EMINENCE unleashed two flavors of The Music of Blizzard Entertainment: Echoes of War. The standard edition with retail price of only $29.99 and the Legendary Edition that goes up at $ 49.99. I received a copy of the Legendary Edition in order to experience what other fans will feel when this product is shipped to their home. That way you may get to find out what to expect, and whether it is worth. After two weeks testing this product, I finally have a verdict.
The Echoes of War Legendary Edition gives you some extra bang for your buck. I especially recommend the Echoes of War Legendary Edition for the type of fan that loves to find out more about the people involved behind the development of Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. When a company comes out of anonymity and shows you their face, express themselves on video, and allow you to listen to their feelings when developing a product—that’s such a great experience.
I remember a few years ago, when Blizzard Entertainment was all about seeing Bill Roper as the voice behind Blizzard. And the ocassional Mike Morhaime and Rob Pardo interviews on Gamespot and at other gaming sites. Nowadays, Blizzard is wide open in their Public Relations philosophy. You see Jay Wilson, Dustin Browder, Chris Sigaty, Jeff Kaplan, and so many other developers in video interviews. We get to know all these gaming developers at the personal level. At the naked core. Knowing a person at a social level allows you to better appreciate a product, the effort put into it.
This is in part why collectors love to buy the expensive version of a film that comes accompanied with a Behind the Scenes bonus including interviews, backstage footage, and such. You get to meet the person. The same feeling you get when watching the special edition or remastered edition of a blockbuster film, is what you feel when you get the Echoes of War Legendary Edition.
The Standard Edition comes with only two Discs of music containing 15 soundtracks … over ninety minutes of orchestral music, and an 8-page color booklet. Not bad at the price tag of 29.99. Considering some of the themes are over 5-7 minutes long. You get what you pay for: The music of Blizzard Entertainment contains a few medleys that include the most interesting themes from World of Warcraft, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Starcraft II, Diablo III and Starcraft: Ghost played by the hands of the professional Eminence Symphony Orchestra.
This product is for the fan who loves to listen to classic music by a live orchestra and loves the music of Blizzard games (IPs). Whether you are at your office, at home, commuting by train or bus in a daily basis, and why not … while driving your car through the daily traffic. If you are expecting the whole theme collection of a specific game, this is the wrong product. You can find those at the official Blizzard Store. The Echoes of War is a collection of the best themes from each game IP, including the upcoming Starcraft II and Diablo III. You will be among the first to listen to some of the Starcraft II and Diablo III themes. Guaranteed sale, eh?
Two questions would come to fans’ minds: How involved is Blizzard Entertainment in this product? Is this an independent standalone licensed product? The answer is: No. This is not a standalone product created by a company on their own. Blizzard Entertainment is knee-deep involved in the development of Echoes of War. The Blizzard Audio and Video Director, Russell Brower, spent months working on the music sheets, talking back and forth with Eminence, taking a 29-hour trip to the other side of the world to meet Hiroaki Yura, Go Shiina and Phillip Chu. And viceversa. The Eminence team also traveled to the new Blizzard Entertainment offices in Irvine, California. They spent months organizing and preparing before bringing together the musicians to record the music. This product is a collaboration of Blizzard Entertainment and Eminence Symphony Orchestra.
Now that your mindset has been refreshed with information about the Echoes of War product, I will proceed to describe the content within the Legendary Edition box.