Chock up another excellent SNES OSV from Squaresoft. No one can utilize the full potential of the SNES sound hardware like the musical geniuses at Square, and here is yet another soundtrack that proves it. Technically, the composers belong to Sting - the company that actually developed the game (Square just published it) - and the sound was programmed not by Minoru Akao (the sound programmer for virtually every Square game to date), but by newcomer John Pee. But the two composers who scored what I consider the best Treasure Hunter G tracks are now part of the Square musical family. The composers I'm speaking of are Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata. These guys strutted their stuff on the Ogre Battle and Tactics Ogre OSVs, and have now been drafted to create the score for Final Fantasy Tactics on the PlayStation. And as anyone who's played the Tobal demo disc knows, they're off to a damn fine start.
Like the Final Fantasy series (FFVI in particular), this soundtrack represents a wide spectrum of styles. You've got your orchestral epic music, your raucous rock, your soothing ballads, your... bossa nova??! Yep - there's a whole Music History 101 class crammed into this OSV. There are few tracks on these discs that could be categorized as "bad". At the end of the second disc is a bonus that also appeared on the Ogre Battle OSV - the MIDI originals of a select group of tracks (those composed by Sakimoto and Iwata specifically - must be a trademark of theirs). These MIDI tracks are superior to their OSV counterparts in terms of sound quality, but otherwise are exactly the same.
The only disappointment for some buyers of this title will be the same that many American game music fans have already faced: no game experience to attach the music to. Many have wrongfully criticized the FFV OSV simply because they have not played the game and therefore have no emotional or nostalgic investment. As a guy who has played and beaten Treasure Hunter G - I can tell you that we missed out. And although I have played the game, and consequently have a vested interest in the soundtrack, I would have bought this two-disc set anyway. And my guess is that after listening to a few tracks, your interest will be, at least, aroused. You can't listen to "Wow, What A Story" or "Emperor of Balladry" and tell me that it isn't good music. It's *excellent*.