Review by Megaman1981

"Simon Belmont has pink hair?"

A funny thing usually happens with Japanese made games. They almost never get ported to the U.S. However, a successful Castlevania game that was made in Japan was ported to the U.S. in 2001. It was basically a remake of the original Castlevania game. The game was sold in a very small quantity, and a low price. Castlevania Chronicles is a nice trip down memory lane, although it's a bit on the short side.

The big difference with this Castlevania game is that it isn't like Symphony of the Night. There are no RPG elements to the game, nor are there any adventuring levels like in the N64 Castlevania games. Chronicles goes back to when Castlevania was simple; simply use a whip to attack your enemies. You can also use sub weapons like a knife, axe, holy water, and cross. The basic idea is to get from point A to point B, beat the boss, and move on. I must say that controlling Simon is a bit rough at times, and that the game is very difficult. Very, very difficult. I must point out that while this is a remake, half of the game is brand new.

Since this game is basically a remake of the original Castlevania, the story is the same. Your name is Simon Belmont, and you have come to Dracula's castle in order to defeat him, and rid the world of his curse.

The graphics look fantastic. Each environment has awesome detail, and each character looks great. Simon looks fine in original mode, but in arranged mode he has pink hair? Not sure what that is all about. The Castlevania series has always had great music as well. Obviously since this is a remake of the original Castlevania, some familiar tunes are in the game such as, Vampire Killer, Bloody Tears, and Wicked Child. However, all of these tunes have been given a sort of heavy metal twist to them. I like it, as it is a nice change from the usual kind of Castlevania music we get.

Replay value depends on how you look at it. First of all, this game is short. However, there are two versions included; original and arranged mode. Arranged mode is basically an easier Japanese version. Sadly, this version is the best way to play this game. Original mode is way too hard. In fact, most gamers including myself can only get to the fourth level and that's it. Anyway, arranged mode is pretty cool, as there is a speed rush mode for each stage, a sound test, and an IGA interview. However, the interview is in Japanese with English subtitles on the bottom of the screen, and the video quality isn't that great either.

The ultimate question is can you find this game. Sadly, probably not. This game was $20 in 2001, and there was only 30,000 copies made. I never owned any Playstation games until I got my PS2 last year. I had heard about this game, and decided to find it. I lucked out and found one at EB games. I paid $35 for it, and it was used. Still, I don't regret my decision. Castlevania Chronicles is a great game, and quite a rare game at that.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/07/05, Updated 01/02/07

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