James M. Potter

writings on music, games, and culture

Tag: Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy X HD’s audio remaster – or is it a remix?

Since my last post concerning the HD remaster of Final Fantasies X and X-2, Square Enix have announced that the visuals won’t be the only aspect of the games to get a makeover. The game’s audio is being remastered as well, to the tune of (pardon the pun) about 60 tracks from its compendious soundtrack. This is sure to delight many fans, but I’m slightly more cautious. FFX came out at the tail-end of the use of disc-space-saving synthesised music, so in some ways it’s natural that they’d want to update it to something more organic. On the other hand, there’s a charm to MIDI music, and the synthetic nature of FFX’s score might be part of what lends it its unity and beauty.

Well, they’ve released some snippets which provide tantalising hints that this might be no mere audio clean-up, but more of a remix project. Let’s have a look for ourselves.

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Review: Benyamin Nuss Plays Uematsu (Deutsche Grammophon, 2010)

If ever there were an indication that the slow legitimisation of music originally conceived for video games has born fruit, this is surely it. That the historic Deutsche Grammophon label, highly esteemed for the quality of its core classical releases, should now release a whole album of solo piano arrangements of one Japanese game composer shows recognition of the recent surge in popularity of this form. Where once players were content for music to be an adjunct to the game experience, now they seek to make it central. Evidence of this can be found in the increasingly popular concerts of ‘video game music’, in the market for OST (Original Sound Track) releases, and, as here, in high-quality arrangements. Read the rest of this entry »