I probably shouldn’t be reviewing this soundtrack. But I can’t help myself.
“Dracula X Chronicles” was released in Japan and North America for PSP. On it was a new, 3D version of “Rondo of Blood,” an action-oriented, stage-based Castlevania from over a decade ago. It is not, in any way, an RPG. However, in the game, there were two bonus games. One was the original 2D version of “Rondo of Blood” (also, not an RPG). Finally, there was a “complete” version of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (ding ding ding! Action RPG!).
Symphony of the Night has been released in multiple formats in multiple regions. But never before had North Americans gotten to play as Maria, access new areas, or hear an English version of the song “Nocturne.” Which brings us to this soundtrack.
On this two disc soundtrack, the vast majority of songs come from Rondo of Blood. Granted, Castlevania themes are re-used all the time, so Symphony of the Night fans will recognize plenty of the tunes. But on disc two, there are some bonus tracks that apply specifically to Symphony of the Night (known in Japan as “Nocturne in the Moonlight”). The first is an English version of the song “Nocturne.” This version, in my mind, far exceeds the Japanese original, which was fantastic. That would make the English recording … double-fantastic!
“Serenade of Sympathy” is a soothing piece featuring piano, winds, and strings that swithces from 6/8 to 4/4 in different parts of the piece. Three cheers for Michiru Yamane for knowing how to write some beautiful, beautiful music.
The rest of the album? I’d rather not comment. It’s excellent music (as is almost everything from Konami’s vampire-slaying series). But most of it isn’t RPG-relevant, so I’m going to excuse myself from saying more. I dare say, though, that the full two disc set is worth it for the English version of Nocturne…not to mention all the other great music on here!