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Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

aka: Akumajo Dracula X: Gekka no Yasoukyoku, CV: SotN, Castlevania: SotN

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Critic Reviews 91% add missing review

Retro Spirit Games ( ) (100%)

Not only the greatest Castlevania game (and I will hear no arguments to the contrary), but one of the best games ever made. It managed to take the aging Castlevania template and ditch the linear sidescrolling stages in favour of the, now extremely well know, Metroidvania style large world map. It is testament to its greatness that no other Castlevania game after this seminal Playstation iteration has been able to best it.

Nov 2nd, 2013 · PlayStation · read review

GamePro (US) (5 out of 5) (100%)

Castlevania makes a superb debut on the PlayStation, with all the elements that made the series a classic it is today and more! A mandatory addition to any Castlevania fan's game library, this Symphony deserves an encore.

May 4th, 2005 · PlayStation · read review

GamesAreFun.com (GAF) (10 out of 10) (100%)

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a triumph. It’s so good, you may actually never be able to enjoy another videogame as much after playing it. From style to presentation to gameplay, the creators have covered everything with remarkable precision and tweaked it to perfection. Symphony of the Night isn’t difficult, but the length is perfect for an adventure/RPG and there’s even some extra stuff to enjoy after finishing for the first time. This game is proof of what developers, when they set their sights on doing something then carry it our properly, are capable of, and should hearten even the most jaded people. No collection is complete without it.

May 20th, 2003 · PlayStation · read review

Meristation (10 out of 10) (100%)

La saga Castlevania ha sabido redefinirse y mirar más allá de su enfoque de acción y plataformas lineal. Mientras que permanece fiel a las bases originales, esta nueva visión de RPG ha conseguido resucitar a la serie y elevarla a nuevos registros.

Jul 27th, 1997 · PlayStation · read review

HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) (10 out of 10) (100%)

Should you have missed it the first time there are now several ways to experience the performance – a Saturn port, downloaded onto an Xbox 360, even on the go with your PSP – but rest assured that regardless of the form you're in for a timeless brush with greatness. It may be another hundred years before Dracula makes another appearance of this caliber, but for this symphony the night is very much still young.

Oct 31st, 2010 · PlayStation · read review

Gaming Age (100 out of 100) (100%)

While many will tell you that games just aren't as good as they used to be, the PlayStation incarnation of Castlevania goes a long way in proving that theory wrong. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is simply the best 2D action/platformer to be released, period. It's also the only title that, in my opinion, gives Final Fantasy 7 a run for its money as the best game of 1997, if not of all time. This is the whole reason we started playing video games in the first place.

1997 · PlayStation · read review

RetroGame Man (10 out of 10) (100%)

In summary, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night still lives up to the hype. It has beautiful 2D graphics, a reasonably long and engaging story, and revolutionized the series with two sprawling castles to explore, RPG elements, and allowing you to primarily control Alucard instead of a Belmont. If you complete the game however and get one of the good endings, and then restart a new game with the name RICHTER, you can play through the game as him too! If you have never played this game, it is highly recommend and still enjoyable today. I give this game a final score of 10/10 and induct it into my All-Time Top 10! Get this game and play it!

Apr 5th, 2018 · PlayStation · read review

Computer and Video Games (CVG) ( ) (100%)

One of the best platform games ever made. A truly epic experience, with a wealth of secrets to uncover. The more you play the better it gets.

Nov 1997 · PlayStation · read review

PSM (5 out of 5) (100%)

From the perfectly moody soundtrack and beautiful gothic graphics, to the seemingly endless number of rooms and items, this game is top-notch stuff throughout. Even after you've beaten it, you'll keep coming back until you've found every item, learned every spell, uncovered every secret room, and seen every ending. This game is darn-near perfect, and it just goes to show that you don't necessarily need the latest in whiz-bang 3D graphics to kick some serious butt.

Oct 1997 · PlayStation

Lens of Truth (10 out of 10) (100%)

There are rare times when everything seems to go right for a game. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was indeed one of these times. The addictive map exploration and leveling up system mixed with prefect controls make SotN an undisputed masterpiece. Even its cheesy voice acting somehow fit the game perfectly now. Its’ awesome graphics and fantastic music deliver the final nails in the coffin. It has been released on the PSN and XBLA for about two years now and I give it the absolute highest of recommendations. It is truly one of the greatest games ever made. Now… enough talk…play this game!

