Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Note: there is another (Japanese) version on the Sega Saturn, but this is not being reviewed.
- A nice game to sink your teeth into (pun totally intended) if you are an RPGgoer but also are interested in games with platforming elements. Symphony of the Night does a good job incorporating RPG elements with some relatively easy side-scrolling that should be a pleaser for fans of both genres.
- The soundtrack will blow you away! Some parts of it are strange (such as songs that would seem to come out of a cult ‘80s hair band rather than a game about Dracula’s son), but it’s all in good fun. Other songs are appropriately dramatic and have a more classical feel.
- The game also greatly encourages exploration rather than mindless leaping from one side of the screen to the next. New abilities that unlock as you play – such as higher jumps, the ability to turn into a bat or a cloud of mist, and the use of helpful familiars further promotes looking for hidden passages and breakable walls.
- The menus are extremely clunky, which is not a good thing when you’ve got, say, a ball of writhing corpses attacking you. To be able to use a potion, for example, you’ve got to drop your shield (or whatever you had in your one of your hands) to be able to use it. Since this is primarily a platformer, I can understand why they didn’t have a battle menu like in most RPGs, but wouldn’t an “item” button have been awesome?
- If you thought Shining Force III had bad voice acting, then this gives it a run for its money. You might want to wear earplugs during the cutscenes.
- Hundred year old pot roast…which you then eat. Being free of food poisoning is actually one of Alucard’s greatest powers.
Castlevania: SotN OST
RPG Roundup Theme Song: “Video Game Theme,” J. Arthur Keenes Band. Creative Commons Attribution License.