Review: Castlevania: Symphony of The Night (Playstation) (Retro)

Castlevania: Symphony of The Night (Playstation): Member Review

Retro 1,206 view 0 likes 6 comments
Reviewed by darkseekerliu, posted Oct 23, 2013
This was my first castlevania game that I played. I was amazed by how involving, intriguing, exciting the game become as you advance through it. So enjoy my review and if you can, play the game!
Oct 23, 2013
  • Release Date (NA): October 2, 1997
  • Publisher: Konami
  • Genres: Action-adventure, Role-playing
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative
Castlevania: Symphony of The Night was firstly released for the playstation. It is a direct continuation of the game Castlevania: Rondo of Blood for the old PC-Engine. Castlevania series premiered on the second generation of consoles on NES (Nintendo Entertaiment System) and it was considered a classic saga over the video game history. On this series is told the history of the struggle of mankind against the dark forces led by Dracula.
darkseekerliu
Introduction:

Castlevania series premiered on the second generation of consoles on NES (Nintendo Entertaiment System) and it was considered a classic saga over the video game history. On this series is told the history of the struggle of mankind against the dark forces led by Dracula. This battle, mostly led by Belmont Clan happens inside of the cursed count’s castle , that appears everytime manking is in danger. Inside the castle the player fights a legion of monsters until defeat Dracula.

So, in 1997 it was released for the Playstation (PSX) the game “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night”, the very first game published for a fifth generation console. Above all, it was a milestone over the series clastlevania because it introduced a 2D plataformer game with some RPG elements. This version of the game makes success among the players nowadays, and got several others versions for newer consoles such as PSP, with the name of Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles.

Every version of the game has its own particularity. With this review we are going to learn a little bit more about this amazing game and how it helped Konami and the old Psx to put his mark on game’s history.

symphony 1.jpg
psx logo.jpg

Game Plot

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a direct continuation of the game Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, released only for Japanese PC-Engine (recently it was also released for the PSP). In Rondo of Blood, it was introduced the battle between Richter Belmont against the Dark Lord (Dracula), whose had kidnapped some people in the village, and among theses people was Richter’s girlfriend, Annet Renard, and his sister in law, Maria. Richeter in possession of the Vampire Killer whip, invades into the castle to defeat priest Shaft, who was the responsible for the reincarnation of Dracula, and Dracula himself in a battle that would define the mankind. After the battle, Richter defeats his enemies and rescue those who were kidnapped. This a very rare game and few fans can enjoy this adventure. The game Castlevania: Dracula X for SNES is only and adaptation of “Rondo of Blood”, being so a different game.

But, four years after the battle, Richter Belmont simply disappears and the village is again, threatened by monsters. To make the situation even worst, Dracula comes back to life and drive horror to Transilvania residents.

So, with all this mess and unbalance in the batlle between good and evil, Alucard, son of Dracula with an human shows up. He had already helped Trevor Belmont defeat his father in past (this adventure was on the game “Castlevania: Dracula’s Curse” for NES). So, Alucard awakes from his self inducted sleep and decides to terminate his father once and for all. At the same time Maria Renard makes her mind to go inside the castle to investigate Richter’s disappearance giving start to Symphony of the Night...

[​IMG]
From left to right: Alucard, Richter Belmont, Maria Renard and Dracula


New possibilities

Simphony of the Night was a water divisor by introducing several new elements to the gameplay. One change that can be featured is the system of exploration of the vast castle, that stops being linear (the old unilateral movement) and becomes “free exploration”, where the player advances through the castle, divided by areas, according the new abilities obtained (like Super Metroid on SNES).
[​IMG]
Symphony of the Night, the new way of world exploration


Some scenes are replete of enemies that remember the original concept of Castlevania. Another important change was regarding the character evolution system, that gained RPG elements. The character now passes by evolution of levels, wear equipments and relics that add new abilities to Alucard. Theses new changes made so much success that remains until today in new games of the series.

