SQ Chips

[back cover]
Catalog Number: SQEX-10248
Released On: September 21, 2011
Composed By: Nobuo Uematsu, Hiroki Kikuta, Kenji Ito, Yasunori Mitsuda, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Masashi Hamauzu, Tsuyoshi Sekito, Kenichiro Fukui, Masayoshi Soken
Arranged By: DJ OMKT & MJ, Hige Driver, Hidekazu Tanaka, Sexy-Synthesizer, Shisotex, (S_S), 203soundworks, Yoshino Yoshikawa, muZik, the3rdmimi, Mitsuto Suzuki, Another Infinity, Q/11A E07
Published By: Square Enix
Recorded at: Unknown
Number of CDs 1
Buy this CD from Play-Asia

01 - Chrono Trigger "Chrono Trigger"
02 - Final Fantasy III "Battle 2"
03 - Final Fantasy XIII "Blinded by Light"
04 - Xenogears "The Wind Calls to Shevat in the Blue Sky"
05 - Final Fantasy III "Sailing Enterprise ~ The Invincible"
06 - Seiken Densetsu 2 "Meridian Festival"
07 - Final Fantasy VI "Terra's Theme"
08 - Final Fantasy VII "Aerith's Theme"
09 - Final Fantasy XI "Ronfaure"
10 - Einhänder & Project Sylpheed Medley
11 - Final Fantasy XII "Near the Water"
12 - SaGa 2 Hihou Densetsu Medley
13 - Final Fantasy VIII "Eyes On Me"
14 - Brave Fencer Musashi "Skullpion"
15 - Nanashi no Game "Nameless Theme"
16 - Final Fantasy Gaiden: Seiken Densetsu "Final Battle ~ Mana Palace"
17 - Chrono Trigger "Character Medley"
18 - Final Fantasy IV - V - VI "Ending Medley"
Total Time:

Chiptune arrangements of contemporary game music are fairly popular these days. The amalgamation of new and old evokes an emulated sense of nostalgia while paying tribute to cherished pieces of music. It also speaks volumes for the amount of depth that can be found in melodies composed with an 8-bit sound chip. SQ Chips, the latest release in the SQ album series by Square Enix, takes this formula for a spin with the company's own professional remixers. The end result is pure bliss for chiptune fans.

There are a wide range of games represented in this album: from the Game Boy-era Seiken Densetsu to the recent Final Fantasy XIII and everything in between. The original songs are not transposed directly into 8-bit; rather, each one is arranged in some way, with additional instruments and layers to give every track its own identity. "Terra's Theme" begins with a familiar epic feel, but morphs into an upbeat techno track with violin and piano carrying the melody. "Aerith's Theme," too, sounds like a dance song, with a robotic voice humming alongside the 8-bit hook. I couldn't help but smile when I noticed sound effects from the Final Fantasy VII menus charmingly sprinkled throughout the latter half of the song.

Slower-tempo songs are also present, and their quality is equal to their more energetic brethren. "Near the Water" was one of my favorite songs from Final Fantasy XII, and I was very pleased with this new retro version. It sounds like it came straight from an NES game, full of peppy notes and computerized beeps. "Ronfaure" has a trance-like quality, with a synth harmony that ebbs and flows like the tide.

My favorite track is one of the longest on the album. The "Chrono Trigger Character Medley" is a six-minute trip into nostalgic joy. The characters' personalities shine through when their themes kick in: brilliant Lucca, steadfast Robo, courageous Frog (complete with his ribbit sound effect), wild Ayla, sinister Magus, tragic Schala, heroic Crono, and free-spirited Marle are all accounted for. It is an absolute delight for the ears.

SQ Chips is a unique collection of music that should not be missed by fans of Square Enix games. For those who have experienced the games represented within, every track will bring back a memory. For new listeners, the songs should serve as inspiration to explore the worlds these songs came from. No matter which camp you belong to, this is a journey worth taking.

Reviewed by: Derek Heemsbergen


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