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Paul Butler


FeatureCastlevania's Vampire Killer beats

Exploring the music of Konami's iconic series.

Castlevania is a series with heritage. Since its introduction in 1986 it's rarely skipped a year, with 40 released titles spanning consoles, PCs and arcades. Over nearly 30 years, the backbone remains the same. The plot is an eternal repetition of the need for the Belmont clan (and occasional affiliates) to destroy Dracula who, against all odds, keeps getting resurrected in all manner of bizarre circumstances. Features and details may change, or occasionally be absent, but they're indelible parts of the series, always remembered, always returning.

Video games are huge, collaborative endeavours where many disparate arts come together to create a single entity for our enjoyment, and just as in theatre, cinema and television, developers have learnt of the power that music holds. Since the very earliest days of gaming composers have been striving to enhance our experiences with their skills, to excite us, to inspire us, to amuse us. Sadly this element of gaming is sometimes overlooked since, in the process of assessing games, there are so many parts to consider and, understandably, there's only a finite amount of space to examine them all. Priorities have to be assigned, and outside music-centric games like Guitar Hero or Lumines other elements usually take necessary precedence.