I really, really, really enjoyed the arrange album. It had a ton of diversity and definitely did things to Rockman music that I didn't think would work well, but ended up being quite exhilarating.
Either way, I'm rather impressed with the album. Sure, it wasn't chock full of energy, but does it really need to be?
Agreed. I love the variety the album showcases, even if it's at the sacrifice of "energy." From the simple piano elegance of the Prologue and Epilogue, to the aforementioned funky vibe of Hornet Fantasy, the country-strings flavor of Magma Burning, and the dance and techno beats employed in We're The Robots and Maze of Death - the music styles are constantly shifting gears, and it makes for an engaging listen. Boss -Born Again- indeed slams hard, and Miki Tsuchiya's lovely "To A Bright Tomorrow" vocal was pulled off just as I had hoped. (I only wished the Karaoke version was actually an Instrumental one; the lead melody would've sounded AMAZING as an instrument arranged.)
There are some missed opportunities, such as Thunder Tornado and Jewel Temptation, where the melody in both are much too subdued for their own good. That, and a few of the songs could've stood for extended arrangement lengths. Those aside, I'm pretty happy with the way the Arranged Soundtrack came out. It hearkens back to the arranged soundtracks of yore, where there was free reign to work the 8-bit melodies in more flexible ways - as opposed to the arrangements of more modern OSTs, where there's almost an obligation to adhere most closely to the original sound. It's nostalgically refreshing.