Review by Winterharvest
"This game proves that the Japanese still make the best platform games."
Let's start off by saying that I am a huge Castlevania fan, which might cloud my judgement a little (who am I kidding, it'll cloud my judgement a lot). Although I haven't really started playing CV games since a year or two (and no, I didn't start with the n64 games, in fact, I never even played them) I am am madly in love with the series and I'm still desperately searching for a copy of SOTN (I'm from Holland so it's not so easy to find). I've played CV 1, CV2, CV3, SCV4, Dracula X (for the snes), CA 1 to 3, COTM and obviously, CC, (and even finished some of those :)) so I think I've got a right to speak my mind about Castlevania Chronicles.
You all know the background information about the game (it's a port from a Sharp X6800 game with some extras) so I'll start right off by reviewing various aspects of the game.
Graphics (1 out of 2)
The graphics aren't really up to standard compared to other psx games, but of course you can't expect something like that from a 9 year old game. I guess that for a X6800 game the graphics were pretty good, and it even features some cool special effects (like the tree being hit by lightning in the beginning and the collapsing bridge).
To be short, are the graphics old? Yes. Are they ugly? No, most certainly not.
Sound (2 out of 2)
One of the best aspects of any Castlevania game is the music. CC is no exception. The new tracks composed for the arrange mode are a bit to hyped up for my taste, but with a certain cheat you can select 3 other soundtracks, resulting in a total of 4 different soundtracks (the Roland LA being my favorite).
The Arrange mode also features some new sound effects, which are a lot better than the old ones.
In short, the sound never irritates or grows boring, which can't be said for all games.
Gameplay (3 out of 4)
This is the section where Konami really shines. The quality of the gameplay of CC can be compared to games like Ganbare Goemon 1 & 2, and is surpassed in the CV series only by SCV4. The controllable jumps make avoiding enemies a lot easier, and the fact that you can whip downwards while in the air comes in really handy, especially when you don't have the time to stand still and whip in front of you. I subtracted one point for the fact that you can't whip above you, which can be a real pain sometimes, but the fact that the jumps are smooth as silk kinda make up for this.
The gameplay get's the highest praise it can get from me: if you die, it's not because the gameplay is sloppy, it's because you yourself screwed up.
Replay value (1 out of 2)
Once you're through it, you're through it, and although there are some extras and secrets which might wanna make you come back, the game simply is what it is, a linear platform game. Luckily, the gameplay is so smoot (and you can notice you get better at it over time) that you might just pop it into your psx now and then to shake off the frustrations caused by sloppy 3d-platformers like Batman: Vengeance and Jak and Daxter.
1+2+3+1 make 7 out of 10, but if you're a fan of the series, you may add 2 points :)
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 02/08/02, Updated 02/08/02
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