After 4 straight SaGa games with Kenji Ito as the composer, Ito takes a chair and relaxes so Hamauzu can put his stuff to the test. How do things work out? Different, but also extremely well-done. This sound works extremely well with the fast-past, high-energy songs that still require relatively light instrumentation. The "techno" tracks are also pretty good (I sampled a lot of those).
I think that the medieval theme in the game of SaGa Frontier 2 is highly contrasted by the style of music that Hamauzu possesses. While the music is somewhat classical, the choice of synth instrument doesn't always fit the background of the game. However, since we are just analyzing the soundtrack, who cares? The tracks are darn good! And speaking of the synth...I don't know what some of the synth sounds used are called, but the one that's sort of piano but with this weird reverb or something, that's the COOLEST synth sound I have ever heard! I want more soundtracks with this setup!
Speaking of the tracks, all of the tracks are listed in German. Quite a cool idea if you ask me (#1 German student!). I took the liberty in translating them to English, it's pretty simple. The tracks themselves are...Beyond description. I have a bold statement to make: I enjoy this OST, overall, more than Chrono Cross. Every track is enjoyable, whereas there were a couple Chrono Cross tracks that I usually skipped by. One similarity between this OST and the Chrono Cross OST is the repetition of main themes...MANY songs are just remakes of a song near the beginning of disc 1. Many call this the flaw of the SaGa Frontier 2 OST...I call it one of its best redeeming values.
Sometimes you hear a song and you say to yourself "if only they did it like this...". With the SaGa Frontier 2 OST, there's always some version of a theme that you can claim as your own: as your favorite. And if this isn't good enough, I recommend you check out the SaGa Frontier 2 Piano~Rhapsody CD; this definitely complements the OST.
The limited edition packaging comes with an illustration book, featuring some very pretty artwork. All the CDs come in single-disc cases, with a cardboard cover around it. I don't actually know what the normal OST packaging is like, but I assume it's just a usual double-disc case without the artwork booklet.
You wish to pick up this masterpiece? You're in luck! Square Enix has done a reprint. The original version is difficult to find, but the reprint will satisfy you.
A note regarding the Square Enix reprint: Hamauzu himself had a few changes made to the tracklist. They are as follows: 1-04 "Roman (Story)" is now "Romantik (Romantic)." 1-11 "Hauptmann (Captain)" is now "Der Hauptmann (The Captain)." 2-19 "Unmacht (Unmake)" is now "Ohnmacht (Faint)." Finally, the four victory themes (1-09, 2-15, 3-05, 3-15) were "Freudenbezeigung (Joyful Victory)," but they are now "Freundschaftsbezeihung (Companions' Celebration)." These changes have been made to our tracklist, as these are the apparently the names Hamauzu-san meant for them to have all along.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann