As a big fan of Suikoden music, I couldn’t help but seek out the two Genso Suikoden Ongakushu albums. While I tend to enjoy Hiroyuki Nanba’s arrangements more because of their experimental nature, Kentarou Haneda’s arrangements are solid through and through, relying on traditional instrument combinations and a mixture of chamber music, piano, and light jazz.
The most interesting thing about this album is how it manages to adeptly portray such great Suikoden tunes as “Gothic Neclord” and “Theme of Sadness” so beautifully and clearly while still providing interesting and divergent arrangements. You’ll be able to pick out all the pieces without referring to the tracklist, provided you’ve played the Suikoden games.
While Haneda’s Ongakushu has a similar tracklist to Nanba’s, I prefer Haneda’s interpretation of “Moutain Crossing,” though Nanba’s got the more energetic “Gothic Neclord” and more emotional “Reminiscence” (Haneda’s is more upbeat). Still, Handea does an outstanding job with all the pieces on this CD, and I can’t think of a reason any Suikoden fan would decline to pick up this CD given the chance. Perhaps those who can’t tolerate piano or light jazz may decline, but otherwise it’s one of the more enjoyable game music CDs out there right now, and should appeal to the mainstream more than Nanba’s.