Review by Luce_Imperius

"A quick word on a classic"

Note that Castlevania Chronicles is a remake that includes its original game, colloquially known as Castlevania X68000. Of note, Chronicles is easier, has revamped graphics, has tighter controls, and tecnho-style music. The first and third are of special note because they make it a completely different game; do not substitute this review of Chronicles for X68000. On to the Review:

Gameplay: You control Simon Belmont (yet again, if you've payed other titles) on a quest to destroy Count Dracula. During this quest you will die, die some more, and die again as you figure out enemy and pot roast (health restoration) locations. The game starts out fairly easy and crawls up in difficulty, but spikes near the end, being almost unfair. That's not to say the game is unplayable, but the difficulty comes due to the following: crazy jumps, usually in succession; enemy regeneration (only in some spots, but it's never supposed to happen.); lack of pot roasts; long levels; and the inevitable "holy crap look at all those enemies" situations. If you stick with it, you can beat it, but you will probably hurt one of the following in the process: yourself; game controller; game system; TV; pet; friend; significant other; etc... Sadly I am not kidding when I make this list. There are infuriating parts. For those of you digressing there are Easy, Normal , and Hard Modes.

Graphics: Surprisingly, the colors are bright and bold, but somehow the gothic feel is still in place. Locations range from caves and forests as you venture to the castle to the castle itself. Nothing looks bad per se, but the graphics aren't anything spectacular. There are sights to see in the background and some nice detailing, but if you're looking for a visual marvel, look elsewhere. Still, nothing to sneeze at.

Replayability: For the main game, unless you want more punishment on a harder mode, there isn't any. There is however Time Attack. Upon defeating the Count, you can go to your file and select Time Attack. You will have one life and a permanent Triple Shot to traverse one of the eight levels, hopefully in record time. This in itself can be mildly amusing, but without competition, or a severe need to one-up something, this well will run dry after a few bouts.

Difficulty: I've mentioned a lot about the difficulty already. Practice makes perfect, but if you can't see yourself getting passed a tough spot, save yourself the trouble. Easy Mode is completely doable though, so unless you truly suck at 2-D side scrollers, it may be worth a look.

Opinion: Hmmm, this is a tough one. As a CastleManiac I enjoyed it, but as a game it is flawed. The tough spots combined with the longer end levels make for an experience you are only fondly remembering if you beat it, and sometimes that's not enough satisfaction for the trouble it took. Since it can be downloaded for cheap on the Playstation Network (if you have access of course), it's not exactly breaking the bank to try. Just don't expect too much. You may even be pleasantly surprised. Oh, and I like the music. The music is very cheesy but cool.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 01/11/12

Game Release: Castlevania Chronicles (US, 12/18/08)

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