I already have the full Ys V original soundtrack, so why did I pick up this album? Considering the first ten tracks come straight from the OST, one may think it a waste of money. I wouldn’t say that. Of course, some of the better themes have been selected, including the very popular “Field of Gale” and “Break into Territory.” As with the rest of the OST, these are really nice sounding pieces having come from the Super Famicom. Granted, the sound quality is not on par with the likes of Final Fantasy VI or Chrono Trigger, but composition-wise, I’d say they’re definitely rivals to some of the best 16-bit soundtracks out there. Unlike the previous four Ys soundtracks, Ys V steers away from the signature “power-rock” and is more symphonic than the rest (which translated very well into Ys V Orchestra Version). Personally, I really like the new sound, and find it a welcome change.
If you’re a hard-core Falcom fan, you probably already have the full soundtrack…thus, the only reason you’d want this album would be for the following 3 JDK Band arranges and Image song. Fortunately, the JDK Band did a decent job on these arrangements. Although they don’t have the power and drama of those from the Orchestra Version, they are interesting interpretations of the songs, and are quite enjoyable if you don’t mind poppier, jazzier renditions. In particular, “Thieves of Brotherhood’s” arrangment fits the original composition very well.
The last two tracks are the Image song, “Brand-New Memories,” and it’s karaoke version, which is based on the Niena melody. The instrumentation is very good, as well as the vocal which captures the child-like innocence of Niena’s character. “Brand-New Memories” is a worthy addition to the long list of excellent Ys image songs If you don’t mind the Japanese lyrics, that is.
Although it’s missing a few of the better tracks from the full soundtrack, Ys V Image album is a nice CD on its own. If you’re not concerned with the last five arrangements, though, you’re better off sticking with the original soundtrack. But, for Falcom newbies, it’s a great introduction to Ys V music.