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First Bite: Castlevania Requiem

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Castlevania Requiem

Castlevania Requiem preview

With the recent release of Castlevania Requiem, Konami has unearthed two classics from the legendary side-scrolling series. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood features a 2D side-scrolling platforming adventure, while Castlevania: Symphony of the Night helped innovate of the Metroidvania genre. While Metroid games started the revolution of exploration in a 2D environment, Symphony of the Night brought the genre to life with its RPG elements.

Rondo of Blood

The elusive Castlevania: Rondo of Blood has only seen a limited release in America. While the original TurboDuo version was never released outside of Japan, it was remade on the PSP in the form of Dracula X Chronicles. In addition, the PSP title included a translated port of the original game. Shortly after, Konami released the title on the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console. Unfortunately, to include the end of the Wii’s VC service, it was no longer downloadable. Castlevania Requiem is the first time Rondo of Blood has been released in nearly a decade in America.

Castlevania

This version of Rondo of Blood is an identical port of the translated version of the TurboDuo version. It has the voice acting featured in the PSP version, while the entire game itself is straight from the TurboDuo version. This comes with all of its pretty, brightly colored visuals, high sound quality, and even the not-so-graceful music loops that occur once a background song ends. With that said, Rondo of Blood is considered a holy grail among the Castlevania fanbase. The ability to unlock alternate paths, play as Maria, and witness cutscenes from a game in the early 90s gave it a majestic feel not seen in other games in the series. It truly feels like a one-of-a-kind game, considered great outside of its novelty and rare release.

Also, fun fact. The art used for this release of Rondo of Blood is from Dracula X Chronicles. Compare the regal designs from Ayami Kojima and then watch the cutscenes from the game. Richter and Maria’s outfits are completely different. You’ll notice the contrast right from the main menu screen.

Symphony of the Night

Castlevania Requiem’s version of Symphony of the Night is also a port of the PSP version from Dracula X Chronicles. This version includes the voice acting featured within the game’s re-dub. “Die monster, you don’t belong in this world,” has been replaced with the updated voice cast. Nostalgic fans who enjoy this piece of history may be miffed to see it removed. However, it otherwise plays like a solid version of the game.

Castlevania

Unfortunately, it comes with its own flaws. Namely, the audio skipping. Just from playing through the Castle Entrance area, I noticed the music and sound would skip at times. Unless Konami can patch this out, it isn’t the¬†optimal version of the game to play. If this is your first time playing Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and this isn’t a major factor for you, however, then this version is fine.

Symphony of the Night is arguably one of the greatest games of all time. Its level of exploration, beautiful soundtrack, variety of abilities, boss battles, and stage design still hold the standard for Metroidvania titles released even today. However, if you own a PlayStation 3, the best version of the game will either be the disc version or the one you can download from the PlayStation Store.

Final Thoughts

For those seeking to return to the Castlevania classics, Requiem features a perfect port of Rondo and a less-than-perfect, but still serviceable, port of Symphony of the Night. If you’re a new fan to Castlevania, this is an ideal place to start. Also, any players who want to know more about Castlevania in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will certainly learn all they need to from Castlevania Requiem.

The game will unfortunately not release for Nintendo Switch anytime soon. However, PlayStation 4 owners have another classic title to download and enjoy. You can purchase it from the PlayStation Store now.

If you’re looking for the perfect port of Symphony of the Night, or you already own Rondo of Blood, you may as well skip this version however. It’s all much of the same. Also, the filters don’t add to any of the game’s quality for visuals. You have filters for CRT and scan-lines, and you cannot play the game in widescreen. But if you’re simply looking for a throwback to Castlevania, I recommend it.

Castlevania

Thanks for reading our Castlevania Requiem preview! Are you new to the series or a series veteran? Let us know in the comments below!

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