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Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Review By: Jesse Mason
Developer:   Konami
Publisher:   Konami
# of Players:   1
Genre:   Platform
ESRB:   Teen

I bashed that old series Mega Man's latest incarnation, but now I get to praise Konami for taking the Castlevania series and providing an awesome game to use. Castlevania has managed to be different enough with each new game, and this game is no exception.

Think of Metroid. Add Castlevania 2. Put in the Playstation spice. And stir in Konami's unique style of producing games and you get Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Instead of the side scrolling levels of most of the past Castlevania games, we are treated to a 2D side scrolling (yes!) game in the vein of Metroid. It also has RPG style elements like Experience Points, item shops, and interaction between characters.

The game starts off in a flashback of the previous Castlevania for the Japanese PC Engine (we got a terrible Super NES version of this game). After you destroy Dracula there, it moves to 5 years later. The castle that is supposed to only appear every 100 years has suddenly reappeared. You take the role of Alucard (Dracula's son) just as he enters the castle. And your adventure begins.

Throughout the castle, you are treated to several enemies, over 150 in all. Each have their own unique style of trying to kill you. Some can be huge, as big as some of the bosses even. The bosses are classic Castlevania style of being smart, strong, and intimidating. The castle is very big itself with several sections, including an Alchemy Lab, a chapel, a clock town, a Library, and several other sections. Each has its own graphic style and music.

The graphics are pretty. Not since Rayman have 2D graphics looked this good. If there was ever any need to prove that 3D graphics are nice and all but 2D graphics are awesome, this is it. Whoever did the music for this game should get a raise. A big fat huge raise. This music is on the level of Final Fantasy 7 with tracks that range from classical tunes (the library) to synthetic guitar music (the clock tower). It all blends together perfectly. I just wish we Americans were as worthy as the Japanese to get a free music CD.

I'm glad Sony is now changing its no 2D policy. Otherwise, we'd miss out on this simply awesome game.

Overall: 9.3
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