Piano Collections Kingdom Hearts Field & Battle

[back cover]
Catalog Number: SQEX-10177
Released On: January 13, 2010
Composed By: Yoko Shimomura
Arranged By: Sachiko Miyano, Natsumi Kameoka, Hiroyuki Nakayama
Published By: Square Enix
Recorded At: Avaco Creative Studio
Format: 1 CD
Buy this CD from Play-Asia

01 - Scherzo Caprice on a Theme of Never Land
02 - Sinister Sundown
03 - Wonderland's Surprises
04 - Lazy Afternoons
05 - Night of Fate
06 - A Very Small Wish - Monstrous Monstro
07 - Hollow Bastion
08 - Medley of Conflict
09 - Musique pour la tristesse de Xion
Total Time:

Now this is what I'm talkin' about!

The first KH piano collection was terribly underwhelming. Why? The arrangements were primarily character and town themes. No one remembers that music from the Kingdom Hearts series. The only really memorable track on that whole album was "Dearly Beloved," since that's the title music. The rest of the music appears so infrequently in the game that it was just hard to care.

With this second album, "Field & Battle," the track selection is right on. These are the pieces that Yoko Shimomura wrote to capture specific Disney worlds, as well as the incredibly catchy battle tunes that she managed to pen in the last seven years. The only character theme on here appears almost as a bonus track: it's music for Xion, the character exclusive to the DS title 358/2 Days.

Across this album, we experience a strong, diverse range of music. Fast and slow, loud and soft, technically complex and emotionally moving, classical and modern, tense and soothing. It's all here. Of course, we should expect as much diversity from three arrangers and four performers for a 9-track album.

This, of course, brings me to my only real complaint about the album. As impressive as it all is, it's under 40 minutes, and there were still plenty of other Kingdom Hearts pieces I want to hear for piano. Destati? The "Deep Dive" music? Maybe something from the "Tron" zone? And there were plenty more battle themes that could have been selected for the album as well. The "medley of conflict" (track 8) hits some of them, but I'd have preferred to have each of these tracks get their own full-blown arrangement.

If it had meant a six month delay for the album's release to get four more tracks, I would've settled for that. But it seems this album was timed to be released with Birth by Sleep (PSP) in Japan. So I guess I'll have to settle for this small, but extremely impressive, collection of music to make up for the completely forgettable first Piano Collection. If you can find this album for a price that fits your budget and expectations, do pick it up. Every track is a winner, even the ones not sampled here.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann


Coming Up on Twitch

Breath of Fire IV
May 29 • 9:00am PDT/12:00pm EDT

Tales of Eternia
June 5 • 9:00am PDT/12:00pm EDT

Lunar 2 Begins!
Every Monday • 5:00pm PDT/8:00pm EDT

Grandia II Continues!
Every Wednesday • 2:00pm PDT/5:00pm EDT

Featured Content
Retro Encounter Bonus Round: SNES Encounter
Retro Encounter Bonus Round: SNES Encounter
Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet Review
Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet
Retro Encounter 14: The World Ends With You - Final Thoughts
Retro Encounter 14: The World Ends With You
Final Thoughts
Root Double Before Crime*After Days: Xtend Edition Review
Root Double Before Crime*After Days: Xtend Edition
Corpse Party: songs of the dead Review
Corpse Party: songs of the dead
Sorcery! Part 3 Review
Sorcery! Part 3
RSS Feeds & More
Complete Feed
Reviews Feed
Media Feed
Random Encounter
Rhythm Encounter
Retro Encounter