Songs From "Word Puzzle Xenopittan"
01 - estrellita
02 - [ai]
03 - paradox
04 - Our Xenopittan
05 - Radio Style "Xenosaga Freaks"
Released on PlayStation 2 between Episode I and Episode II of Xenosaga, Xenosaga Freaks included a "Xenosaga Database," a bonus puzzle game XenoPittan (a knock-off of Namco's own word-game "Moji Pittan"), and a playable demo of Xenosaga Episode II. The PS2 title was thought of less as a game and more as an interactive fanbook.
Of course, even interactive fan-books have to have soundtracks. As a special bonus, the female voice actors for Shion, KOS-MOS, and M.O.M.O. did their part by each recording a solo number, as well as doing a trio piece. Those are the four vocal tracks on this extremely obscure CD. The fifth track is a radio-style interview with the three young ladies: it takes up about half of the disc's 30 minutes of audio.
I could leave this review to be purely informational, but I am going to go ahead and say that, as an "image album," this album is exactly what you'd expect from Japan, and nothing like what you'd expect from the Xenosaga series. Xenosaga is a deep and interesting universe filled with intrigue and plot turns that every true RPG fan can enjoy (should they be willing to undertake the gameplay). This music, however, is silly lighthearted techno-pop, and I genuinely cannot imagine the characters from Xenosaga singing these songs. It's as though Namco morphed these wonderful characters into happy-go-lucky super-deformed chibi-losers and had them sing songs. Don't get me wrong: for what it is, it's well produced. It's just that it's not in line with anything that Xenosaga once stood for.
Should that stop you from trying to acquire this, a most rare soundtrack in the Xenosaga compilation? Yeah, it probably should. Mitsuda and Kajiura are nowhere to be found; some in-house composers from Namco took care of business for this little venture. Unless you want to see the more shallow side of Xenosaga (especially from the perspective of the developers), this is probably your only venue. That, and maybe the anime series.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann