Falcom’s “MIDI Collection” series was a special little bonus that Japanese fans had the chance to purchase…a long time ago. Not technically for sale in stores, these special albums included both data (MIDI files, images, etc) and arranged CD audio tracks. This review, of course, deals with the latter.
The Brandish MIDI Collection is, without a doubt, one of the best albums in the Brandish series. Though I have found myself attracted to all music from the Brandish series, the original music is lacking in sound quality, and the series is scarce on arrangements. Excepting the occasional JDK Band track and the Piano Collection, there wasn’t a lot of Brandish arranged music of which to speak. The MIDI Collection fills this gap nicely.
Seriously, whoever took the time to arrange these tracks did an absolutely incredible job. There is some “bad,” so let’s get that out of the way first. For me, the SC-88 tracks weren’t nearly as enjoyable as the XG versions; since these 3 key themes are found in both versions, I would rather just have the XG versions and not have the subpar SC-88 versions. This is just my opinion, of course.
Now then, on to the good stuff: everything else. There is a nice track selection here from Brandish 1, 2, and 3. Almost all of the GS/GM tracks are amazing. They bring the original songs to life, even if their sound is too clean to be a truly “live” performance.
I don’t know where to begin and where to end with this album. Each and every track is spectacular. The arrangements are of the same quality, perhaps even better, than many of the “Super Arrange Version” albums from past Falcom titles. I’m serious.
If I may speak about one track in particular, the last track “Legend of the Lone Wolves” is designed to sound like there is a crowd clapping along to the song. Though sometimes it sounds like rain, I was still delighted to hear this little add-in to the song.
I wish Falcom would reprint the MIDI Collection and make it widely available, because it’s some of the most fitting work to describe Falcom out there. Yes, we all know Ys, but here’s something that sounds slightly different but is still clearly Falcom. It has Kishimoto’s style written all over it. It’s truly a shame that the album isn’t available for purchase anywhere, because it’s a very special treasure.