When most fans think of Square composers, names like Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Mitsuda instantly spring to mind. Yet, as of the last few years, Yoko Shimomura has increasingly become a more prominent member of the company’s music composing team. Beginning her career with Square composing for games such as Live A Live and Front Mission, it was only in 1998 that she found herself in the spotlight with the groundbreaking Parasite Eve OST. Although her work on the album received mixed reviews from fans and critics alike, this soundtrack paved her way to the high-profile Legend of Mana. Since then, fans of Shimomura’s music have anxiously awaited word of what could be her next musical work.
When Yoko Shimomura was announced as the composer for Square’s newest RPG title, Kingdom Hearts, a collaboration between Square and Disney, it came as no surprise to her fans. Having also worked on Super Mario RPG, a previous collaboration with Nintendo in 1996, she was the most likely, and the most experienced, composer for the job. Yet with an excellent resume under her belt, many wondered if this newest compositional work of hers would live up to expectations.
This update, RPGFan is happy to present three reviews of Yoko Shimomura’s newest masterpiece, Kingdom Hearts. Along with these is a review for the Kingdom Hearts Theme Song, Hikari, which was written and performed by one of Japan’s newest and most popular female vocalists, Hikaru Utada. Now, you can read, listen, and decide for yourself if Kingdom Hearts is the soundtrack we’ve all been waiting for.