New orchestral arrangements of classic Final Fantasy themes in a much improved album over its predecessor.
Editor's review by Adam Corn (2018-02-23)
After a disappointing third installment in the Distant Worlds series, Distant Worlds IV: More Music from Final Fantasy is a satisfying step back in the right direction. When you've got series classics like FFIV "Battle with the Four Fiends", FFV "Main Theme of Final Fantasy V", FFVII "Jenova Complete", FFIX "Festival of the Hunt", and FFXII "The Dalmasca Estersand" all on one album it's hard to go wrong, and two standout themes from from FFXIV, "Dragonsong" (sung by FFXIV mainstay Susan Calloway) and "Torn from the Heavens", only sweeten the deal further.
The three performances of themes that were orchestral already in their OSTs - FFXIII "Fang's Theme" and FFXV "Somnus (Instrumental Version)" and "Apocalysis Noctis" - make it a bit too apparent that the production values still aren't up to snuff with the best orchestral game music, and the producers' habit of lifting arrangements straight from the FFVIII Fithos Lusec Wecos Venosec album ("The Oath") or re-arranging FFVI themes that were already done very nicely on FFVI Grand Finale ("Phantom Forest") is a bit unfortunate, but the remaining ten tracks make for one of the stronger Final Fantasy orchestral albums to date. As long as they keep bringing new arrangements of classic Final Fantasy themes at this quality, there could be plenty more good Distant Worlds albums to come.