Oct 23rd, 2008 · PlayStation · read review

Original Gamer (9.9 out of 10) (99%)

Overall, no one element of SOTN makes it the best, it is really the best from a combination of factors, almost everything comes together sublimely to make a near perfect game and the best Castlevania game ever. Its legacy still endures, as it is the gameplay model currently used in new Castlevania games. Check this out retro fans, action fans, really any fan of video games will find something to like in this masterpiece!

Nov 24th, 2008 · PlayStation · read review

Video Chums (9.7 out of 10) (97%)

To this day, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night remains at the top of its class in every aspect that it possibly can. Many games will continue to emulate its formula, but as of yet, none have succeeded in overshadowing this truly defining moment in gaming history.

Apr 8th, 2015 · PlayStation · read review

RPGFan (97 out of 100) (97%)

From its action and style to its RPG like leveling system, Symphony is truly a unique game, as well as one of the best ever to grace the PSX.

Jan 1st, 1998 · PlayStation · read review

Freak (96 out of 100) (96%)

המשחק הוא בקלות אחד מהמשחקים הטובים ביותר שיצאו אי פעם - עדות אמיתית לכך שסגנון נמשחק הדו-מימדי עודנו חי וקיים.

May 1997 · PlayStation

Netjak (9.5 out of 10) (95%)

So, yes, people will have their own opinions about things. However, if one walks into a debate concerning the best game of all time and puts Castlevania: Symphony of the Night down as a candidate, he’s guaranteed to have a strong opening argument.

Oct 24th, 2003 · PlayStation · read review

Game Informer Magazine (9.5 out of 10) (95%)

There are two huge reasons why I love this game. The first is, I love any game that rips off Metroid (my favorite game of all-time). The second, and most important, is that any game where you can chop some dude in half and watch his blood squirt for about ten seconds is awesome. This is easily the best Castlevania title yet, and everything in the game, ranging from the often moody soundtrack to the spectacular hand animation and overlaying special effects are truly remarkable. RPG and adventure fans will surely take a liking to this game's complexity that features experience gaining, non-linear gameplay, and item and weapon acquiring. The incremental changes to jumping, along with the lack of any `visible' loading time, make Symphony seem like a growing and evolving creature, alive with the beauty of intelligent creation.

Oct 1997 · PlayStation · read review

Just RPG (94 out of 100) (94%)

Overall, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of the best games available for the original PlayStation. With all of the new features available, Symphony of the Night is very different from the previous games in the Castlevania series, but it also stands out as one of the best. If you are an RPG fan, or just a fan of the Castlevania series, this game is highly recommended. And even if you aren't a fan of the series or of RPGs, I still recommend the game.

Sep 30th, 1997 · PlayStation · read review

Player One (93 out of 100) (93%)

Konami signe un jeu qui propose un double challenge : la victoire et la collection d'objets. Voilà un titre qui hantera vos nuits !

Nov 1997 · PlayStation · read review

Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) (37 out of 40) (92%)

This is exactly what I'm looking for in a 32-Bit Castlevania game: great graphics and animation, plenty of way-cool Bosses and tight 2-D gameplay. C:SotN plays like the awesome PC Engine CD Dracula x, except with the RPG and exploration elements of Castlevania 2 and Super Metroid. You get more than enough weapons to discover in the game's huge castle. I only wish they stuck with the same tunes from the previous games.

Nov 1997 · PlayStation

RPGFan (92 out of 100) (92%)

Symphony of the Night is one of the best games to ever hit the Playstation, and ranks behind only Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys as far as my favorite action RPGs go. Don't hesitate to pick this one up; you'll probably be blown away just like I was.

Apr 10th, 1999 · PlayStation · read review

Video Game Critic, The (A-) (91%)

There are a good number of weapons, items, and relics, and being able to juggle them effectively is key. I especially like the weapon that "stops time", letting you hack away at paralyzed monsters. Syphony of the Night's castle is massive, and it's easy to get lost within its maze of platforms and corridors. But the challenge is relentless, and you'll never get bored.

