Game Music, Reviews

Reborn to be Wild: Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth (Review)

January 8, 2010 | | 7 Comments Share thison Facebook Reborn to be Wild: Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth (Review)on Twitter

So I just went back to our Contra ReBirth review and realized that I had predicted the future! I noted that while there wasn’t enough music in Contra ReBirth to warrant a soundtrack, perhaps we’d see them bundle it with the Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth soundtrack, and that’s exactly what they’re doing! Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth doesn’t have a whole lot of music either, but I like what’s here, probably more so than I did the Contra ReBirth stuff.

Manabu Namiki returns once again (credited as a Basiscape composer, with the Basiscape logo even in the credits!), providing mainly reworked tunes from Castlevania’s past. There’s a good variety, and several of the tracks are catchy and nail the Castlevania mood perfectly. The game is a lot of fun, too, and pretty damn challenging!

More about that and the game’s soundtrack in our review after the jump.

First of all, this is pure Castlevania. No dashing, flailing whips, or equipping weapons. Christopher Belmont, an ancestor of Simon Belmont, tackles several stages with only his whip and one of five possible subweapons, just like it was meant to be. What’s new, however, is the non-linearity that’s been introduced by allowing players to take different paths to complete a level. Each level typically has a sub-boss and a boss, but sub-bosses can sometimes be bypassed if the correct route is found. It’s a lot of trial and error, and a lot of fun. And damn, the last two levels are tough.

Let’s talk about the music. The first think you’ll notice is this amazing jingle that plays in the Wii menu and before each stage that references “Vampire Killer.” It’s a great jingle that kind of starts with “Vampire Killer” before going off in another direction, sounding familiar but also new, and being all around awesome every time. I would have love to have seen this one on the recent Bad Dudes Jingle all the Way album.

As far as the stage music is concerned [Editor’s Note: See JI’s comment below to see where the individual tracks are from, as I wasn’t able to identify the majority of them], the first stage features a remix of “Reincarnated Soul” from Castlevania: Bloodlines. The remix is energetic and bouncey, appropriate for the first stage. I love the harpsichord. The second stage opens with jazzy notes and a groovy bassline that had me thinking it was going to go in a “Wandering Ghosts” direction from Symphony of the Night, but it quickly turns rock with chugging guitars and belltone arpeggios.

The third stage is my favorite track, taking on a fast-paced goth rock sound reminiscent of classic Castlevania titles. It has a positive ascending melody and lots of energy, really pushing you through the level. Things get a little more tough in the next level, which features a funky bassline, electric piano, and smooth synths. If I had to classify it, I’d say jazz fusion. As far as the final stage music is concerned, I listened to this one for a very long time, and it’s appropriately epic. It actually accompanies the series staple clock tower stage, and while it’s not quite as “gear”-like as past clock tower tracks, it’s still good.

The final area of the game features a pretty straightforward remix of “Vampire Killer.” It’s a nice treat for getting this far in the game, but it’s nothing incredibly special. When it comes to the game’s boss themes, they’re not that exciting, but the final boss track (another one I heard for long durations of time), is surprisingly tame. It has a nice swing to it, suggesting that Dracula is a classy vampire. It’s a great tune, and it certainly is grounded enough to let you think about what you’re doing while you’re playing. The final credits offer a somewhat bittersweet melody on acoustic guitar and a lovely, wavy synthesizer with lots of reverb, giving it a dreamy feel.

Overall, I’m happy with the Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth soundtrack. I suppose the fact that I’m a bigger fan of Castlevania than Contra plays into me liking this one better, but I really am enjoying everything here from the stage music to the jingles. I recommend picking up Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth on WiiWare (it’s a blast… even though it’s short) and checking out the dual Contra ReBirth and Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth soundtrack when it’s released.

Have you checked out Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth yet? Are you going to be picking up the game’s soundtrack?

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