Falcom Special Box 2004 :: Review by Charles
|Album Title:||Falcom Special Box 2004|
|Record Label:||Nihon Falcom|
|Release Date:||December 19, 2003|
|Purchase:||Buy at VGM World|
In 2004, Falcom revived their Special Box series for the last time with an eight disc release commemorating Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim and The Legend of Xanadu. In contrast to their previous box sets, Falcom Special Box 2004 featured content other than music. In fact, it compiles together original soundtracks, movies, images, and even a game itself. While the individual components are pretty good, does it really work as a collective whole?
The box set features three non-music discs. The first disc, Ys VI Material Collection, is a CD-ROM featuring various images and bonus media for fans of the game. The Ys VI Movie Collection is potentially more attractive, since it features the various FMVs from the game, as well as trailers for now-released Falcom titles. The final disc features the The Legend of Xanadu Complete Reissue Edition. This actually features the game itself, so will be a great bonus for those Falcom gamers out there, though I'm not sure most would expect it to be found within a music box set.
The third and fourth discs of the soundtrack feature the original score to Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim. This score is pretty awesome and nicely revived the Ys series for the new millenium. Though a little synthy, it's pretty representative of the sound of the new Falcom Sound Team J.D.K. Expect everything from organic beauties like "Gratitude for Nature's Blessing" to electronic ambience in "Overwater Drive" to hard rock in "The Depth Napishtim". Note that this score was also separately released and has been reviewed in more detail elsewhere for those Ys collectors interested in it.
The remaining three music discs are dedicated to The Legend of Xanadu Original Soundtrack. Compared with Ys VI, this score is technologically primitive, inconsistent, and lacking individuality. There is just too much filler and superficial compositions. However, there are still some good moments, such as the cinematic "Prologue", the gliding "Legend of the Wind", and the experimental "Silent Tower", among a handful of others. Again, this score has been separately released and might be more appealing outside the context of a box set.
There is a lot on offer on Falcom Special Box 2004 and much of it will be very appealing to collectors. However, I'm not convinced that the various discs here are complementary. It is somewhat strange that material from Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim and The Legend of Xanadu were packaged together given the games are from different series and eras. Furthermore, it's bizarre that soundtracks, visual media, and entire games are compiled together in one box set. In the end, there are no musical exclusives on this release and most just interested in the soundtracks should head straight to the stand-alone albums.