This is a brief review about a game that I played a few months ago and since I liked it quite a lot and just loved the music, I decided to write a bit about it. Anyway, I was surprised that I never played this game before, sure Castlevania is quite popular but I never paid it much attention until 2 months ago when I picked it up. You could say that it was one of those good games that you never got around to play until someone recomends it to you, like an underated show, movie or a book.
Who said that Church on sunday was boring?
I heard that this game was the best of the franchise so I said to myself sure why not let’s give it a try. For those not familiar with Castlevania.. the game is basically about a person who goes into depths of Dracula’s castle hence the name until you find him and kill him for good. In Symphony of the Night, you play as the son of Dracula named Alucard who doesn’t follow his father footsteps and he sets out on a journey to defeat his evil father and save the world. Meh, I know it doesn’t sound that interesting but the action is indeed quite solid.
This is SPARTA
Since it’s a hack and slash game so there isn’t much strategy to it. Basically, you go around the evil castle, kill monsters, obtain relics, get more vampire abilities, and kick ass until you kill Dracula. The bad part is that the game might get a bitrepetitive after you’re done with the first castle and just find out that you have to go through it again after the castle turns upside down (not kidding) but a lot of things are different this time-harder levels and monsters etc etc.
As I said before, the gameplay itself is very simple however it’s not totally obvious where you should go next. It’s actually quite tricky so there will be moments where you have no idea where to do go next unless you either a) have very good memory or b) have a walkthrough with you.
Voice acting : 6
What I disliked most about the game was the poor voice acting. It was bad. Oh, it was bad. It was english dubbed bad kind of bad. I had to give it a lower score because of it. That’s probably the only major flaw that this great game has.
Not going to talk much about it so much since the game is fairly old. Something that enjoyed very much was the background images and the great details they put on some areas. They are very varied, sometimes creepy or downright majestic for example the Library, the Alchemy Lab, and the Royal Catheral.
This is like 99% explored
Another thing that I liked about the game was the design of the bosses and monsters. While there were some silly design like the flea man and black cat, there were also very dark and creepy bosses such as a monster made from hundreds of dead bodies, Succubus, and Death which added up to the overall fun.
“Hey there, stranger”
The librarian is the guy who sells you stuff for gold however it’s a real pain to get to him unless you got a library card which teleports you near his room. He rips you off btw.
Dog fight. Not the smartest thing
Although the game is fairly easy you might see this a couple of times
Something that I found weird was that I was getting killed more frequently by some regular monsters who did unusually high dmg than regular bosses so everything is not balanced in the game. Oh yeah, don’t forget to save :p
Music rating = 10
Without a doubt what I enjoyed most about the game was the soundtrack. It was just beautiful. The music is very diverse and it goes from rock to instrumental to classical and so on. In additional, each part of the mansion has its own track which is a big plus. In my opinion, the background music took this game to a higher level providing even more entertaining to the player. I dare you to not like it.
Not the books!
These are my favorite tracks from the Castlevania: SOTN OST
05 – Prayer – Dmc-like
06 – Dracula’s Castle – upbeat
07 – Dance of Gold – the song just screams EPIC. This track first plays when you enter the Alchemy Lab for the first time. It has the perfect rhythm. This is my second favorite track of the OST.
08 – Marble Gallery – this tracks plays the first time you enter the Library part of the mansion. Love the sound of the instruments on this one.
10 – Nocture – a song in japanese. Not a bad song.
11 – Wood Carving Partita – If Dance of Gold was epic then this one is epic 2x. This song is just flawless. Masterpiece. Here’s a link of a guy playing it. Makes me wish I didn’t stop taking those piano lessons.
16 – Crystal Teardrops – Underground level.
18 – Rainbow Cemetary – Upbeat.
21 – Dance of Pales – classic.
24 -Wandering Ghosts – very cool track. I dont’ remember exactly when in this game this is played though.
25 – The Tragic Prince – hard rock. when things aren’t looking so well.
28 Death Ballad – I’m not particullary fond of this song. Why? “cause it was the one that played when I was getting my behind kick by one of the last (and possibly the hardest boss in the game) countless of times. One thing is for sure the song sure lives up the name.
31 – Final Toccata – Neat song but a tad long.
Final rating : 8.9
Final thoughts – I had SO much fun playing it that I even replayed the game a couple of times so I could get the other endings. If you have never played any Castlevania games like me before. I highly reccomend you pick this up one if you ever feel like playing a PSX game.