Date: 03-06-2008 16:54
Reviewer: Jesse

Type: PSP
Genre: Platform/Adventure
Developer: Prosoft Works

First off, let me start by explaining what this game actually contains. Way back in the day, Konami made this game called Rondo of Blood for the PC and it was never released outside of Japan. Looking to put a Castlevania game into the PSP market without having to do much work they decided to remake this classic game with 2.5D graphics. Its a 2D side-scroller but now the sprites have been replaced with 3D rendered objects, enemies, and characters. This is what they mean when they say 2.5D graphics. Anyways they didn't change much from the original with the exception of adding in English voice acting (for the releases outside Japan) and remixed audio tracks.

Graphically the game looks great on the PSP. Very little slow downs except when there are tons of things happening all at once on the screen which rarely occurs. The 2.5D graphics help enhance without taking away the retro feel of the game. There are some other parts of the UMD which I'll discuss later.

Audio-wise the game is fantastic. The voice acting is good, even if they are saying the corniest lines ever. Every original track has been remixed yet you can actually collect all the original tracks hidden throughout the game and play them soundtrack mode. Just all around spot on for what they needed to do for a classic remake such as this.

Controls are ... difficult. If you ever played a Castlevania game before you'd know that the games are very unforgiving of sloppy play. You don't jump or attack properly and you're pretty much dead. They didn't dumb down the controls or anything. Everything is pretty much how I remember the original styled games. If they changed it ... it wouldn't be Castlevania now would it? Its not too complicated however as you only have a standard attack, a changeable secondary attack (each with its own super attack), and jump (double jump or backflip depending on your character you play with).

Story is just as you guessed it. Dracula steals some dude's girl and that dude, aka Richtor Belmont, has to go get her back and beat the snot out of Mr. Evil Vampire Man. Like Richtor needed an excuse to kill Dracula and save the world. Just don't be expecting anything deep as the gameplay is what carries this game. Definitely not the story.

Alright now brace yourselves because I'm about to discuss its biggest most awesomeness reason to get this game. The tons and I do mean TONS of unlockables. I already stated that all the original audio tracks are unlockable but aside from that you have a second playable character Maria who if you rescue her she then becomes playable and not as a separate campaign but you can play her through Stage 4 and then Richter through Stage 5 and then switch back to Maria for Stage 6. Very cool character and completely different play style. Aside from rescuing Maria you are able to rescue 3 other maidens which help you progress through the game unlocking more and more stages and paths. Oh, yeah paths, almost forgot to mention that pretty much each stage has two paths and two different enemies at the end of each path. Depending on which one you beat you may unlock Stage 5 or Stage 5'. This doubles the stages that you can play and gives you different choices as to how to progress through the game. Lastly there are three, yes 3, unlockable games. One of them being the original 2D sprite filled version of Rondo of Blood, which shows you what the game was like before any of the polish that Konami added to this title. There is one called Dracula X Peke, which probably isn't even worth mentioning as you walk two screens to the right and its over. Seriously, if it takes you 60 seconds to complete this game you need some medication. Lastly there is Castlevania: Symphony of the Night which has been boasted as one of the best Castlevania's ever. If you want to know more about this game you should read our review of the PSN downloadable version HERE.

So there you have it. A completely remastered game with enough unlockables to choak a horse (please don't do mean things to animals). The difficulty is high but there is a ton of gameplay to keep you busy for hours and hours. I purchased this game for $30 USD and it was totally worth every penny. I have seen it has recently dropped to $20 in some stores so be on the look out for this great game and pick it up if you have a chance.

Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 9.5
Gameplay: 10
Story: 8
Extras: 10
Overall: 9.5
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