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Game review: Final Fantasy IV Celtic Moon

 

04-10-16 07:23 AM
janus is Offline
| ID: 1260928 | 777 Words

janus
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgwWltl6-wg

Usually, video game soundtrack “spinoffs” get some of their tracks played on the piano, semi-orchestrated (you can tell that no real instruments are used) or fully orchestrated. Final Fantasy IV Celtic Moon is unique in that regard since, as its name imply, it is inspired from Celtic culture, i.e. with lots of fiddle and even some harp and flute. I am not sure whether the arrangements are “real”, but one thing is for sure: the overall result is a mixed bag.

I can honestly say that there are only two excellent tracks. Not only to they follow each other perfectly, but their “extended Celtic loop” is integrated so well you would swear this was the original composition. In Dancing Calcobrena, the violin sounds as dark as should be and the waltz in the background sounds both wonderful and evil and the tempo is just right. The extended loop does away a little with the waltz and sounds more Celtic. Nevertheless the violin arrangements keep their dark feel, and the flutes are integrated very well. In Mystic Mysidia, I can’t help but always have might mood uplifted, however I was feeling before hearing it. The fiddle is just perfect to recreate the (for my taste) goofy theme of this magic city. I’m not sure what plays in the background, but it gives the right tempo. And the extended loop is also perfectly integrated, with the fiddle playing higher pitch notes and in a more joyful mood. The conclusion of all of it is beyond words to describe how much I love it.

Then there are tracks which, without being excellent, at least remained faithful to the original. The Prelude intro part has the harp (?) play much too quickly to translate the original FF IV track. Fortunately the flute in the second part was able to save the track, making the track sound magical once again. The extended loop even sounds a little sad, but it good anyway. Into the Darkness has once again fiddles playing very low and slow notes, almost making it sound better than the original. The harp and “choir” in the background also adds a nice touch of mystery. The Main Theme sounds even more romantic than the original thanks to the fiddle. The background arrangements kind of spoils it a little, but starting at the second loop (when it gets more “Celtic”) you focus on the main track. It seems that some people are tap dancing to it even. Finally Troian Beauty almost sounds like it was made for fiddles. Like Ireland the place is very green, and you can feel that greenery as with the original track. However the constant accumulation of instruments loop after loop gets a little heavy.

Furthermore there are tracks that started well but got spoiled by the “Celtic loop.” Chocobo Chocobo starts on very well, with medium-tempo fiddles playing the track and xylophone in the background making the theme light-hearted, and ever better than the original. Unfortunately, the Celtic loop starts very dryly and is much too upbeat; plus I find the guitar a little odd. Palom and Porom is very playful and profits greatly for the Celtic upgrade I even found the last part of the track even more playful, making me whistle every time. But like the Chocobo theme, the Celtic loop is much too different in tempo (and has the guitar) to be considered good. It sounds like slow Riverdance tap dancing. Illusory World is the worst in the category. The fiddle starts out in a dark and slow fashion like Into the Darkness, and the harp in the background creates the right feeling of mystery. Unfortunately it gets completely spoiled by the Celtic extension, which is much too joyful and upbeat for a dungeon remix.

Finally there are tracks which were completely missed. Prologue sounds much too sad compared to the epicness of the original track. Fiddles make it sounds like a “conclusion,” like something that would be played at a funeral (especially when the flute kicks in about midway). Rydia also was a miss (the piano version is much better). The intro was decent, with sweet flute arrangements and slow guitar in the background. But however pretty their voices are, the Celtic choir completely spoils the track. Enya’s Watermark made a much better use of similar voice arrangements.

In short, unless you simply enjoy Celtic music and fiddles I’m not sure I can recommend this album. Most of the arrangements are, to put it bluntly, terrible remixes of the original tracks. They are either completely terrible or the Celtic loop was placed so badly that it spoils an otherwise fine track.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgwWltl6-wg

Usually, video game soundtrack “spinoffs” get some of their tracks played on the piano, semi-orchestrated (you can tell that no real instruments are used) or fully orchestrated. Final Fantasy IV Celtic Moon is unique in that regard since, as its name imply, it is inspired from Celtic culture, i.e. with lots of fiddle and even some harp and flute. I am not sure whether the arrangements are “real”, but one thing is for sure: the overall result is a mixed bag.

I can honestly say that there are only two excellent tracks. Not only to they follow each other perfectly, but their “extended Celtic loop” is integrated so well you would swear this was the original composition. In Dancing Calcobrena, the violin sounds as dark as should be and the waltz in the background sounds both wonderful and evil and the tempo is just right. The extended loop does away a little with the waltz and sounds more Celtic. Nevertheless the violin arrangements keep their dark feel, and the flutes are integrated very well. In Mystic Mysidia, I can’t help but always have might mood uplifted, however I was feeling before hearing it. The fiddle is just perfect to recreate the (for my taste) goofy theme of this magic city. I’m not sure what plays in the background, but it gives the right tempo. And the extended loop is also perfectly integrated, with the fiddle playing higher pitch notes and in a more joyful mood. The conclusion of all of it is beyond words to describe how much I love it.

Then there are tracks which, without being excellent, at least remained faithful to the original. The Prelude intro part has the harp (?) play much too quickly to translate the original FF IV track. Fortunately the flute in the second part was able to save the track, making the track sound magical once again. The extended loop even sounds a little sad, but it good anyway. Into the Darkness has once again fiddles playing very low and slow notes, almost making it sound better than the original. The harp and “choir” in the background also adds a nice touch of mystery. The Main Theme sounds even more romantic than the original thanks to the fiddle. The background arrangements kind of spoils it a little, but starting at the second loop (when it gets more “Celtic”) you focus on the main track. It seems that some people are tap dancing to it even. Finally Troian Beauty almost sounds like it was made for fiddles. Like Ireland the place is very green, and you can feel that greenery as with the original track. However the constant accumulation of instruments loop after loop gets a little heavy.

Furthermore there are tracks that started well but got spoiled by the “Celtic loop.” Chocobo Chocobo starts on very well, with medium-tempo fiddles playing the track and xylophone in the background making the theme light-hearted, and ever better than the original. Unfortunately, the Celtic loop starts very dryly and is much too upbeat; plus I find the guitar a little odd. Palom and Porom is very playful and profits greatly for the Celtic upgrade I even found the last part of the track even more playful, making me whistle every time. But like the Chocobo theme, the Celtic loop is much too different in tempo (and has the guitar) to be considered good. It sounds like slow Riverdance tap dancing. Illusory World is the worst in the category. The fiddle starts out in a dark and slow fashion like Into the Darkness, and the harp in the background creates the right feeling of mystery. Unfortunately it gets completely spoiled by the Celtic extension, which is much too joyful and upbeat for a dungeon remix.

Finally there are tracks which were completely missed. Prologue sounds much too sad compared to the epicness of the original track. Fiddles make it sounds like a “conclusion,” like something that would be played at a funeral (especially when the flute kicks in about midway). Rydia also was a miss (the piano version is much better). The intro was decent, with sweet flute arrangements and slow guitar in the background. But however pretty their voices are, the Celtic choir completely spoils the track. Enya’s Watermark made a much better use of similar voice arrangements.

In short, unless you simply enjoy Celtic music and fiddles I’m not sure I can recommend this album. Most of the arrangements are, to put it bluntly, terrible remixes of the original tracks. They are either completely terrible or the Celtic loop was placed so badly that it spoils an otherwise fine track.

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