Sunday, September 19, 2010

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS1)

For its time, this game may have been the greatest side-scrolling adventure.  It had it all, great soundtrack, great game mechanics, a story that was coherent, difficulty, and let's not forget...length.  This game takes me back.  When I first saw this game, my brother had borrowed it from a friend.  I watched him complete the game completely.  Every item, every enemy entry, and the whole map completed.

What really astounded me at the time was the music.  For a PS1 game, this was good.  Darn good.  I remember that there was one song that always stuck in my mind.  I forgot the area it was but that song was what drove me when I was playing so many other games in my life.  Now that I've had a chance to play and beat this game myself (on PSP), I have to say this game is still good.

The basics: You are Alucard.  You must stop Richter Belmont in Dracula's Castle.  Simply put the story doesn't sound much different that regular Castlevania games.  Dracula is involved somehow, you are in his castle, and things happen.  I won't spoil anything but the game does take twists.  You find out more about Alucard later in the game.  You learn the true intentions of the Belmont.  It's interesting.

Now here we come to the main part, How does this game play?  Great.  In fact, it still plays great.  This is one PS1 game that I can honestly say has aged very well.  The mechanics are solid.  The selection of abilities, weapons, and special things is good.  Some issues occur while trying to find various parts of the castle and I often got lost.  This isn't a bad thing though.  Often when you get lost you find an item or weapon that you really needed.  Backtracking is one thing that hasn't aged well though.  It's an old system to make the player go to a new place, find a new item, and then return to an old place to progress more.  For it's time backtracking wasn't bad.  But now, the system is stale.

I can't believe that this game is as old as it is.  I mean when I played it, I was truly surprised.  I felt bad for not trying to get a copy and playing it all those years ago.  I mean, I still paid for the download off of Playstation Network but I feel I should have paid more.  I wanted to show Konami just how much I enjoyed this by paying more.

See, I can get through this review with no mention of "miserable piles of secrets" or throwing a wine glass.  You can too.

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