Tokimeki Memorial MIDI collection 2


Review by · December 19, 2016

Ah, MIDI. The reigning champion of sequenced and/or programmed music. Today, even the best MIDI trackers, with the best sound sources, cannot beat the real-life instrumental recordings that make it into video games. But there was a time, not so long ago, when a “MIDI Collection” was an upgrade: an arranged album improving upon the quality of the game’s soundtrack as it appeared on PC Engine, or Super Famicom, or Sega CD (granted they didn’t use Redbook audio).

The second half of the two-part “MIDI collection” set for Tokimeki Memorial takes another hefty swing at the enormous Tokimeki Memorial ~forever with you~ Original Game Soundtrack (i.e., the four discs comprising the first game), selecting songs worth transmogrifying into a MIDI sequencer and assigning some of the best sound banks to the project that were available as of 1997.

MIDI collection 2 starts off with the four seasons, followed by eight character themes. After that, we have area themes, event themes, the holidays, and some ending tracks. One of the things I love about this selection of music is that the tracks, even with their “cheesy” MIDI sounds, improve so much upon the originals that songs that previously didn’t stand out to me now do. For one example, I present to you track 17, “Planetarium.” Does that sound like a MIDI file through and through? You bet it does. But it sounds pretty good, right? That’s how I felt.

And then that ending track, “When We’re Together ~Happy Ending~”…what can I say? When you make an instrumental cut of a vocal track and convert it to MIDI, it sounds like an old karaoke machine. And you know what? That’s kind of perfect, in every way. It captures how I feel about the entire Tokimeki Memorial franchise: something wonderful, memorable, but well past its prime.

This album and its paired predecessor are not easy finds, but they do not command a high price on the used markets either. So if you want them, you’ll want to look through secondhand stores like Book Off or use an auction service like Yahoo! Japan Auctions to find them. Good luck, and may all your endings be ~Happy Endings~!!

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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 guinea pigs.