Wii

North America

Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth

by Zachary Miller - January 10, 2010, 1:27 pm PST
Total comments: 25

9

A blissful return to the days of yore.

Castlevania: The Adventure was a Game Boy launch title back in 1989. It was one of the first games I ever owned, and it took me a year to beat. These days it is generally hated by most Castlevania fans, and that's an attitude I can sympathize with. The game features unbelievable slowdown, a lot of cheap deaths, and an entire level featuring the combination of forced scrolling and obnoxiously unforgiving jumping sequences. With these facts in mind, you can see why I’d question Konami’s desire to remake the game as a ReBirth title, a series that already includes Gradius ReBirth and Contra ReBirth. Howeer, after playing the hell out of it for a few days, I can safely say it’s one of my favorite Castlevania games.

The game's title is extremely misleading. Adventure ReBirth resembles Rondo of Blood more so than Adventure, both in terms of level progression (there are alternate paths to the boss, and key sub-weapons unlock doors) and play control (control is looser, with less precision required). You’ll also find breakable walls and mini-bosses. This is an old-school Castlevania title, so there is no Metroidvania exploration here. The action is broken up into six levels with the final one consisting of your final confrontation.

ReBirth is relatively easy compared to other old-school Castlevania games, although things start getting hairy around the latter half of the fourth level. Thankfully, you can set the number of lives and difficulty before starting the game, and you have unlimited continues. Despite all of this, you cannot save your game. This isn’t much of a problem considering that Castlevania ReBirth clocks in at barely over an hour long, but you'll definitely have to set aside some time to play through it. The inability to save isn’t as punitive as in, say, Bubble Bobble Plus, but it's a throwback game mechanic that hard to appreciate in this day and age. The overall difficulty is probably on par with Super Castlevania IV, though ReBirth obviously isn’t as long as the SNES classic.

The game itself is a colorful mishmash of previous Castlevania titles, with only a few references to its namesake. It looks like a Super Nintendo-era game with a brighter color palette. Some frustrating series trademarks remain intact, such as accidentally jumping through staircases, ill-placed enemies in precarious platforming situations, and knock-back. These throwbacks are all painfully omnipresent in the clock tower level (a series tradition!), but fans of the series will begrudgingly accept them and power through. Some of the bosses are a little cheap in their attack patterns, especially Dracula’s final form. Once you beat the game, you’ll unlock Classic mode, which makes the jumping stricter and the game harder overall. Otherwise, replayability comes from finding all of the alternate paths, netting a higher score, and dying less. Were you expecting a New Game Plus option? Remember, this ain’t Symphony of the Night!

I would be remiss in failing to mention the excellent soundtrack. In a series known for its musical scores, this entry trends high, remixing classic tracks in new and enthralling ways to produce memorable music that holds your attention throughout.

Definitely one of the best WiiWare titles yet, Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth is well worth your time and money. Even those who don’t particularly like older Castlevania games (like our own TYP) will find this particular game much more approachable than others of its ilk. Konami’s got a real good thing going, and let’s hope they keep this Rebirth series alive.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
10 9 9 9 6 9
Graphics
10

Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth is the best-looking old-school Castlevania game ever made, even managing to outclass the newer handheld games. This is how all Castlevania games should look—colorful, vibrant, and full of detail.

Sound
9

The music that accompanies the inevitable battle with Dracula is disappointing (they really needed to use “Simon’s Theme” from Super Castlevania IV here to deliver sheer epicness). Otherwise, I can’t complain one iota about the musical score.

Control
9

ReBirth supports all possible controller options, but the best (and most fitting) is holding the Wii Remote NES style (for those of you who prefer the Classic Controller’s larger D-pad, there’s certainly no shame in using that instead). The play control leaves nothing to be desired and plays looser than Rondo of Blood, which is great.

Gameplay
9

The game itself is a little short, but it's a great ride from start to finish. Just finding all the alternate paths is a game in itself!

Lastability
6

You have to be the kind of player who likes a challenge to keep going back. There are no meaningful unlockables (no concept art? Come on!), which provides little motivation to return. IReBirth is also a very short game.

Final
9

The best old-school Castlevania ever? It’s very possible.

Summary

Pros
  • A nearly perfect old-school Castlevania experience
  • Beautiful graphics and wonderful sound
  • Fantastic level design
  • Looser controls and shorter playtime means it's more accessible
Cons
  • Inability to save your progress in any way
  • Some bosses have cheap attack patterns
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

Mop it upJanuary 10, 2010

Quote from: Halbred

Inability to save your progress in any way

There goes the sliver of a chance that I'd download this.

This game sounds like Dracula slaying fun. I may have to buy it in the near future.

BlackNMild2k1January 11, 2010

Quote from: Mop_it_up

Quote from: Halbred

Inability to save your progress in any way

There goes the sliver of a chance that I'd download this.

That gave me second thoughts too.
I was about to buy Contra ReBirth when I saw this was about to drop so I held off on buying it. I figured I would have more fun with Castlevania by myself than Contra, but now I don't know which one I should get if I get an of them at all.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusJanuary 11, 2010

While there isn't a way to save progress, there is a way to do a level select. It's a secret ;) ....and no it's not the Konami code, you do something else.

dhowerterJanuary 11, 2010

OK, so what's the secret? How do you do the level select? I MUST KNOW! :)

.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJanuary 11, 2010

Quote from: Flames_of_chaos

While there isn't a way to save progress, there is a way to do a level select. It's a secret ;) ....and no it's not the Konami code, you do something else.

Having a secret option like this, this remake truly lives up to its old-schoolness.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusJanuary 11, 2010

At the title screen, select Game Start and hold right on the d-pad for a few seconds. You'll be able to select and play any levels you have previously reached on the same difficulty.

TJ SpykeJanuary 11, 2010

I'm not really a fan of the Castlevania games (I just never got into them), but the videos i've seen on GameTrailers make this seem OK.

So, what you're saying, Zach, is that it is possible to polish a turd?

NinGurl69 *hugglesJanuary 11, 2010

No, you have to break it down and turn it into life-giving fertilizer.

Polished turds are the result of HD bump mapping on brown objects.

Only when you throw the turd away, then toss in some homages to that turd in a game that's designed basically like the best game in that series, yes.

KDR_11kJanuary 11, 2010

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

Quote from: Mop_it_up

Quote from: Halbred

Inability to save your progress in any way

There goes the sliver of a chance that I'd download this.

That gave me second thoughts too.
I was about to buy Contra ReBirth when I saw this was about to drop so I held off on buying it. I figured I would have more fun with Castlevania by myself than Contra, but now I don't know which one I should get if I get an of them at all.

Just get both, they're worth it.

Luigi DudeJanuary 11, 2010

Great review, pretty much sums up my feeling of the game as well.

Seriously people, this is one of the greatest Castlevania games ever made and for only $10, it's a f*cking steal.  And like Flames_of_chaos already said, having no save feature doesn't matter since there's a level select code.  So really now, nobody has no excuse not to buy it.

EasyCureJanuary 12, 2010

After playing and beating Contra ReBirth for the first (and only time) and seeing how much fun i had playing it, I feel confident in purchasing Castlevania the Adventure ReBirth.

No save? FUCK IT ITS SHORT! At least i know its a short game going in, i had no idea Contra was gonna be that short.. but it didnt stop me from having a blast with it!

Mop it upJanuary 12, 2010

Quote from: Luigi

So really now, nobody has no excuse not to buy it.

I'm still trying to figure out if that's a double negative. Regardless, that isn't the only reason I'm not buying it. I didn't like the NES Castlevania games so this one doesn't appeal to me.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJanuary 12, 2010

It's funny, of all the early classic NES franchises, Mario seems to be the only character capable of running fast and incorporated fast running as part of the gameplay.

dhowerterJanuary 12, 2010

Quote from: Flames_of_chaos

At the title screen, select Game Start and hold right on the d-pad for a few seconds. You'll be able to select and play any levels you have previously reached on the same difficulty.

OK, so does this level select work if you turn off the Wii?    (and exit the game obviously first)

    OR does it only work during that ONE session while your playing, you get to a later level, you die, and then you want to continue right THEN (not at a later date) from the level where you died? (all without exiting Castlevania Rebirth)

.

vuduJanuary 12, 2010

Quote from: dhowerter

OK, so does this level select work if you turn off the Wii?    (and exit the game obviously first)

    OR does it only work during that ONE session while your playing, you get to a later level, you die, and then you want to continue right THEN (not at a later date) from the level where you died? (all without exiting Castlevania Rebirth)

Once you get to a stage (and save) you'll be able to select that stage at any time from the main menu.  However, be sure to save!  The game will ask you to save if you either lose all your lives and choose not to continue or if you quit the game from the pause menu.  The game does not auto-save after beating a stage (not sure about the whole game--haven't beat it yet) so you must manually save.

AVJanuary 14, 2010

my review:


Castlevania Adventure Rebirth Wiiware review


saving killed it for me. Even though it sucks, maybe because I was raised on Super Castlevania IV which is way better in every way.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJanuary 14, 2010

Jumping in Wrestlevania4 sucks.  I don't remember having saving or stage select in that.

It had passwords.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJanuary 14, 2010

is that so?

my emulators have LIED

EasyCureJanuary 15, 2010

Quote from: Mr.

Even though it sucks, maybe because I was raised on Super Castlevania IV which is way better in every way.

is it me or does this sentence make no sense?

Quote from: Halbred

It had passwords.

didnt C3 have them too?

Mop it upJanuary 15, 2010

Castlevania 2 and 3 have passwords. I think the VC versions have that "save state" feature too.

vuduJanuary 15, 2010

Quote from: vudu

Once you get to a stage (and save) you'll be able to select that stage at any time from the main menu.  However, be sure to save!  The game will ask you to save if you either lose all your lives and choose not to continue or if you quit the game from the pause menu.  The game does not auto-save after beating a stage (not sure about the whole game--haven't beat it yet) so you must manually save.

I just beat the game.  (Very satisfying boss, if a little too familiar!)  I can confirm that the game prompts you to save after the credits.

I wholly recommend this game to anyone who's a fan of the classic Castlevania games (or challenging 2D platformers in general)

Share + Bookmark





Genre Action
Developer
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth
Release Dec 28, 2009
PublisherKonami
RatingTeen
jpn: Dracula Densetsu ReBirth
Release Oct 27, 2009
PublisherKonami
Rating12+
Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement