I admit I’m pretty partial to the Final Fantasy Piano Collections CDs, as the piano also happens to be my favorite instrument. Naturally, there are some collections that impress more than others. That, of course, depends on the quality of the piano arrangements which in turn determines how recognizable and enjoyable the songs are compared to their original counterparts. After being slightly disappointed by the overall music of both Final Fantasy VIII and IX, X’s score was a relief and quite enjoyable – finally, a soundtrack I could listen to over and over. The thought of that music arranged for piano had me wasting no time in acquiring Final Fantasy X Piano Collections.
The first point in the collection’s favor is ‘Yuna’s Determination’, known better as the Calm Lands theme. Quite frankly, the original, while nice, was more on the boring side, but here almost sounds like it’s more suited for a piano arrangement, and makes for a much more enjoyable listen. ‘Tidus’ Theme’ was also a pleasant rendition, giving the same calm feeling of the original. The unmistakable tunes are ‘To Zanarkand’ and ‘Suteki Da Ne’. The Piano Collections version of To Zanarkand naturally sounds the same as the original but softer with the feel of a real acoustic piano, whereas the sound of the original is more crisp and has a bit less feeling to it.
Tracks that might be difficult to arrange for the piano could go either very well or very poorly. And while the arrangement of ‘Attack’ (this translation says ‘Raid’) is quite lively, it’s sometimes difficult to recognize. However, ‘Decisive Battle’ is very easy to pick out and has one of the best arrangements on the disc, while still managing to sound very energetic. For the most part, the arrangements on the disc are easy to recognize and arranged well. Listening to this album makes me envy Aki Kuroda (the performer’s) talent on the piano, as most of these are not simple or plain arrangements.
Even if not all tracks are the most easily recognizable, the Piano Collections album still flows well as always. For anyone who loves Final Fantasy and/or piano arrangements, this CD is very much a worthy purchase, especially if you are a fan of Final fantasy X’s original score. But if any readers are looking to start a collection of FF piano music, I would recommend the Final Fantasy VI and VII Piano Collections CDs before purchasing this one.