Game Music, Reviews

Consolation Prize: The Order of Ecclesia US Pre-Order Disc (Review)

October 28, 2008 | | 3 Comments Share thison Facebook Consolation Prize: The Order of Ecclesia US Pre-Order Disc (Review)on Twitter

Well, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia was released last week, and I must say that the game’s music is drastically different from anything we’ve heard in previous Castlevania titles. While Iga confirmed to us that Michiru Yamane was handling the game’s soundtrack, we’ve since learned that Yasuhiro Ichihashi also contributed to the score, although we don’t know who was responsible for which tracks thus far.

While we’re likely not going to be getting the awesome looking 2-disc soundtrack that was released with the game’s special edition set in Japan, Konami USA was kind enough to offer a consolation prize in the form of a music sampler for those who pre-ordered the game through Amazon, Gamestop, and Gamecrazy. The disc features 15 minutes of music, and despite the change in musical style this time around, I found myself enjoying what the disc has to offer.

Is this album a worthy consolation prize? Read our impressions after the jump.

“An Empty Tome” should be familiar to anyone who has followed Order of Ecclesia, as it’s the music that accompanies the opening animation. It sports an energetic electronic sound that starts the game and album off on a high note. “Edge of the Sky” follows with a sort of funky bassline and a gothic string melody that sounds reminiscent of older Castlevania soundtracks, but the jazzy piano melody is more in line with Yuzo Koshiro’s contributions to the Portrait of Ruin soundtrack, which I see as a positive.

My favorite track on the album is “Sorrow’s Distortion,” coming in with wailing guitars and an organ. The chorus section offers an effective synth melody that, along with the building rock percussion, makes for an epic listening experience. “Ebony Wings” follows with more rock that is a little less memorable. It almost sounds like an Iwadare battle track from the Grandia series at times, but a not-so-good one.

Of all the battle themes in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, some of which are amazingly awesome with their jazzy influences, “Order of the Demon” is probably the least interesting. I don’t know what to say about it other than it’s a tense orchestral battle piece. The final track, “Wandering the Crystal Blue ~Arrange Version~” is a nice treat, sounding similar to music from Symphony of the Night. I enjoy the thick bass notes along with the downtempo belltone melody. Unfortunately it’s only a minute and a half long.

So yeah, I wish we had the opportunity to even import the full-length soundtrack by itself, as there is a lot of good music to be heard in my opinion, even if many of the Castlevania music faithful may not agree. It’s a shame that the lack of a wide-release soundtrack for Ecclesia isn’t an isolated incident either, as you know from our comments on this startling trend from Konami. Anyway, I particularly like the music from the Minera Prison Island and the Skeleton Cave areas, both of which which I highly recommend checking out. The chorus in the Skeleton Cave is amazing, no?

We’ll have to make do with the US pre-order bonus for now, I suppose. The album comes housed in a simple cardboard sleeve with the track list on the back. I still think it’s a cool thing to have, and I’m really digging the music in the game, so while the pre-order season for Ecclesia is obviously over, I recommend giving it a listen if you can find a copy of the disc.

What do you think of the music in the game so far? What are your thoughts regarding the Japanese-exclusive soundtrack being bundled with the $100 special edition set without a standalone release?

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