Oct 20th, 2002 · PlayStation · read review

Le Geek (4.5 out of 5) (90%)

Just different enough from the Metroid series and oozing style, Symphony of the Night's few quirks keeping it from getting the top rating. Despite its flaws, this is a great game. If you are a fan of the Castlevania series or of 2D games in general, you owe it to yourself to track down a copy!

Jul 2006 · PlayStation · read review

Thunderbolt Games (9 out of 10) (90%)

There’s an actual story, and its themes reach far deeper and further than they appear. Rather than focusing on linear levels and platforming, the game rewards experimentation and confrontation. The castle is huge, and it’s crammed with all kinds of enemies, bosses, and secrets. The superb graphical detail and soundtrack put many games - past and present - to utter shame. The sheer amount of extra moves and abilities is mind-boggling; even with all of the different weapons, equipment, spells, and summons, there’s a good chance that you won’t find everything on your first run through. Or your tenth, for that matter. Unfortunately, the lack of difficulty kind of brings things down; there isn’t nearly as much strategy or thought required as there was before. It’s just a matter of tweaking Alucard in different ways and seeing what you can discover. More often than not, it’ll be something great.

Jul 26th, 2010 · PlayStation · read review

Jeuxvideo.com (18 out of 20) (90%)

Castlevania Symphony of the Night fait partie de ces jeux possédant une âme - un comble pour une aventure dont le personnage central en est exempt - et à ce titre, ne peut que séduire et charmer le joueur. Tous les atouts sont de son côté pour ensorceler celui qui tentera l'aventure et le constat est sans appel : cela marche diablement bien. Si l'envie vous prend, une nuit d'insomnie, de glisser le cd dans votre vieille PSone, il y a de fortes chances pour que vous y retourniez. Bonne chance !

Aug 1st, 2010 · PlayStation · read review

GameTrip.net (9 out of 10) (90%)

Super Castlevania IV est culte, Chi No Rondo est un mythe (ne serait-ce que par son prix) mais SOTN constitue véritablement la troisième pierre angulaire de cette mirobolante série qu'est Castlevania. Une œuvre et j'ose le mot originale, magnifique et totalement intemporelle, qui donnera le ton au reste de la série, c'est dire!

Oct 17th, 2008 · PlayStation · read review

Mega Score (90 out of 100) (90%)

A saga de Castlevania continua. Vampiros, noites de luar misteriosas, ambientes aterradores e muita magia compõe esta extraordinária aventura em plataformas.

Feb 1997 · PlayStation

IGN (9 out of 10) (90%)

All those things work together to create what is one of the finest 2D platforms game yet seen. It takes up the mantle of 16-bit classics like Super Metroid, Super Mario and - of course - other Castlevania games, and goes beyond the restrictions of cartridge memory to reach new heights of depth and quality gameplay. And if you cherish that over snazzy 3D graphics (and, to be honest, if you don't then you're missing the point of videogaming), buying this will make you happier than a pig in...er... poo.

Oct 2nd, 1997 · PlayStation · read review

GameSpot (8.9 out of 10) (89%)

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is easily one of the best games ever released and a true testament to the fact that 2D gaming is not dead by any stretch of the imagination. The game is very large and will keep you entertained for a long time.

Nov 20th, 1997 · PlayStation · read review

DominantTrek (8.5 out of 10) (85%)

It's strange to think that in the advent of 3D graphics, a 2D game is considered as one of the best of the era. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (SotN) is one half of the Metroidvania genre, one where it still reigns supreme and because it didn't to enter the 3D realm, it's looks are just as beautiful today as they were at the time of release. The complaints that plagued the era are still represented here but SotN brings new life to the hack and slack and platforming of its forebears.

Apr 24th, 2017 · PlayStation · read review

GameSurge (85 out of 100) (85%)

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a reason to not purchase this game, it's still worth every penny, but if you are an above average game play, you might find this one a little too easy on you. If you love Castlevania, and don't care if it's easy like I did, I'm sure you will like it regardless. Castlevania reborn, and better than ever.

