Final Fantasy VII Piano Collections
Final Fantasy VII Piano Collections
DigiCube (1st Edition); Square Enix (2nd Edition)
December 3, 2003; May 10, 2004
Buy at CDJapan
The Final Fantasy VII Piano Collections was released long after the game to follow the trend set by piano albums before it. Shiro Hamaguchi was assigned to create piano versions of some of Final Fantasy VII‘s best themes, including “Tifa’s Theme”, “F.F.VII Main Theme”, “J-E-N-O-V-A”, “One Winged Angel”, and more. Is the Final Fantasy VII Piano Collections a masterpiece, or has Hamaguchi created a horrible flop? You might be surprised at the turnout.
The first track is the very popular “Tifa’s Theme” and Hamaguchi creates a good rendition of it. It fits well with the original version, despite being a solo piano theme. Moving on, we go to another popular song, the “F.F.VII Main Theme.” However not sounding like a normal world map theme that would be in Square-Enix’s older games. it is still a good theme otherwise.
One of the most popular songs in the whole Final Fantasy series is the Chocobo theme. One of a few themes from the Original Soundtrack was “Cinco De Chocobo,” noted by fans as the best from the game. This was hardly a favorite of mine, but it still get the job done. This version is has almost the exact sound from the game. However, I thought that this piano version was just a tad bit slower than the OST version, making it sound weird. The next track is “Ahead on Our Way,” a theme that I never really liked much. The first part sounds boring — some notes sound a tad discordant. It’s still a good theme, otherwise.
This next theme is probably my favorite of this CD, and is in my opinion, the best arranged. It’s “Fighting,” sometimes known as “Those Who Fight.” This arrangement is very nicely done, and provides more than what the original gave. Definitely worth a listen. The next theme is “Cosmo Canyon.” This version sounds different from the original, which is always a good thing. I think of this as another one of the highlights on this CD. Coming up next is “Gold Saucer.” A very catchy and playful tune, this piano version is even longer than the OST version by about almost 40 seconds. You must also consider that the soundtrack version was looped. A like this area theme, although there is better out there.
“Farm Boy,” to me was a boring piece, not worth a piano arrangement. It did, however, make it to this CD. This arrangement is slower than the original, making it more bland. This arrangement doesn’t change my mind at all about the song. “Rufus’ Welcome Ceremony,” is a very good song, and being a trumpeteer myself, I was happy for it to carry the main theme. Hamaguchi does well with this and this should make trumpet players all around the world happy.
Ahh, “J-E-N-O-V-A,” the theme that only has two good versions, the first being the Original Soundtrack version, and the second as this one. Shiro did the boss theme well on piano, and it, in my opinion, is even better than the original! What a surprise! Onward, we come to “Aerith’s Theme.” I only like the OST theme and the Reunion Tracks orchestrated one. This version, although good, isn’t quite the best I think Hamagichi could do. After throwing out songs like “Fighting” and “Cosmo Canyon,” you’d think he would do good on the popular themes on this CD.
So, we come to the final two themes. The ever-popular, “One Winged Angel,” and Yuffie’s theme, “Descendent of the Shinobi.” Beginning with “One Winged Angel,” the track starts off with it’s normal part, but slower, and if my ears decieve me, which I don’t think they do, Mr. Hamaguchi left out a little bit at the start. He even added notes before the choral part. After the vocals, it plays as it normally would, with a few added notes. It ends just like it normally would. Not as good as you may expect. Now, onto the final song, “Descendent of the Shinobi.” Like some of the other songs on this CD, I wasn’t a fan of this one. However, fans of character themes will really like this. ‘Shinobi’ has a good melody and Shiro does this really well.
Overall, I thought Shiro Hamaguchi did really well with this Piano Collections. I think, though, he could’ve done more to them and there could have been a better selection of tracks. Some themes were surprises to me as piano arrangements, such “Fighting” and “Cosmo Canyon,” whereas others were let downs, like “One Winged Angel” and “Aerith’s Theme.” I liked this album, even though it had some problems with it.
Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris McGuffin. Last modified on August 1, 2012.