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  #1  
Old Jun 16, 2013, 12:50 PM
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Default Poll: your Top Five game-related Piano Albums?

Which is your favorite vgm piano album, and why?
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  #2  
Old Jun 16, 2013, 03:05 PM
LiquidAcid LiquidAcid is offline
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Let's see...

1. Piano Collections Final Fantasy X
2. Sailing to the World Piano Score
3. Okami Piano Arrange
4. Piano Collections NieR Gestalt & Replicant
5. Piano Collections Final Fantasy VII

For me FFX defines the perfect piano arrangement. The main reason is the consistent flow. It's not just a bunch of arrangements thrown together -- the whole album is a single unit. Also the ending theme gets me every single time
Same reasoning (flow) applies to Sailing to the World and Okami. I could probably listen to these on repeat and never get tired

The NieR and FFVII album are beautiful in itself, even without featuring this kind of "homogeneity".


There are also some nice piano albums of compilation type, like the feeling wind one for Wild Arms, or the Suikoden ones -- which however, due to focusing on many titles, are much more "heterogeneous".
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  #3  
Old Jun 16, 2013, 03:38 PM
Hellacia Hellacia is offline
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I don't have a top five; just a favorite, and it's by far Piano Pieces "SF 2" Rhapsody on a Theme of SaGa FRONTIER 2. I may not be able to stand the original soundtrack, but the piano arrange album, minus like two tracks, is piano arrange gold, holy grail stuff. I've logged whole days of my life in total listening to that album, for sure.
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  #4  
Old Jun 16, 2013, 05:02 PM
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All five of Hamauzu's arranged piano albums.
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  #5  
Old Jun 16, 2013, 05:45 PM
Chris Chris is offline
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Best:

FFX
FFI-III
FFX-2
FFXII
SF2

Worst:

FFV
Wild Arms
Ys
Mother
Kenji Ito Piano Collection

Most other piano collections I've listened to, e.g. Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Tokimeki Memorial, Suikoden, and Falcom, were fine but rarely mind-blowing.
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  #6  
Old Jun 16, 2013, 10:04 PM
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I really can't understand why FFX is considered so much better than all the other ones. Sure, it's good and I like it, but is it so much better than Hamaguchi's work? My ears say, "Uh... no." I don't really think it's significantly more cohesive than VII or VIII's albums either. I do play, I can appreciate complexity in music and I value it, but FFX and SaGa Frontier 2's piano arrangements don't do anything extra special for me.

I don't think I've heard enough piano albums outside the Final Fantasy series to participate well in this poll, but I think FFVI would be my favorite of those piano albums. I think it has the best flow and most distinctive mood, with very nice arrangements too of course. I have heard Kenji Ito's piano album though and, yes, that was bad.

Jormungand, would you really place FFXIII Piano Collections above any of the other ones done by anyone else? That one certainly seems kinda weak to me and I know I'm not the only one who thinks so.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 11:39 PM
SimonJXZ SimonJXZ is offline
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I agree on both counts. FFX is good, but not that good, and of the Final Fantasy piano albums, FFVI is my favorite. And then, it's just one of my favorite piano arrange albums all around. There's something about the performance, and the arrangements themselves, that makes it very pleasant and easy to listen to - not like the others aren't, but that one particularly so.

SaGa Frontier 2's piano album is great, and also probably makes my list if I'm trying to come up with 5. But perhaps even higher on my list than anything mentioned yet is Re-feel... which I really need to get around to buying (especially if CDJapan refunds my order due to out-of-print items for the third time now). Re-feel is excellent, a real "gem" as I guess they're described. Afterglow and Summer Lights make an otherwise spectacular CD even more so.

It's hard for me to name favorites, but Re-feel, FFVI, and SaGa Frontier 2 make my list for piano CDs, and probably in that order.
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Old Jun 17, 2013, 04:05 AM
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Let's make the thread a bit more varied, and let's say that you can name max 2 Square-related albums... What else would enter your list?
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  #9  
Old Jun 17, 2013, 05:34 AM
LiquidAcid LiquidAcid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gambler View Post
Let's make the thread a bit more varied, and let's say that you can name max 2 Square-related albums... What else would enter your list?
Square-Enix-related or Final-Fantasy-related?
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  #10  
Old Jun 17, 2013, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gambler View Post
Let's make the thread a bit more varied, and let's say that you can name max 2 Square-related albums... What else would enter your list?
If I can't have S-E, I'd say my favorites are:

Arc the Lad Piano Album
Brandish Piano Collection
Sailing to the World Piano Score
Senjou no Valkyria Piano

But, if I CAN have S-E, they are (in this order):

1. Piano Pieces SF2 (seriously, what Hellacia says is close to the mark for me ... no one has topped this album to date. It is the best!)
2. FFX Piano
3. FFX-2 Piano
4. FFVIII Piano
5. hmmm ... Benyamin Nuss Plays Uematsu? (I LOVE his arrangement of Serpent Trench)

Basically, FF piano is a great series with a few black marks upon it. When the inevitable FF Tactics piano comes ... well, I hope it will be amazing!
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  #11  
Old Jun 17, 2013, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _if View Post
Jormungand, would you really place FFXIII Piano Collections above any of the other ones done by anyone else?
Yes. Hamauzu draws more color and texture out of the piano than any other arranger I have heard. His arranged piano work sounds like it was written specifically for the concert hall, while others in his field merely serve up minor showpieces at best and piano reductions at worst--like those piano books you find in music stores of popular films and their soundtracks.