1997 · PlayStation · read review

Ultra Game Players (84 out of 100) (84%)

Make no doubt about it, this is not just another Castlevania game - it is, in my opinion, the best Castlevania game to date.

1998 · PlayStation · read review

Game Revolution (B+) (83%)

Like the original, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a great combination of action and RPG. I found the game to be a bit too easy and little too short. The upside down castle, while disconcerting, was just a mirror of the first castle. Although it is much harder and has different creatures, I would have liked a whole different castle (or perhaps a third). However, it's tremendous fun and very addicting, despite the uninteresting plot and the bad acting. I only wish it were larger because I enjoyed it so much.

Oct 1997 · PlayStation · read review

Video Games (82 out of 100) (82%)

Alle, die der unzähligen Action- und Ballerspiele schon längst überdrüssig sind, werden hier mit einem erstklassigen Jump‘n‘Run/Adventure versorgt. Castelvania entfesselt ein Feuerwerk an altbewährtem Spielwitz und grandioser Spielbarkeit. Hübsche Hintergrundgrafiken, liebevoll gezeichnete Minipixel-Sprites und passende Schauermusik lassen das antiquierte Spielerherz um zehn Takte höher schlagen. Erst nach ausgiebigen Erkundungsgängen offenbart sich der geniale Spielwitz, der in seiner ganzen Komplexität - gepaart mit einem packenden Grusel-Ambiente - alle seine Vorgänger um Längen übertrifft. Der einzige Wehrmutstropfen: Es gibt nicht mal ansatzweise optische Anzeichen, daß wir es hier mit einem 32- Bit-Spiel zu tun haben. Die traditionelle Bitmap-Grafik präsentiert sich ohne nur einen Hauch von billigem 3D-Zauber. Da hatte schon damals das erste Castelvania auf dem Super Nintendo einiges mehr zu bieten.

Oct 1997 · PlayStation

Consoles News ( ) (80%)

Quel plaisir de voir un jeu en 2D aussi bien réalisé que celui-ci. Il est certain que bon nombre d'entre vous auraient préféré y jouer en 3D, mais il n'y a aucun regret à avoir. Dracula X est un excellent jeu fun, jouable et long.

May 1997 · PlayStation · read review

Edge (8 out of 10) (80%)

Those looking for a quick fix or more immediate, arcade-style thrills are unlikely to grasp Castlevania’s intricacies. On the surface it looks archaic, but tucked just beneath is a game that throws the majority of PlayStation eye candy into sharp relief. Hardcore gamers will relish its classical sensibilities.

Oct 8th, 1997 · PlayStation · read review

Legendra ( ) (80%)

C'est ainsi que je vous laisse, très chers lecteurs, au bord de la souffrance de vous quitter si vite. S'il n'y avait que moi, je vous parlerai encore et encore de ce jeu fabuleux, surtout sur les monstres... mais toutes les bonnes choses ont une fin (encore faut-il que vous ayez trouvé ce test bon...).

Feb 12th, 2003 · PlayStation · read review

Mega Fun (79 out of 100) (79%)

Nehmen wir es einmal vorweg: Dracula X ist nicht die vielleicht erhoffte 32-Bit-Revolution. Zwar wird dem Vampirjäger am Bildschirm durch die Rätsel, die weitläufigen, abwechslungsreichen Levels und die RPG-Option schon einiges geboten, dennoch reicht es nicht ganz zum Gold-Game. Es ist halt im 3D-Zeitalter nicht gerade berauschend, durch „platte‘ Welten zu wandeln und den Großteil seiner Beschäftigung im Töten von Gegnern zu sehen, die eh meistens wieder da sind, wenn Ihr wieder an der entsprechenden Stelle vorbeikommt. Was mich wirklich beeindruckt, ist die Liebe zum Detail, mit der die unterschiedlichen Räume gestaltet wurden. So gibt es überall Kerzenständer oder Petroleumlampen, die eine schaurige Atmosphäre vermitteln, und auch die typischen Einrichtungsgegenstände, wie z.B. große Wanduhren, Bücherregale oder Bilder, sorgen für das richtige Ambiente. Dracula X wird vor allem Nostalgiker und Fans der alten Castlevania-Serie begeistern, hat aber auch für Neulinge seinen Reiz.

