Today we are going to look at a winner of the Castlevania poll from a long time ago. My wife and I have been trying to play all the poll winners and finally started The Symphony of the Night on the PS4. This game is in the Castlevania Requiem together with the game Rondo of Blood. Even though Symphony of the Night is an old game, we want to see if this game holds up after this many years. Can you still have fun with an old game that is quite often referred to, the top of Castlevania games?
What did I think before playing Castlevania Symphony of the Night!
I have never played Symphony of the Night, but I did have owned the game and always intended to, but somehow I never started Symphony of the Night, most likely due to our huge backlog! This time we finally got around to playing this game! I knew this game had Alucard as the main character, but that is about it. Excited for another/old 2D Castlevania adventure, we went to the PS4 page for more information!
The PlayStation Page
This page does not offer quite as much information as I had hoped, but looking on other sources for information, I found out that this game actually plays a lot like Aria of Sorrow. This game called Aria of Sorrow is my favorite Castlevania, I was stoked, but my wife did not know if she would like this game. I assured her it is exactly what she wants in a game, and thus we installed the game. We were also interested in the extra mode where you play as Richter!
I rate Castlevania Symphony of the Night with a 9.5 before playing.
I was excited to start playing this game as I have been interested in this game a long time. Even though this game won the sixteenth poll of the week, I have not yet gotten around to the game, but finally it has arrived!
The story starts where Rondo of Blood ends, Richter Belmont is about to face Dracula and once again seal Dracula away. Richter Belmont succeeds with the help of Maria, and five years pass. Even though Dracula is sealed away, his castle reappears way before its time. Richter Belmont disappears, the assumption is that he once again went to face Dracula in his new old/castle. However, Alucard, the bastard son of Dracula, has his own agenda by sealing away Dracula. Alucard soon learns that Richter Belmont is indeed missing and since the castle is still here, Dracula is still alive. Alucard needs to save Richter Belmont and defeat Dracula!
I rate the story of Symphony of the Night with an 8.5.
You actually take control of Richter Belmont before you take control of Alucard after defeating Dracula with Richter Belmont. A fun factoid, depending on how well you deal with Dracula when using Richter, your stats of Alucard that you begin with will change!
Symphony of the Night has role-playing elements like leveling up, but this game is mostly a Metroidvania where you will need to backtrack a lot. In the beginning, not many areas or rooms of the castle will be available in the beginning. It is your goal to collect more relics and defeat bosses that stand in your way!
As you level up, your strength will grow. Finding new equipment will also strengthen Alucard. Your strongest equipment was taken by Death and the only way to follow him is by saving Richter Belmont, as saving him will unlock access to the true ending in the reversed castle.
If you need new items, you can also visit the shop run by the librarian. He only takes gems for gold, no other items. If you have enough gold, you might get some pretty good equipment early on! This would mean that you can take on better enemies to farm more experience points, Even though this is not a pure role-playing game, leveling up will help you immensely in the battles to come!
While traversing the castle you will find relics, these can show the damage that you do to enemies or even give you new abilities! Three of the major relics that you need to collect will give you the power to transform into new forms!
I rate the gameplay with a 10
Imagine the game came out in 1997 for the first time, the gameplay is amazing! There are even two castles to explore!
Sound and Graphics
We have to keep in mind that the graphics are from a time long gone, as this is not a remake but just a port those graphics will stand but are they good for now? Yes they are great, thinking on how someone could achieve this in the year 1997 is amazing. I can happily say that we have encountered zero graphical glitches or bugs, they are out there of course, but you have to seek them out. You don’t just wander in these glitches.
The soundtracks are glorious, I can only think of a few games with better soundtracks. We have to keep in mind off course that these soundtracks were made a long time ago, back when quality before release was a necessity. Nowadays, we have a lot of early access games and unfinished games. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is often used in the term of, we will add better sound later. I liked the idea of buying a completely tested game, which is not something you can do these days. Unfortantly day 1 patches are here to stay.
I rate the sound and graphics of Symphony of the Night with a 10.
The quality of this game is amazing! My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the enemy variety and scenes. The reverse castle is a bit far fetched but in the year 1997 that was revolutionary as for some sprites returning from Rondo of blood. It is a sequel with the same castle, story wise it can be explained and Castlevania is known for re-using sprites. Yes, those annoying flying Medusa Heads are basically in all the Castlevania games!
What did I think after playing Symphony of the Night?
My wife was first unsure if she would like this game but after the intro, my wife was already sold. We both enjoyed grinding some enemies for loot, we even farmed two of the best weapons in the reverse castle and slaughtered Dracula! These two weapons dropped by Smooch called the Crissaegram are so overpowered you can run through the game with blindfolds on!
There are also Easter eggs and joke items, one of these joke items also gives you a lot of luck to find new items! This set is called the Alucart set and even changes your name to Alucart. This set is pretty weak and makes sure that you take hefty hits from enemies in the castle. Be careful when wearing this joke item set, off course we went to Tracula (get it?) as Alucart to defeat him! I do not have to say that it was quite challenging!
I rate Symphony of the Night with a 9.3 after playing.
I have regrets that I waited so long to play this game, but we are definitely coming back to play this game even more! Even though we managed to 200.4% completion. I believe we are missing 0.02%.
What are my personal thoughts about Symphony of the Night
Who knows, maybe this game will challenge my Favorite Castlevania game! Nonetheless, I enjoy all the Castlevania games, except some new ones. I have nothing against 3D Castlevanias but the mechanics we just not good in the newer ones. When are we getting a new Castlevania in 2D or a 3D Castlevania with Metroidvania elements in it? I believe it has been awhile and since Metroid is coming back who knows, maybe Castlevania will make a comeback as well!
My personal rating of Castlevania Symphony of the Night is a 9.7.
My wife and I had an amazing time exploring the castle! This time I could not spoil as to where to go next, my wife dislikes when I do that unless she is stuck!
If you like 2D games where you need to backtrack, Symphony of the Night is the game that you are looking for!
Let me know what you think of Symphony of the Night in the comments!
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