Before you read the remainder of this review, I’m just going to come out and say it. I dislike Tokyopop. I’m ecstatic that they’ve ventured to bring some Squaresoft OSTs over to American shores, but I wish they’d do a better job. When I bought this OST, I knew that it truly was Uematsu’s “Best Selection” (all my favorite songs were present and accounted for) but there was one thing that I was not expecting… some of the tracks don’t loop twice! It seems that they tried to get as many tracks on the disc as they could, and as a result, they ended up cutting some songs short. I would have rather there been fewer tracks on this OST just so that they could all loop twice. Whoever was in charge did not think their decisions through in which tracks to cut short and which tracks to keep full length, because the fact that the main battle theme, “Battle 1” was cut short is absolute nonsense. While I generally disliked FFIX’s battle theme, most people did not. I’d be willing to bet that a lot of people bought this OST just for that song. You probably won’t enjoy hearing that “Vivi’s Theme,” “Bran Bal, the Soulless Village,” and “Ukulele de Chocobo” were some of the unlucky songs that got the straw. For the domestic release of FFIV, it was understandable, but for an even higher quality release, this is just ridiculous. For shame, Tokyopop. For shame.
Now that I have gotten that off my chest, let’s talk about the few things this album actually does right—as to be expected from Tokyopop, the sound quality is good. If you listen to this in a high-quality stereo or CD player, you will notice that each song has a nice reverb, making it sound bigger and more in depth. If you’re familiar with the OST, you’ll probably recognize some of your favorite tunes on here. In fact, this truly is “Uematsu’s Best Selection.” There’s a few tracks missing that I would have liked to see (like “Esto Gaza”) but I like *almost* every song on this album, and that’s a pretty rare occasion for me. There’s just one song on this CD that I absolutely loathe. And ironically, it’s the bonus track arrangement of “FU-RU-SA-TO (Homeland)”. This song just flat out sucks. It’s boring, not-so-original, and meaningless…and oh, and I should mention that you won’t be able to enjoy it because it’s one of the tracks that got cut short! Tokyopop deserves an award for that one.
The truth about this album is, it really doesn’t do its fans any favors. It’s got a really great track listing, but Tokyopop didn’t have enough confidence in it to make it live up to the standard. Unless you’re an FF fanboy or a collector who just HAS to have this album, I recommend shelling out the extra cash for the official, Japanese 4-disc OST. This one’s not worth it.