An excellently arranged album that brings new life to Suikoden II's orchestral themes.
Editor's review by Adam Corn (2020-04-04)
This Kickstarted arranged album by the newly founded VGM Classics gives the full orchestral treatment to the PS1 JRPG classic Suikoden II. Being a purely orchestral album it's mostly missing the world music and vocal themes that largely defined the OST (though a few like "Prologue" and "A Bustling Town" do make the cut in purely orchestral form). Frankly I'd thought such an album to be pointless, but thanks to the consistent high quality of the arrangements it's turned out to be my favorite arranged album of the year.
Said arrangements don't do anything overly experimental or far-reaching, staying very similar in spirit to the original compositions while adding more fleshed-out orchestration and proper outros. It's amazing what a difference that can make - the better synth-orchestral OST tracks like "Reminiscence" and "Even Farther" gain greater emotional nuance, battle themes like "The Desire to Triumph" and "Drive into a Corner" become far more dramatic, and even themes that were once overly simplistic or repetitive like "Beautiful Morning", "Adventurous Journey", and "A Moonlight Night" do very nicely here.
To sum it up in numbers - of the 17 out of 21 tracks from the arranged album I rated four or five stars (a great ratio for any album), only four of those tracks had I rated as highly in the OST. So while it doesn't present many of the favorite themes I would have expected from the original Suikoden II soundtrack, the end result is just as impressive - it brings new enjoyment and appreciation for a great number of the others.