Castlevania Requiem: Symphony of the Night & Rondo of Blood Review

Castlevania Requiem 1-min

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of the best games ever made. It’s as simple as that.

With that in mind, Castlevania Requiem, a new PS4 exclusive bundle that not only features that game, but also the game that it’s a direct sequel to, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, should be absolutely essential, right? Oh how it pains me to say that unfortunately it’s not the case. Although some will still get a lot out of it.

The root of Castlevania Requiem: Symphony of the Night & Rondo of Blood‘s problems is that it just hasn’t had any soul put into it. From the moment you boot it up and are presented with its piss-poor game selection screen, you just know you’re in for a bare-bones experience. This is simply one great game and one good game slapped together, without any thought of offering any valuable extras. And in the case of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night it’s what many would consider to be the inferior version of the game – the PSP version.

There’s no doubting that Symphony of the Night is sheer metroidvania bliss in terms of gameplay, and thankfully Castlevania Requiem keeps that intact. But the new dialogue and voice acting inherited from the PSP version just feels soulless. Konami really is blind, deaf and dumb when it comes to pleasing the fans of its games, and not being able to hear Dracula deliver his epic “What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets!” line in this collection is evidence of that. I mean, it has become iconic.

Castlevania Requiem 2-min

There are other issues with Symphony of the Night in Castlevania Requeim too, like the audio just cutting off when transitioning between areas instead of fading out. And though there are options for scan lines and interlacing, there’s no option to make the game fill out your widescreen TV; there’ll always be bars at the side of your screen even if you blow up the image.

In terms of improvements, I suppose there are some. Your pad rumbling when you pick up hearts may tickle some gamers’ fancy, as well as certain sounds coming through the controller’s speaker. Also, some 3D elements of the game have been tidied up, making them look much nicer. Overall, there’s nothing that really impresses though.

When it comes to Rondo of Blood, I have to admit that I’ve never played the original, so it’s harder to scrutinise it. What I will say, however, is that it’s a more traditional Castlevania experience, tasking you with making your way through a number of stages. There are multiple routes for added replayabilty, and as old-fashioned Castlevania games go its quite good. It certainly lurks in the shadow of Symphony of the Night in this package though, and anyone going into it expecting the same laid-back challenge that its sequel provides is in for a shock; Rondo of Blood takes no prisoners.

Castlevania Requiem 3-min

That being said, quick save options for both games means you can leave them safely when you need a break, and Rondo of Blood also has a generous continue system. With some persistence, anyone can emerge victorious over Rondo of Blood eventually, and it’s worth doing so just to see how it shaped its follow up.

So, should you buy Castlevania Requiem: Symphony of the Night & Rondo of Blood? Well, it depends. If you’ve never played either of the games before and like the simplicity of just booting up your PS4 and getting stuck in and earning trophies; yes. You’ll not regret your purchase. Also buy it if you’re a fan of the series hellbent on experiencing some classic Castlevania action on your current gen console. It’s not perfect by any means, but both games play just fine.

If you have fond memories of the original PlayStation version of Symphony of the Night and were expecting Castlevania Requiem to offer the definitive version of the game, however, you might want to think twice. While Rondo of Blood is entertaining enough, the lack of extras and the inferior version of Symphony of the Night being included in this package is sure to disappoint.

GameSpew Our Score 6

Castlevania Requiem: Symphony of the Night & Rondo of Blood is available on PS4.