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Music from Ys II Renewal :: Review by Chris

Music from Ys II Renewal Album Title: Music from Ys II Renewal
Record Label: King Records
Catalog No.: KICA-1177
Release Date: March 23, 1996
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Music from Ys II Renewal extends the concept of Renewal arrangements to Ys II arrangements. It features resynthed versions of all 25 pieces from Music from Ys II that give the game's soundtrack a slightly more modern feel. Unfortunately, the resultant album doesn't distinguish itself enough from the original score or the better arranged albums out there.


It's clear what is the premise of Music from Ys II Renewal right from the opener. "To Make the End of Battle" now has a stronger rock sound than before with its ecstatic keyboard melodies and hard drum backing. However, it's only really a departure from the original in terms of synth choices and still sounds very retro. Those looking for high-powered performances and extravagant solos should look elsewhere. Rock arrangements like this or "Ruins of Moondoria" undeniably sound rather tame. However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing for those looking for arrangements close to their originals.

Unfortunately, many of the arrangements on this album are even more conservative than those of Ys Renewal. For instance, "Too Full of Love" is a note-for-note interpretation of the original that would benefit from more interesting synth choices and various other elaborations. "Noble District of Toal" sounds even poorer in terms of synthesis with its plodding bass line and certainly don't make the most of synthesisers available in 1996. Others like "Lilia" and "Pressure Road" are disappointingly short, just as their originals, and thus lack the appeal of their modern remake versions.

There are nevertheless a few arrangements that offer something unique to this album. Dungeon themes such as "Cavern of Rasteenie" and "Ice Ridge of Noltia" have just the right amount of ambience yet grit in their arranged versions here. Although they have been arranged since, these versions are some of the most effective at conveying the original interpretations. "Feel Blue" meanwhile benefits from a quaint classically-oriented arrangement true to the series' character. Finally, "Termination" is a solid arrangement for those looking for a slightly harder rock arrangement and nicely emphasises the rhythmical qualities of the original.


Overall, Music from Ys II Renewal is a considerably more lazy production than its predecessor. Few arrangements differ significant from their originals and only the dungeon and rock themes only really offer much entertainment value in their own right. The original version is considerably more enjoyable, providing one has a tolerance for FM synth, while Ys I & II Chronicles features far improved arrangements. For the majority of Ys fans, this album can safely be skipped.

Overall Score: 5/10