[​IMG]
Several enemies at the same time

It was also included different weapons like the “Vampire Killer” whip, the only weapon in possession of the humans capable of defeat Dracula. As the the whip had vanished with Richter, Alucard used weapon such as: swords, knives, combat gloves and so on… Some of them were acquired after fighting an enemy and defeat them, and other were found along the castle.Another innovation was the magic system. Alucard, as Dracula’s son, could also spell magic. Theses spells, however, were not revealed for the player, on the contrary, the player should figure them out by themselves. Once the magic was done it become part of a list where the command could be consulted. Some spells are “Hell Fire”, “Soul Steal”, “Dark Metamorphosis”, “Soul of Wolf” and “Soul of Bat”.

[​IMG]
Spell - "Soul of Wolf"

Differences among the versions

The game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was released for the Playstation, Saturn, XBox360 and as unlockable for PSP inside the game Castlevania Dracula X Chronicles. Check out some differences:

For the Playstation – Differences between american an japanese versions: In the american version two familiars have been removed (Nose Devil and Sprite). As they were removed it was include a “Sound Test” where the player could listen the game’s soundtrack.
Playstation x Sega Saturn: The biggest difference is: Maria Renard is playable in the Sega Saturn Version. In the beginning of the game, the player can choose among Maria, Alucard and Ricther Belmont. New weapons were included for Alucard, the sprites for Richter were redesigned and some songs are remixed from Castlevania series while playing with Maria or Richter. But, the Playstation version is faster than Sega Saturn’s at loading screens. The fog effects in the Paystation are better what made the game look much more beautiful in Playstation.
Playstation x Xbox 360: In 2007 Symphony of the Night Playstation’s version was ported to Xbox 360. This version had the credits music theme changed. Bugs were fixed and a new enemy was included. “Vandal Sword”.
Playstation x PSP: Symphony of The Night can be unlocked in the game Castlevania: The Dracula x Chronicles for PSP. In this version Maria Renard is also a playable character and as a boss. The two familiars from the Playstation japanese version were included being called N-demon e Fairy. A big new in this version was the new adaptation and recording of the character’s speech.

Songs

Symphony of The Night is considered one of the best soundtracks of the video game industry. This new approach, made several game makers to utilize even orchestras to make the soundtrack fof their games such as: God of War and Final Fantasy.

Some songs of Symphony of the Night are: Metamorphosis, Dance of Illusions, Dracula’s Castle, Tower of Mist, Door of Holy Spirits.

Dracula's Castle song


Final Impressions:

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is considered as one of the best game from the franchise and some fans are still looking forward for a new game with Alucard as protagonist. The beautiful and refined songs made the game more attractive and changed how music is put on a game. Symphony of the night will always be an amazing 2D game that includes all the features that Halloween/Vampire fans can enjoy and have fun with.
Verdict
Pros
+ - One of the best Castlevania games
+ - Introduced RPG elements in a 2D platformer game
+ - Great soundtrack that inspired other games
+ - Vast 2D world ensuring hours of fun
+ - Perfect for halloween fans (monsters, vampires, spells)
Cons
- - The game could have used the playstation 3D capabilities, making some parts of it as 2.5D.
- - There could be a more difficult level.
- - The developers could have added more puzzles.
9 Presentation
- Beautiful 2D graphics - Exciting Soundtrack - Direct continuation of Blood of Rondo, that introduced a new way of play Castlevania Series
10 Gameplay
- The gameplay style is no longer unilateral. The player can go of both sides of the screen and make a "free exploration of the entire world". The game is replete of enemies and added RPG elements that inspired other Castlevania games. New weapons and spells have been added and made the game much more interesting.
10 Lasting Appeal
- With a vast world that explores the battle between good and Evil, Castlevania involves the player in the Journey to defeat Dracula - the Dark Lord. With RPG elements, scenes replete of enemies, it is a must play for Castlevania and Halloween fans.
9.8
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is considered as one of the best game from the franchise; - The beautiful and refined songs made the game more attractive and changed how music is put on a game. - Symphony of the night will always be an amazing 2D game that includes all the features that Halloween/Vampire fans can enjoy and have fun with.
Share
6 comments

  • Psionic Roshambo
  • azoreseuropa
  • Another World
  • raulpica
  • stephaniie
  • stephaniie