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Album Title:Final Fantasy XIII-2 initial Soundtrack
Record Label:Square Enix
Catalog No.:SQEX-10296/9 (Regular Edition); SQEX-10291/5 (Limited Edition)
Release Date:December 14, 2011
Purchase:Buy at CDJapan
Overview

The last time the Square Enix go a direct sequel, plenty of found the soundtrack to it is in subpar, in a variety of aspects. Fairly than make use of the key composers for final Fantasy X, they choose to go v Takahito Eguchi and Noriko Matsueda to handmade the soundtrack for the final Fantasy X-2. Opinions were separation due come the all at once style, focusing much more on digital music, and also forgoing numerous of the themes from the initial that made it so popular. Skip front a number of years and also we are brought to the newly released sequel of last Fantasy XIII. Unequal the critical time, the key composer — in this case, Masashi Hamauzu — was brought back to reprise his role. However, in addition, Mitsuto Suzuki and also Naoshi Mizuta would certainly be involvement him together co-composers. The soundtrack itself focuses on a variety of formats — offerings both vocals and instrumentals, ranging from soundscapes and styles current in final Fantasy XIII to modern-day ones, mainly by the new composers. Given this varied approach, final Fantasy XIII-2 is most assuredly walking to separation the pan base, as the last direct sequel did, however is the soundtrack an accomplished one overall?

Body

Although the composer for final Fantasy XIII, Masashi Hamauzu has actually a restricted role ~ above this soundtrack providing roughly one quarter of the tunes, mainly in soundscapes and styles originating in the prequel, rather than walking the modern route that his co-composers. The opening sequences and battles in the game focus primarily on those handling Lightning. The album opens up with “Final Fantasy XIII-2 Overture.” rather than the militaristic strategy to “Prelude to final Fantasy XIII,” this template is a bit more ethereal and also dark in nature, focusing on ambient synthesizers, choral samples, and some impressionistic strings job-related to produce a really mysterious environment with a hint of beauty. There space no huge orchestrations here like the critical score and also this stays true for lot of the remainder of the soundtrack. Adhering to that, “Beautiful Heroes” absolutely reminds me of “Prelude to last Fantasy XIII.” It’s a blend of much more militaristic tones blended with an ext stunning violin passages. This exhilarating design template stands as among Hamauzu’s finest on the soundtrack.

The key theme because that this game, “Final Fantasy XIII ~Wish~,” as soon as again serves as the basis because that Serah’s theme. This is an exquisite theme focusing on endearing piano melodies, romantic strings accompaniment, and also brass flourishes and counter-harmonies that lug a lovely texture to the piece. In mine opinion, it’s a much an ext beautiful composition 보다 its predecessor’s counterpart. This theme shows up again together “Final Fantasy XIII-2 ~Future~,” largely keeping the same style as the “Wish” counterpart, however, the second fifty percent of the template focuses much more on woodwinds, giving a very lighthearted interpretation of the theme. I’ll acquire to the vocal variation of this template a bit later.

“Knight of the Goddess” is among the battle themes that’s featured in the beginning of the game. Arranged by both Masashi Hamauzu and also Ryo Yamazaki, it’s quite similar to the means “Blinded that Light” progresses featuring a emphasis on violin, interlocutor orchestral and also piano passages, and a little bit of a funk rock groove prior to the loop. Yamazaki also helps species “God the War.” It’s a design template that features a layout closer to Hamauzu’s atmospheric battle themes from final Fantasy X. There’s a an extremely ambient existence on this design template initially and I think it really works, as it makes the brass passages stand the end more. Together the theme progresses, there is a focus on an ext militaristic percussion and also the brass passages the reincorporate “Knight the the Goddess” are rather lovely. It’s a really beautiful piece, yet one that the much less entertaining themes by Hamauzu. An additional presumable fight theme is “Eternal Fight.” special a exorbitant ambience, this one integrates ideas of romance, darkness, and also tension in a rather paradoxical manner. I really favor the distorted rock and also electronic materials that space featured, the revolution rhythm of several of the strings accompaniment, and also the beautiful strings and also brass melodies. It’s absolutely a template that carries the ambience comparable to “God the War,” but is executed in a much much better way.

The critical track in the initial Hamauzu is block is “An arrowhead through Time.” It’s a really pensive strings focused theme that uses a an extremely reflective look at the “Knight in the Goddess” theme. An for sure stunning rendition the the theme, it uses a really emotional side to the energetic layout on which that is based. “A civilization without Cocoon” offers a an extremely dark, atmospheric orchestral theme with a piano motif that “Knight the the Goddess” initially, prior to moving into a little bit of a much more lighthearted piano/light digital mixture featuring some choral samples. It’s a really intriguing blend of styles, plainly based ~ above the occasion scene that accompanies, and also I think the works rather well. “The entrances of Etro” additionally features the “Knight that the Goddess” motif, supplying a really mysterious, however airy, take it on the template with its poignant piano, romantic strings, and also woodwind work.

One the the city themes featured top top the album is created by Hamauzu and also with added arrangement support by Ryo Yamazaki. “The City the Academia” a an extremely ethereal track, special an digital backing, many of solo violin, and some brooding piano chords. It’s an extremely beautiful track and also definitely one of Hamauzu’s best on the soundtrack. A associated theme, “Theme of the Academy” has actually a an extremely martial sound to it, however, at the exact same time, it functions wispier woodwind sections with romantic strings, offering for a very inviting soundscape. “A damaged Wonder” is a romantic piano item that brings earlier memories of last Fantasy XIII Piano Collections. There’s a touch of sore in the theme and also as the layout progresses the enhancement of strings and also woodwinds aid accentuate this feeling, but provide a feeling of expect at the very same time.

Hamauzu is likewise responsible because that the character themes related to characters introduced in the first game. “Hope’s design template ~Confessions~, co-arranged through Ryo Yamazaki, is a beautiful theme featuring a little bit of a light jazz tone, a rustic atmosphere, and also some contemplating piano and also strings work. I lot prefer this to the original rendition featured in the prequel. As mentioned earlier, the main theme of the game is the basis for Serah’s theme. Her theme, choose the prequel, is a vocal rendition. Titled “Serah’s template ~Memory~,” sung by Frances Maya, is an extremely beautiful take it on the original. While that doesn’t differ too much from the themes that function this melody already, the addition of the vocals bring a sense of warmth come the mix and also the expanded piano occupational really complements the melody quite well. “Lightning’s theme ~Unguarded Future~” functions some plan work by both Hamauzu and Mitsuto Suzuki. It’s a beautiful, melancholy piano rendition of her theme, featuring some light electronic and also strings accompaniment. The end of all the Lightning themes in existence, this is more than likely my favorite. Lastly, “Tears that the Goddess” likewise features Lightning’s motif, continuing with the light electronic accompaniment, however focusing more on endearing woodwind and also strings occupational to administer a an extremely solemn tone.

The ever-popular “Chocobo’s Theme” makes its return for this game and is i ordered it in a variety of ways. Before moving on to the ones that most civilization will find more successful, the “black sheep” of the family, “Crazy Chocobo,” arranged and sung by adversary May Cry’s Shootie HG, is by far the most polarizing rendition that the template to date. Excellent in a heavy metal layout with equivalent vocal performance, it is certainly a bold take on the original, but most world have discovered the theme to be a bit of a joke. I am not the biggest fan that the vocals, mainly due to the cheesy lyrics, but the format is a refreshing take on the typically lighthearted renditions featured transparent the series. “Rodeo de Chocobo,” arranged by Kengo Tokusashi, is more than likely used throughout the chocobo races in the casino, if i speculate correctly. This is an exciting theme, featuring a little bit of the spaghetti western layout I’d associate through the title, but at the exact same time, I absolutely sense some tropical influence as well, mainly because of the steel north usage. It’s a funny rendition of the original and I think most fans will enjoy this one.

Suzuki is responsible for around a quarter of the soundtrack as well. One of these is my favourite rendition of the chocobo template on the album, “Groovy Chocobo.” The intro come the theme has actually a little bit of a funky jazz strategy before adding some strings job-related that gives a little bit of a choppy rendition the the layout itself prior to moving onto a lighthearted electronic arrangement with glockenspiel together the main instrumentation and the sometimes “Chocobo” vocal sample. The funk malfunction in the middle is additionally quite enjoyable. His 2 fanfare themes “Glorious Fanfare,” played once you acquire 5 stars together your fight result, and also “Congratulatory Fanfare,” for any type of other battle result, provide different atmospheres. The former is an ext in-line through the prequel’s theme, concentrating on a more ethereal sound and piano back the tempo is a little increased. The latter, on the various other hand, sounds like it could be a victory layout in a shmup, with its boosted tempo and also a more much varied digital approach. The video game over layout “Empty Solitude,” is a reflective electronic piece that really provides off that sense of defeat, although not in a brooding or very depressing way.

Suzuki is likewise responsible for a variety of area themes. The first “Neo Bodhum,” reminds me in countless ways the a modern-day Besaid in regards to style, albeit more modern-day and pop-influenced in approach. I really favor the mix of the more electronic components with the rustic nature of the acoustic etc in the accompaniment. Ns love just how Suzuki implements the violin in many of his tunes and also the means he distorts this heavily — make it practically sound favor a distorted saxophone at times — is quite genius. I likewise feel that Origa’s vocal job-related complements the wispy nature of the tune. The wild mix counterpart of this track, played when enemies are in the area, seamlessly transitions ~ above the soundtrack and provides a more psytrance-like accompaniment, some vocoder implementation of the lyrics, and a much more energetic approach. That would absolutely work in a Ridge Racer game.

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The finest Suzuki layout on the whole album, in my opinion, is “Eclipse” and its wild mix counterpart. The original opens up through deep, brooding piano and violin work, providing an exquisitely captivating theme best from the gate. The whole track features some ethereal vocal and electronic work, but the violin plainly is the star the the show, providing much that the melody. It functions so wonderfully through the piano and also electronic contents of the composition, specifically when that starts to gain a bit heavier. It’s really satisfying exploration. However, the aggressive mix is probably also better. It’s one edgy electronic/rock hybrid the manages to accentuate the atmosphere created in the initial with that is trance/drum n’ bass focus. This double of themes somehow regulate to convey deep emotions and rich scenery on the field, if still recording a sense of adventure. “Labyrinth that Time” is an additional favorite that mine. It’s an digital piece that really manages to carry out a little bit of a jovial environment with what, come me, sounds prefer a little of a tropical and also jazz influence. The melody is also quite enjoyable through its use of lighthearted synthesizers to create this spacey soundscape.

“Parallel World” and also its wild mix identical is additionally another an excellent area theme by Suzuki. I really prefer the ethereal nature that the original tune, concentrating on wispy vocals by Origa, the atmospheric approach to the melody, and the sometimes strings accompaniment. It’s a beautiful theme that really manages to attract the listener in. The aggressive mix, on the various other hand, is much quicker paced and also focuses top top a piano and vocal rendition the the melody combined with synthesizer as backing. The last of Suzuki’s area themes that have actually an wild mix counterpart is most likely the weakest the his area themes, in my opinion. “Augustia Tower,” is a really ambient theme, concentrating on some sustained strings work linked with some futuristic electronic beeping, comparable to what you might hear in a sci-fi movie and a giant manage panel. At least, that’s just how I imagine it. Together the theme progresses, it i do not care a bit more facility and a bit much more industrial, but it never ever truly grabs the listener, choose his ahead themes. The aggressive mix focuses more on melody with an aggressive digital beat, but it doesn’t really enhance upon the original too much. In fact, I choose the initial version come this version.

There space two more themes indigenous Suzuki that bear mentioning. The first, “Historia Crux,” special Origa top top vocals, is a song that has actually been offered in trailers and on the website before. It attributes a an extremely diverse progression, varying from one ethereal opening, come some an ext orchestral sections — with digital backing of course — to the climax. This section features powerful vocal work, although the “Time and also Space” repetition component of the text can get a bit overbearing in ~ times. Lastly, “Limit Break!” is the only specifically composed fight theme through Suzuki, in ~ least based upon what ns hear ~ above the soundtrack. It’s an additional theme the may split opinions, offered it attributes the vocal occupational by Shootie HG, but the simplest comparison is to compare it to some of the music you could hear in the devil May Cry collection fused with something you might hear in the much more action pack themes in Vanquish. It has that rock/electronic focus that provides some intensity come the mix. In addition, ns really favor the much more subtle, softer electronic components of the theme. It’s certainly one that might take part time to thrive on those, specifically those not familiar with the collection I mentioned.

The main composer that the soundtrack is Naoshi Mizuta and, in my opinion, this is the first soundtrack in i beg your pardon he truly shines — also if that is come the chagrin, for the most part, of what many people hold dear about music in the final Fantasy series. Responsible for countless of the games significant themes, such together character themes, battle themes, and area themes, he provides a diverse array of soundscapes, some much more tradition and also some an ext experimental. “Paradox” is much more akin to something you might hear indigenous Masashi Hamauzu through brooding orchestral tones and mysterious strings work. “Battle Shot” attributes a piano lead v ethereal synthesizer the helps accentuate the mysterious atmospheric sound, while “Book of Prophecies” and “Stigma of an Oath” interpret the same motif indigenous “Paradox” a little of a darker atmosphere, with the former doing so by sinister digital components and also the last with tense orchestration. Such thematic continuity certainly strengthens the thematic communication of a collaborative soundtrack.

Mizuta’s fight themes offer a diverse array in and also of themselves. The an initial Mizuta battle theme, “Giant Impact,” is among the boss themes that the game. It features a brooding electronic component and also is quite ambient and also atmospheric in nature. In plenty of ways, it is storage of an wild Junya Nakano in regards to sound, particularly through the layering the the strings and also electronic elements. Another activity theme, “Run” absolutely gives off that atmosphere. It’s conveniently one of the finest themes ~ above the entire album, featuring a jazzy absent soundscape. I really favor the all at once flow of this piece, indigenous the violin concentrated melody come the groovy accompaniment, to every the impressive solo instrument sections, an especially the piano. I swore this was arranged by who else, since it sound so unlike Mizuta, but most the his tracks below are every arranged through the composer himself. An additional shocking layout from Mizuta is certainly “Last Hunter.” This theme functions some slick rock passages mixed with much more exquisite violin passages. It’s a fantastic combination and yes, really manages to showcase Mizuta’s hidden versatility and, in ~ the same time, fans will probably appreciate the emphasis on violin, established in the fight themes indigenous the prequel.

“Paradigm Shift” is a an excellent blend of digital beats, synthesizer, and also strings work, particularly in the violin lead, providing a very motivating, energetic fight theme. The digital beat really works well with aforementioned strings work and is very reminiscent of other you could hear from Supersweep. Speak of Supersweep, “Worlds Collide” sounds prefer a combination of Shinji Hosoe and also Shoji Meguro, in the truth that there is an extremely catchy digital tone, prefer something directly out that the Ridge Racer collection with some strings accompaniment. Together the design template progresses, the monitor turns right into a rap track, instantly conjuring up images of Persona 3, at least to me. What’s more shocking around this layout is that, for a boss theme, the second fifty percent of the album is rather mellow in comparison. The laboratory vocals space retained, but at the exact same time, the in its entirety mood shifts to one ethereal ambience. It’s an interesting contrast, yet it certainly works.

Mizuta is additionally responsible for part area themes ~ above the album as well. Very first off, I’ll start with the most controversial the the area themes, “Invisible Invaders.” rather than emphasis on yes, really sung vocals like countless of the area themes ~ above the soundtrack, Aimee Blackschleger provides a laboratory track, although, top top her very own admission, it does sound much more like a city reading. The vocal style is more than likely what will ingratiate most listeners, yet the backing music is rather nice, giving an upbeat, however ethereal, accompaniment that is memory of something you could expect in a Xenosaga game. The aggressive mix variation is much more engaging as result of the adjust of the beat into a more drum n’ base style and is probably the an ext enjoyable the the two. “Ruined Hometown” is more than likely my favorite of Mizuta’s vocal area themes. The vocals of Joelle, known for her job-related on critical Ranker, right perfectly v the groovy rhythm and also the ethereality the the atmosphere. It’s a very straightforward track, special crystalline piano, strings, and bass guitar, however the melody is certain beautiful. The wild mix, together the name implies, incorporates a much more aggressive north n’ base accompaniment, but it manages to job-related with the piano and the vocals.

Joelle returns on vocals because that “Plains of Eternity.” This is much an ext pop-oriented, featuring some peppy strings and also piano work and also a little of a heavy electronic beat. It’s definitely a fun track, yet at the very same time, it isn’t together engaging, compositionally, as “Ruined Hometown.” friend will most likely still get it grounding in your head though. The wild mix is fairly different. Fairly than maintaining Joelle on vocals, she’s changed by a violin and also the beat much much more engaging. There’s absolutely elegance with this version and also in numerous ways ns think the serves as a more powerful composition and would have been much better served as the normal mix, in my opinion. “Xanadu, palace of Pleasure” serves as among the city themes in the game. It is rather intriguing, return the intro sounds prefer it comes straight out of one 80’s tune. Overall, the ton is rather jazzy, special plenty the saxophone, and also is quite transmittable overall, however some of the sound style does do it sound prefer a forgotten track from year ago. Fortunately, “Win or Lose,” which also incorporates this melody, is much an ext successful special a bluesy jazz tone the stylistically is lot like “Sazh’s Theme” indigenous the initial — acoustic in tone, however due come the nature that the track, is much an ext upbeat.

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Mizuta was likewise responsible because that the personality themes the are new to the game. “Noel’s Theme” is a beautiful piano and also strings layout featuring part “lala” vocal work, may be by KOKIA, offered she is the singer ~ above the lyrical rendition of the theme. It’s really emotional and poignant piece that yes, really portrays the sadness of Noel’s future world. The vocal rendition, “Noel’s design template ~The critical Journey~,” continues the same overall tone and also instrumentation, including vocals the tell a bit much more about Noel’s character. This motif also shows up in “Recollection because that the Future,” giving a contemplative setting featuring strings, piano, woodwind work, and also some digital tones. “The tune Written in Time” introduces “Yeul’s Theme,” featuring the exact same “lala” vocal style heard in “Noel’s Theme.” The music accompaniment features some ethereal synthesizer, jazzy piano, and rustic guitar. It’s an extremely beautiful template that yes, really manages to sound heartfelt. The vocal version, “Yeul’s Theme,” keeps this instrument choices. The text tell a really sad story, a recurring theme, the seems, but offers a really romantic setting as well, an especially in the chorus. “Eyes that Etro” attributes this motif together well, giving a mysterious theme focusing on piano and also ambient digital work.

My favourite themes top top the album every revolve about the villain, Caius. “Caius’s Theme,” i ordered it by Mizuta and also orchestrator Sachiko Miyano, is, in my opinion, the ideal villain theme in the series since at least final Fantasy VIII, perhaps also earlier. It’s superb theme the runs the gamut of emotion, indigenous sinister and ominous tones, greatly through the spicy brass tones and also impeccable choral work, to an ext romantic tones, mainly as result of the strings work. Speaking of which, ns love exactly how the romantic, emotional strings section gives a little of a human being side to the villain together well, rather than simply a cold-hearted villain. Caius’ layout is likewise the basis for two significant battle themes.

“One that is Pledged come Chaos,” arranged by Miyano, is, in plenty of people’s opinions, among the best battle themes top top the album. The vocal occupational is hauntingly beautiful, giving a sinister however romantic tone the really works with the development of the introduction, beginning off a capella before moving into an ext moving brass and strings passage. The meat of the track, however, lies v the to mark brass and also strings work. This truly brings the track to life, if the choral occupational that accompanies the serving only to accentuate the strongness of the critical work. In addition, i love exactly how the romantic strings section from “Caius’ Theme” is retained. The other theme, “Heart the Chaos,” is i ordered it by Yoshitaka Suzuki, instantly conjures up pictures of his stunning orchestral tones native Ninja Blade. I love just how well the works through the theme. The intro is truly stunning, focusing on sinister strings and also truly ominous brass tones before moving into powerful choral work. However, as with the previous battle theme, the orchestration is the true star that the present providing an enormous amount of power to the overall theme, specifically with the brass section.

Yoshitaka Suzuki likewise arranges two other themes top top the album, serving together the bookends to the final battle theme. The first, “Promise for the Future,” sounds initially like something right out that the Metal equipment Solid series before moving right into a lot darker, solemn template that focuses on strings work to carry out a an extremely emotional listen while also incorporating glimmers of “Yeul’s Theme” and a emphasis on “Caius’s Theme,” in the latter half of the track, giving a much an ext ominous and sinister tone amplifying the dire situation ahead the you. The 2nd track, “Eternal Paradox,” may an extremely well be among the many depressing tunes written for a video game in rather some time. Once I listened come this the an initial time, ns honestly feel a feeling of desolation and felt together though the world could possibly end in this tune. It’s very emotional design template that concentrates on “Caius’s Theme” in the first half that the track, in an instrumental type featuring brooding strings and also brass, and also “Noel’s Theme” in the latter half, which complies with suit through a piano and strings focus and instills this emotion of sadness. Visions of last Fantasy X‘s ending automatically come come mind, but I can be dorn in mine guess on how these design template plays out.

The final dungeon theme, “Chaotic Labyrinth,” is very beautiful theme, offering crystalline work that gives the template a little of mystery, merged with deep, emotionally synthesizer job-related that to add a lot of depth to the as whole composition. It’s practically uplifting in a way, but at the exact same time, over there is that subtle feeling of the unknown. The final battle theme, “Invisible Depths,” is additionally another impressive theme. Created by Mitsuto Suzuki and Naoshi Mizuta, and also arranged by the former, the provides really intense battle theme, an ext akin come the days when Uematsu was in charge the them, fairly than the more classical approach of Hamauzu’s final battle themes. It’s an orchestral/electronic hybrid with a an extremely industrial facet to the all at once approach. I love just how the orchestral tones and electronic beats work-related so well together and the addition of the choral tones, which combine “Caius’ Theme,” all work-related together. Most of the layout focuses an ext on these orchestral tones, if the middle section is a more electronic affair special distorted violin work. It’s a truly epic theme and in my opinion, the finest final fight theme since “The Extreme.”

There space some finishing sequence tracks, such together “To the soil of Hopes” and “Metashield’s Expansion,” that incorporate the “Prelude to last Fantasy XIII” theme, the former being much more warm and cheerful and also the latter being much darker and depressing. The album ends through “Ending Credits,” arranged by Sachiko Miyano. I love just how the ending theme concentrates on the character themes in the game, indigenous the ominous “Caius’s Theme” opening, come the much more romantic “Noel’s Theme” and “Serah’s Theme” in the middle, to the spectacular “Yeul’s Theme” section that incorporates the usage of choir. It’s certainly one of the finest ending credits rolfes in the series, for sure. There’s additionally a bonus track at the end, composed by Mitsuto Suzuki. At the moment, it doesn’t have a name, however it may be for a spoiler-related aspect of the game. That is orchestral in tone and much more jovial in nature than much of the soundtrack. That doesn’t rather fit the in its entirety tone the the soundtrack, as varied as that is, comparable to the bonus monitor at the end of the final Fantasy Type-0 original Soundtrack. It’s a very good composition though.

Summary

In the end, i think that the final Fantasy XIII-2 initial Soundtrack is a really accomplished one. It offers a selection of tones, ranging from more modern pop concentrated tones, to an ext classically inspired orchestral themes. Ns think the Hamauzu’s contributions aid tie the soundtrack come its predecessor, when Mizuta and also Suzuki really obtain to experiment — periodically to okay effect, yet for the most part, lock are very successful in your endeavors. When Suzuki revealed self on The 3rd Birthday, this is the an initial time I’ve considered Mizuta a significant composer and also I truly expect this isn’t simply a diamond in the rough. This soundtrack will not be for everyone, particularly the purists because that the series, or perhaps also fans the the an initial game’s soundtrack, however for those willing to give it a chance, it’s a fresh sound for the collection and one that I’ll cherish for quite some time.