Takeharu Ishimoto is a representative of the new Square Enix scene. In particular, Ishimoto is out-and-out a part of that “Compilation of FFVII” crew. In one way, he’s fortunate to be able to attach his name to such a high-grossing franchise. However, Square Enix also lucked out by finding someone who works so well with the sounds one might associate with Final Fantasy VII. Lots of acoustic guitar, lots of electric guitar, looped percussion, and some ambient tracks. That about covers it … except for that whole “One-Winged Angel” thing.
This soundtrack puts two scores into one disc. They are the lesser-known titles that surround and support the more impressive “Crisis Core” for PSP. “Before Crisis” is an RPG for mobile phones, and “Last Order” is a half-hour anime produced by Mad House that was released alongside “Advent Children.” The themes written for these relatively older titles would be re-used in Crisis Core. So essentially, what you get in this soundtrack is the leftovers, B-Sides, and less-impressive tracks from Ishimoto’s arsenal of FFVII music.
There are a total of four bonus tracks. Two feature a female vocalist singing the “Theme of Elfe” melody, with English lyrics (Angel is lighter, Devil is darker and more grunge-oriented). The “Edit” bonus tracks are house-style arrangements with various samples being thrown in to “mix it up” a bit. These are somewhat enjoyable, but certainly nothing to make the album worth a purchase.
Indeed, the whole album is a flop compared to the quality composition of Crisis Core. This album would have done better, in the consumer’s mind, had it come out earlier. Indeed, this soundtrack was “in the making” for over two years, and had been announced a year prior with plenty of delays somehow holding it up. Strangely, the I found the “Before Crisis” tracks to be more impressive than the Last Order tracks, even though Last Order would have had no technological constraints on the audio. Perhaps Ishimoto was rushed to score this little anime project?
If you really, really loved Crisis Core’s OST, and you want a little more, this album will do you right. However, even I thought very highly of the Crisis Core OST, but I find little to grasp onto with this soundtrack. Its value lies in its history, particularly for being one of the earliest “mobile phone game” OSTs out there (yes, there are a few of them out there now!). Pick it up if you want, its retail price is relatively cheap at $20.