Bottom line (at the top): unnecessary for hardcore collectors, perfect introduction for newcomers.
I actually don’t own this CD. I don’t need to own it. I confirmed with someone who does own it, and there were no bonus or hidden tracks. Nothing is new. It is a compilation in the most true sense of the word.
Square Enix has been milking their old battle themes, as seen in those Battle Music Collections (currently up to Vol.3, running from 1987 to 2000 on the Square side). And for the SaGa series, there was actually a promotional CD release a few years ago called “Kenji Ito x SaGa Battle.” Now, this collection obviously didn’t have any non-Ito SaGa music, so SaGa 1, SaGa 3, SaGa Frontier 2, and Unlimited SaGa didn’t make the cut.
The point is, we’ve been down variations of this road many times before. And for anyone who owns the 20 disc box set, you can (and I did) re-create this album just by building a custom playlist using the track names from the album.
What this album does is paint a great picture, in the form of a timeline, showing just how great the music of this series has been from Game Boy all the way to PS2. Strangely, it does not include the SaGa 2 or SaGa 3 DS remakes, even though it does include the Romancing SaGa PS2 remake “Minstrel Song.”
The pedigree of SaGa’s music, specifically battle themes, is insanely high. So getting more exposure is always good. I just can’t imagine that there are too many people left out there that meet the “ideal audience” for this series. Those who already buy VGM are probably quite keen on this series already, right? I don’t have a large enough sample size to know for sure, but in my mind, there can’t be many game music lovers out there who don’t know how good this music really is.
But if, somehow, you’re one of those people, maybe this album would be a good place for you to start. Check out the audio samples and consider a purchase!