Editor’s Note: Mewt’s “Acorstic guitar version” is displayed as such on the album’s packaging. As a typographical error, one can assume the album’s creators meant to write “Acoustic guitar.”
After playing through the PSX original “Final Fantasy Tactics,” I had hoped greatly for a full-orchestra arranged album. Sadly, this never came. I settled for what is still an amazing 2-disc OST. Years later, the announcement of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance for GBA reached the public’s ears, and everyone was ecstatic. Naturally, I was most interested in who the composers were, how solid an OST could come from the GBA, and if an arranged album would be released.
And so it came to pass that an arranged album was created. But it wasn’t the full-orchestra arrangement I had hoped for. Likely due to budget concerns, the arranged album was to be a relaxed, “new age” style album. Compared to the OST tracks I had heard, I was surprised. Still, I decided to give the album a chance. The cover art looked cool anyway. So I bought it.
Five listenings later, I regret to tell you that I am very disappointed with this album. Even with the poorly-picked style, it could’ve been a good album. But even then, most of the arrangements aren’t anything special. The “melodies” from the compositions are pretty cool, but the arrangements…not so hot. It’s cool to hear the songs done with live instruments. A couple of the arrangements do shine (Beyond the Desert is my favorite track on the album). But it’s nothing to topple over. My expectations were somewhat high, and I was let down. It doesn’t feel like the Final Fantasy Tactics I know and love. That, my friends, is a crying shame.
But of course, I am one lone soul in this world of differing opinions. Listen to the samples for yourself and make a decision on it. Maybe you’d like to add it to your collection. It’s up to you. Regardless, it’s a pretty expensive disc (Japanese retail price 2900 yen, a little under $30). If I were you, I’d look for a used copy on eBay.