Review by cougarman21

"The Return of Dracula... AGAIN!!!"

Three things come to mind when I hear the word Castlevania: legacy, torture, and class. The Catlevania series has been seen on over 15 different consoles and now has over 25 games in the series. The series is also known for its, almost, cruel difficulty. So much so that controllers have been broken, friendships have ended, and – believe it or not – nirvana can be found if you do manage to beat one of these titles without cheating. Castlevania also holds true to its 2 dimensional roots; the series is still just as linear as it used to be and that… is a good thing. This brings us to the newest title for the PSP, Castlevania Dracula X.

Story: 2/10
This iteration of Castlevania starts off on the same foot as every other one in the series. Dracula revives and he is ready to start some trouble in Transylvania. It is up to the surviving members of the Belmont blood line to hunt him down and vanquish him to his final resting place. Richter Belmont is the man of the hour because he holds the legendary Vampire Killer, a whip that can upgrade to your heart's desire. The only reason I am scoring the story so low is because it has been done… over 20 times. If you are new to the franchise then by all means disregard the low score. It is great to take Dracula to Hell and back the first ten or so times.

Graphics: 9/10
The graphics are superb for a handheld console. This is actually a remake of a title that never saw a US release title Rondo of Blood. The game is on a 2 dimensional plane… however the graphics are beautifully stylized in 3-D. Honestly, a side-scrolling adventure has never looked this good.

Game Play: 8/10
You start at the beginning of a map and you fight your way to the end of it. Simple enough? Not quite, as I stated earlier the Castlevania series is notorious for being rough. You will be challenged with every move you make and you must keep adapting your gamep lay to keep up with the scale of the very large levels. Case in point… this title alone proves that simplicity can be really hard.

Sound: 9/10
Great voice acting… check! Excellent metal tracks… check! Enough sound effects to avoid redundancy… check! All systems are go on the sound end!

Overall Score: 9/10
If you own a PSP you need to own this game. It will not disappoint you. Aside from the game I reviewed it also has a game that is unlockable through meeting certain demands, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night! SotN alone is worth the $40 price tag on this piece. Throw in a collectable Simon Belmont (the original hero of the series) keychain and also the original version (Rondo of Blood) you have yourself one incredible collector's item and one extremely entertaining game. Go along now, Dracula is on the loose again and someone needs to take care of that!


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/12/07

Game Release: Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles (US, 10/23/07)


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