Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 345 - Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of my top 5 favorite games (don't make me choose just 1!) and is today's game for Eric Vs. 365. It is perfection. I love it. Read more and watch some early game gameplay here.

I didn't actually ever properly play Symphony of the Night until the XBLA release on Xbox 360. I had owned a PS1 disc previously, but couldn't really get into it for whatever reason. When the XBLA version came out I finally gave it a real shot and was totally blown away. I played through it something like 4-5 time just back to back to back and loved every minute of it. Some folks will tell you that the XBLA version is somehow inferior to the PS1 disc version - they're full of crap. The only difference is that the ugly awkward pre-rendered cutscenes aren't in the game, and you aren't missing much by not seeing them. The XBLA version also benefits from faster load times, which is why it is the version of choice for speedrunners.

My history with the Castlevania franchise is kind of interesting in that I don't really like any other games besides SOTN. I hate the older games, never played the other IGA-Vania-style games on GBA or DS, and don't care for the 3D games. Symphony of the Night is a singular shining beacon in a franchise I otherwise don't care much about. Of course, I don't really love the "Metroid" part of "Metroidvania" either, with Metroid Prime standing as the only one I really like. I'm weird. I know.

So what makes Symphony of the Night so perfect? I love the visuals. I love the music. I love the way the controls feel. I love the map. I love that you can play the game in a million different ways thanks to the huge number of weapon and item combos so you can make it has hard or as easy as you want. It's all just so freaking brilliant.