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Final Fantasy X HD Remaster OST
Catalog Number: SQEX-20015
Released On: December 25, 2013
Composed By: Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu, Junya Nakano, Noriko Matsueda, Takahito Eguchi
Arranged By: Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu, Junya Nakano, Tsutomu Narita, Hirosato Noda, Ryo Yamazaki, Noriko Matsueda, Takahito Eguchi, Shiro Hamaguchi
Published By: Square Enix
Recorded at: Unknown
Format: 1 BD
Buy this album from CDJapan
Buy this album from Play-Asia
Tracklist:

01 - "I Want to Tell You Everything"
02 - At Zanarkand
03 - Prelude
04 - Tidus's Theme
05 - Otherworld
06 - Hurry!!
07 - This Is Your Story
08 - Ominous
09 - Normal Battle
10 - Victory Fanfare
11 - Game Over
12 - No Hopes or Dreams
13 - Secret Maneuverings
14 - Underwater Ruins
15 - Oui Are Al Bhed
16 - Enemy Attack
17 - Men Staked on Blitz
18 - Besaid Island
19 - Spiran Scenery
20 - Song of Prayer
21 - Illusion
22 - Between the Trials
23 - Song of Prayer ~ Valefor
24 - The Summoning
25 - Daughter of the Great Summoner
26 - Good Night
27 - Yuna's Theme
28 - Sprouting
29 - Farplane Sending
30 - Calm Before the Storm
31 - Song of Prayer ~ Ifrit
32 - Luca
33 - Reception for Grand Maester Mika
34 - Inflexible Determination
35 - The Splendid Performance
36 - Confrontation
37 - Blitz Off
38 - Auron's Theme
39 - Mi'ihen Highroad
40 - Brass de Chocobo
41 - The Travel Agency
42 - They May Pass
43 - Seymour's Theme
44 - Twilight
45 - Djose Temple
46 - Song of Prayer ~ Ixion
47 - Ridess the Shoopuf?
48 - Rikku's Theme
49 - Guadosalam
50 - Thunder Plains
51 - Jecht's Theme
52 - Macalania Woods
53 - Mist Sea
54 - Temple Band
55 - Seymour's Ambition
56 - Song of Prayer ~ Shiva
57 - The Pursuers
58 - Blazing Desert
59 - Crisis
60 - Revealed Truth
61 - Takeoff
62 - The Wedding
63 - Assault
64 - Tragedy
65 - I Can Fly
66 - Path of Repentance
67 - Song of Prayer ~ Bahamut
68 - Judgement Time
69 - Father Murderer
70 - Isn't it Wonderful?
71 - Yuna's Decision
72 - Lulu's Theme
73 - Brave Advancement
74 - Song of Prayer ~ Yojimbo
75 - People of the Far North
76 - Song of Prayer ~ Ronso Tribe
77 - Wandering Flame
78 - A Fleeting Dream
79 - Song of Prayer ~ Yunalesca
80 - Challenge
81 - At the End of the Abyss
82 - Gloom
83 - Song of Prayer ~ Spira
84 - The Deceased Laugh
85 - Seymour Battle
86 - Song of Prayer ~ Anima
87 - Summoned Beast Battle
88 - Decisive Battle
89 - Ending Theme
90 - "Please Remember"
91 - Isn't it Wonderful? -Orchestra Version-
92 - Bonus 1
93 - Bonus 2
94 - Bonus 3
95 - Eternity ~Memories of Light and Waves~
96 - YuRiPa Fight No.1
97 - YuRiPa Fight No.3
98 - I'll Give You Something Hot
99 - Besaid
100 - The Youth League
101 - Yuna's Ballad
102 - The Farplane Abyss
103 - Vegnagun Activating
104 - Epilogue ~Reunion~
Total Time:
312'46"

