i’ve still been listening to video game soundtracks, but i haven’t really been posting reviews since there’s not a whole lot say other than “i liked it” or “i didn’t like it”. but since i’m in the middle of a lot of games w/ none quite finished i thought i might as well post some comments on one of the more memorable ones. castlevania 64, with a soundtrack by masahiko kimura, motoaki furukawa, and mariko egawa, is a generally underrated game which i played through last year. in the game’s opening, which immediately sets the tone of the rest of the game’s soundtrack, we see the young boy malus play a haunting solo violin line which is then accompanied by an habanera (i.e. tango-esque) rhythm in the lower strings. the designers made the odd decision to keep the first stage devoid of music, but after that the soundtrack in general is a great mix of very classically-influenced music, dramatic and heavy on the strings, oftentimes driven by prominent percussion parts which, although anachronistic, work extremely well. there are a fair number of “mood” pieces with much sparser arrangements, but they’re so effectively done with interesting instrumentation that they’re never boring. there’s also a refreshing lack of gothic organ music for the most part. given the limitations of the n64 audio, the CV64 team did a fantastic job of creating an ideal accompaniment to the company’s first foray into three dimensions, and it’s one of the best on the system or of the series i’ve heard thus far. so if you need another reason to check out the game, there you go.