Note: this is not an arranged album for Legend of Heroes II. It is actually the 2nd volume of the Symphonic Poem arrangement for Legend of Heroes I.
Both of these “Symphonic Poem” albums were created by Tamiya Terashima, who also went on to make the Legend of Heroes III and IV “electric orchestra” albums, which were decent. Among the four LoH albums that fall under this genre, Dragon Slayer ~ LoH Symphonic Poem Vol. 2 is out and out the worst of the four.
Why is this, you ask?
First of all: the album is only half an hour long, despite having twenty tracks. Hence, these tracks are, for the most part, quite short. It’s almost like sound clips and pieces of what could’ve been a much better album.
Second: the album is pretty much a lengthy variation on about five main themes from Legend of Heroes. Mind you, they are all good themes (the opening/ending melody, Field, and Battle are all great themes). But the variations are not as “varied” as one would hope: in particular, tracks 5 and 6 sound nearly identical, except they each have a slightly different ending ten seconds. This was almost brutal to listen to.
Third, and finally: we already had good arrangements of these songs in Symphonic Poem Vol. 1. We don’t need them again.
Now then, the album is still quite an achievement musically. Any arrangement of the LoH “Field” theme deserves recognition by merit of the song being one of the best songs Falcom has ever produced in these (almost) twenty years. Also, the sound quality is superb, even better than what is found on the arranged versions of the LoH “Perfect Collection.” If you are familiar with the Electric Orchestra albums, or Symphony Ys ’95, this is the sound quality you’ll find here. It sounds very good.
Ultimately, this album is only worthwhile for collectors. The first volume is somewhat easier to locate, which means it would also cost less. The first volume also contains enough decent arrangements to make this second volume much less desirable for VGM fans. Despite its rarity, it seems that it isn’t really worth one’s attention. It sounds good, but it’s short, repetitive, and not as good as its predecessor. Enjoy the samples, and forget about owning this one. It just isn’t worth your time or money.