Artist: "Michiru Yamane"
Album: "Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles OST"
Label: Konami Style
Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Review: Without a doubt, the Castlevania series has some of the best music in all of gaming. The foundations were laid by the talented folks at Konami decades ago, but credit for all the contemporary games belongs solely to Michiru Yamane. What can I say? The woman knows how to meld rock, electronic, and orchestral music, and make the whole thing work so well.
Just as the game itself was a remake of the original Rondo of Blood, the soundtrack consists almost entirely of rearranged and remastered versions of those same songs. And when you take into account that the original soundtrack contained a number of songs from earlier Castlevania games, you’re looking at some tracks that are on at least their fifth or sixth version (and in the case of “Vampire Killer”, even much more). In particular, the reworked version of the boss tune “Tues Deus Meus” was incredible. The decreased tempo coupled with the addition of orchestral music and a choir makes it into a truly epic-sounding song worthy of playing in the background while you pepper the Grim Reaper with throwing knives.
I did enjoy the original soundtrack, but a number of the songs sounded a bit too upbeat and “poppy” for a Castlevania game. Yamane’s remixes include more of the orchestral arrangement that have become as much a hallmark of the series as the killing of vampires with whips. The new arrangements also have a smoother flow than the sometimes choppy electronic tunes from the original. Those old songs are still catchy, though, and that’s the best part of this OST: it includes a disc featuring all the original music so that you can make your own comparisons.
Apart from remixes of songs from the original game, there are also a pair of new songs. The first, “Moon Fight”, was a holdover from the Castlevania Chronicles, a PSX remake of the first Castlevania game. However, the second new song, “Red Dawn”, was composed specifically for this game. In spite of the name, it has little if anything to do with Patrick Swayze, but it is a fantastic song.
I can listen to just about any Castlevania soundtrack for some great music, but this OST is truly something special. I was disappointed that it didn’t include a remix of “Den”, a medley of several of the more famous Castlevania songs, but the other new songs more than made up for it. Plus, including the original soundtrack along with the soundtrack of the remake was a great way to acknowledge what came before, while simultaneously giving listeners the chance to draw their own conclusions about which was the better OST.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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