Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles PSP


OK, so I know I'm not exactly johnny-on-the-spot with this one, but I have been picking up inordinate amounts of Castlevania titles recently and playing them with an uncomfortable addiction.

I wanted to get some Castlevania portable love, so I picked up Portrait of Ruin, the GBA Double Pack and Dracula X Chronicles. I played a bunch of Portrait,some of Aria of Sorrow (I think) on the GBA double pack, but really got into Dracula X, a faithful remake of Rondo of Blood, originally a PC Engine game.

I played through and beat Dracula X and unlocked the original Rondo of Blood, a bunch of the BGM tracks, almost all the prime stages and loved the game for all of that. Then I unlocked Symphony of the Night and played it for the very first time, aware of all the crazy love it gets from Castlevania fans and knowing that the hype behind the game was something approaching Ketsui-like proportions. And just like Ketsui, the hype is to be believed.

I zipped through the first castle blind, not knowing any of the secret room locations, but finding a few, not knowing about how to find the good weapons and armor and not even knowing how to turn on the familiars - and I still totally fell in love with the game.

The play controls have some of the classic Castlevania stiffness, but now add a level of fluidity in movement and truely represent some of the best character animations the series has ever seen. The story is also excellent, if only a bit overly dramatic in the voice over department, but nothing approaching Resident Evil levels of cheesyness.

After playing through and beating Richter in Dracula's castle, I expected to get to the inverted castle - and then nothing. I checked the internets and found out about the magic glasses and green orb, familiars and the inverted castle and then I really, really got into the game.

I couldn't put it down for the life of me. I got the Crissigrim, all the good armor, beat Shaft and Dracula with a level 64 character and filled out the map to the full 200.6 percent. And I still can't put it down. I may try and play through it again, as I haven't had this level of addiction to a game since Final Fantasy X-2, which I played through back to back sessions of, killing the Via Infinito and leveling up to 99 on all my characters.

Super fun, and now pretty cheap, this is for all Castlevania fans, or really, for anyone who owns a PSP. If you own a PSP, stop reading, go buy this now.

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