interesting cross-rhythms, essentially being an effective and texturally interesting penultimate battle theme. (10/10)

26) Demise (Written by Chris)

The key feature of this track is the way the melodic shaping using the three-chord descending progression often creates a certain feeling of 'falling'. This creates a sense of anticipation, hopelessness and doom throughout the track, which is only resolved in the ascending chord progressions in the more melodic passages. It is a fitting climax and I expect it would work wonders within the game. Good job! (10/10)

27) 1000 Words Piano Version (Written by Totz)

This track is played at a rather sad moment after you've defeated the last boss of the game. And may I say this fits that moment perfectly. Not only does it fit where it's supposed to be played, but it also sounds excellent. The original vocal piece, which was already very good, has made an excellent transition to the piano, with a subtle accompaniment that works wonders. This is one of those pieces you can listen to all day long and never get tired of it. (10/10)

28) Ending ~Until the Day We Meet Again~ (Written by Chris)

It seems like it's one good theme after another at the end of this soundtrack. Yup, keeping in trademark with the traditions Nobuo Uematsu built for the Final Fantasy series, Matsueda's and Eguchi Ending theme for this soundtrack is wonderful. "Ending ~Until the Day We Meet Again~" develops excellently to encompass all sorts of emotion, sounding proud yet unpretentious, representing a sentimental farewell from the world of Spira. (9/10)

29) 1000 Words Orchestra Version (Written by FinalFantasyMan)

Much like Final Fantas X, the main "love" theme from this game has two distinct versions of the track. One is used in an earlier scene, and the other is used for the credits. And much like Final Fantasy X, the orchestrated version that is used for the credits is the better version. Not taking anything away from the in-game version, but it just seems that if anything from a Final Fantasy soundtrack is orchestrated, chances are that it will be a good track. This version of 1000 Words is further evidence of that. It starts out very soft and quiet, as if something you hear in the distance. Soon after, however, chwhen the lyrics of the track begin to reveal true emotions and feelings, the track gradually builds until you realize that is a full epic masterpiece. The musical interlude is just spectacular and the use of the strings for the interlude is nothing short of great. The vocals are also very good and help convey each part of the track perfectly, each verse with its own distinct feeling and the chorus with breathtaking emotion. Disc Two seems to be closing out this once sub-par soundtrack on a very high note (no pun intended). (10/10)

30) Epilogue ~Reunion~ (Written by Totz)

Ah, the last track of the album. That can mean both a good and a bad thing. It can be good because the weakest Final Fantasy album to date is over, but it can be bad because this last chain of great pieces will come to an end. The track is pretty much an orchestration of "Besaid," but that's saying a lot. The "Besaid" theme sounded great on the piano, and it sounds even better when played by an orchestra. Eguchi and Matsueda have got themselves a masterpiece here. What a fantastic way to end the soundtrack. (10/10)


Written by FinalFantasyMan

Certainly not the best Final Fantasy soundtrack to date, but that should not deter you from hating the entire thing. As evidently noticed by the reviews, most of the first disc was awful, but that doesn't mean there weren't a few bright moments on it. Likewise, much of Disc Two was great, but that doesn't mean that there weren't a few stinkers. Generally, there are a few choice tracks on the soundtrack that have the Final Fantasy "feel" to it and you'd probably notice them right off without even knowing what the tracks are. In my case, those tracks would be "Eternity ~Memory of the Lightwaves~," "Yuna's Ballad," "Zanarkand Ruins," "1000 Words" (all versions), and "Nightmare of a Cave." Those are the ones that I can think of off the top of my head, but this soundtrack certainly does offer a very different flavor than what we are "accustomed" to. (7/10)

Written by Jared

Though this album is very experimental, it is actually one of my favorites out of the series. My favorite tracks from this Original Soundtrack are "1000 Words (Orchestra Version)" and "Vegnagun Starting." They were both awesome tracks, implemented excellently. I do have to agree that this is one of the weakest albums in the series from a musical standpoint. I love it, because it was different from the same formula used in past Final Fantasy soundtracks, and was a refreshing change. However, I still look forward to more classical Final Fantasy music in the upcoming games. (7/10)

Written by Soapy

As far as Final Fantasy soundtracks go, this wasn't exactly the most impressive one of the lot. I have to give it some credit though, considering some great pieces of work came out of this one. "Eternity," "1000 Words," and "Yuna's Ballad" come to mind; they were simple and refreshing. There are some not-so-great tracks, which seemed awful the first time you hear it, but they do grow on you. At least it did on me. They were at least catchy, if not obnoxious. It's a very different soundtrack, but with an open mind, anyone should be able to appreciate it... or not. (8/10)

Written by Totz

This album is by far the weakest of all Final Fantasy soundtracks to date, but that doesn't mean it can't have great, nay, excellent tracks. Pieces like "Shuyin's Theme" and "Vegnagun Starting" have really raised the bar when it comes to villain themes and pumping battle themes. But it's pieces like "Chocobo" and "Anything Is Impossible With LeBlanc!" that give this album a horrible name. Those tracks are usually boring, mundane, and repetitive to the max, making it impossible for someone to like them. Overall, it's a more of a "love it or hate it" kind of thing. Either you'll be repulsed by the majority of "techno" tracks, or you'll find them to be a breath of fresh air to the series. Bottom line: give this one a try. If you can make it through the first disc, you'll find the second disc to be a great one. (5/10)

Average of Summary Scores: 7/10