It's not that I dislike other piano albums, but that none are nearly as creative and ambitious as Hamauzu's. I'd love to hear suggestions if you have them.

That said, yes, FFXIII is by far the weakest of Hamauzu's piano albums. And still there's his characteristically searching and whimsical voice in Nautilus, Nascent Requiem, Fang's Theme, and Reminiscence. I wish he had done a reprise of the original Hope's Theme, too, because that was a beautiful little piano theme and is so much better than the OST and in-game version.
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  #12  
Old Jun 17, 2013, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
Yes. Hamauzu draws more color and texture out of the piano than any other arranger I have heard. His arranged piano work sounds like it was written specifically for the concert hall, while others in his field merely serve up minor showpieces at best and piano reductions at worst--like those piano books you find in music stores of popular films and their soundtracks.

It's not that I dislike other piano albums, but that none are nearly as creative and ambitious as Hamauzu's. I'd love to hear suggestions if you have them.

That said, yes, FFXIII is by far the weakest of Hamauzu's piano albums. And still there's his characteristically searching and whimsical voice in Nautilus, Nascent Requiem, Fang's Theme, and Reminiscence. I wish he had done a reprise of the original Hope's Theme, too, because that was a beautiful little piano theme and is so much better than the OST and in-game version.
I personally think Shiro Hamaguchi's work with FFVIII piano ... even if much of it is a "redux" of the Fithos Lusec orchestral arrange album ... is overall a better showing than XIII. I will give you this though ... Fang's Theme on piano is *amazing*
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  #13  
Old Jun 21, 2013, 01:51 AM
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What about collaborative efforts, like the Pia-com albums? Any fans?
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  #14  
Old Jun 21, 2013, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gambler View Post
What about collaborative efforts, like the Pia-com albums? Any fans?
For me, both Pia-com albums aren't the best, nor are they the worst. They're right in the middle, alongside the two FFXI Piano albums
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Old Jun 21, 2013, 07:02 AM
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I'd say the same, it least when it comes to the first PIA-COM volume. It's a solid piano album, but it surely doesn't rank along the top five for me. The second one, I dunno, I just didn't enjoy it at all.
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Old Jun 21, 2013, 10:29 AM
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hmm ... I think I really liked the second one. At least parts of it.

*digs up tracklist*

yep, I liked it. The RPG stuff especially. Wizardry, Dragon Slayer IV, and the piano version of FF3 Elia that I was bummed Nakamura didn't work into FF Piano Opera I-III.

(reason I'm bummed? I bought the sheet music to Piano Opera too, and if he'd included that arrangement on that CD, I'd be able to learn it!)

If no one else minds, reading all this gave me another "Piano album" thread idea that I'm going to start now. Just to see what people say.
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  #17  
Old Jun 22, 2013, 12:43 AM
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Honourable mention for NES Jams?
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  #18  
Old Jun 22, 2013, 01:23 AM
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Also honourable mention for Mystic Awakening, especially since _if and SimonJXZ put FFVI Piano Collections among their favorites, I'd like to hear their opinion on this one.

Last edited by The Gambler; Jun 22, 2013 at 01:25 AM.
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  #19  
Old Jun 22, 2013, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
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Also honourable mention for Mystic Awakening, especially since _if and SimonJXZ put FFVI Piano Collections among their favorites, I'd like to hear their opinion on this one.
I love Daniel Brown, especially hearing him play in person (though I doubt he cares / remembers meeting me ... :P).

His recording of Dancing Mad Pt 3 is straight transcription. Which doesn't exist anywhere else on a *piano* as far as I know. And it sounds immaculate.

I also like his fast tempo on Mystic Forest.

But there's definitely a stylistic difference between Brown's recording, the unknown-arranger official FFVI Piano, and then something like Benyamin Nuss' Serpent Trench (again, I am *obsessed* with that track).
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  #20  
Old Jun 22, 2013, 08:07 AM
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Mother 1+2 MIDI





...But in all seriousness, I don't think I've come across a piano album that I really enjoyed. Guess it's just not my thing.. or I haven't been exposed to the right kind. Everything here looks to be RPG-related. It might be cool to hear some of my favourite action orientated soundtracks arranged on piano. I should really give Shnabubula's album another listen.
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Last edited by strugglepoo; Jun 22, 2013 at 08:09 AM.
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  #21  
Old Jun 22, 2013, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramza View Post
hmm ... I think I really liked the second one. At least parts of it.

*digs up tracklist*

yep, I liked it.

I thought the Milon's theme was outstanding - the jewel of the bunch.
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  #22  
Old Jun 22, 2013, 11:34 AM
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Brandish Piano Collection is Falcom's best piano album to date; An outstanding example of artistic beauty.

Last edited by Matron; Jun 22, 2013 at 11:48 AM.
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