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Old 10-03-2010, 04:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles

Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles contains three different games, with one being a remake of the other.
There is the main game an "enhanced" [messed up] remake of Rondo of Blood, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, and the reason most people bought this game: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

Now I'm not going to completely throw out the unlockable games in the score, but the main game is more the concern here.

Story:
3
Had the Castlevania games strayed away from the same story before Symphony of the Night, I'd be looking at something amazing, but it is basically the same story that had been told since the first Castlevania game:
Vampire hunter of the Belmont clan is a total badass and has a superpowerful whip. (Richter)
Female close to badass vampire hunter is kidnapped. (Maria)
Vampire hunter is mad and decides to hunt down Dracula.
Dracula is sealed away, the girl is saved.
Happy ending... but the vampire hunter neglects to plan for the fact that Dracula always comes back to life.

It isn't horrible, it just isn't the greatest story you'll find, even from the Castlevania series.

Gameplay: 5
This game is fun, the same basic gameplay that had been around since the first Castlevania. You jump, and you are committed to your landing point.
The stairs are still retarded, you know having to hold up to land on the stairs and ascend.
You have X number of lives, when you run out you have to restart the level.
Richter has a limited arsenal of his whip and a handful of subweapons. He can use super cool weapon crashes to kill things.

New to this version of Rondo of Blood is the ability to play as Maria.
She is too strong.
Way to strong.
She can double jump, her subweapons are all ridiculously overpowered, and her attacks are much faster and much less rigid than Richter's whip.
This makes certain boss fights less rage-inducing.

Graphics: 3 {only using the remake here}
Damn it, these are ugly.
Stupid 2.5D that looks great on bright and colorful things like Mario, but applied to the dark castle of Dracula this doesn't look good.
The fact that things are rendered in 3D makes the gameplay feel more rigid than it should.
At least Richter looks ten percent more badass than before.

Screens:
( Click to show/hide )


( Click to show/hide )


( Click to show/hide )

( Click to show/hide )

( Click to show/hide )

Sound: 4
Pretty good, some nice remixes of classic Castlevania music, the voice acting where present isn't too bad.

Replay Value: 5
This is where the two additional games come in.
Though the way to unlock Symphony of the Night and Rondo of Blood is kind of stupid (instead of getting them on completion, you have to track down obscure items in certain levels to unlock them, not fun to do)
Just for the main game you can find the hidden maids, but that isn't the appeal here.
You can also play the original, not ugly Rondo of Blood.
You can unlock Symphony of the Night, I'd have gladly paid the full price of the collection for Symphony of the Night alone, as most people would.
Here's the problem with Symphony of the Night:
A) There are a solid thirty or forty hours of gameplay here
B) You will likely neglect the main game from the time you unlock Symphony of the Night
C) They made dumb changes
They changed things in Symphony of the Night.
That is not okay.
They redid most of the voice acting, and some lines have been altered. Even the dialogue between Dracula and Richter has changed, you know this one:
( Click to show/hide )

Richter: "Die monster, you don't belong in this world."
Dracula: "It was not by my hand I was once again given flesh. I was summoned by humans who wish to pay me tribute."
Richter: "Tribute?! You steal men's souls and make them your slaves!"
Dracula: "The same can be said of all religions."
Richter: "Mankind ill-needs a savior such as you."
Dracula: "What is a man?" *throws glass to ground, it breaks with ultra-dramatic sound* "A miserable little pile of secrets! But enough talk... have at you!"

At least they added back things that were removed before.
My being annoyed with the changes is probably my fanboyism, so don't worry about it.

Challenge:
5
You will die, a lot.
Due to the old jump mechanics, and the whole Medusa heads crashing into you at the very last moment thing. That pissed me off. But the challenge is nice.

Overall:
4
Play it just for Symphony of the Night, play it just for Rondo of Blood, play it just for the remake. Just play it, it is worth it. Finally getting to play Rondo of Blood is good, no matter how you look at it.
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles

Nice review, I really liked this game, until I lost the save file and had playthrough it again.

I found the dialogue change interesting but I do miss the old intro:

( Click to show/hide )

Richter: Dracula, Die now, and leave this world! You'll never belong here!
Dracula: Oh but this invited me, you own kind called me forth with praise and tribute.
Richter: Tribute? You're a theif, you steal men's souls, their freedom...
Dracula: Freedom is always sacrificed to faith good hunter, or are you truely here by choice?
Richter: All I'm here for is you. To hell with your heresy! You're nothing but a blight on mankind.
Dracula: Ha! Mankind. A cesspit of hatred and lies. Fight for them then, and die for their sins!
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles

Good Review, however being able to play as Maria in Rondo of Blood is not new. You could do it in the original PC-Engine release. I know because I imported it back in the day along with the Arcade card with the extra memory you needed to play it.

I agree too that once I unlocked Symphony of the Night I left the main game behind. In fact the reason I bought this one was to play Symphony of the Night on the go.
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles

Okay, so the changed dialog isn't as bad as it could have been, but it didn't need fixing. The voice acting was fine and by changing the lines the quality of the recording of the voice track improved, meaning you no longer get the same superhero Richter. I just liked the horrible recording quality and bad voice acting as a whole when it came to Richter and Dracula.


Yeah, the important part for me was Symphony of the Night.
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