Prior to the release of the game’s original soundtrack, a small album entitled “Save This World: Phantasy Star Universe original score” was released. This album consists of orchestral pieces from the game, excluding the opening and ending songs. Some of the songs are remixes turned orchestral, giving some freshness to the song. The way most of the songs are done, it sounds like they’re from a movie. While this would certainly appeal to fans to movie and game music, it’s not for everyone.
Upon hearing the first 10 seconds on the orchestra version of “Save This World,” it gave me a strong impression of a movie introduction. The melody made the song feel epic or grand, like the listener will be in for something big. I thought it was a strong start for the album, though I also felt the song dragged on too long for its own good. “Overture” (track 12) is a remix of the first song, but more enjoyable with good pacing, and it ended at a proper time.
Next we got four songs representing each of their respective planets (Guardians is from the Colony). To be blunt, I didn’t enjoy them so much. They are all good songs, but they simply didn’t click with me. I do enjoy many orchestral pieces, but not much on the “cinematic” orchestra front. I like my songs to make an impact on me with catchy melodies, and powerful lyrics (if used). Even if the song works with the game, and make the scene ambient, it won’t mean much to me if it’s not an enjoyable listen. “Moatoob” was the best of the four, though that’s not saying too much. It had the most interesting and intense melody, giving a sense of despair. While they were not my cup of tea, don’t let it discourage you. To each his own.
The opening and ending song are included in the album with their orchestral counterparts. The opening “Save This World” is still very cheesy, but I like it. Call it a guilty pleasure if you must. I find the orchestra version to be superior, and thought the short version has a more proper length than the normal one. “For Brighter Day” is an interesting song with a gospel-style beginning. The vocals are much have pretty hip lyrics; it’s the kind of song that fits in a club. The orchestra version is also enjoyable in its own right, though I find the vocal song better. There is also a remix of “For Brighter Day” which is only a more upbeat version of the same song. The fast-paced version did not work with the style of this song so the original is vastly superior.
“With You” came as a pleasant surprise. It’s another vocal song that is done in a Broadway musical style rather than movie. It has a serene melody with an enchanting vocalist, and again, it feels like a well-done Broadway song, which I like more than movie style. A real gem amongst the rocks in the album.
It’s a good soundtrack, but I have mixed feelings about it. The vocals are very good, especially “With You,” and I took note of some good orchestra pieces, but the movie style of the songs wasn’t very appealing to me. While the songs are in the 3-disc OST, this is a much easier soundtrack to get your hands on. While it did not entirely win me over, I enjoyed it, and I recommend checking it out. Again, to each his (or her) own. You might enjoy it a lot more than I have.