May 1997 · PlayStation

Playstation Pro (UK Magazine) (6 out of 10) (60%)

While this installment from the Castlevania series has been improved from the 16-bit versions, the enhancements aren't too dramatically different. Sure, it looks and plays better than ever before, but now Castlevania is competing with the likes of Crash Bandicoot and Croc instead of 2D platformers with basic jump and shoot gameplay. This may appeal to fans of the SNES versions, but I've a feeling this is more suited to younger players, most of whom have been raised on the quality of games that the PlayStation has delivered in the past, and are therefore going to wonder what the hell this is doing outside of the 16-bit world? Surely this horse has been flogged to death by now?

Jan 1998 · PlayStation

Player Reviews

It was not by my hand that I am once again given a disc...I was called here by...HUMANS...who wished to play a kick-ass Castlevania.

The Good
Let's just start at the beginning: I never liked the PlayStation very much at all. Lack of decent 2D support, too many sports titles, not enough variety in other genres, and no RPGs at the beginning pretty much told me to wait and perhaps get a Sega Saturn. Then, came the announcements: Final Fantasy VII, a possible Metal Gear game, the remakes of the Lunar games, and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. That settled it: I now had to get a system I didn't even want. So I went, got a PlayStation, and waited for Castlevania. It came, I bought, I played, and I thought this game kicked plenty of ass.

Now I'm glad that I own a PlayStation. Read on to find out why.

Anyone who's familiar with old-school Castlevania knows its formula. The CV games were all platform-style games, in which you moved from left to right, and maybe down to up, attacking enemies, grabbing items and weapons, and then killing Dracula in the end. BUT...Konami decided that their 32-bit CV debut should be something special. And indeed it is! Now, instead of just a simple platforming experience, Konami went and took a nod to one of the best games ever: Super Metroid. Instead of set stages, you have one HUGE (or two if you beat the game a certain way) castle to make your way through, with all of its areas being connected in some way or another. This means you can explore the castle as you wish, but in some cases you have to visit a certain area to find an item that'll help you explore another area (again, Super Metroid). Now people must be worried as hell that the PSX can't keep up with loading a castle like this, but never fear. Before entering a new area, you always will pass through a small hallway with a CD icon in the ceiling. These special "loading" rooms will load the next area before you pass through the other side, meaning that you barely have to wait before entering the next area. There are also a TON of secret areas, usually hidden behind walls, under floors, and above ceilings. That means that those players out there (and you know who you are!) looking to get a perfect map percent are going to have a lot of fun!

Ok, so the premise is covered...what about gameplay? Well, to compliment the massive castle and your constant wandering, SOTN mixes some RPG elements into the classic formula. Alucard can gain experience and levels from defeating enemies, and he can find a whole slew of weapons, armor, accessories, helmets, cloaks, items, etc., in order to aid him on his quest. He can even get money in this game, which he can use to purchase items and hints. Some weapons seem useless, while others, like the Crissaegrim (GRIMMY!!) can be cheap as hell, but with such a massive variety of weapons, it'll be fun just to try them all out to see what they can do! And about the experience system: as you gain levels, weaker enemies deal less and less experience points, meaning it's going to get tough trying to reach Level 99 (the highest level). But since there's so much to do and find, you'd probably want to try and reach Level 99 anyway! As for the rest of the gameplay, it's tight and perfected. Controls are easy to remember: one button for the left hand, one for the right hand, a jump button, a "slide" button (Alucard dashes backwards with it, really), one to bring up the map, and the shoulder buttons are used for the three transformations Alucard can find: the bat allows Alc to fly and use sonar to find his way in darkened areas, the wolf allows him to charge and dash very quickly, as well as attack enemies, and the mist allows Alc to pass through vents and grates with ease. Alc also moves with extreme precision; he moves when you press the D-pad, and he stops when you let go. There are no pits in this game where you can die instantly, so you don't have to worry about cheap deaths.

