Monday, 31 March 2014

Final Fantasy X OST: A Lost in the Music Review

Final Fantasy X gets a bit of a bad rap these days. While it is not the best game in the series, it is a fun game. I enjoy Final Fantasy X for many of the characters, the evolution of the battle system (for a time) and of course the music. Personally, I enjoyed the music. Not to the extent of Final Fantasy IX, but it is still a good soundtrack.

Final Fantasy X was also the first game in the main series that didn't have Nobuo Uematsu as the main composer. Instead the job was split between himself and two others; Masashi Hamauzu and Junya Nakano. Honestly, I found their work on the game's OST to be good for their first time. Many people grief about how some songs seem out of place (mostly pointing at the heavy metal Overworld track) and incorrectly blaming the new composers, failing to realize that it was Uematsu who composed the track.

To be perfectly honest, Overworld is not a bad track. It is a very western piece of music that you would hear in a shooter, not a jRPG so perhaps that is why people complain. It is not bad as a song, but as an opening music track, it kind of fails. I am aware of what they were trying to do and it works somewhat, but the way the destruction of Zanarkand is spliced with a game of Blitzball, I find it incredibly awkward.

On the opposite end of the spectrum we have the Hymn of the Fayth track which is one of Uematsu's best tracks in the series. The song is more akin to a church choir and as such has a haunting beauty to it. When the music begins to play, you can't help but sit back in awe. This track plays a key importance in the game and when it plays outside of the temples, there is something important happening. Normally I chastise a song for being short, but Hymn of the Fayth is the exception to the rule. Had the track been longer, it would have lost its impact on the player. For an excellent cover of the track, I suggest checking out Lauren Liebowitz (Of the video game coverband The Returners) rendition of Hymn of the Fayth. She does an excellent cover of the track and captures the haunting essence of the song.

When you compare the Final Fantasy X OST with other games in the series, it finds itself in the middle. It's not as good as other games, but when you compare it to games such as Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, then it is a you find that it is still a good soundtrack. The Final Fantasy X OST is not a bad soundtrack. Its main problem is that parts of it truly weigh down the quality of the OST while other parts are fantastic. There is very little middle ground.

This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.

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