Perfect Collection Sorcerian Vol. 2


Review by · July 10, 2002

Sorcerian Perfect Collection Vol. 2 is my favorite of the trilogy, but I think “Sorcerian Pro-Fusion” would have been a much better name for it. Instead of pure synth arrangements, we are treated to a hearty round of rock-meets-jazz, Kukeiha Club-style fusion arrangements of the middle Sorcerian tracks. To my knowledge, this is only the second Falcom album to use this style (the other being Special Box 89’s Fusion disc) and it can either be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it.
As per the usual, this set contains two discs. Disc 1 is the special arranged disc containing arrangements for the middle 21 tracks in the 58-track score. Disc 2 contains vocal, new age and special arranged takes on the score. Ryo Yonemitsu kicks in with Sorcerian Megamix #2, although apparently he had little to do with the rest of the arrangements (he did most of the arrangements for the Ys Perfect Collections).
Well, there’s plenty of good news with disc 1. First off, it runs about 20 minutes longer than the other two Sorcerian Perfect Collection special arrange discs, clocking in at roughly an hour. Secondly, there are plenty of live instruments this time around. I’ve listened to this disc enough that I can safely say some aren’t synthesized (although there is a fair amount of trademark Falcom-synth here) Guitars and saxophones are present and accounted for, along with a few other instruments I can’t make out. However, there’s also some bad news. There is a LOT of filler on this disc, almost enough to account for the extra 20 minutes. Many of the original tracks that loop twice in about a minute and a half on the Sorcerian Forever CD’s easily hit the three minute mark. It’s a case where it’s up to the listener to decide whether this is good or bad, because combined with the slower tempo of the music, the original melody can get lost in the shuffle making it seem like you’re listening to fluff.
Lastly, for those expecting some good power-rock: Look elsewhere. Almost none are to be found on disc 1 and when it does come up, it is fairly tame. Flipping through, only “Moss Giant”, “Blue Dragon” and “Ark Demon” fit the bill (I’ll go out on a limb here and guess these are boss themes!) “Dungeon” teases the listener with a great radio-static guitar, but then goes into a cool jazz melody.
One track I was looking forward to was “Romancia Kingdom”, especially after hearing it in the Falcom Special Box ’89 Disco medley and on Sorcerian Forever I. This version is just as good as those two, with the slow jazz element enhancing the song. All of the tracks in the Romancia set seem very well done, bringing a sweet, nostalgic feel to them. These are always the highlights of the album for me. “Peaceful Forest” sounds like a bunch of Smurfs singing “la la la-la-la la” – Perhaps a little cheesy for some, but I like it. “Major Demon” sounds like it was ripped straight from the Kukeiha Club album, with some great fusion sounds. Lastly, one of the most familiar Sorcerian tracks, “Sealing” gets a speeding ticket and succumbs to the fusion that inhibits the rest of the album (this is the one that sounds almost dead on with “Bloody River”) It’s a faithful arrangement, but it’s also much slower than the original, making it seem like a real stick in the mud. Overall, though, a solid (but different) disc 1.
Under normal circumstances, I can’t STAND the supplemental discs of the Perfect Collections. They always have a “buy 1 disc, get the second one free” feel to them. Well, this collection is different in that way as well, because I listen to disc 2 MUCH more than disc 1. Each arrangement is full of energy, catchy and faithful to the original. I had problems picking only five tracks to sample. “Eternal Prayer” features an insanely catchy bongo drum beat, combined with an Arabian feel. “Secret Paradise” is based off one of my favorite tracks (Forest from the Secret Talisman Scenario of Perfect Collection 1) It’s light and bouncy, like “Romancia Kingdom” and the broken English lends itself perfectly to the piece. I love this song.
On the new age front, Michio Fujisawa adds a guitar to the normal strings and piano. Personally, I find the guitar more soothing than either instrument, so these are some of the few new age tracks I listen to on a regular basis. The Super Arranges are good too. “Combat” has a heroic feel to it, “Underworld Dungeon” (Lost Talisman) feels like you’re trudging through a smelly, er, dungeon and “Underworld Dungeon” (Lucifer’s Floodgate) feels like you’re getting closer and closer to the level’s boss. Finally, the Megamix at the end is quite good. Yonemitsu only uses two songs in the 8-minute mix (“Underworld Dungeon” Lost Talisman and “Town”, which is from the third Perfect Collection) but he keeps it going with his familiar synth, smooth transitions and a great beat. Not his best effort, but pretty good. Score this disc a perfect 9 for 9, then listen to it again…It is that good!
In the end, I have to say the experiment worked. I’m a fan of the Kukeiha Clus fusion and this is certainly comparable. Still, it’s a shame they couldn’t have just made a “Falcom Fusion” CD and left the middle Sorcerian tracks to the usual synth-rock style. Some of the tracks just aren’t cut out for fusion and it shows. For a taste of great Sorcerian melodies, try the Sorcerian Forever CD’s, which contain no-nonsense arrangements of the music. Still, disc 2 makes this one my favorite Sorcerian Perfect Collection and I give it my full recommendation. You’ll probably need to go through Yahoo Japan for it, though. Expect to pay around $30 for it (double that if you’re in the American market) Often, sellers on YJ sell combinations of the Perfect Collections in bundles, so try to hold out for a good deal.

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