Sega Piano Nocturne: eight tracks of lovely piano arrangements, followed by eight tracks of original counterparts. The first three tracks come from Sega’s big-budget titles during the time of the Sega Dreamcast, followed by some arcade classics, and ending with Nights.
For the most part, these arrangements are simple, but still filled with enough decorations and frills to consider it more “advanced” piano, though more contemporary than classical in arrangement. As you may have expected, I’ll be putting special emphasis on the first three tracks. They are, after all, theme songs from RPGs.
“Shenfa” is a beautiful piece, I have always loved it; but this piano arrangement fails to deliver the same feelings brought by the original, which used traditional Asian strings and incredible vocals. Instead, an emphasis is put on the chord progression, which piano arrangement fans will immediately liken to something from Final Fantasy X-2 (though, sadly, less impressive).
The end credits song from Sakura Taisen 3 is an extremely fitting piece for the album. The original was excellent, and this arrangement somehow manages to keep the spirit of the original (with its bits of jazz and broadway influence) even in this simplified format.
The same can be said of the PSO theme song, though this one is much more explicitly jazz. The problem with this arrangement is that it is simply too short. I would have liked some more expounding on this lovely theme.
The rest of the arrangements are, in my opinion, stronger than the first three. This is because the source material is more complex, less pop-ballad-like (except for the Nights track), and ultimately more satisfying to hear on the piano. The track from SDI was especially impressive.
This CD is a fun little treat for Sega fans, but I wouldn’t recommend it to people looking for awesome piano arrangements. Hopefully better piano arrangements will come for individual titles or franchises; presently, Sega is working on a number of piano albums for the Sakura Taisen series, and I hope to hear arrangements as good as, or superior to, “The Future.”