Have you ever had a jam session with your friends where everyone starts playing video game music? Legacy Sessions: GAME Generation 5 sort of sounds like that, except that your dinky friends are replaced with extremely talented musicians.
Co-created and arranged by Casey Ormond (pianist for Final Fantasy XII Piano Collections), Legacy Sessions: GAME Generation 5 features songs from series like Final Fantasy, Pokémon, and Castlevania performed by a small group of exceptional musicians. These artists wield their instruments with confidence and expertise, mastering control over tones and techniques. The Silent Hill track and the Chrono Cross track are absolutely beautiful, and the technique shown in the Pokémon track and the Grandia track showcases the incredible skill of these musicians.
Some songs exhibit the talent of the eleven performers, while others exhibit the talent of the arrangers (of which there are three, besides Ormond). The guitar duo With Ether plays an amazing Grandia arrangement, and Amy Putt’s performance of “Battle on the Bridge” sounds exactly like an official Final Fantasy Tactics Piano Collection. The arrangers show off their creativity and style in their fantastic medleys, specifically in the Final Fantasy VII and the Final Fantasy IX medleys. Even when it sounds like all eleven performers are playing, the overall mood still feels friendly and close, like a group of friends sitting in a small room and chatting about their favorite games.
Many of the song choices in these medleys aren’t ones that are typically chosen. But haven’t we already heard enough renditions of the Mario theme or “One Winged Angel?” How about we focus on what we can do with the file select song in Super Mario 64 or the bombing mission song in Final Fantasy VII? Ormond and his fellow arrangers explore these ideas with confidence, ease, and success.
Legacy Sessions: GAME Generation 5 doesn’t have huge orchestral arrangements of video game medleys. Instead, a few select musicians have been cherry picked to create a dream team of video game artists.