It’s time for Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night to switch
Note: This article contains minor spoilers for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
“What is a man? A pitiful bunch of secrets.”
These words spoken by Dracula Vlad Tepes during an introductory exchange with Richter Belmont in Castlevania: Symphony of the Nightbecome completely synonymous Castlevania franchise. It has been referenced and parodied by numerous other games over the past 25 years – perhaps as recently as Guacamelee from Drinkbox Studio! 2 is a phrase that has been mocked and revered in equal measure. However, despite how iconic such a simple phrase has become, it pales in comparison to the impact and legacy that Symphony of the Night has left in games.
Hot Time: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is the greatest Metroidvania ever made. Yes, this includes games like Hollow Knight, Metroid Dread and Dead Cells. It’s even many leagues ahead of Super Metroid – Sorrybut it’s true. [Hmm, we’ll discuss this on Monday – Ed.]
Released in 1997 for the PlayStation and directed by Toru Hagihara, it is a direct sequel to Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (although you may not have known it at the time, as Rondo of Blood has been a Japanese exclusive for a good 15 years or more). so), opening where Rondo of Blood ended with Richter Belmont’s final confrontation with Dracula. Reviews at the time called it “exciting” (Next Generation Magazine) and “definitely one of the best games ever released” (GameSpot).
We have seen so many celebrations in recent years, but Symphony of the Night stands head and shoulders above all.
Shortly after the opening scene with Richter, you step into the shoes of the game’s protagonist, Alucard, and this is where Symphony of the Night differs from previous Castlevania titles in dramatic style, throwing linear levels into a sprawling, interconnected castle with multiple sections and countless secrets. While we’ve seen plenty of standout Metroidvania games since its release, Symphony of the Night is still the genre’s most sublime example; a perfect blend of exploration and combat that has yet to be surpassed even by its own successors.
Looking at Symphony of the Night today, you’ll forgive yourself for thinking it’s an authentic, but generally more modern take on a “retro” 2D platformer. We’ve seen so many honors in recent years, both good and bad, but at 25 years old, Symphony of the Night stands head and shoulders above them all. Beautifully detailed environment; deadly yet mesmerizing enemies and boss characters; the way Alucard’s movement briefly leaves an energy trail behind him. It all comes together to create one of the most amazing video games of all time, a textbook example of the continued relevance of 2D gaming in the era of photorealistic 3D sandboxes.
Dracula’s castle itself remains miracle game design and is key to Symphony of the Night’s status as a true pioneer of the genre. This is a beautifully intricate maze that strikes at every corner. But when you get to the middle of the game, you really start to appreciate her ingenuity; just when you think you’ve beaten the game, Symphony of the Night pulls off one of the greatest stunts in video game history, literally flip the lock upside down.
As you move through the upside down castle, the sheer amount of effort required to create it starts to amaze; Not only did it have to operate as a fully explorable environment with interconnected segments, but every room, every corridor, and every spire had to be also work upside down. This is an incredible feat in game design.
So what gives, Konami? When are you going to port such a masterpiece to Switch?
Symphony of the Night is currently playable on both PlayStation 4/5 and Xbox One/S/X via Castlevania Requiem and Xbox Live Arcade release, respectively. You can also play it on PS3, PSP and PS Vita through the “PSOne Classic” re-release and even on Android and iOS thanks to a recent port Chronicles of Dracula X version. Just be aware that some versions of the game contain reworked dialogue and voice acting that may be worse than the original.
So, if you want to play Symphony of the Night (and just in case it’s not clear, we Indeed we recommend that you do so), there are already many options available to you. But we would argue that, like many, a lot of games, maybe Best suitable for a switch. 2D pixel art looks great on the Switch (especially if you have the option). beautiful OLED screen) and, combined with the console’s eponymous ability to switch between TV and handheld modes, we believe Symphony of the Night will be a significant success on the Nintendo platform with a new audience. At 25, there’s a whole generation of gamers who missed out on this classic, and there’s no better system to play with.
Konami isn’t completely unfamiliar with the console: it’s already released two extensive Castlevania collections over the past few years: the Castlevania Anniversary Collection and the Castlevania Advance Collection, the last of which wouldn’t even exist were it not for the success of Symphony of the Night. Indeed, aside from the blatant omission of the great DS Castlevania games Dawn of Sorrow, Portrait of Ruin, and Order of Ecclesia (we’d love those too, please!), you could argue that Symphony of the Night is the last missing piece. in the era of Konami 2D Castlevania. It is also, without a doubt, the most influential game in the entire franchise and one of the most important games released in the last 30 years.
So if anyone from Konami is reading this… you know what to do.
“But enough chatter… Keep at you!”