Now, onto the graphics. For being a system with crappy 2D capabilities, Konami really managed to squeeze a ton of 2D effects and cram a HUGE amount of detail into this much-misaligned little beast. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is drawn with the most exquisite and tiny detail, and the whole entire game is so beautifully animated and drawn that if it weren't for the PSX pad and the green light on the PSX being on, I would've almost thought that I was playing my Saturn! (small plug: yes, the Saturn IS the better 2D machine.) There are a ton of special effects used in this game, like transparency, scaling and rotation, and much more!

Sounds and music: DON'T, under any circumstance, be stupid and turn off the volume of your TV to put on some outside music. Absolutely DON'T!! You'll be missing out on one of the best soundtracks composed for ANYTHING. Simply put: SOTN has one of the most beautiful, moving, riveting soundtracks of any game ever, with many different styles throughout. Period. From "Dracula's Castle" (the entrance hall theme) to "Wood Carving Partita" (the Long Library theme), from "Festival of Servants" (the boss theme!!) to "Wandering Ghosts" (the Colloseum theme; and my favorite!), it's just...I can't even describe it. The soundtrack for the game is a hell of a purchase, I'll tell you that much. The sound effects are the perfect compliment to the action, with plenty of crisp clangs, crashes, screams of dead zombies, fwooshes, and a whole ton of other effects. And then...there's the VOICE ACTING!! YES!! If you've got the Japanese version, be prepared to be treated to some of the best voice acting you'll ever hear in your life! It's perfectly chosen, acted, and fits in with the game like a glove. If you've got your PSX hooked up to a stereo system, crank that sucker up to max!

Another cool thing about the game are the tons of Easter eggs and references to previous CV games and Konami games. I'm not going to go into too much detail, but I will say to keep your eyes peeled.

The Bad
Konami's treatment of the English version. They ought to be lynched.

First, the voices in the English version are terrible. Absolutely terrible. Alucard had probably the best voice in the Japanese version, but his English voice is just...ARRGH!! What is this damn obsession with making all the heroes have to sound like John Wayne!? Even his grunts, yells, and saying spell names are terrible! Richter is even worse: his Japanese voice sounded an awful lot like his voice from the first Dracula X (the U.S. never got that particular chapter, though), but in the U.S. version, he sounds like he has a damn cold! What the hell!?? Dracula is simply a joke: his English voice actor sounds like he gargles gravel. Maria's English voice sounds like the actress either sleeps too much or sleeps too little...constant sighs and breaths, plus the immortal "Do you know the name....HHHHHHRRRICHHTAA Belmont?". ARRRRGH!!!

And besides the voices, several cool items from the Japanese version were removed, namely the Halfling Faerie and the Nose Goblin. Even if they weren't entirely useful, they still completed the collection! There were also a couple of weapons I found in the Japanese version that I didn't in the U.S. version, but they were just tiny variations of existing weapons. As for censorship, perhaps? Surprisingly, not much. The succubus is still in the nude (except where her wings connect to her body; she's wearing a little leather strap there), as are the Venus Weeds. But I've noticed that some enemies that were SUPPOSED to bleed in the Japanese version don't in the U.S. version. For SHAME, Konami!!

The Bottom Line
Despite idiotic localizing of this game, Symphony of the Night is still one of the best PSX games in existence. Buy, play, enjoy, and play some more!

by Satoshi Kunsai (2021) on Apr 10th, 2001 · PlayStation

Best in the series

The Good
You are never done playing this game. The replayability factor is about as good as you can possibly get. It goes beyond just beating the game. There's finding the inverted castle, finding all the relics, beating all the bosses, getting all the weapons... The list goes on and on and on into infinity. For this reason, Castlevania: SOTN never gets boring to play. Really, that is all I should need to say about this game for everybody who reads this review to immediately go out and buy it (hell, buy a freakin' playstation if you don't have one, just for the sake of playing this game). It should seem like a holy miracle that there could possibly be such a game. I shouldn't need to tell you about the beautifully designed levels and play environment, or the easy-to-play interface or any of that other good stuff. That should be all you need.

The Bad
Some of the bosses are too easy. Yep, that's it. Period.

