Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Angela Jun 19, 2013

Great news! Alongside The Magical Quest for SNES, Castle of Illusion in my eyes remains to be the best video game to have ever used the Mickey Mouse license.

Looks like Grant Kirkhope will be handling the music score  I would love an arrangement of the original Genesis soundtrack; that boss theme is still one of my all time favorite pieces.

Adam Corn Aug 23, 2013

As Angie mentioned, Grant Kirkhope handled music duties for the remake, which includes both arrangements of the original soundtrack as well as new material.  Given how his excellent Viva Pinata soundtrack had a classic Disney quality in parts, he seems like a perfect choice.

A few samples of the new music are available at Game Informer.  Sadly it sounds like they've cheaped out and opted for a sampled orchestra instead of live, which is a shame as it was the beautiful and nuanced orchestrations and performance that gave Viva Pinata much of its charm.  Will have to reserve judgement till the game releases September 3.  The original Genesis synth soundtrack is also available as an option for the BGM.

Angela Sep 2, 2013

The remake's looking pretty spiffy, judging from the preview videos.  I'm looking forward to the game's release tomorrow. (Anyone else opted to preorder the PSN version?  You get the original Megadrive/Genesis version of the game as a free downloadable -- a neat bonus that controls extremely well on the Dualshock 3, and plays exactly how you remember the original to be.)

The sampled orchestrations are a mite disappointing, but Kirkhope seems to have a good handle on the material.  Hearing the Enchanted Forest's whimsical new arrangements put an instant smile on my face.  (I can't wait to see what he does with the Toyland and Storm BGMs!)  I was initially let down with what seems like a newly-composed boss theme, but on closer listen, hints of the original melody might still be evident.  Bosses now appear to have different phases, and the music's melody and backing instrumentation change accordingly per phase.  The second phase, at least from the very brief snippet I'm hearing from the videos, seems to accentuate the original Genesis boss theme best.

TerraEpon Oct 24, 2013 (edited Oct 24, 2013)

It kinda came and went. I don't see I saw ANYONE really mention playing this after it was released.

(which is a huge contrast to Ducktales)

James O Oct 24, 2013

I played it.  Nice painted type backgrounds.  I played with the Genesis style music.  It's a pretty basic game.  End battle was a little frustrating.  Pretty much forgettable.  I enjoyed Duck Tales more, but even that's lost its charm. I have no intention of trying to grind for the trophies on either game and the extras to unlock in Duck Tales aren't really that much worth it for the amount of work you have to put in.  But that's just me.

Angela Oct 24, 2013 (edited Oct 24, 2013)

Played and beaten the same day myself. I'd actually meant to throw my two cents in much earlier, but, well..... stuff.

Spoken as a longtime fan of the Genesis game, I found this to be a very enjoyable remake.  Aside from retaining the core level designs of the original, they've created brand new sections for each stage.  These are in the form of extensions of an original's stage (like, say, having to marble-toss more blocks to clear a path in Toyland), newly integrated obstacles (such as strategically maneuvering through a thicket of evil trees in the Enchanted Forest), and challenge-survival portions meant to satisfy those who want to go for the harder-to-reach collectables. (Keeping afloat amongst a prolonged rendition of the floating leaves part in the Enchanted Forest.) They rarely feel out of place when stacked against the pacing of the original game, and plenty of them are really quite clever and innovative. My favorite addition is the part in Toyland where you needed to hit switches to reverse the gravitational polarity. In a new key area, there are two switches lined in a vertical row with a platform and pit underneath them -- and you need to puzzle out which one of the two switches you should hit first in order to successfully make the platform appear beneath you rather than above.  (Well, easier to show than to tell.)  Oh, and the tense, sweat-inducing section at the end where you need to ascend crumbling cliffs up to Mizrabel's tower before the final battle? Epic.

Graphics are neat. The 2.5D look makes the game seem more vast in environment than its admittedly linear structure lets on. I love that every enemy has a 'defeated' animation whenever you hit them.

Downsides? The boss battles are relatively easy affairs. They weren't exactly difficult in the original either, but given the keen attention they'd given to enhancing the rest of the game, it would have been nice if the same was done for the bosses. Except for Mizrabel herself, which was one hell of an amazing battle; among one of the best pattern-based bosses I've encountered in a platformer.

And then the newly composed soundtrack. Regrettably, I've found myself digging Kirkhope's score less and less as I got further into the game.  The Enchanted Forest and Toyland themes were terrific arrangements, but then the score goes off on its own thing starting with Storm.  The Storm theme got completely replaced, and not for the better. Most of the rest is generic Disney-esque (and yes, I'm gonna say it for the one time that it's truly apt) "Mickey Mousey" fantasy fare. The biggest blow was the re-composed boss battle themes. (I say themes plural, since the new theme has varying arrangements per battle.)  It's frustrating because it sounds like Kirkhope uses the barest hint of the original theme, but embellishes it into something far less interesting and memorable.  Future playthroughs will undoubtedly be played with the original Genesis score turned on.

Amazingu Feb 2, 2014 (edited Feb 2, 2014)

Just played through this yesterday and I hated it. It started out okay-ish, but it just kept becoming worse and worse as I approached the end.
Frustrating controls, annoying level design and a cheap final boss (with a constantly repeating cutscene before it, YAY).

I think the only stage I actually enjoyed was the Toyland stage; everything else just infuriated me.
And the new soundtrack is completely forgettable too.

DuckTales Remastered was infinitely better.

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