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Perfect Collection Ys III Wanderers from Ys :: Review by WarpstarRider

Perfect Collection Ys III Wanderers from Ys Album Title: Perfect Collection Ys III Wanderers from Ys
Record Label: King Records
Catalog No.: KICA-1021/2
Release Date: March 15, 1991
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Falcom has developed many successful games and game series, whose music has spawned a nearly endless selection of album releases. Among these are the early-1990s "Perfect Collection" albums, which covered popular soundtracks such as The Legend of Heroes, Brandish, Sorcerian, and the Ys series.

Perfect Collection Ys III contains an assortment of arrangements from what was perhaps the most well-known Ys title outside of Japan, having had English releases on the Super NES, Mega Drive/Genesis, and the TurboGrafx CD. Musically, it was the first Ys title since Yuzo Koshiro's departure from Falcom, and Mieko Ishikawa and Masaaki Kawai picked up the slack very nicely. But how does this arranged album stack up against its predecessors?


Like the first two albums in the Perfect Collection Ys series, Perfect Collection Ys III consists of two discs. The first disc is the Special Arrange disc, which contains arrangements of every track from the Ys III Wanderers from Ys score.

Veteran arranger Ryo Yonemitsu, who arranged the Ys and Ys II scores for their Perfect Collections, as well as the TurboGrafx CD versions of the first three Ys games, returns for the Special Arrange disc of Perfect Collection Ys III. However, this time he splits the arrangement duties with two other arrangers, Yoshio Tsuru and Hiroyuki Saitou, and the results are not so good.

The arrangement quality present here is far below the level set by the other Perfect Collections. All of them are very short and straightforward, with the melody being played through once before fading or ending. None of the extensions or soloing that were present in the first two can be found here. The instrumentation also often seems very "thin", and the performances are much less lively than those in the other Perfect Collection titles.

The task of arranging Mieko Ishikawa's original Ys III score is largely handled by the two newcomers, Yoshio Tsuru and Hiroyuki Saitou. Tsuru would prove to be a capable arranger on the Perfect Collection Sorcerian album, but for Ys III his work is rather dull, often suffering from the "thin instrumentation" problem. Saitou takes over for the second half of the score, and contributes a number of sluggish-sounding rock tracks. With more inspired performances and longer running time, his versions of "Valestine Castle" and "Frozen in Time" could have ranked among the best, but it just wasnt meant to be.

Yonemitsu takes a back seat for most of the disc, aside from his soft-pop arrangements of "Dancing on the Road", "Town of Redmont", and "Ilberns Ruins". He returns at the end of the disc to arrange Masaaki Kawai�s tracks from the Sharp X68000 version of Ys III. Most of these, sadly, are not up to his usual standards. His soft-pop-ballad arrangement of "Believe in My Heart", which wraps up the first disc, may be the highest-quality track of them all. If the rest of the disc was more interesting, this would have been the perfect track to wind things down with; instead, it just comes off as another boring track.

Like the first two Perfect Collection Ys albums, the second disc of PC Ys III consists of a hodgepodge of various arrangement styles by a variety of different arrangers. Unlike the first two albums, whose second discs featured a mix of tracks from the first three Ys games, this one limits itself to Ys III only.

First up are three Vocal Version tracks. Akino Arai is featured in two pop ballads based on "Morning of Departure" and "Darling Elena." Following them, Hidemi Miura tries to liven things up with a rock vocal based on "Believe in My Heart." All of them are passable in their own way, but if you don�t like vocal arrangements, it�s best to skip these. Next are three "New Age Version" tracks, arranged by Tomoyuki Asakawa. These drawn-out ambient arrangements are rather uninteresting, and not on the level of Michio Fuijsawa�s New Age Version tracks from Perfect Collection Ys and Perfect Collection Ys II.

Things get more interesting with the Super Arrange Version tracks that follow. Yuzo Hayashi enters with a version of "Introduction!!" that is very similar in style to Yonemitsu's "Believe in My Heart" on the first disc. Keep your ears open for the strange vocal segment that starts around 2:37. This track is followed by Takayuki Hijikata's hard-rockin� rendition of "Chop!!", the likes of which were sorely missed on the rest of the album. The album wraps up with four "Falcom Sound Team J.D.K. Version" arrangements. While these all-synth arrangements aren�t bad, the track selection was the most disappointing part.


Compared with the rest of Falcom�s Perfect Collection series, Perfect Collection Ys III was a massive disappointment. If you're looking for a great Ys III musical experience, track down the TurboGrafx CD version or the Ys: The Oath in Felghana Original Soundtrack. Unless you�re a collector or a Ys III completist, leave this one alone.

Overall Score: 6/10