PSP Game Review

Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles


Format: PSP
4 012927 062654
Age Restrictions: 12+
Available 15 February 2008

Set in in 1792, Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles follows Richter Belmont as he battles to return Dracula to the oblivion from which he came. Having seen his beloved Annette kidnapped by his vampiric nemesis, Richter and his loyal friend, Maria, must wield the legendary Vampire Hunter whip and fight through the tainted countryside and enter Dracula’s Castle to stop this horrific scenario from destroying humanity...

Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles is an update of the classic Castlevania: Rondo of Blood for the PSP. And that's part of the problem with this release. The end result, sadly, looks more like a Gameboy Advance game than it does a PSP title. This scrolling platform game will smack modern gamers in the face with how poor the graphics look and how unrelentingly punishing the game play is.

The game is pretty average. You progress through numerous sprawling stages, using your trusty whip to slay enemies as well as uncovering some of the huge array of secrets and hidden areas within the levels. Giant boss monsters await at regular intervals, and you need to slay these to progress to the next level... but that's easier said than done.

One of the unforgivable aspects of the game play is how, once killed, you are transported back quite some way to an earlier level. In order to get back to where you left off, you are forced to re-kill mindless enemies that were easy the first time around, and so it starts to get tedious having to fight your way through them again and again. Now, I suspect this was a ploy by the developers to extend the length of time it takes to complete the game, but it becomes frustrating a little too quickly.

One of the main reasons that fans of the series will purchase this is so that they can finally play the unlockable original versions of Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night. However, unlocking these games is not that easy, and I'm suspecting, that most people will get fed up with this before they manage to gain access to them.

One for die-hard Castlevania fans only.


Nick Smithson

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