Disappointed. Not surprised in the least. I can also name about five Gradius arranged albums or ones with Gradius arranges that are far better than what's been presented here.
First off, I'd also like to express my disdain for what my recent idol Motoaki Furukawa has become? This is best he can do? And by god, "Burning Heat" was released on his flop solo album and this sounds like he took it back to the studio and rearranged it. And you know what? It's still kind of flat. "Final Attack" really isn't so bad, but Furukawa really needs to rise above this mediocre aurally indifferent arrangement slump he seems to have stuck himself in every since leaving Kukeiha Club. I know he has talent, or he used to. My advice? Follow closer to your idol Larry Carlton...
Everything else on this album is forgettable. Especially after hearing Nazo Nazo Project's (15+ year old) Perfect Selection volumes many times; there was at least a diversity of instruments, and a funky, fun arrangement style. Here, there is loops and more loops. "Synthetic Life" is a wonderful tune, especially on MIDI Power Vol. 7, but whomever arranged this version successfully made the album's longest, drag-on piece ever.
Want those five albums? Perfect Selection 1&2, (the ones on) Perfect Selection Battle 1&2, and the Gradius Arcade Soundtrack.
And what the crap? Challenger 1985 was one of the only saviors here, hindered by the under 1 and half minute marker! It's like Sakamoto was being called to dinner in the middle of production! Short and not so sweet!
Don't want to be so negative about it, but this album is just so indicative of what's happening to artists who try to make tribute albums to games we grew up with (and some grew up composing) and absolutely failing to capture anything like the contending-in-craptastic Famicom 20th Anniversary Arrange.