Monday, 18 March 2013

Song's of Future Past ~ SaGa III: Jikuu no Hasha

Welcome to the new feature on Lost in the Music called Song's of Future pasts, where I take a listen to a album remake. The stipulation is that both albums have to be from a remake of the game and not a fan album. With that in mind, today I would like to compare the original Final Fantasy Legends III with the updated re-release, SaGa III: Jikuu no Hasha for the DS, released only in Japan. Due to the fact that the game was not released over here in North America, I will be referring to the DS remake by its original title.

For those of you who enjoyed the original Final Fantasy Legend 3, this may not be pleasant.

I was unaware that the Game Boy Final Fantasy games had been remade for the DS until a Let's Player I watch had mentioned it last week (as of this writing) during one of his episodes. Hearing about it had piqued my curiosity so I began looking into some of the videos and came across a translation project. My immediate reaction was not one of cautious optimism, but anger. The world I was witnessing was full of life and vibrant, which the original was not.

Now I am not saying that the graphics were bad, no they were great, but my issue was that they were painting this world to be full of lush and vibrant. That was not supposed to be the case with this game. Yes you can argue that with an updated engine the team could show the player that this is what the heroes were fighting for, but with the original Game Boy game, you could get that feeling when you interact with the world. 

However I have not yet have had a chance to play the game so I will hold my judgement on the game itself until then.

The music on the other hand, I can review and let me tell you, the remake music does not fit the game at all. They made the music seem way to cluttered to be effective, adding too many unneeded instruments to the music. What made the original's shine was that they were simple and the remake seems to ignore the one rule of keeping it simple. There is a time and a place for grand epic songs, but the developers seemed to think that every song should be epic. I do admit that I don't mind what they did to the Title Screen. It does make you want to travel the world, although the first 7 seconds is unneeded.

Then there is the Oasis Theme which sounds like it would fit as a shop theme in Legend of Zelda. This is not suited for listening to a long period as the more bizarre sound effects in the song make it kind of unsettling. When I compare it to the original, the original chiptune is so much better. I can feel more at peace and be relaxed. With the remake, I half expected some sort of clown to pop out and turn the town square into a three ring circus.

I've heard and compared the Town Theme and the Title Screen track, but how does the Battle theme hold up? Cluttered and complicated. Battle theme's are not supposed to be grandiose as you are essentially fighting minions. Nobody cares about you fighting and slaying the slime. People care how you fared against the bosses and how it was a hard fight, trying to keep everyone active. The team here made the song so cluttered as it tried to make the theme seem epic, but they failed at it.

One final example is the track Theme of Another Dimension. This is the track you hear when you are flying the Talon and you finally head to Pureland. The original was okay, but defiantly not my favourite, while the remake is almost good. The main portion of the song is performed by a set of flutes and a violin, but the effect is nearly ruined by the heavy percussion beats which seemed to overshadow the previous instruments. Had they toned down the percussion and had it accompany the music instead of being the primary focus, I feel this song would have been great.

So is the OST remake any good? Aside from a few examples, no. The remake work is so bad. I know the team tried to capture that feeling of the original, and other a few songs, the rest of the soundtrack just doesn't sound right. Some music sounds cluttered or worse inappropriate. It is a shame because I did have high hopes for this soundtrack.

If you are interested in comparing the music, you can find both soundtracks on Youtube here (original) and here (remake).

I am Daimo Mac and these are the Song's of Future Past.

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