The Bottom Line
I really can't think of anyone who wouldn't like this game, except for maybe a disgruntled Konami employee in a mental institution somewhere. The big picture: You're the good-hearted son of Dracula and it's up to you to stop him from being resurrected and terrorizing humankind for all eternity. To do so, you must destroy his minions in his evil castle, find items and relics that will help you and enlist the help of characters like the castle librarian and the beautiful Maria Renard. Enjoy.

by Sam Tinianow (113) on Dec 23rd, 2001 · PlayStation

The Ultimate Sidescrolling Platformer

The Good
This game has all of the elements of a great title: silky controls, great graphics, super style points (you can change the color of the interior and exterior of Alucard's cape), great story (yeah, its not much, but it does the job well enough), huge levels, great map design, tremendous replay value, oh, and did I mention that its Castlevania? The inclusion of a combo system, special moves, hundreds and hundreds of items, and a castle that is, literally, in hell, make this game great fun to play. The experience point elements of the game keep you coming back for more and more and more and more. The familiars are really fun too.

The Bad
... If I HAVE to say something here, I'd have to ad that the familiars come along a little late in the game and are very hard to power up into anything that can effectively help you combat drac's demon hordes. Still, I did get my skull familiar up to the 60's in terms of level (it only took three weeks! God, this game was addictive).

The Bottom Line
The best run and jumper ever made that doesn't use guns; Alucard can only use melee weapons (pursuent to the castlevania tradition).

by Seth Barkan (2) on Aug 11th, 2003 · PlayStation

It's better than sliced bread - and sliced bread is pretty damn good!

The Good
An amazing soundtrack, creative enemies, awesome artwork, and addicting gameplay, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night got me hooked from start.
The story is the usual good vs. evil ordeal, but they execute it very nicely. Playing as the half-vampire, half-human Alucard, you must defeat your vampire father Dracula and his demonic castle to save the world once more from his vicious wraith. There are twists here and there in the story and, even if it's not the most prominent thing in the game, it is suspenseful.
Gameplay is a mix of side-scrolling Castlevania action with RPG elements, making it extremely addicting and fun. There is a hoard of equipment and items, each weapon and piece of armor distinct in it's own way. What's more is that there are relics to collect, some of them having everlasting effects and some containing familiars (creatures that follow and help you out). The castle is also very large, having a plethora of areas for you to explore, so the game is very open-ended.
The soundtrack is epic. From symphonic violins to hard guitars, the music is never displeasing (except for one piece, but that will be explained later).
The voice acting was, generally, good and the sound effects were pretty sweet.
All in all, I must say, Castlevania's pros completely over weigh the cons. Of course, however, not all games are perfect...

The Bad
Time for the cons.
The only thing I didn't like was the bad voice acting of the succubus and fairy, which should've been closer to their Japanese versions (in tone and acting).
The only song that I really didn't like was the song in the credits, titled "I Am the Wind". It just doesn't fit in this kind of game.

The Bottom Line
Time consuming (in a good way), Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a game that should definitely be in your top ten. If it isn't, well, you just have bad taste in games.

by SkysTheLimit (5) on Apr 24th, 2006 · PlayStation

Black Eagle_79

The Good
I love all about this game, is one's of my bests. The graphics are exellent, the castle is fabulous and to great, they have a multitude of beasts and they are very greats and well designed. The music is the best that i ear of every games. And we have a multitude killing strategics with several magics, magics swords and weapons, items and more. We can combine anything with anything and that's make differents combinations to our characther, ( more strong, more clever, more powerfull in magic and more) that's one of the greatest games for that point.In overrall, is one of the greatest games ever made.

The Bad
There's nothing that i dislike.

The Bottom Line
Is a game like Metroid but really much better to all point, is the best of the Castlevania series.

by Stéphane Papov (2) on Jan 21st, 2003 · PlayStation

Plus 157 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Alsy, nyccrg, Wizo, NeoJ, Flu, ryanbus84, ModernZorker, Baron79, A.J. Maciejewski, Jeanne, Crawly, yellowshirt, Big John WV, Alaka, Cantillon, Luis Silva, GreyHome, jean-louis, Patrick Bregger, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy).