I'm going through my CDs and games and I'm thinking of letting go of my BOF Soundtrack Special Box.
After looking at the ratio of tracks I consider must haves versus the rest (which isn't bad but I don't listen to much) I think this item may be better off in someone else's hands.
Let's break this down:
Breath of Fire:
> 1-03: White Dragon
> 1-14: Strong Fortress
> 2-08: Battling
> 2-14: Ancient Ruins
I bought the BOF Box before I played BOFI for the first time. I've always found the first game's soundtrack to a little overbearing with it's regal flavor and playing the game didn't really change that opinion. Still, these four tracks did manage to catch my ear when I played. Again, this doesn't mean the rest are bad, I'm just focusing on my top tracks.
Breath of Fire II:
> 3-11: Wanderer
> 3-12: Cross Counter
> 3-20: I'll Do It
> 4-07: Dying Corpse
The above should make it obvious, I love the freakin' hell out of Takahara's battle themes. "Wanderer" is the only track that isn't on the standalone that I would miss without the box and I have a nice copy of the 1995 release which I do intend to keep. However, Takahara's score isn't one of my favorites, I don't think it's one of her best and it really only has clout with me because of what it represents: the first BOF game I played. It's a total nostalgia thing.
Breath of Fire III:
> 5-03: Escape
> 5-06: Half Done Is Not Done
> 5-08: Falling Green
> 5-11: Do Your Best!
> 5-19: Can't You See Clearly Now?
> 6-04: Technology
> 6-12: Stupidity
> 6-28: To A Distant Place
> 6-32: People, Cats, Birds and Sea Lice
> 7-05: The Touch of Danger
> 7-15: Turning Point
> 7-18: An Uncertain Millennium
Yes, I have more favorites here, but this is counteracted by there being more material. That said, I'm torn and not torn on this score. I know many VGM music enthusiasts love this one because of it's jazz-laden influence, but I'm stuck between that and the people who played/reviewed the game and called the music a weak point. Additionally, I'm not one of those people who was mad that BOFIII did away with BOFI and II's regal flavor. I don't think I and II's music was super-amazing and I'm not turned off that Akari Kaida and Yoshino Aoki did something different; I don't think they betrayed the series roots or any dumb crap like that. That being said, I think most of III (and most of the music in this box) works better in their given games. That said, III is probably my favorite out of the games with II a close second.
Breath of Fire IV:
> 8-06: 2000 Treasures If You Win
> 8-12: Men of War
> 8-13: Take the Winnings and Run
> 8-24: Darkness
> 9-24: A Raging Emperor's Banquet
This is real easy one to explain. I don't have any problems with Yoshino Aoki's score for Breath of FIre IV, but I have a problem with BOFIV being insanely dry narrative wise and this element of the game just takes everything else with it. I actually love the west vs eastern/Ryu vs FuLou idea present within the game's battle themes but I couldn't justify keeping the damn game even though it plays well.
Breath of Fire V:
None, but let me explain.
Hitoshi Sakimoto's work on Dragon Quarter is one of the greatest soundtracks I will never love. I'm not a huge fan of Sakimoto (like FFT Tactics but Iwata's tracks win out) but yes, I can admit the quality here. Thing is, I can't really forge a connection with the music without playing the game and, not to sound like an ass, I know I'm never going to play the game as a barely play anything these days. So unlike I've said in the past, I won't go as far as to say that I wish V was exuded from the box because of it not being a in-house composer and the game being vastly different than those that came before.
Whew, Now, I love all those tracks above, but they barely constitute even one full CD of music and with this being an 11 disc set I just can't see how I can justify keeping this sucker when someone could get a lot more out of it.
I'm not asking you to make the decision for me, and I'm not trying to make a first-world pity party, but keeping this behemoth for the tracks above doesn't seem very economical to me.