Review by Fangore
"Simply the greatest game ever created!!!"
Let me start off by saying that this is the greatest game ever to grace any video game system ever. The Castlevania series is one of the longest running, and each game seems to have improved over its predecessor (except for SNES Dracula X, and the N64 Castlevanias). Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was a 2D game released in the new age of 3D, however this game conquered all in terms of sheer enjoyment. Now to the specifics...
Amazing!!! The lighting and shadows used are remarkable! The backgrounds are brilliant with a lot of multi-parallax scrolling and fogging effects. Even though the graphics are 2D there are some spectacular 3D effects. The colors used represent the dark mood well. The monsters are very unique and creative, and the bosses are incredibly animated. The graphics entrap you in the horrific world that is Castlevania. Finally, there is no holding back, the blood is there, the satanic imagery is present as well and is very convincing, and some of the monsters are nude as they should be, nothing is censored.
The best video game soundtrack, bottom line. The music consists of some very haunting orchestral pieces to some hard rock/metal pieces to even some jazzy pieces and some pieces combine several of these elements together. Every track fits the mood of the area where it is played, and many of the tracks are very memorable and inspiring. I'm not kidding about the music, it's better than most of the music they play on the radio. The sound effects are very nice, the growls and screeches of the monsters will send chills down your spine. The sound of Alucard swinging his sword, as well as his groans of pain as he gets hit are very realistic sounding. Unlike in most video games the voice acting is actually very good and enhances the game rather that detract from it.
Great story which explains a lot about Dracula and how he came to be, as well as Alucard. No doubt the best story for a Castlevania game ever. There is romance, deception, and excellent plot twists.
The graphics, music, and story are perfect however the gameplay is even beyond that. The controls are very tight and responsive. The amount of items you can get are mind-boggling I've played the game for many hours and still haven't found all of them. Unlike the previous Castlevanias this game is completely non-linear, very similar to Super Metroid, in that you can go anywhere but some areas require you to have a special item or power. Also instead of being a boring Belmont you are now Alucard who can equip himself with many different weapons, such as spears, swords, nunchucks, maces, etc. and you can morph into bat, wolf, or mist. In addition to this you can get special powers for each thing you can morph into. You also get spells which can be done using street fighter style motions. Certain weapons have their own special techniques. Shields have their own spells! This game has some rpg elements thrown in, you gain experience and level up which increases your HP and MP. The money you get from killing monsters can now finally be used for buying things from a shop. You equip things in a special inventory screen, you can equip something for each hand, head, body. You get familiars which accompany you and can level up to gain more abilities. The game is huge, and every moment in the game is better than the one before it.
The many items and multiple endings as well as simply how fun the game is will keep you playing again and again.
If you haven't already BUY THIS GAME NOW!!! Perfection doesn't come along often.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/17/00, Updated 06/17/00
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