Castlevania Requiem Review31/10/2018
I want to come out of the gates saying that Konami’s Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of the all-time greatest video games ever made PERIOD. Since playing it in 1997 as a young teenager, I’ve purchased the game more times than I care to admit. The game is perfect in every single way! The music of the game stands on the top of Mt Olympus of Gaming Soundtracks. The game is a solid 10/10 any day of the week. Which of course makes this review of the game both easy, and very difficult. As a massive fan of Symphony of the Night and never playing Rondo of Blood, it was interesting to dive into a territory I know so very well, but also into something very much different. In this review, I hope readers can understand how Castlevania: Requiem shapes up to the originals. What changes were made as well as things that perhaps should have been changed?
“Die Monster!!” is what you will be yelling as you work your way through legions of monsters in Rondo of Blood. The game was originally released on PC on October 29, 1993. It would be re-made for the Super Nintendo in 1995 under the name Castlevania: Dracula X. Finally, it would be released in the Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, a bundle for the PSP with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
It was not by my hand that I would get through Rondo of Blood easily. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that it was one of the more difficult games I’ve played in a long time. The game does not bring the 2.5D aesthetics from the Dracula X Chronicles. However, it does come with the “new” script and dialogue, which sounded great along with the pretty good soundtrack. The game features 9 levels with multiple routes to take to get to the end in a comfortable linear line. You play as Richter Belmont, Vampire Hunter, as you work your way through each of the very difficult levels to save your love, Annette. I do feel that Konami would’ve done the fans a great service by adding a save-state feature or difficulty option to help alleviate how ruthless the game can be. While newcomers to the old style games have great difficulty with the game, Fans of the classics look at it as the ultimate tribute.
Tribute? You might be asking yourself why I would even call it that. It’s simple though. Rondo of Blood is the final “Classic” Castlevania game to come out. The difficulty of the game will most definitely be too hard for many people and they will put down the controller in exchange for the real reason most people will purchase Castlevania: Requiem.
Perhaps the same could be said of all fans that after each time you play Symphony of the Night, you think about how you want to play it the next time. Released on March 20th, 1997, Symphony of the Night was originally considered unsuccessful, but through word of mouth, the game would spread and would gain its well-deserved cult classic status, thus being considered one of the greatest video games ever made. You play as Alucard, Dracula’s son, 4 years after the events of Rondo of Blood. Dracula’s castle has appeared once again and it is time to put an end to Dracula once and for all! With Castlevania: Requiem, we have the option to play as all the different characters from the PlayStation 1 version as well as Maria. The game looks just as breathtaking now as it did 21 years ago. Have I mentioned how much I love the music in the game?? Every cell phone and MP3 player I’ve ever owned has had the soundtrack on it! The game has everything that the fans could ever ask for except for one very important part, the script.
The words are as empty as the feeling that was put into voice acting them. The voice acting and re-worked script from Dracula X Chronicles made their way to the Requiem release. For the most part, the voice acting is “Fine” but there is a specific part in the game that will leave old fans left with confusion. WHY IN GODS NAME WOULD YOU CHANGE ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC MOMENTS IN GAMING HISTORY?!?!?!? For the life of me though, I can’t remember how that bit of dialogue goes.
What is a man to do when confronted with how Konami treated Castlevania: Requiem? There are certainly bits that I am not a fan of. The game comes off as a cheap re-release of Dracula X Chronicles. The main menu looks like it was designed by my 8-year-old son. The games are great, but that is to the credit of the people that worked on the game over 20 years ago. I feel that Konami should have done something special for fans to want to return to Dracula’s Castle outside of trophies, which by the way are in one combined list. Trophy hunters will not be a fan of that decision. To put it bluntly, this feels like it was lazily done to capitalize on the success of the Netflix show and nostalgia. If you are a fan that no other means of playing the games, this is worth it. If you have never played the games, then this is an easy recommend! However, if you don’t care about trophies and you have the games on other platforms, I would give this a pass.