An overview of the genre Nintendo’s Metroid in 1986 is thought to be the first game in this genre, as is the significantly improved third installment named Super Metroid, which caused an uproar regarding Super Nintendo. Super Nintendo in 1994. This was later used as the basis of The 1997 PlayStation Secret Tip Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, improved its gameplay from Super Metroid once again and included essential aspects of role-playing. However, it was initially deemed unpopular by the general public because its game’s two-dimensional style did not do enough to counter what was a 3D fashion that was popular at the time. It was not until the word spread and a flurry of excitement within the then-burgeoning quaint community that the game gained the cult status it now enjoys.
Are you sure?
What is the value of this knowledge to you within the context of this review, You may ask? The answer is simple: the three games of the Vampire Hunter saga that Konami will release along with The Castlevania Advance compilation are considered the most perfected versions of that enjoyable gameplay style that Symphony of the Night introduced. The spin-offs are titled Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, and Aria of Sorrow.
In the same way, it’s helpful to comprehend why Konami includes this Super Nintendo title Dracula X (known in Europe as Vampire’s Kiss) as a bonus game in all locations. Dracula X is, in fact, a stripped-down version of that PC engine title Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. The storyline is the basis for the events in Symphony of the Night. The circle thus becomes completed.
So Konami’s series retrospective now consists of three pieces, the release strategy of which isn’t easy to implement. The fact is, Xbox owners can find Symphony of the Night as an online game released during that Xbox 360 era in the console store. However, Rondo of Blood, which was sold for 250 euros in its original version, has been omitted and is only available via the PC Engine Mini, which Germans must bring in from France. In this way, the less-slender SNES implementation of Dracula X, whose purchase price, as an original game is also above evil and good, appears to be more worth it. Find out why it’s nothing more than a token of consolation after the game’s review.
It is the Perfection of a Formula
If you own one, or the two previously released Castlevania collections, there are some surprises on the technical front. The menus for selecting games or saves have seen some slight changes in design; however, in most cases, they have similar features. You can, for instance, save your game at any time, rather than visiting specific save rooms, as in the GBA originals. You can also record replays, make the appearance of a frame-like image over the game’s content, alter the controls according to your preference and alter the ratio of the display.
This is the one that’s the main issue because these aren’t remakes that have better rendering but instead replicas of the originals, with graphics that look extremely crude in comparison to modern standards. Blur filters or other smoothing methods aren’t available. You can extend the image to its all widths or apply an extremely passable scanline filter. This is an excellent option for those who love retro games but not much consolation for those fascinated with graphics. If you think Super Nintendo graphics are unsightly due to the resolution of 256 x 244 pixels, you might be disappointed by the look of GBA games with their ridiculous 160 x 240 pixels, even though they cover the screen more effectively thanks to the format of 3-to-2. PC owners suffer double as they lack the exclusive full-screen display. In addition, the collection is only available with windows. It’s not a catastrophe, but it’s a costly error on the part of the otherwise reliable expert in emulation M2.
Two new options are added to the set of options. So, for GBA titles, you can choose between the original version of the music, with an average sample rate of 22khz, and an upgraded version with 44khz. As a result, it does not sound as scratchy. The ability to switch between the two does not perform, however. It needs to restart at an initial screen when you alter your sample speed. Similar is true for manually controlled buffers, as they react in an allergic way to a change.
The second option will show the names of the enemies as well as the number of variants that have been defeated. This is useful when you’re looking to take all effect cards from Circle of the Moon or to benefit from the Soul feature of Aria of Sorrow fully. Learn more about this feature in the explanation of the games, which, in addition, they are available in all three versions, namely, those of the Japanese, US, and European versions. This means that you’ll also be able to play the German in-game text on Aria of Sorrow.
Castlevania Advance Collection thus follows the tried and tested lineup. An extremely fluid emulation reminiscent of old-fashioned hams that don’t allow visual errors to be interpreted and is also backed by the reputation of M2, the software studio M2 that for many years has been regarded as an expert in this area.
But what is the gameplay? The GBA titles included in this collection follow the same basic idea. It’s all about finding the way through the complicated structure of a massive castle with a principal character whose rooms are dependent on thematic concepts. Access to these areas is gained only after finding specific equipment that provides new abilities. An example is the double jump, which permits access to exceptionally high platforms and doors. Clothing resistant to abrasions for more excellent defense value, a more robust armor, and improvements to the power of spells and life are vital to survival, as the further you get through the wall, the violent werewolves, zombies, and other gruesome creatures fight against you.
For those who haven’t yet experienced the four games, we’ve prepared brief descriptions of the game’s content that are by no means exhaustive; however, they should provide an idea of what’s included.
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
The first GBA game in the collection was one of the first titles to launch Game Boy Advance. Game Boy Advance (GBA for short) was released in 2001. The main protagonist, Nathan Graves, was kidnapped by Dracula and is reborn from the evil Count, who he plans to eliminate by using Hunter’s whip. Hunter whip. Technically speaking, this game cooks in the background and is much like a lavish SNES title. This can be seen in the few animations that distinguish between friend and foe and the sporadic usage of complex zoom and rotation effects. Regarding gameplay, the game Circle of the Moon is right in the middle of the game. All the elements borrowed from Symphony of the Night are fully displayed and instantly capture the viewer’s attention.
It’s not possible to expect the depth and depth that is Symphony of the Night; it’s a handheld game in the end. However, the mix of playing games and 2D action-adventure is exciting with the same characteristics—for instance, a complicated castle with many accessories and collectibles and several tasty bosses. The collection known as DSS cards that trigger specific defense and attack effects can stretch the game a little when combined. Due to the brand new option available in this collection made getting all these cards much more accessible than finding one.
Circle of the Moon was criticized in 2001 because the graphics were presented in a moody style similar to Castlevania. The initial Game Boy Advance version lacked backlighting for the screen; it was enjoyable under direct lighting. The issue was resolved after the introduction of GBA SP, the sequel to GBA SP. Within the setting of this collection, it is evident that this apparent design flaw does not play an important function. The graphic style is more closely related to the standard Castlevania style and reinforces the spooky atmosphere when paired with the snazzy soundtrack.
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
In just 14 months following Circle of the Moon, the sequel to the GBA first film was ready for release. Harmony of Dissonance actively addressed the general criticism and shone right from the beginning with vibrant colors and an enticing border for the protagonist Juste Belmont. The game is ideal for playing in dark settings, but it was disappointing artistically as there was not much left of the dark atmosphere, mainly because the vibrant graphics were not as bright. Konami’s designers shifted between one extreme and the other and once more became critics of the game. This design choice is most evident in the latest collection. The colors are somewhat garish when viewed on standard backlit screens.
With compensation Harmony of Dissonance shines with more sophisticated graphics, which show the power of the hardware of GBA. In the playable intro game, Juste Belmont has to escape from a massive armored knight made up of various objects that rotate in real-time. The old Super Nintendo could only dream of playing such games. The result doesn’t entice people to the present kitchen; however, it was unusual for an electronic device at the time.
Other than that, Harmony of Dissonance can’t keep pace with its predecessor in all aspects and, consequently, is the weakest component in this GBA trilogy. The short development time is apparent in the shorter playing time and less in terms of complexity. It’s not a secret that the game is still enjoyable and enjoyable all through, but in comparison with Circle of the Moon, it appears a little less polished and less enjoyable. Even the music can be described as creepy and musically expandable.
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
According to the old saying, everything good comes in threes. With the third spin-off, Aria of Sorrow, Konami found the perfect balance between recognition, various effects, and attractive graphics in 2003. And it wasn’t just that. The music was rocking again! The music was at least up to GBA standards that aren’t an industry standard. The game does have plenty to provide in terms of entertainment. It is a game of play, but it’s focused more on the Circle of the Moon. AWS also uses its Symphony of the Night template more than its predecessors. Take, for instance, the armament worn by Soma Cruz, the protagonist. Soma Cruz. Its armament resembles Alucard’s and appears more varied and averted than the traditional whip.
While the series showed signs of fatigue among the fans following the third game with a similar plot within three years, the GBA series concluded with a bang in 2003. Apart from the enlarged castle and new magic system, Soma Cruz can acquire various defense and attack abilities from the souls of her defeated foes and an ingenious plot twist that created the most significant impact and pushed Soma to become a most-loved vampire hunter.
The only thing missing from the collection is the possibility of trading souls with other players. This was initially a requirement for two GBAs with the game and the link cable. The most welcome feature is the assistance for collecting souls this collection provides. If you only want to experience one Castlevania included in this collection, you must choose Aria of Sorrow preference.
Bonus Game: Castlevania Dracula X
This Super Nintendo title Dracula X (aka Vampire’s Kiss) is the only game within this collection that’s not in that Metroidvania genre. Instead, it’s more of a simple side-scrolling action title in which you traverse linear levels by dragging the whip of Judge Belmont until you finally meet Dracula himself. Dracula X is thereby considered an adapted version of one of the most popular Castlevanias ever made is Rondo of Blood, the PC Engine CD title Rondo of Blood which is the only Castlevania that received an immediate sequel that has an encapsulated storyline Symphony oft the Night.
The switch to the technically mighty Super Nintendo brought anno 1995 high expectations, but also many issues in that instead of the 650 megabytes on the CD, only 2 megabytes were on the modules. This is why it’s clear that the Super Nintendo adaptation doesn’t do well audiovisually in the present, from a modern perspective.
Many backgrounds are more appealing than the PC engine due to parallax layers, distortion effects, and other tricks. The soundtrack is also dazzling with a unique recognition value. However, it had to be constructed from various small, isolated samples rather than playing Redbook Audio on CD. The problem is that, despite all the attempts, Dracula X looks, plays, and sounds much less impressive than its five years older counterpart, Super Castlevania IV. This is due to the extremely poor rendition of the backgrounds that don’t make the most from the Nintendo game’s color palette for brushing backgrounds together. This means that the whole presentation appears coarsely and pixelated. While the acoustic samples set could be, the music is far from the orchestral, modern, and quite analog-sounding tracks from Castlevania IV. Dracula X provides comparisons on a silver platter because both games use many remixes to NES-era ways.
It’s not like this could be considered a good thing for a game that was released in 1996 (in that the Playstation was available) if the gameplay was enthralling. However, in this case, Konami’s developers could not deliver all over the entire board. Only a handful of classic scenes from the famed initial Rondo of Blood are left. Over half of the levels are recreations of the original and sometimes even use images that were initially from Castlevania 4 – shamefully, with the color palette being distorted. The fans from the Rondo original are likely to miss key aspects. Secret turnoffs? Bosses, who unleash one final, fatal attack at the moment of their passing? Side characters that can be played? All is not included! The only thing left is the level of difficulty. It’s a fact found in Dracula X that comes not from an even challenge, however, but rather from the poor enemy place.
Buying an original version that contains Dracula X or Vampire’s Kiss can boost your account by around 1000 euros today. Reproductions of the game, i.e., fake reprints, are sold for about 150 euros. It’s highly recommended to see Konami include games in the collection. The cost of the game isn’t related to the quality of the game; however, it is due to its rarity and the fact that the game, as the direct precursor to Symphony of the Night, completes the plot of a famous classic. Gaming magazines at the time took the game apart. The Video Games magazine, for instance, was a failure with a 58% score for its gameplay. Within the framework of the famous Castlevania series, it was a loud punch to the face.