Angry Robot

Castlevania: Back To The Future

The treat comes in the form of a compilation made up of three games. The original “Dracula X: Rondo of Blood”, a 2007 remake of Rondo, and Rondo’s natural sequel, “Symphony of Night”. These titles are hallmarks of the series and a must have for any Castlevania or old-school gaming fan. Here is where the trick comes in. Rondo of Blood was never released outside of Japan, so clearly this game is geared for the Japanese fandom that played the original.

The 2007 remake of Rondo sports re-vamped (no pun intended) music, voice overs and 3D visuals, but the pains of the old game also follow suit. Richter is achingly slow, and the mechanics of jumping and walking up stairs could drive some gamers to feed this to the dogs.

Besides that, Dracula X Chronicles is a fun homage to old-school gaming. Still, my initial thought was: why sideline Symphony of Night as mere unlockable content? This is the game that topped many critics “Greatest Game of All Time” lists and developed a serious cult following both in and outside of Japan.

The game’s music is considered the best in the series (if not gaming music on the whole), and its RPG elements took Castlevania off the well-beaten path and into new and greater territory. The fact that SoN is now available on every current-gen game system (minus the DS) makes me wonder why it didn’t get a fancy new re-do similar to Rondo Of Blood.

While Belmonts abound on the handheld, the future of Castlevania on home consoles is still uncertain. With so many ‘Vania titles marginalized to the handheld systems, many fans wonder if and when Koji Igarashi will make a Castlevania plunge on the PS3, 360 or Wii. Is he discouraged by the lack of 2-D appeal on next-gen systems? or is the niche of Demon Hunter games slowly being taken over by other franchise titles like Devil May Cry? Rumours continue circulating, but let’s hope the future of Castlevania is just as bright…or rather as dark as its past.

3 comments on "Castlevania: Back To The Future"

  1. D says:

    So do you have to play through the entire first game to unlock SoN?

    Also, did they ever try and take the franchise 3D? Cause 2D games are few and far between on the non-portable consoles these days, other than as downloads I guess.

    I played SoN for the first time (not proud of that) when it came to Live Arcade and I loved it. Great game. I’ve been meaning to try the DS games but haven’t got around to it yet.

  2. Nigel says:

    No but I’d say its as hard to find as some of the skulls in Halo 3 because there are different ways to go to finish each stage.

    They made 3 attempts at a 3d Vania one on N64 one on PS2 and the latest one was on the original x-box. All kinda lost steam for reasons usually revolving around either gameplay or presentation. Even Kogi has commented in interviews about not putting his best foot forward when it comes to a 3D castlevania and that he hopes to change that. I still think that 2D or rather 2.5D can be fun but they have to be smart about the presentation.

    SoN is definetly one of my top games of all time as well. I actually have bought an import of the soundtrack because some of levels had REALLY awesome music. The DS ones were pretty cool as well but don’t sweat them too much. SoN kinda broke the Castlevania mold so I find many the games that followed are at their core imitating the concepts that made SoN such a sucsess.

  3. D says:

    I really love playing 2D games, but it seems like a mistake to let an entire franchise remain in 2D at this point. It’s like continuing to make silent movies in the 1930s. I’ve never played the Devil May Cry games, but I probably should at some point. Are they good / similar to Castlevania?

    This talk of the demon hunting genre makes me wonder about Buffy/Angel games. There seem to have been a few Buffy games, but no Angel…?

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