Ys II Perfect Collection
Perfect Collection Ys II
September 5, 1990
Buy Used Copy
To me, Ys II represents one of the most classic RPG scores of all time. Throughout all of the remakes and arrangements of the score, Perfect Collection Ys II has stood the test of time and sounds great, even compared to modern-day game soundtracks. However, it’s not quite perfect. Like Perfect Collection Ys and Perfect Collection Ys III, the set is comprised of two discs. Disc One contains the Special Arranged Version of the score, arranged by Ryo Yonemitsu, while Disc Two contains nine various themes from the first three Ys games and arranges them in a variety of ways.
Coming off of the original Perfect Collection Ys, the synth of Disc One doesn’t sound quite as clear as it should. It’s high quality, to be sure, but some of the tracks aren’t quite as crisp and clear as they sound like they should be. Of course, this tends to go over more noticeably with the slower tracks. “Too Full With Love,” “Noble District of Toal,” and “Cavern of Rasteenie” are a few that would benefit from the enhanced clarity. If you’re not thinking about them while listening, they tend to resemble simple background noise. The slower tracks in the first Perfect Collection were much more attention-grabbing.
Of course, the first thing to come to mind with any of the Ys Perfect Collections is normally the same thought: Guitar-Blasting Power Rock! That, my friends, is where this disc shines. The lower synth quality is still apparent, but it’s so fast and engaging that you’ll hardly have the chance to notice. The pure awesomeness of “Termination” is simply unmatched. The fast-paced synth pulls off a great sense of frantic danger and, towards the end, a guitar solo literally rips into the piece. Not only is this the best version of the piece, but it is easily one of my favorite VGM pieces.
“Ruins of Moondoria,” “Protectors,” “Palace of Salmon,” and “Companile of Lane” are all done in the same flavor and are simply superb (oddly enough, the synth used in “Palace of Salmon” is a notch higher than every other track on this disc — you can really hear the clarity). We even get a little bit of fusion thrown into the mix. “Ice Ridge of Noltia” and “Subterranean Canal” both have a cool, jazzy bounciness to them. Finally, “Stay With Me Forever,” takes after Ys I‘s “See You Again” and acts as a lively ending tune. Overall, despite the lower sound quality, this is simply an awesome disc.
Now we come to the bad part: Disc Two. To put it simply, I don’t like this disc at all. I hate how the vocal version of “A Still Time” is comprised of nothing but people going “Whhhooooo” along with the song. I hate the fact that one of the J.D.K. Band tunes is another vocal song (mildly interesting, but nothing special). I don’t know why in the world “The Theme of Chester” was elected for an arrangement. If they were going to use an Ys III tune, I can think of about ten themes that should have priority over this one. Very flat, very slow, very uninteresting.
Now come the New Age tracks. To be honest, I am not a fan of these arrangements in general, so I’ll go with this explanation: if you like relaxing violin and piano music that is best suited for sleeping, wedged in the middle of a bunch of vocal and rock songs, enjoy. I don’t. The only things that keep this disc from being a coaster are the J.D.K. Band version of “Moat of Burnedbless ~ Ruins of Moondoria,” the fusion version of “First Steps Towards Wars,” and the sweet vocal version of “See You Again” (called “Smile Again”). However, these three tracks are too spread out to let me enjoy this disc as a whole. I really wish Falcom would have gone with one arrangement style (i.e. all J.D.K. Band tracks, or all New Age Tracks, or all Vocal, etc.). Then again, I don’t think too many people who have bought this set over the years got it for Disc Two…
Is this collection a classic? Certainly. Is it a great Falcom arrangement? Yes. Do I highly recommend it? No. Not this version, at least.
Falcom recently re-released both Disc Two’s from the first two Ys Perfect Collections into a single collection, called, “Perfect Collection Ys I & II: The Complete Works of Ryo Yonemitsu. That is a much stronger buy, in my opinion. It’s easier to get and, even if you already own Perfect Collection Ys, you’re not missing much of anything with Disc Two. Give the extra Perfect Collection disc to a friend — they’ll thank you later on in life!
If you decide you want this original set, it is pretty rare in the West; it will likely go between $30 and $50 on eBay. Yahoo Japan Auction is also an option; there are a ton of these available there! ‘The Complete Works of Ryo Yonemitsu’ can be ordered from Falcom’s website, at www.falcom.co.jp.
Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on August 1, 2012 by Andy Byus. Last modified on January 28, 2016.