Wow, what a difference playing the game had on my enjoyment of its music. As with most of the albums in the Final Fantasy series, I often found the nostalgia to be a major factor in my appeal of the games’ music, and from there I would begin to appreciate the compositions on their merit. Now, I won’t go so far as to say that FFX has the best score of the entire series, but I do believe the inclusion of Masashi Hamauzu and Junya Nakano as composers has invigorated a musical dynasty that has long grown stale.
Final Fantasy X Official tracks is the U.S. released version of the original soundtrack, albeit a very incomplete version. Featuring only 17 of the 91 tracks from the Japanese import, many, many pieces are missing. However, for the most part, the track selection is a nice sampling of much of the game’s music. Sure, I would have chosen a few different pieces here and there, but I must say I enjoyed the CD immensely. With most of the battle themes, including all three final battles, as well as the now famous “Zanarkand” (I never tire of it no matter how many times I hear it when I switch on my PS2), most of the more recognizable pieces are here.
Of course, no review would ever be complete without at least one complaint. As I mentioned previously, although not every piece of music from the game qualifies as excellent compositionally, there are a few that I would have loved to see on this collection that didn’t make it, namely “Path of Repentence”, “People of the North Pole”, and “Raid.” But, if I really want to listen to them, I can always pull out my 4-disc imported set.
All in all, I found this CD to be an excellent alternative when I have the feeling to listen to some FFX but don’t have the chance to carry around my complete set. With some of the better tracks from the game, there’s definitely enough good stuff to listen to. And seeing that it is published here in the U.S., it’s great way for fans to get at least SOME of the game’s music, especially those who are unable to import game music CD’s. Released by Tokyopop, if you can’t find a copy at your local EB or game specialty store, Game Music Online has it available for only $15, which is not a bad deal at all (edit: now out of stock and obsolete).