01 - Local Cosmos_soft_4Beat
02 - Travelogue_GuideVocalDemo
03 - The Last Hunter_original long edition
04 - Unseen Intruder_instrumental
05 - Memories for the Future_another take
06 - FirstPV
07 - Starting Over_Goh Hotoda REMIX
08 - BOSSBATTLE_v2-09_31aug11
09 - Crazy Chocobo_UstreamEdit
10 - Hopping Chocobo
11 - Noel's Theme_guitar demo version
12 - Local Cosmos_other_110725
13 - Parallel World CrossFadeDemo
14 - yuza_050
15 - Clash on the Big Bridge - Oriental MIX -
16 - Noel's Theme - Final Journey -_AbstractSetOne
FF XIII-2 was a pretty big deal for Square Enix. In many ways, it fixed the problems of XIII and made the game a whole lot more fun. This may have come as a surprise for some people. But, for me, the biggest surprise was its soundtrack: less serious than XIII, but still an amazing soundscape, and with many of the key themes written by Square Enix's "underdog" composer Naoshi Mizuta (see: FFXI).
XIII-2's "OST PLUS," an additional-tracks/unreleased/catch-all kind of album (also used for IX, XI, and XIII), is a much more worthy purchase than XIII's OST PLUS. That album was almost all outtakes, and they were outtakes for a reason. In XIII-2's PLUS soundtrack, we find incredible new remixes made for the DLC, for promotional activities, and just for the fun of it.
Among the tracks on here, huge props goes to Hiroyuki Togo for making the most interesting version of the FFV classic "Clash on the Big Bridge" I've ever heard. Going "East Asian" with Gilgamesh should have been an obvious choice, but it took 20 years for the song to get this type of arrangement. It's a hefty arrangement too, clocking in at seven minutes. Anyone who's experienced it as part of the Arena DLC knows just how awesome it is.
Three themes, or motifs, get preferential treatment on this disc. First is "Local Cosmos," which is remixed twice on the disc. Second is Noel's Theme, which makes a total of four appearances -- tracks 3, 5, 11, and 16 have it in various forms, with the final track being an ambient/house mix of KOKIA's vocal performance. And then, of course, we get two Chocobo tracks. How could we not? One is a slightly altered version of the controversial "Crazy Chocobo" from Shootie HG. The second is a surprisingly impressive and technically complex piano arrangement. If they make "Piano Collection" album for XIII-2, I'd love to see "Hopping Chocobo" included.
Everything else ... well, "it's all gravy," as they say. Good stuff, as it were. This disc has 66 minutes of XIII-2 music that really do help to both accent the key themes of the four disc OST and bring to light some music that simply didn't exist elsewhere. If you're looking for even more Fabula Nova Crystallis in your life, this single disc helps round out the collection of audio quite nicely. If you can find it for a decent price, why not add it to your collection? Most people who cared to get the four disc OST, after all, got it via the fantastic $80 LE set released in North America. This final disc is worth the import!
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann