So what's up with this trend anyway? Squaresoft releases a game in Japan...then they release it in America and Europe, adding a couple bonuses (maybe). Then it's re-released in Japan as "International" (or in this case, "Final Mix") and gets even MORE bonuses than the American/European versions. And to top it all off, America never gets to see the cool bonuses added. That's ridiculous...
With that said, Kingdom Hearts "Final Mix" added a couple of scenes to the game. To avoid spoilers, I'll just be vague and say that there is MORE Cloud/Sephiroth interaction in Final Mix...and there's a preview trailer for what one can only assume is regarding Kingdom Hearts 2. To go with these scenes, Ms. Shimomura was asked to put together four more tracks.
The first track, an FFVII classic, is obviously regarding the Cloud/Sephiroth scenes. Night on Bald Mountain (written by the Russian guy above), I don't know specifically where that was added. Nor do I know about "Disappeared", though I assume that's "extended ending" music.
The last track, "Another Side", is the music playing for the bonus trailer on Kingdom Hearts if you collected 101 Dalmations. The American version of the game contains a shortened version of said scene, lacking the incredible piece Shimomura put together. Yeah...you angry? Me too.
Anywho, Square/Disney/whoever released this now unpurchasable item in Japan (in VERY limited quantities) for VGM completionists that wanted these last four songs to listen to. And so, here I am reviewing it. What can I say?
I'll start by letting you all know that I love Shimomura. She is a shining light in a world of mediocre composition. Problem is, half of this soundtrack isn't composition, it's arrangement. Fortunately, Shimomura ain't half bad at arrangement either. While the "dooo-eeee dooo-eeee doo!"s of Night on Bald Mountain sound cheesy on synth, she otherwise did a great job programming it into synth format. The backup percussion added to One-Winged Angel makes the song perfect for an Action RPG. And uhh..."Another Side"? Let's just say it's the reason I went out of my way to get this crazy soundtrack. This music takes "irresistible" to a whole new level. Every time I hear it...I'm enjoying the slow part, and then those strings come in, and it's a party from then on out. Hearing it with the trailer makes it that much better, but I'm a fan of just listening to this one in the morning to wake me up.
Yeah...unless you have inside connections, or you don't mind spending $40 for 15 minutes of music on eBay (and you have a keen eBay eye), don't plan on picking this one up. It's good, but it probably isn't good ENOUGH to hunt down. Or maybe it is. I'll just shut up. And yeah...
(in John Mayer fashion)...one more thing! Okay, not really...
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann