Friday, March 7, 2008

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Review

Today I'm goning to review one of my favourite games of all time: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. A good 11 years ago Konami had released the game on the orignal Playstation, The game later was ported to the Saturn, Xbox Live Arcade, PSN and the Playstation Portable in an rehashed version of Rondo of Blood. The PS and Saturn version can be found in barging bins if your lucky but if you really want to join right now you can either get it on PS3 and Xbox360 for 10 dollars on there Arcade networks.

SOTN has quite a deep story it begins of with a flashback where you kill Count Dracula as Righter Belmont after that you play as Alucard, the son of Dracula (just read Alucard backwards) who tries to stop the recent activities at the Castle of Dracula, Alucard is a pure good guy and tries to stop everything Dracula tries to do. You'll also meet Maria a young girl who tries to find her friend Righter Belmont, she also helps you defeat some bosses. Enough spoiler though let's go on.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a mixture between a 2D action game and a RPG, normal combat is just like in other Castlevania game you slash enemies and when they die you can pick up a Heart, these Heart will let you do a special attack like throwing a knife or an axe, you can only hold one of these items so you need to pick the right one for the right enemy.

The RPG part of the game is quite deep, you gain experience if you kill an enemy, you will also gain levels from that experience, gaining a level means you get more health and do more damage and other stat's also boost up.

You can also find item like weapons and armour pieces you can wear to boost your stats, finding the right balance is essential. You can also find rings and which you can sell to a trader called 'The Master Librarian' you can also buy items, magic spells, tactics and get info on enemies. You can indeed cast spells you need to do a good button combination to fire the spell, these spells aren't that powerful but if they can be if you use them in a right way.

You also find Relics in the game these Relics let you get special abilities like getting hearts out of candals or even transforming in to an animal, you can transform in a Bat, Wolf or in Mist, you will need to have these powers to finish certain puzzles in the game. You can also get Pets with these Relics, these pets can also level up and will aid you in your battle.

To save in the game you have to go to an save point which will reheal you and save the game, there also teleporters in the game so you don't have to walk though the castle a million times.

Castlevania SOTN looks very nice for a 2D game, the graphics are all smooth and there a lot of graphical wonders in the game, the only problem I have with the graphics are the 3D cut scenes you find sometimes, there just damn ugly, the irritating part is that you can't skip, you can't skip any cutscene in the orignal version and that strikes me as odd.
The music is so freaking wonderful in SOTN you almost can't top that in any other game.

The main game is quite long and with an secret plot twist the game even becomes longer and harder, there also minor things you can find that only make the game longer and more enjoyable. There also Achievements in the 360 version so those are quite cool.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of the best games ever made, if you haven't played this game before, your not worthy of calling yourself a gamer.

Score: 10/10

Metacritic PS (360) (PSP)
Xbox Live Arcade Page

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