CASTLEVANIA REQUIEM: SYMPHONY OF THE NIGHT AND RONDO OF BLOOD
Who it Caters to
Back in the early 90’s, the gaming world was very divided and a lot of titles never made their way over to western shores. The only way to truly experience these exclusives at the time was to import them from Japan, but importing wasn’t easy and certainly cost a lot of money to receive your copy. Konami’s classic Castlevania: Rondo of Blood was one of those Japan exclusives, and was highly sought after by western fans. Fast forward to today and those dreams have now come true, as Konami is proud to bring you Castlevania: Requiem, an illustrious package that contains to two timeless classics for all Castlevania fans to celebrate.
What to Expect
Castlevania: Requiem Symphony of the Night and Rondo of Blood comes bundled with two fantastic titles that any fan of the franchise will grow excited about. Even newcomers to the series will surely find some reward while playing, as the Castlevania series has always been known for its fast-paced action and challenging gameplay, which is sure to keep you coming back for more. Rondo of Blood is sure to be the spotlight title of the two, as it’s the one that never made across to western shores. For the first time, fans can finally dive deep into the action adventure title with fan favorite character Richter Belmont! Both titles maintain their authenticity and usual charm, with the added benefit of being localized in full English for fans to enjoy. If you’re in the market for something exciting and truly mesmerizing, then look no further than Castlevania: Requiem: Symphony of the Night and Rondo of Blood!
This is all about the retro vibe and so, much of the visual experience reflects that in every possible way. You’re getting two incredibly exciting retro titles in one package, and the awesome part about the PS4 port is that you also have a well-designed Castlevania overlay to look at as you play, with the screen big enough for you to enjoy the experience. We like how the team at Konami made sure to retain everything from the original and not remove anything that would otherwise bereft the game of its true nostalgic presence, so hats off to them for that.
This is where Castlevania Requiem gets most of its plus points from, because its music is arguably some of the best in gaming history, especially in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. The soundtrack of this game simply can not be beat, and we had an absolute blast listening to it as we played. We even purposely died a few times just so that we could listen to the theme of Richter Belmont! Each stage has its own unique flow and tempo, which only adds to the thrill and excitement that the Castlevania series has been known for. Symphony of the Night is no different and once again, receives our vote for hands down one of the best soundtracks in gaming history. From its eerie and slow tempo sounds, even down to the sound effects that enemies make when you whip them or decimate them with the Holy Cross, every part of this game is satisfying to the very end.
Anyone who has played any classic Castlevania title will feel right at home with these sought after classics, and those who are just jumping in for the first time will be amazed by just how fluid the gameplay is, in spite of its age. In Castlevania: Rondo of Blood you star as Richter Belmont, who is on a mission to save his lover Annette from Dracula, and you’ll need to clear 9 stages in order to reach the final boss. There are 4 alternate routes that you can take to get there, which add even more depth to the gameplay, and encourages you to explore even further. Richter has a plethora of weapons to choose from, such as his trusted whip, along with six sub-weapons: an axe, a dagger, holy water, a grimoire, a pocket watch, and a cross. All of them serve their own purpose while playing, so we encourage you to explore each to know what their strengths are, and how they can help you to survive well into the later stages.
You’re also able to rescue maidens throughout the campaign, four in total, one of which includes Ritcher’s distant relative Maria Renard. She’ll become a playable character once you rescue her and much like Richter, she has a main weapon and six sub-weapons. She’s also a lot more agile than Richter is and can double jump, which gives her the advantage in a lot of areas that Richter struggles in. Maria deals more damage than Richter but as a trade-off, she takes double the damage when hit by an enemy. Being able to use both strategically to your advantage will help you take down all the bosses until you reach the main man, Dracula himself.
Once you’ve cleared Rondo of Blood we highly recommend to play all the way through Symphony of the Night, since it’s the direct sequel and is truly an awesome experience from start to finish! Alucard is the star of the show in Symphony of the Night, as you need to take down Richter, who was the main star of the previous title, but now he’s the lord of Castle Dracula in this one. Symphony of the Night also introduces RPG elements such as HP and MP that Alucard has to manage in order to survive. It’s more nonlinear than Rondo of Blood, but in order to explore the more challenging areas, specific items must be collected in order to discover them. So we encourage you once again to dive deep with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to truly get the best experience possible!
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
If our statements earlier weren’t enough of a selling point, then we suggest that you watch some Youtube speedrun videos of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to truly understand just how awesome this game is. While it initially wasn’t a success in North America during its release, it has grown to become a cult classic by many and is now a must-have title for any fan of the platformer genre.
Nostalgia at its finest. You’re getting the best of the platforming genre right here in both titles.
Everything is retained from the original which is always nice.
4K/1080p upscaling + multiple high resolution backgrounds!
Symphony of the Night has both EN and JP voicing!
We wish there was an online leaderboard of some sorts for speedrunners.
Honey's Final Verdict:
While the games are relatively short by today’s standards, there’s always so much to go back to and play, since the non-linear gameplay of Symphony of the Night will keep you itching to grab all the secrets within the game. Be sure to follow us on Twitch to catch us playing our reviewed titles live as well!
As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!