Final Fantasy X


Music composed by

Nobuo Uematsu
Masashi Hamauzu
Junya Nakano

"Suteki Da Ne"

music Nobuo Uematsu
lyrics Kazushige Nojima
vocals RIKKI

"Other World"

music Nobuo Uematsu
lyrics Alexander O. Smith
vocals Bill Muir

17 tracks 70 minutes

Music Samples

Once again, Nobuo Uematsu produces a Final Fantasy score of epic proportions. Hot off his keyboard from FFIX, Mr. Uematsu is again given the task of composing large amounts of music for the first FF game to appear on the PSX2. However, this time, the first in FF history*, Mr. Uematsu has a couple of Square colleagues, Junya Nakano (Dew Prism) and Masashi Hamauzu (Saga Frontier 2) share composing duties. Another first for this r.p.g. series is the addition of voice acting. Mr. Uematsu and company realized that their music would be needed to support and compliment the story, rather than pushing or driving the emotional content. The addition of Mr. Nakano and Mr. Hamauzu introduces new styles that serve to enhance the Final Fantasy sound experience, rather that to change or corrupt the atmosphere that Mr. Uematsu has presented over the years.

Mr. Uematsu contributes his usual great work: "Zanarkand" is a beautiful piano piece elegantly performed by Yoko Mori. "The Sending" is a solemn piece that incorporates a boy soprano and a choir (skillfully arranged by Mr. Hamauzu). The "Ending Theme" is epic and elegant, while "Suteki Da Ne" is quite nice song with pleasant vocals by Japanese singer Rikki. Mr Uematsu does shift gears with a pretty decent, heavy hard rock tune "Over World" (a very different but welcome composition). There are other tunes where Mr. Uematsu does seem to be a little bored with the whole thing, and I think its about time Square let Mr. Uematsu spread his wings and compose for other musical genres and games.

Final Fantasy X's music is really a starring vehicle for both Mr. Hamauzu, who shines brightest, and Mr. Nakano. These gentlemen help breathe new life into the music by introducing new musical styles, sounds and attitudes that enhance the Final Fantasy experience.

Although the seasoned FF music pro may never get used to Mr. Nakano's funky, disco pop arrangement of the classic "Prelude", it still sets up the opening of the game quite nicely. Mr. Nakano does flex his composition skills with a couple of battle themes. "Enemy Attack" is frantic and "A Contest of Aeons" is bombastic and ...

Mr. Hamauzu contributes several cues that range from soft, emotive electronics of "Wandering" to the hip ambient pop sound of "Besaid" and grand, epic sound "Final Battle" that reminds of works by Prokofiev and Gershwin. Mr. Hamauzu's work should please all.

Although this epic work was composed by three different men with their own styles, their familiarity with each other enables them to compose music which is both enjoyable and consistent. And while no collection the size of DIGICUBE's 4 disc set is perfect, most tunes shine very brightly. TOKYOPOP's single disc release is obviously not complete, but does offer a nice sampling of the larger release and contains a lot of the coolest tracks. As the Final Fantasy series evolves in new direction, I applaud Square for trying something different with the music of their flagship title. I applaud Mr. Uematsu for being brave enough to allow others to contribute music, and I applaud Mr Hamauzu and Mr.Nakano for taking on and living up to the challenge of creating their imprint in the Final Fantasy world.

Lastly, this review is based on the TOKYOPOP and DIGICUBE releases. I used the TOKYOPOP release as a guide of which songs should be mentioned in this review. I would recommend those new to video game music to purchase TOKYOPOP domestic single CD release of this soundtrack. Once you have dipped your toes, I suggest you search for the four disc DIGICUBE import.

One last note: Final Fantasy XI will again feature music Nobuo Uematsu and two other composers.

* Although Final Fantasy Tactics uses the Final Fantasy name and some of its characters, it has nothing in common with the rest of the games, except excellent music by Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata.


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"Suteki Da Ne"

"Feel/Go Dream"

FFX PS2 Game