Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles PSP Review

Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles is like offering gallons of blood to Lord Dracula then taking it away from him just as he‘s about to have a sip, which is to say it teases you somewhat fiendishly, having you know that there are two unlock able games on the UMD and then making you work hard to obtain them, nasty game.

But we’ll get to that a little later on, if that’s ok with you?

Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles marks the first time that Castlevania: Rondo of Blood has appeared outside of its home territory of Japan, so it’s only natural that – even with the legendary Symphony of Night contained on the disc – it’s the lead game for this release and it’s been given a bit more than a lick of paint too.

The game is a full blown 3D remake, but don’t despair hardcore Castlevania fans, by 3D we really were meant to say 2.5D, we just wanted to scare you a little, that’s all. It features lovely 3D visuals but retains the 2D gameplay that it’s famous for. New artwork by the renowned and talented Ayumi Kojima also has made its way into the game.

Rondo of Blood sees you taking charge of Richter Belmont or, later on Maria (both of which will be familiar to Symphony of the Night players) and is a typical damsel in distress storyline, that sees Richter’s girlfriend, Annette, kidnapped by Dracula. It’s your job to save her and beat up that rather nasty fellow…the end.

Castlevania through and through is Rondo of Blood. Richer has the famous Belmont whip (If you’re wondering, Maria smacks her enemies with what appears to be a dove) and the tunes are pleasing as always, whilst the game itself is one part fighting game and one part platformer, but is much more difficult than say Symphony of The Night, with some boss encounters in particular causing frustration, also the old fashioned presence of lives rather than simple save points does little to help matters.

Speaking of Symphony of The Night as mentioned earlier, it’s also hidden away on the UMD along with the wrinkly original Rondo of Blood, the problem being that the means to get the two games is horrifically obscure, and even if you break gaming law and check a walkthrough, it’s still going to be a tough feat for the less adept of players to achieve. But we suppose it’s well worth it, as both are the definitive versions, boasting better translations and voice-acting. In this writers view Symphony of The Night with its gentler difficulty level and levelling up business is easily the better game than Rondo of Blood.

Because of the difficulty in obtaining the games and the fact that Rondo of blood is not quite great, Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles loses a point or two. A lot of people will not see, perhaps the best that the UMD has to offer, and that’s sad.