A mixed bag of great music and significant complaints.
Reader review by Matthew Boblett
When it was announced that Konami would be making Dracula-X for the PC-Engine, the first thought that went through pretty much everyone's head was, "CD Music? COOL!" The soundtrack is two CDs. The first CD has music from Dracula-X and is performed with high-quality synths; the second has music from the Mega Drive Vampire Killer/Castlevania: Bloodlines (on the MD's sound chip) and a few tracks from the X68000 version of Castlevania.
Amazingly, I much prefer the second disc. While the synths are higher quality on the 'X' recording, they do not produce a better overall sound, due to the fact that the sounds are sampled and have a cold feel. The melody does not always flow as well as it should and does not rise out of the harmony. Most of the disc suffers from a sharp, edgy feel to the sound, with upper pitches achieving prominence. The sound also lacks a feeling of roundness, which is the reason for the edgy feel. Overall, it's murky. The second CD, on the other hand, has a more "rounded" feel to the sound, with good and proper sound separation and good midrange and base, thus achieving a more satisfying overall result. This is not to say that it is better per se, but that it is more pleasing to the ear.
The music on both CDs absolutely rocks, with good orchestrated feels to them. Unfortunately, they suffer from the sound edginess of the first, and the limits of the sound chip of the Mega Drive on the second, producing a mixed bag of great music and great complaints. Still, as a bare-bones recording of the Castlevania music, it ought to appeal to many fans, and it has given me much listening pleasure.