You just couldn't bear the thought of not getting more FFXIII, right?
About a decade ago, Final Fantasy IX's four disc OST was revealed to be incomplete. In particular, about 30 orchestra-recorded cues for the game's FMV sequences didn't appear. Those tracks, alongside some bonus tracks and interesting arrangements, were put on "FFIX OST PLUS."
Four games later, the "PLUS" moniker appears for a new fifth-disc addendum. Unfortunately, this one isn't nearly as cool.
There's really not a moment of new music, new melodic content, to be found on this disc. These are alternate versions. Pre-orchestra versions, English language versions, instrumental versions (of previously vocal content), tempo-adjusted versions, and some old trailer music (featuring a medley of themes).
Is it good music? Oh yeah, definitely. It's Masashi Hamauzu. It's FFXIII. This stuff is beautiful. But if you own the OST, you're not going to get much out of this disc. The new English language recordings were pretty cool (I especially appreciate Cocoon de Chocobo). But only the most discerning listeners will catch the difference between the official OST versions of certain themes and the alternate versions found here. I generally found the "alpha" versions to be more hollow, echo-y, and empty. And the "Long Version" of the battle theme? Didn't mean much to me. I will say that I enjoyed "Lightning NW Version." Very cool.
Anyone hoping for a proper arrangement of this music will be sorely disappointed though. And at only 16 tracks, I can't help but think there's even more missing. Well, we know there's more missing. But that's not what's important. What's important here is that people wanting some exciting new arrangements will be disappointed by this album. It's for collectors and completionists only.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann