Game Music, Reviews

The Big Tease: Chrono Trigger Orchestra Extra Soundtrack (Review)

November 25, 2008 | | 6 Comments Share thison Facebook The Big Tease: Chrono Trigger Orchestra Extra Soundtrack (Review)on Twitter

Chrono Trigger music performed by an orchestra? We’ve been all over this pre-order bonus since it was announced for Japan and the United States a couple months back.  It will finally be availble to fans in the US starting tomorow, so we thought we’d give you an advance preview of this little bonus disc with a lot of heart.  While you’ll only find two tracks here, the music is both sweet and nostalgic to those who have played the game.

From our interview with Yasunori Mitsuda yesterday, we know that he had no hand in this album. Instead, Natsumi Kameoka handled the arrangements, and did a pretty good job of it. With only two tracks, Chrono Trigger Orchestra Extra Soundtrack gives you a taste of what’s possible while leaving you hungry for more.

Hear more about the individual tracks after the jump.

The first of the two tracks is “Chrono Trigger ~Orchestra Version~,” which is an arrangement of the game’s main theme. I love the energy of this track, but I’ll admit that many of us have heard something like this before.  There was an arrangement of the Chrono Trigger main theme on the Orchestral Game Concert albums, and perhaps other places as well. This arrangement comes in at just over two minutes, and while it’s short, it’s still a great addition and opening piece.

The star here is the second track, titled “Chrono Trigger Medley ~Orchestra Version~,” which cleverly begins with the game’s epic introductory jingle where the logo is introduced before moving into a rich version of the whimsical millennail fair music. Next up is one of my favorites, “Wind Scene,” with an amazing arrangement. Sweeping strings provide a beautiful background for a lone flute melody before the strings themselves take over. The shift in key is a nice touch, and I was left wanting more of this one for sure.

A few seconds of “Frog’s Theme” provides another teaser before another one of my favorites, “Battle With Magus,” comes in sounding quite amazing with powerful brass and orchestral percussion. I’ve always said Magus’ theme is hard to arrange or remix, but Kameoka has done a great job here.

Finally, there’s a stirring take on both “Epilogue ~To Good Friends~” and “To Far Away Times,” both of which provide a heavy dose of nostalgia that I found to be very moving. Mitsuda definitely doesn’t give himself enough credit for the music in this game, and these arrangements go a long way in highlighting the emotional content of his original compositions.

So, that’s the music, but the packaging is surprisingly sleek and well put together. The cardboard sleeve and disc itself sport glossy artwork, and the booklet inside even features a brief statement from Mitsuda about his work on the game. This is a nice addition that really gives the album a professional presentation.

Best of all, however, are the “instructions for usage and storage” printed on the back side of the booklet in tiny font. I will reproduce the text here for your reading pleasure, as it’s quite hilarious:

“Instructions for Usage: Handle with care to avoid getting fingerprints, stains, or scratches on either surface of the disk. – To clean the disk wipe gently using a soft material such as glass cleaning cloth in a radial motion – Do not use any kinds of record cleaning fluids – Do not write on either surface of the disk with pencil, ball-point pen, or oil based pen, and do no put any stickers on the disk – Do not use the disk if it had been cracked, damaged, or glued as it may not be safe for usage

Instructions for Storage – Do not place the disk in locations of direct sunlight, high temperature, or high humidity – Keep the disc in the original case after use – It may cause injuries if the case had been damaged by placing heavy objects on the plastic case, or dropping the case”

Great stuff!  This is a great addition to any collection, and if you didn’t pre-order the game, you’re really missing out. The six minutes of music here is way too short, I know, and will have you wanting more, but what is here is certainly awesome. So come on, Square Enix! How about giving us a whole CD of this stuff?

Do you have a favorite track from the game that did or didn’t make it into the medley on the Orchestra Extra disc? Are you thankful for the instructions for usage and storage featured in the booklet?

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