Phantasy Star Collection Sound Collection I
Phantasy Star Collection Sound Collection I
November 1, 1993
Buy Used Copy
The Phantasy Star Collection Sound Collection I is an album that was released in 1993. It features the first three original soundtracks to the Phantasy Star series as well as some arrangements from each game. The original scores were composed by Takuhiko Uwabo and Izuho Takeuchi, while the arrangements were done by Takanobu Masuda.
I will not be covering the first disc in this review, which contains the first three soundtracks in medley form, as they can be found in my comprehensive Phantasy Star 1st Series Complete Album review. While the Sound Collection features a thorough collection of music, the presentation is better in the Complete Album, and this should be the score of choice for the original music. The second disc, however, is full of arrangements worth mentioning. The first three arrangements cover the first game, the next three cover the second game, and the remaining five cover the third game.
The arrangements for the first game start with “Dungeon Medley,” which is an awesome medley featuring some clear 80s rock influences. The piano, electric guitar, and the synth come together beautiful in the first section and I really like the electric guitar solo bridge that leads to the second part of the medley. This portion of the medley is much more synth focused, but also throws in some rock as well. The third portion of the medley is probably my favorite of the original dungeon themes. It’s a fast-paced theme that focuses on synth as well, but the slower string bridge really adds a bit of charm. The second arrangement, “Fight!,” is also quite awesome. Industrial percussion mixes with classic synth and brass to create the meat of the arrangement, but the rock solo in the middle, played overtop the industrial percussion, is just icing on an already delicious cake! The Phantasy Star arrangements aptly come to a close with “Ending” and can be best described as an 80’s ballad. There are some softer rock influences, including a short solo, interlaced with piano and synth, creating a peaceful and moving arrangement.
The Phantasy Star II arrangements start off with another medley, “Field Medley”. Upon starting, it immediately reminds me of cheesy 80’s rock, but I definitely dig it. The first part of the medley is quite bubbly and features some rock, but the synth piano is definitely the focus for the most of the track, although as it progresses rock does tend to garner more attention. The second part and final part of the medley definitely continue with the whole 80s rock vibe, but also combines some woodwind and synth as well. It’s definitely an interesting combination and is much calmer than the first section, although it still features a motivating melody. “Dream” is a much more dramatic arrangement, combining synth orchestra with various synth accents. It’s a very poignant take on the original, but it does leave a bit to be desired. This set of arrangements also closes with “Ending”. The percussion in this is definitely more prominent than in the Phantasy Star version, and combines synth orchestra, rock, and synth lines. The highlight of this arrangement, however, is the awesome flamenco guitar solo that pretty much comes out of nowhere.
The majority of the arrangements come from Phantasy Star III. The “Main Theme” opens up with a beautiful piano rendition of the main theme before progressing into something a bit more akin to the most of the arrangements mentioned thus far. It’s a beautiful theme, and considering it’s the black sheep of the series, I think it stands out quite well. “The Ground” meanwhile mixes militaristic percussion, rock, and orchestra to create a generally motivating piece, but I also found it to be one of the weaker arrangements on the album. “Searran ~Type 386~” is an awesome rock arrangement that features some nice synth sections, but the guitar solo is really the standout in this arrangement. It’s one of the better arrangements for the Phantasy Star III section.
Looking at further arrangements, “Castle” manages to create a playful, almost carnival-like, atmosphere to start, but as it progresses, it throws in some synth/rock bridges. Overall, I found this arrangement to be a bit underwhelming, but the piano and acoustic guitar section was quite lovely. “Start Anew” is an interesting arrangement. It throws in some synth/rock sections, some futuristic and spacey synth sections, and some orchestral sections. It’s definitely a varied arrangement for sure. Lastly, “Staff Roll” closes out the album. It features a mixture of orchestral sections as well as synth rock sections. It’s definitely got an atmosphere of closure and heroism. It’s a nice way to end the album and is probably the strongest of the “Ending” theme varieties.
Overall, I think this is a pretty decent album. It features the original soundtrack to the first three games in the Phantasy Star series. The downside, unfortunately, is that these are in medley form. The second disc contains arrangements from the first three games and manages to keep a nice 80’s synth/rock vibe going throughout most of the album. For the most part, the arrangements are solid, with the “Dungeon Medley” sticking out the most in my mind. If you haven’t managed to snag the Phantasy Star 1st Series Complete Album, you might want to grab this for th eoriginal tracks. However, I’d just get it for the arrangements and try to get the complete album myself, where the component tracks are broken down and looped.
Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on August 1, 2012 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on August 1, 2012.