Final Fantasy XI OST

Many people have probably already figured out that I am a huge video game music buff. More than half the music on my computer is from one game or another. And after much contemplation, I hit up iTunes and purchased the complete Final Fantasy XI OST for $16. For 51 songs, I couldn’t afford not to buy it.

I can already hear you moaning over the fact that I went the iTunes route, but I have to say they have a great selection of Final Fantasy music. They have all the major OST’s, covering the entire series. They also have some Black Mages in there for the hardest of the hard core. It’s also really good that I don’t have to wait like two weeks before I get the music, like you do with importing.

Anyway, after downloading the entire suite (which only includes the first release of the game, not the expansion packs), I have to say I’m enjoying the music immensely. It’s got this IX feel to it, but has a lot more variety concerning the melodies. IX relied too much on its main theme (which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing), but XI has a more expansive score. You get sweeping, epic scores with songs like the Opening Theme, and then you get sweeter, softer tones with “Rolanberry Fields.” It doesn’t stray from the Medieval feel (all except Mithra), but it was exactly what I was hoping for.

Overall, the quality of the music is around the same you got with X. It has some MIDI in it, but thankfully there’s much more orchestrations in it this time.

For a video game soundtrack, you’re going to get some amazing tracks. Interestingly, songs like “Ronfaure” and “Mog House” actually make it hard for me to picture this game being in an MMO. Everything is so quaint and homely, something that doesn’t exactly equate to “level-grinding.” Once I listen to the battle themes, however, I started to understand what FFXI must be like.

One thing that might turn some game music aficionados off from this OST is the lack of any major character themes. MMO’s don’t really have a pivotal character, so you’re not going to hear anything like Aeris’ Theme. But, there’s enough here to whet most listeners’ appetites. Good examples of some awesome tracks are “Airship,” “Mhaura,” and “Selbina,” which help drive the Renaissance Fair style.

In many ways, the Final Fantasy OST’s are some of the greatest scores in all of gaming. Each one has its own distinct feel, and most of them are just a treat to listen to.

If you’re looking for a good classical/renaissance style of music like IX, then you should definitely give XI a listen. It’s got that clarity you got from X, but the quieter, more homely feel that IX had. It’s not exactly the best OST I’ve heard (that still goes to X), but it’s definitely on my Top 5.

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