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Final Fantasy X-2 Piano Collection :: Review by B Major

Final Fantasy X-2 Piano Collection Album Title: Final Fantasy X-2 Piano Collection
Record Label: Avex
Catalog No.: AVCD-17444 (Copy Protected)
Release Date: March 31, 2004
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


To tell the truth, I wasn't expecting much when I ordered this album, but I decided to buy it because I like owning all of the Final Fantasy Piano Collections. You can imagine my surprise when I popped this disc into my CD player and found it to be one of the most pleasing albums I have ever listened to.

Track-by-Track Reviews

1) Wind Crest ~The Three Trails~

I do not think that a better opening track could have been chosen. This track has a relaxed feel to it, but jumps into semi-energetic phrases that build up to a majestic octave melody. This is the emotional climax of the piece, and quite a climax it is. Following the strong melody sequence, there is a return to the relaxed mood just before the piece ends. I strongly recommend this track to anyone who has an opportunity to listen to it. This is definitely one of my favorite tracks. (9/10)

2) Yuna's Ballad

Upon learning that this arrangement was on the track list, I feared that it would be an exact replica of the piano version from the game. How very wrong I was. This track, while still having similar qualities to the Original Soundtrack version, is superior to the original. This piece is filled with emotion, and even though it has a running time of 5:40, I was never bored once throughout the entire arrangement. This piece is one that gets better every time you listen to it. My only complaint is that I do not think the track ended well, and that a better ending could have been made. (8/10)

3) Paine's Theme

The piece starts out with a sad sounding melody that builds in intensity and then suddenly becomes quiet. The piece then takes a turn in the opposite direction, and blends over into a very impressive jazzy melody. This piece is full of energy, and excitement, and also has a full range of expression. The energetic sections of this piece have an almost pulsing quality to them, and that in turn creates a very unique listening experience that I am sure anyone would enjoy. This piece is impressive, and is very enjoyable to listen to. (8/10)

4) Creature Create

This is one of my least favorite tracks. While I found the overall track to be moderately enjoyable, the returning pattern of the left hand part was somewhat annoying to me. On a more positive note, this track gives the overall album color, and I also like performer's interpretation of the piece. I can't really say much more about this piece because it did not leave a lasting impression on me like some of the other pieces did. (7/10)

5) Calm Lands

This piece was a pleasant surprise for me when I listened to it. The melody was nice, and the whole piece seemed to have a great flowing quality to it. The piece starts out with the beautiful melody being presented, and then a transition into a section with more movement. Once the section with more movement is presented, it continues throughout the entire piece except for a short spot in the middle where there is a heavy jazz accent. This piece was one of the more happy pieces on the album. I personally love this piece, and I feel that the interpretation of this piece was excellent. This is definitely one of the best pieces on the whole album. (9/10)

6) Zanarkand Ruins

The best way to describe this piece is with the word "sad". The piece overall is very atmospheric, and I felt like the arranger was trying to convey great sadness. The piece contrasts very heavily with the happy-sounding "Calm Lands" that precedes it. I personally think that it is drawn out too much. Even though the interpretation by the performer is very well done, I still became somewhat bored towards the end. (7/10)

7) Akagi Party

This is one of the most enjoyable pieces on the album. The emotion of the piece, as interpreted by the performer, is flawless. It is pieces like this that make albums great. The impressive nature of this piece is demonstrated in full form, and listening to this piece is like being serenaded. Possibly one of the greatest pieces of all time, I believe that "Akagi Party" will leave anyone who listens to it in awe at the perfected performance. This piece is causing me to greatly look forward to the release of the sheet music. After listening to it multiple times, I have found only one flaw, and it is the ending. While that extremely low note may sound appropriate on an actual piano, it's significance was not demonstrated well on my stereo. Apart from this tiny little flaw, this is a masterpiece. (10/10)

8) "Nightmare of a Cave"

Another of my favorite pieces, this is an incredibly short piece that demonstrates a perfect balance of technical mastery and emotional expression. I am sure anyone that listens to this piece will enjoy it greatly. Running at a total time of 01:09, I was extremely disappointed when the piece ended because I was enjoying it so much. The emotion of fear is greatly demonstrated in this piece. My one disappointment with the arrangement was that it was too short. (9/10)

9) Demise

This piece was a great disappointment to me. When I first saw that "Demise" was on this album, I was expecting to hear an intense composition, like some of the battle themes from other Piano Collections. It didn't even come close to them. While the actual melody of the piece was translated well onto the piano, it severely lacked the intensity of the Original Soundtrack piece. I was also shocked to notice that the low string parts from the original were not even present. Towards the end, the piece starts to build intensity, but ends before it could achieve the true feel of the original. I believe that more could have been done to make the piece intense, such as putting in strong low parts, not cutting out the low string phrases, and maybe even adding a countermelody. I was severely disappointed by this track. (4/10)

10) 1000 Words

As with "Yuna's Ballad," I feared that this would just be the piece from the game, but once again, I was very wrong. This piece is drenched in emotion, and is a splendid rendition of the piece from the Original Soundtrack. The melody is outstanding, and the accompaniment is heavenly. This is a piece that causes anyone who listens to it to be held in awe at the breathtaking performance. I could find very little that is flawed with this piece. The only flaw I could find was that in some parts, the flow staggers a tiny bit. Other than that extremely minor flaw, I really enjoyed this piece and I am sure anyone else who listens to it will feel the same way. This is the second best arrangement on the entire album. (10/10)

11) Epilogue ~Reunion~

This is a truly beautiful piece. The emotion presented by the performer is superb, and the performance itself is flawless. In regards to the composition of the arrangement, I was pleased. The whole arrangement is beautifully arranged, and the adaptation from the original soundtrack version is one of the best I have ever seen. I do, however, have one complaint about this arrangement, and that is the ending. The tremolo ending to this piece seems a little out of place to me, and I think the arranger could do better. But other than that, the arrangement is very good, and greatly adds to the album's overall enjoyability. (9/10)

12) Eternity ~Memory of Lightwaves~

This is the best arrangement on the entire album. The sheer depth and emotion expressed in this piece makes listening to it a joy. The performance of the piece is flawless, and the arrangement of it is quite possibly the best adaptation from the Original Soundtrack version I have ever seen. I wish I could even remotely describe the beauty and magnificence of this piece accurately. This is the piece that made the whole album come together and feel complete. This track, like the opening track, was perfectly positioned to make the overall album come together. If you had to pick one arrangement of this album to listen to, I would suggest you pick this one. There is no rating high enough for this track, so I guess a 10 will have to suffice. (10/10)


I must admit, this album greatly exceeded my expectations. I was stunned at how many magnificent tracks could be created from an Original Soundtrack that was not very pleasing to me. I also shudder when I imagine what I would have missed out on if I decided not to buy this album because I did not like the Original Soundtrack very much. While the album did have minor things that I did not enjoy, it only had one track that was truly disappointing, and that was "Demise." Other than that one track, this is now my favorite Piano Collection album. I recommend anyone who is a fan of the Final Fantasy Piano Collections to buy this album. You will not be disappointed in the least.

Overall Score: 9/10