I began my quest to save Lightning yesterday in Final Fantasy XIII-2 for the Xbox 360, and for the most part it was an enjoyable experience. Well, that is until I heard the in-game soundtrack. Before I go postal on the God awful music arrangements in this game I just want to clarify that this piece doesn’t serve as my final review for FFXIII-2. I actually think most of the new additions in this sequel are well deserved and thought out, and if you played the original you almost have to play this sequel, but just be prepared to potentially play the game on mute.
First Impressions Rating: EB 7.5 out of 10 Buddhas
Musical Score: EB -10 out of 10 Buddhas
If you can get past the over-the-top JRPG story telling elements (everyone looks like a teen girl, incoherent plot, insane mythologies) in FFXIII-2 then you’ll enjoy this game, but I have to warn you about its soundtrack. I remember reading a few early review of this title, and everyone knocked its soundtrack, but I dismissed those critiques thinking that they were coming from anal industry insiders. Unfortunately, these critics were spot on with their trashing of FFXIII-2’s soundtrack.
Imagine a Madonna concert crossed with a performance of Lord of the Dance, that’s as close as I can come to explaining the genre of FFXIII-2’s musical tones. It makes absolutely zero sense and immediately causes you to become annoyed with the game itself. The fast paced pop infused music plays constantly with no breaks outside of a few CG cut scenes, and it never fits with what is going on in the game’s story itself. You could be watching a scene about Serah dealing with her depression from losing her sister, but rather than a somber tone playing you hear some euro-style techno club music instead. The pairing fits together about as well as oil and water, which makes it very hard to get through some of these scenes without wanting to stab your ear drums out.
This scene should be somber, but it’s impossible with circus music playing in the background
To make matters worse this nonsensical music never stops, and it gets worse with each new area. At one point I swear I heard some white boy rap going on in the background music that once again didn’t fit what was happening on screen. This whole sh*tty music issue really does bother me because one of the stalwarts of the FF series is its music. I can still hum the battle music from FF VII, which had some of the most captivating music of the franchise. FFXIII even had some decent music, which you can vaguely hear in some of the flashbacks in the sequel, but there are absolutely NO redeeming qualities of FFXIII-2’s musical score even when it calls upon its successor.
I really think FFXIII-2 would be heads and shoulders above the original, but it’s Madonna/violin/rap/pop soundtrack will keep it from ever being a top notch game in my book. I would still recommend playing it if you played the first one, but just be warned that the music will make you hate your ears. I hope to get my full review out later this week, but I may blow my brains out before doing so, but by all means keep your browsers pointed our way for future ramblings on FFXIII-2. You’ve been thinking that the FFXIII-2 soundtrack could be the worst musical composition that has ever been produced in any entertainment medium on this planet…
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