Friday, January 11, 2002

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight)

Genre: Action RPG
Platform: Playstation 2
1997 Konami. Screenshots and images courtesy of RPGFan.

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Cover Description:
As a descendant of Dracula, you must end the vampire bloodline. Can you rid the world of this unspeakable terror? Uncover the mystery of Castlevania and challenge an adventure as legendary as its name.

Skysenshi's description:
Since the early Nintendo Family Computer days (I think that was Nintendo Entertainment System in America, which came a little later after the release of NFC in Asia), there has been a struggle to vanquish the evil forces invoked by the powerful Dracula. Enter his castle and you will be swept by unimagineable terror. Only those who have the ability to tame the supernatural can survive...

NOTE: This series been one of my favorites of all time, even though we've only played the Castlevania games in Japanese.

One of the best series ever get's even better! >>> by Kenryoku Maxis
Oh, talk about the memories. Castlevania has been a series I have played ever since I owned my original Nintendo Entertainment System. But within this awesome series, one game rises to become to many people the best of them all. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (or Dracula X: Nocturne of the Moonlight as it is called in Japan) is by far one of the best 2D games ever made, putting it right up there with Metroid, Mega Man and Mario. But not to compare them to these series at all, Castlevania is one series that has been around almost as long as Zelda and aside from a small diversion to the 64, has stayed completely 2D for over 15 years.

But as for Symphony of the Night, it is an amazing game. Anyone who has played it can tell you it has great graphics and gameplay. Now, my score of 10 for graphics is based on comparing it to other 2D games from that time. But even without it being 3D, the graphics are very well done and actually give you the feel of a giant Victorian castle with long hallways, huge staircases and a great evil feel. Definitely a castle fit for none other than Dracula himself. But the castle is just the beginning. Filled with many different areas, the castle houses a wide selection of enemies. From skeletons to bats and all that's in between, all the usual enemies from the past Castlevania games are here. Then when you add the new enemies and the many bosses you must face, you can see how 2D can still be used as an accurate and very fun gaming platform.

The battle system is not much different in look from any of the other Castlevania games, but in fact it incorporates a heavy mixture of RPG elements with a unique on screen Hit Point display and various magic abilities. But then there's my favorite part, the items you find along the way. There are a wide variety of swords, shields, suits, armors and even helms one can find, much like any RPG, but used in the trademark free movement Castlevania environment that Castlevania fans have grown to love. The star of the game this time is not a Belmont and does not use the normal whip. Instead he relies on swords and special abilities he finds on the way to aid him in his search for Dracula himself. Then there are the many items you pick up that help you overcome obstacles in Dracula's Castle. There are many of these from items that help you open secret passages to become stronger but by far the coolest one to me was the double jump. How often have you played a game where while you are falling you find you are about to land on an enemy and can't do anything about it? Well, with the double jump, you can simply jump in mid-air to avoid him. What a great idea that looks so cool even when you're not trying to avoid anything. And of course there are the various summoning cards you obtain through out the game to call different helpers to your side like a Fiery, Bat, Ghost and even a floating Sword.

The game, powerful and dark with all its extremely cool powers and great characters is nothing without the music. One of the best parts of the Castlevania series has been its extremely powerful and even at times beautiful music. This game takes it to the next level with much of the games music being Orchestrated and deeply powerful. Adding to this with chorus songs and a few very well done gothic rock tunes, it well overcomes the horrible dub given to it in America. Even with its bad voices, I gave it a 9 because the sound, both in the music and the voices of the characters as you use them are extremely good.

If you have an original Playstation and have not yet played this game, you are missing out on one of the best Playstation games ever made, as well as in my opinion one of the best games made period. I love this game and will play it forever.

COMPLETION TIME: 20-30 hours
RATINGS: Gameplay 10; Battle 9; Story 7; Visuals 10; Characters 9; Sounds 9; Replay Value 9


  1. Best Castlevania evaaaar! hahaha may mai-comment lang grabe crush ko nga yan si Alucard nung nilaro ko yan back in 97 shet naalala ko pa ang mga year/timeline kung kelan ko nilaro, nasunog pa yung store na paborito kong video game rentals hahaha nung time na yan...


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