Orchestral Game Concert 2

 

Review by · April 1, 2001

The second of the astounding 5-disc series, this is *arguably* the best of the series (editor Commodore Wheeler says so anyway). If nothing else, this is an “enlightening” CD for the American gamer who never knew of all those obscure import games with great music. Another track-by-track review of some of the greatest orchestrated VGM of all time awaits you.

The first track, a highly emotional piece from what America knows to be Earthbound, is a great song to start up the CD. Another song from Earthbound, a neat little energetic song, is what comes next. It is somewhat atonal from what I can hear, but is a fine tune nonetheless. The next two tracks are COMPLETELY surprising, and win the “Ramza had no idea orchestras could do this to crappy VGM” award of the year: SIM CITY ORCHESTRATED! Track 3 is actually my favorite track on OGC2, without any reservation. It’s melodic, it’s beautiful, it’s great. The next track is also good, but nearly as good as the last.

“Soldier’s Rhapsody” is a song I am not too fond of…I usually skip it when listening to the CD. However, some other people claim this to be their favorite of the set. I suppose it’s a matter of opinion. The Nobunaga’s Ambition tracks (more orchestrated Koei) are nice, and a lot better than OGC1’s Romance of the 3 Kingdoms tracks…but are still somewhat lacking in inspiration (again, this is just my opinion on these).

Next are the standard Dragon Quest tracks that just have to find their way on to these CDs. I really feel that these were poor choices to take from the DQ5 Symphonic Suite, as there were MUCH better tracks on there. Another “skipping” point for me are both of these tracks. Then comes the reason I really like this CD…

PIANO!!!! Tracks 10 and 11 both feature a very nice piano part, whereas all the other OGC tracks up to this point have no piano at all. The piano works REALLY well with the Wizardry V Opening…In fact, this is my second-favorite track on the disc just because of the great piano work done here! I can’t get over how well the piano is executed on this CD! the next track, from EVO, is also very enjoyable…But not as good as Wizardry V’s opening. Track 12 is also EVO, but no piano this time. However, the name “Sorrow” does the song well in description.

These next two tracks were a real surprise…Have you ever heard of “Sound Novel Otogirisou”? Neither have I, and neither has anyone I’ve talked to, including videogame enthusiasts that live in Japan and took the time to learn English so they could educate people like me. So, this is obviously quite the obscure game. Thank whatever supreme being you may believe in that this game’s music found its way onto OGC2…Stunning works are on the move with these tracks. Track 13 is a soothing, unique song with enough energy to keep you listening. “The Other Side of Sorrow” sounds a lot like an angry song, and is definitely the *darkest* track of the lot on OGC2. Then comes the finale, the Squaresoft giant sailing in to the OGC harbor…

Final Fantasy V’s tracks were somewhat of a letdown to me personally. Not only do I think they should’ve picked some faster tracks (Gilgamesh orchestrated? It could happen…), but I think that the arrangements were a little bland as well. And these tracks were somewhat short…Then again, to fit 18 orchestrated tracks into 1 CD is a feat so why am I complaining? The Opening Theme (a Presentiment) just doesn’t appeal to me at all, no matter what form it’s in. Waltz Clavier was never a favorite of mine either. The Town Theme, however, is a very peaceful song that I highly recommend you check the sample for. Then the CD ends with the “Main Theme”, which is a favorite for most people who know OGC music through and through. Again, Commodore Wheeler told me he really likes these four tracks whereas I really do not as much, so it is all a matter of opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I think they sound great…I just expected more and got less.

This CD is one of my most cherished in the collection. However, owning this CD authentic costs a pretty penny. It isn’t around much (even less than OGC1), and when it is around, it’s usually around on eBay and it usually goes up to $200, sometimes more!

NOTES: To learn about the history of all of the OGCs, read the OGC1 review! Also, because of the extreme rarity of this CD, it is our policy to allow samples from more than 5 tracks, and have those sample lengths be longer than one minute. I also took the liberty of leaving track 3 at its entire length. So, enjoy all the samples!

For information on our scoring systems, see our scoring systems overview. Learn more about our general policies on our ethics & policies page.
Patrick Gann

Patrick Gann

Therapist by day and gamer by night, Patrick has been offering semi-coherent ramblings about game music to RPGFan since its beginnings. From symphonic arrangements to rock bands to old-school synth OSTs, Patrick keeps the VGM pumping in his home, to the amusement and/or annoyance of his large family of humans and cats.