When people recall their favorite Uematsu-composed soundtracks, the debate typically centers around classics like Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy VII. Although no one can refute that the FF series has been blessed by Uematsu's touch, most don't place FFX in their top 3. I stray from the pack in this regard, and not just because of To Zanarkand. The world of Spira is one in which technology has been pounded into the ground, leaving the world primarily tribal in its architecture and fashion. While not entirely guided by this theme, much of FFX's soundtrack capitalizes on it. This setting is a stark contrast to previous Final Fantasy titles, which focus on medieval-esque landscapes and technology, with the occasional Mako Cannon. To help Uematsu in one of his last collaborations with Square, Junya Nakano and Masashi Hamauzu contribute to the original soundtrack. Though primarily guided by Uematsu, much of the soundtrack's departure from the norm is thanks to the substantive contributions of these then-budding composers. In previous reviews, I've repeatedly stated that tribal-style music doesn't titillate my palette, but if anyone's going to sway me, it's Uematsu. Does the high definition remaster augment the already grand qualities of this work of art?

Conventional wisdom would say "yes," as a high definition remaster does just that — augments. However, I had trouble discerning between the OST and the remaster. In fact, after listening to the remaster several times over, I decided to listen to the OST. Still not quite finding much difference, I did a few track-by-track comparisons and still struggled, though a few rich tracks rose to the surface. Keeping in mind that FFX debuted on the PlayStation 2, this doesn't entirely surprise me. A more well-trained ear may find differences aplenty, but I noticed few enhancements throughout the lengthy, 94-track album.

Of all the tracks, the Battle Theme was the only one I instantly recognized as new. This is almost definitely due to the fact that we hear the Battle Theme in-game more than any other track and not due to the enhancement. This rework is astounding, adding sounds and garnishments lacking in the original. Overall, the theme is kept intact, but the remastered version contains a thicker body with its new instrumentation. In fact, the OST version is comparatively dull and heavy on the bass.

Consequently, the Fanfare must also sound enhanced, though most of us probably only recognize the first five seconds or so of this track. Here, the remastered version is clearly crisper, but feels less altered than the battle theme. Most of the sounds remain loyal to the OST.

Initially, Underwater Ruins seems almost identical to its "predecessor," but a chorus eventually surfaces that one won't immediately notice unless, again, one directly compares it to the OST. This track specifically signifies how similar the HD remaster is to the OST. In fact, this made me wonder if the performers focused on popular tracks rather than those less recognized. While the chorus adds a resonating flavor to the remastered version, everything else seems relatively the same.

Yuna's Decision is a staple and yet another track left unaltered aside from the emphasis on treble vs. bass. Again, unless directly comparing the two, one might not notice any difference. At this point, I had to delve into Macalania Woods, my second or third favorite track in the OST. One of the most atmospheric themes I've ever heard, I can't help but sit back, recline in my chair, close my eyes, and take in the verdant forest in my mind. Surely, the remastered version amplifies this sensation, ne? As stated several times over, the performers relaxed on the bass. Some layers to the sound make the track feel busy in a way not experienced in the OST. While this track is certainly fuller than the OST, that isn't necessarily better. Like those who prefer 8- and 16-bit tunes to their modern counterparts, I find the OST version complements the aim of the track as it aligns with the game.

All of this is well and good, but what of Suteki Da Ne? That's why you're here, isn't it? My favorite of all the Final Fantasy vocal tracks, the HD Suteki Da Ne doesn't disappoint. Actually, it can't disappoint, because it sounds virtually identical. Aside from the, you know — bass. Okay, but what of the orchestral version? Certainly that has to be different. Nope!

By no means am I suggesting that the remaster is clunky or worse than the OST. In fact, upon some deeper sleuthing, I've uncovered beautifully crafted tracks, but I had to sleuth before coming to this realization. Does this HD soundtrack warrant a purchase for anyone who's not into collecting or doesn't already own the soundtrack? Unless you hold within your head's grasp a pair of ultra-discerning ears, I can't recommend a repeat purchase.

Reviewed by: Bob Richardson



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