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Leona Lewis song to be the theme for Final Fantasy XIII western release

BlogSquare Enix have announced the release date for Final Fantasy XIII in a swanky video with a presenter. They also managed to plug Leona Lewis, who is getting one of her songs chosen as the theme for the game's Western release. Her album, Echo will be released on November 16 and November 17 in the UK and the US respectively.

This choice marks the first time (correct me if I'm wrong) that a Final Fantasy title has had the theme entirely change for a western release. Fair enough for say Final Fantasy IX, where the same singer sang an English version, but this song is entirely separate from the Hamauzu/Sayuri Sugawara collaboration.

Is the company doing the smart thing and picking a song Western people will understand more? Could it be argued that this is therefore a 'real localisation' as opposed to previous titles that included either the same theme as the Japanese release or a translation of the theme? Or is this really just Square Enix throwing around money for a cross promotion on Leona's new album?

Also artistically, is it better for the theme that was composed by the game's composer to be used, or is it better to choose an existing song that was created entirely outside the realm of the game?

Most important; will most people care? Probably not. Feel free to post comments if you have a view. I'm undecided at this point, the only title I can think of off the top of my head from Square Enix that has an entirely separate theme for the Western release is The Bouncer. Given that the English voices for the title were recorded first and that Takashi Tokita advised fans that the English theme Love is the Gift lyrics will allow you to understand the game's theme1 that's not much help to me.

With the only easy to find public opinion found as a comment on the YouTube video I linked at the beginning of this rant being "leona louis can suck my fat´╗┐ one" I'm yet to find any form of helpful discussion so far.

I'm considering importing the soundtrack when it comes out in Japan, so I guess we'll see when I have a chance to compare. Hopefully for my preference of Japanese voices the game comes with dual audio, though given how big the game probably is on the disc I don't carry high hopes.



  • Posted by Alex

Leona Lewis song to be the theme for FFXIII's western releases

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  1. Leona who? I guess anything's better than the norm... I've never cared for the melodramatic "theme songs" they've been clumsily inserting into their games in the past few years. It's all trite, poppy Asian shit, gross!

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  2. There has only been a couple times where I enjoyed it (Kingdom Hearts) or didn't mind it (Final Fantasy VIII). It is a trend I wish developers would get out of. As for the song in Final Fantasy XIII, I listened to it on youtube I it feels like it will go into the tolerate category. But we'll have to see how well they place it in the game first.

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  3. I think the game theme song thing stems a lot from anime personally, where the creators select or have a theme composed and have either and opening and closing themr or both. If the single is to be marketed, it's marketed well.

    So say a new single comes out, the single has the anime all over it, and the ads and anime splash on about the single. Unlike a lot of western TV, the opening/closing is often around a minute and a half and therefore is able to sell the single.

    So with the advent of FFVIII's theme addition, it then became the norm for the series to hire someone to sing/write/etc a theme song for the title. With this sort of direction you could argue that in order to really sell the song to the US and Europe you really need to select a song that you can actually purchase over here. Even with the advent of iTunes and other online legal music purchases it really comes down to the fact that you're more likely to buy something that's actually designed for your market than something that was shoved in that may not make sense.

    This is what I meant by is this a 'real localisation' - by choosing a song by an English singer Square Enix can pursue the idea of cross promotion in the West and fill more company money bags (for themselves and all others involved).

    Is this at the expense of the original product (ie: the game)? Given what Matt said probably not for another people, "poppy Asian shit" doesn't help a lot of people unleash the theme for a given title in the form of music. Anime itself generally these days retains whatever themes were in the original, though some choose to create an entirely new one.

    I guess the answer is simple, if people like Matt who don't like the "poppy Asian shit" find the Western equivalent is either the same or better, no one really loses out.

    End rant.

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  4. That's what I meant by "anything's better than the norm," though I can't say having a western theme song makes me any more receptive to the revolting, indecent advances of FF XIII.

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    • Thu October 29, 2020
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