Review: Final Fantasy XV Original Soundtrack CD Set (Hardware)

Final Fantasy XV Original Soundtrack CD Set: Official GBAtemp Review

Hardware 2,787 views 3 likes 15 comments
Reviewed by Prans Dunn, posted Mar 23, 2017, last updated Apr 13, 2017
Mar 23, 2017
The Compact Disc's Final Fantasy? Quite literally so!
Prans Dunn

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On March 24th, Sony Classical is bringing the original soundtrack of Final Fantasy XV in a 4-disc set format to the U.S. Previously released in Japan and available digitally on iTunes and Google Play, this release marks the first physical edition of the soundtrack available in the U.S.

In anticipation of the release, we've been given the opportunity to sample it and give you a taste of what awaits!

First Impressions

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If you're old enough to have lived through the 5th generation of consoles or are a retro-gaming enthusiast, you can't help notice that the soundtrack box is very reminiscent of the PS1-era Final Fantasy multi-CD boxes:

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And when I opened the box and saw the included leaflet, I was low-key hoping that it would conceal a video game manual. Ah the memories!

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Whether intentional or not, it was a pleasant surprise for me that evoked some nostalgia. Hopefully it can replicate the same feeling for other buyers!

(Incidentally, the PS1's menu features a CD-player, and popping one of these CDs in is the closest you'll get to playing FFXV on the PS1...)

What you get for $25.69

Available now for pre-order, the box set is priced at $25.69 on Amazon and releases this March 24th. The pricing is quite fair considering that it is an official product and similar CD sets can go up to twice the price.

But the price might be an indication of the contents; 4 CDs and a double-printed 8 pages leaflet that contains the track list, a message from the composer Yoko Shimomura, one from the director Hajime Tabata (all in tiny print), some sweet art (really just one), a collage from in-game cutscenes, the mandatory bromance pics and the credits. It's a shame as they could effortlessly have included some more art work, possibly even a small poster.

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Professionally performed by Video Game Orchestra and Força Choir, the music quality is impeccable; faithful and clean, you'll be able to find your fave from the game. I might very well be holding a piece of history as the CD medium on which the soundtracks are stored is arguably a soon-to-be dead one, hence the choice is quite questionable. However, I can't deny enjoying to pop in one of the CDs and relax to the soothing tracks more often than I would have imagined. There's one for almost every mood; "Blues de Chocobo" for some mellow morning tunes, "Lestallum" could accompany you when you are feeling particularly happy, "Crystalline Chill" to lean back and chill, "Unsettling Aura" when you're feeling under the weather or "Relax and Reflect" to actually do that. And these are just a few of the 96 tracks spanning the 4 discs! Even Yoko Shimomura confided that "while writing [a] song, I would feel very calm and while [writing] another I would almost cry".

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Final Fantasy

In his message, director Hajime Tabata writes that "this soundtrack is melodic, FF-like and dramatic". He also adds that he is hoping "that more and more people perceive this soundtrack as the best soundtrack in the FF franchise". The whole album indeed fulfill those adjectives and may very well contain the best soundtrack from the Final Fantasy franchise to date.

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Verdict
Pros
+ Quality music
+ Fair price for an official product
+ Nostalgic box set design
Cons
- Dying CD medium used as storage
- Lack of content in the leaflet
7.5
out of 10
Overall
Final Fantasy XV has one of the best soundtracks in the franchise with tracks for various moods and tastes. Sony Classical is bringing all of it to you at an affordable price on a dying medium.
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