You all have heard me say this many times on our pod casts, but here I go again. Castlevania Symphony of the Night is the best game ever Period! You can find this game in the top five on most people’s best game ever made, but I think it deserves to be on top. Yes I love the Metal Gear franchise to death, but I still think that this game is better. To my wondrous delight, Microsoft decides to release a HD version of this already stellar game on the Xbox 360!
So if you were living in a cave in 1997, when this game was released you might not know what it is all about. Allow me to help enlighten you. Symphony of the Night puts you in control of Alucard, who is the half-human half vampire son of Count Dracula. (Notice that Alucard is actually Dracula spelled backwards) This is the same Alucard who helped Trevor Belmont defeat his evil father in Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse. You see the Belmont Clan has been fighting Dracula for centuries, how is this possible you ask? Allow me to explain, every hundred years, Dracula is reincarnated.
His castle reappears along with him. Now the Belmont’s train every generation of there men on how to combat the Dark Lord. In Symphony of the Night however, you don’t play as a Belmont. At the end of Castlevania 3, Alucard put himself in what he thought was going to be an eternal slumber. Alas, he was awakened by his father’s return. So he set out to kill Count Dracula once and for all.
Visuals & Sound
Symphony of the Night was already awesome on the Playstation. Further enhanced with HD visuals, better sound effects, and less pixilation, this game rocks! You are treated to beautiful 32 bit side-scrolling at its absolute best. You see, in a Castlevania game, the actually castle is not just the backdrop. It is as much a part of the story as the main character is. As you progress from room to room, you will just be in awe, not only of the sheer size of this castle but the beauty of everything. Not only will the visuals move you, but the music is even better.
As you move about the castle, you are treated from all types of music. From sweeping grand orchestras, to ominous dark and brooding beats. The music really fits the mood of the game. Not only is the music great but this was one of the few PS One games that actually had voice over. Some of them are a bit over-dramatic but for the most part, they are all really good.
Controls & Gameplay
Symphony of the Night was made almost exactly like Super Metroid, and that ain’t a bad thing at all. From the controls, down to how you explore this game was patterned after Samus’s famous adventure. Gameplay is classic side scrolling goodness. Just like in Metroid you get different abilities that will be mandatory for fully exploring Dracula’s castle. Such as transformations into a wolf, mist, and a bat. With the Xbox 360 controller, the controls for this game really are spot on. With the button placements the same on this and the 360’s bumpers you can jump right in to this game and not miss a beat.
Most of the Achievements in this are pretty easy to get. The first one that you can even attempt is the “Bloodlines” achievement, which you will receive for taking no damage in the battle with Dracula. Another really easy one is “Rampage” Which you get for killing 10 consecutive enemies without taking damage. Not all of these are that easy though. The hardest one to unlock will more than likely be the “Seeker” achievement, which challenges you to explore all 200.6% of the castle. Now when I played it on PS One I only got up to maybe 178% explored.
There is also an achievement called “Belmont’s Revenge” which you can get if you play through the entire game as Richter. So as you can see, if you like building up your gamer score this game will help you out with that, and it has a reason to play though it again, again. As if it being the greatest game ever wasn’t enough.
There is really none to speak of, other than the Leader boards. Which track how fast you can complete the game, and how quickly you can take down bosses. I mean did you really expect them to make this into a multiplayer game?
If I’ve said it once, I have said it a thousand times; this is the greatest game ever. There is really nothing wrong with this game whatsoever. If you enjoy old school side scrolling, or you just want a really good adventure game to play on your 360. Look no further than Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, you won’t be disappointed at all!