Friday, January 1, 2010

Castlevania: The Review Rebirth

There are few things you can count on in life: Death, Taxes, and Dracula's inevitable return from the netherworld. However, it's the latter that's the most exciting, because when Dracul and his possessed castle rise from the ashes,you know that A Belmont isn't far behind to put him back in his place. If any of that cracks your whip, then Konami has a present for you. It's called Castlevania: the adventure Rebirth. Castlevania: Rebirth is the third in a series of games considered as "love letters to classic gamers". This game in particular is actually a re-imagining of Castlevania: the adventure which was published in 1989 for Gameboy, and focuses on Christopher Belmont of the infamous Belmont clan. Once i got this game I couldn't wait to give it a run. It's been a fairly long time since I've played an old school Castlevania game (The last game I played was the awesome Castlevania Chronicles for PSx), But I've always considered this one of my favorite gaming series. enough fapping to Castlevania. let's get on with the review.

Adventure Rebirth on first glance is nothing like it's source material. Oh sure you have your mudmen and your rolling eyeballs, which are in abundance here, but this is something much more than a remake. The ropes are absent, because who wants to use ropes, when the stairs have been a series mainstay since Haunted Castle? The game is broken up into six stages, with five of them featuring midbosses hidden areas and alternate pathways that can be unlocked with keys. This was such a fantastic idea as it brings the winding pathways of SOTN together with the old school sensibilities of the older Castlevania games, and also adds to the replay value of the game. The graphics are somewhere in between SOTN in some cases and in cases of the Frogmen and Mermen sprites something bizarre, yet kind of cool.

The controls are solid with unlockable choices between both Classic and Normal gameplay."what's the difference" you ask?, well it's actually as simple as being able to move your character in midair during a jump. That's not all, as you're given a wealth of options to control the game. Players have the option of using the Gamecube controller, The Classic Controller, The Wii Remote NES style, or the Nunchuk with motion controlled whip action. OK, so you might not be alright with flicking your wrist in rapid succession, but at least you have the option. Whatever option you choose, you're going to have to hone your reflexes to handle all the enemies that are thrown at you.

The difficulty is well.... Let's just say that old school fans of the series will be pleasantly surprised at how the game proceeds to build your confidence within the first few stages, then at stage 5 proceeds to bend you over and make you it's girlfriend.The tricky parts of the game come in it's sections and strategically placed enemies.Stage 5 seems to go on forever at some points even with the alternate pathways.The use of keys also plays into the difficulty of the game as it occupies your secondary weapon slot. You're often making a choice of whether you want to hold a key or use a secondary weapon for midbosses or tough enemies.The enemy placement and stage design are both genius and sinister as you find yourself getting caught up by knights, Skeletons and spiked metal monsters. For the gamers who aren't up to par, you can always dial back the difficulty, and increase your life stock to 9 lives (which is reminiscent of the old "help me" code from Dracula's Curse.)

The music has always been the best part of Castlevania games, and there really isn't anything different here. Each stage features remixed music from previous games. The first stage music being changed to "Reincarnated Soul" from bloodlines, but despite that you'll still get to hear great remixed tracks of Aquarius (Dracula's Curse), Mother Earth (Chronicles/Akumaj┼Ź Dracula X68000) and the ever popular Vampire Killer.

The Spiracy Scale

Graphics- Good! Very reminicent of games like Bloodlines, SOTN or Super Castlevania IV.

Sound- Sweet! It's Castlevania music, you get a lot of old classics remixed for your pleasure.

Difficulty- Sweet! It ranges from just the right amount to near frustrating. This game was made for die-hard Castlevania fans.

Controls- Sweet! Tight controls with different options for many playstyles

Replayability- Good! Alternate pathways really allow you to play the game differently on each run.

The Verdict- Buy it! If you've been wanting an old school Castlevania game, or just burnt out on the DS games and want a change of pace, this is definitely for you. Konami seems to be on fire with this series, and I can only image what they'll rebirth next!

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