|System: Wii (WiiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: M2||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Konami||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 28, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Ten dollars might seem a hefty price tag for a game with only six arcade-style stages, but there are tons of goodies hidden throughout the castle. Secret passages, healing meat and 1-Ups tucked away within walls, and the level design was custom made for speed runs. I played through the entire game three times in a row my first day with it, and I've yet to discover everything Castlevania ReBirth has to offer. Extras notwithstanding, it's just one of those titles you'll enjoy revisiting again and again - that is, if old-school Castlevania is your thing. Again, the Metroidvania elements are kept to a minimum, and the focus here is on action platforming.
As you traverse each stage, you'll find a variety of power-ups. Your whip can be upgraded twice - the first time causing it to do more damage, and the second upgrade adds fireballs to your attacks for a limited time. Special weapons include holy water, a throwing axe, and a cross, as well as a stop watch that makes time stand still. Each item has its pluses and minuses, and you'll likely find each particularly useful in certain situations.
Konami really have done a bang-up job with Castlevania ReBirth, and the old-style gameplay comes complete with old-style graphics. Though it's based on a Gameboy game, ReBirth's visuals are done in more of an SNES style. It's a great-looking game, one that exudes Castlevania fan service. Stages are varied up nicely, and you'll never see everything the game has to offer in a single playthrough.
The music and sound effects of the game, though, are, without a doubt, the bee's knees. Most of the tunes are reworked versions of old Castlevania classics, but it just goes to show how timeless these songs are. If you'd rather not wear these masterpieces out, however, you can always tweak the volume, even cutting the music out completely. This actually gives the game a very unique feel, providing players with yet another excuse to zip through the castle one more time.
The sound effects are equally satisfying. Belmont's whip lets out a fat, punchy blast each time he whacks a candelabra, and there's an excellent variety of creature sounds as well. From top to bottom, the game's production is sure to please.
Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth is just about everything an old-school fan could hope for, and it's probably the best title in the ReBirth series thus far. The various difficulty settings are balanced really well, and the overall level design is expertly crafted. Tons of options and features make for a great retro package Wii owners really shouldn't miss out on. All that being said, we're still a little disappointed by the lack of a save function, and an online leaderboard for high scores and completion times would have been a really sweet cherry on top. Still, don't let these minor quibbles (or the fact that the game is supposedly based off of the not-so-beloved Castlevania: The Adventure) dissuade you from making this modern classic a part of your collection.
CCC Freelance Writer