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Underrated by its computer chip, 2006-01-06
Reviewer : Terramax - See all my reviews
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has had the displeasure of obtaining sceptisism and biased cruelty from the word go for its comparation to the amazind Final Fantasy Tactics Soundtrack (as well as other FF OSTs) and the fact that the music is direct from the Gameboy Advance - a handheld system which its music chip as a whole is very much underrated.
However, this soundtrack should not be overlooked for the above listed as FFTA remains an outstanding soundtrack that, not only keeps up with the many traditions of Hitoshi Sakimoto's other work, it also breaks away from the mold of FFT and releases all new tracks that chellenge his previous work with great results that may even surpass (that being said, the Main Theme Tune was written by Nobuo Uemetsu along with Kaori Ohkoshi and Ayako Saso whom provided 4 tracks of the OST).
The tracks are generally upbeat, light hearted orchestral-esque. And When I say 'esque' i'm referring to the just above midi sound as opposed to the real live instruments. The story has been shamed as less epic in terms of story compared to predessesors in the series, but the composers have no intention of letting that happen to their musical pieces. This is most dominant in the many battle themes that attempt to keep fight sequences jumpy, entertaining and rewarding. 'Painfull' is one such track that begins with a simple tune for the first 23seconds before breaking into a louder, catchier theme. Others during cutscenes attemp more melancholy sounds of hope, desire an restlessness. 'Ritz' remains possibly one of the most amazing tracks in any RPG soundtrack, one that after possibly a year of owning the soundtrack, still brings my hairs up straight. 'Marche' and 'Undeniable Anxiaty' are again just like this.
Many of these tracks are simple melodies that are looped for cutscenes that allow those to take their time. But the soundtrack isn't completely dominated by these. 'Main Theme' along with 'A Place We Should Return To' provide more suite works of various tunes amongst new ones giving more than enough variation the OST needs.
All this being said though, playing this music on very loud speakers is too much for the strain. This being given for a game on a speaker for a handheld console. Because of this, Nobue Uematsu has taken the step to making an second CD of arranged tracks of almost every track (excludes 8 second tracks and etc) which doesn't break away from any of the original material so that anyone who hasn't heard the music in the game before, will have just as much if not more pleasure listening to the heightened orchastral music versions.
That being said, I personaly prefer the original music, having played the GBA game to death and loving every minute of it.
The only track missing from the OST that I've spotted is the music from the begining of the game where the sleeping young heroes transition from the real world to the world of Ivalice. Bar that, everything is in order.
This is nothing short of an amazing album. If it were not that this was released from one of the most highly acclaimed game franchises and that the OSTs to accompany them are some of the most celebrated and scrutinised, this album would have been considered a cult classic much like 'Legend of Mana' and 'Star Ocean 2: Second Story'.
Seriously advised to check out whilst the soundtrack can be bought relativily cheap. It'll be your loss when you hear it later and have to pay another 3X more for ;)
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