Remarkably sequenced MIDIs that rival those of quality arranged albums!
Reader review by Benny Hsieh
When I first purchased Falcom's Ys MIDI Collection, I was quite disappointed thinking that I just spent 2,800 yen on a CD that only contains 1.28 megabytes of MIDIs and documentation files. But I then noticed the words "Hybrid CD-ROM" printed on the back of the CD case. I immediately placed the disc into my CD player, and there it was... 16 tracks of beautifully arranged Ys music ranging from Ys I to Ys V.
While most of the MIDIs/tracks on the CD still keep true to the original compositions, J.D.K. took the liberty of adding a totally rearranged tune to every track as well. Take "Palace of Destruction", for example. During the first two minutes or so, the familiar arrangement takes place. After that, a totally new sequence comes in that wasn't part of the original composition. What is surprising is that these new sequences fit so well with the original mix that most people probably would not notice it. The classic "Feena" composition also has a new twist to it as well. During the first minute, the typical arrangement shows up. Before you know it, the drums roll in and you are blown away with a superb dance-like tune that will make you want to jump out of your chair. "Ice Ridge of Noltia" is also quite well arranged. Starting out with a soft piano-like arrangement, it later gives away to the rockin' tune that is somewhat familiar to the one featured on PC Engine's Ys Book I & II CD. "Presentiment" is no doubt one of the best tracks offered by Ys MIDI Collection. The track starts out slow and relaxing, mainly with the vibraphone, guitar, and piano; later things get a little jazzier when the horns come in.
Another of the highlights in this CD are the SC-88 sequences. MIDIs/tracks sequenced with the Roland standard tend to sound quite a bit better than their GM counterparts, as shown in the two tracks "Don't Go Smoothly ~ Termination". Between the GM and SC-88 versions, the SC-88 offers a more dramatic effect as well as more voices. "Field of Gale" also offers quite a spectacular experience with the selection of orchestral-style instruments.
As for the MIDI files included on the disc, they may sound better than the digital audio tracks depending on which soundcard you play them on. Along with the arranged tunes there also seem to be non-arranged MIDI files as well. These OSV-type sequences don't sound as great as the retouched sequences, but they do offer the listener a blast from the past, when there was no such thing as wavetable audio from a soundcard.