Super Castlevania IV is one of the top-ten games created for the SNES. Too bad Castlevania: Dracula X doesn't really compare. It's a good game, but the magic of IV can hardly be found anywhere in this entry.
Dracula X's protagonist is Richter, descendent of the famed Simon Belmont. This time the Belmonts' war against Dracula is personal -- the Count has kidnapped Richter's love, Annet, and her sister, Maria. Armed with the trademark whip, he must get them back and destroy Dracula.
ProTip: Even If you don't have a weapon, you can use a flaming whip if you have enough hearts. Just press the Item Crash button.
Divided into several areas, Dracula X adds a new twist: Hidden stages are found in the lower levels on the main map that appears each time a stage is completed. They also contain the two women captives that must be rescued. While this provides a new challenge, the location of the captives is too obvious, leaving little incentive to re-explore the stages for other possible hidden goodies.
Who's the Boss?
One of the highlights of the Castlevania games has always been the bosses. In Dracula X, however, the bosses are only so-so. Some have easy patterns, like the giant Minotaur, while only a few are challenging, like the grim reaper on the clock tower.
The graphics are simple -- no knockout Mode 7 stages, no rotating rooms (like in Castlevania IV). Your character is also very small.
The play engine feels like it's right out of the 8-bit versions (only horizontal whipping is allowed), and only a few new abilities (jumping onto staircases and picking which weapon to carry) were thrown in. The controls are almost perfect; the only exception is a slight delay when you repeatedly use a special weapon.
Fans of the 8-bit games will get a kick out of the beautifully reworked music scores. The sound effects, however, are just average -- the snapping whip and occasional loud crashes fill in the other part of the soundtrack.
Rest in Peace
It's a shame the 16-bit Castlevania games had to end this way. Where the 8-bit editions gracefully exited with the excellent Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, this last hurrah is a muted one.
For an awesome alternative version of this title, you may want to check out the import-only PC Engine game. Other than that, it's back to the grave for Castlevania.
- Tap the Jump button twice to perform a back flip.
- In Stage 3, falling off the pillars doesn't kill you, it lands you in an underground stage.
- If you don't rescue Annet and Maria, you face this menacing boss on the top of the clock tower.
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Dracula X, the popular Japanese PC Engine game, is finally making its way to the Super NES. It is still very early in development, but we managed to get a hold of a sneak preview! Check out some of these pictures. The game looks and sounds great. If you're interested in seeing more, check out next month's issue of EGM3 for a lot more coverage on this long-awaited title from Konami.
- Konami for Super NES
This game is older than Dracula himself. If you need a Castlevania fix, play Castlevania IV. Otherwise, get yourself a crucifix, some garlic and a sharpened stake, head out to that old haunted place on the edge of town, and drive that stake through this game!
- Machine: Super NES
- Genre: action
- Players: 1
- Publisher: Konami
- Developer: Konami
The first thing you should know about this game is that it's NOT Castlevania VI, which would have made it a new game in the series. In fact, it's a pretty old game, related to the series. Dracula Xmas was released in Japan for the TurboGrafx PC-Engine in the fall of '93, and now it' been ported to Super NES for release here. It's been a long time since I played a Castlevania game, but I think I'm gonna have to keep waiting. Dracula X is two years old and plays like it - a trip straight to side-scrolling hell.
The graphics are pretty, but the animation is less than smooth, and it's in the control that the game really falls down. Whatever generation Belmont this guy is, he's pretty sluggish, and there's no way to change direction while jumping, for instance. True, that's the way Castlevania has always been, but I never remember it bugging me before. On a whim I dug out Super Castlevania IV. Sure enough, same play mechanics, but a much better experience.
Dracula X is the sort of game where bumping into any enemy sends you hurtling into the bottomless pit that always happens to be nearby. On the plus side it's a relatively big game, it looks nice, and there are a couple of different paths you can wind up taking through, so you're not always playing the same stages every time. However, this game is more frustrating than it is challenging.
- Manufacturer: Konami
- Machine: Super NES
This is a port over to Super NES of the TurboGraFX PC Engine CD game of the same title. Now, keep this kind of quiet, but this is another entry in the Castlevania series. That's right - ghouls, whips and all, it's in there. Only three or four levels have been made available at press time (after that it just sort of stops), but it's Castlevania through and through - whether that's good enough, well, we're just going to have to wait and see.
The PC Engine lives! Now it is sporting THE best version of Castlevania to date! The many vast improvements-included: range from levers that branch off in three to five different ways and two exists out of each stage, being able to jump off stairs, and a lottery backup for total exploration! There is even a new character, Maria, that battles the undead with all kinds of cute things. Totally cool!
One of the weakest Castlevania games, Dracula X pales in comparison to Castlevania IV, and looks downright dismal when compared to the PC Engine import-only version.'You play as Richter Belmont, a descendant of Simon. This SNES version is fun to play and has some cool aspects—like multiple endings -- but it's too short, and the game- play's too limited (you can't play as Maria). Dracula X is a good game by itself; in the context of the other Castlevania games, however, it definitely loses some bite.
Castlevania – Rondo of Blood, also known as Dracula X, is a platformer video game developed by Konami for PCs, and is featured as the tenth installment of the Castlevania video game series. The game is a 2D side-scroller and acts as a mix between the earlier linear Castlevania games and the later open-exploration ones. The game was released in Japan in 1993 and was followed-up by another release in 1997, called Castlevania – Symphony of the Night.
The action takes place in 1972 in a fictional universe. The eternal conflict between the campire hunters and the immortal vampire Dracula is still the main subject of the story. The game centers on Richter Belmost, who searches for Annette, his beloved, after Dracula used her. Maria Renard is freed from Dracula’s castle and then becomes a playable character.
The game was redesigned and does not look like the previous installments. The game was released worldwide for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System two years after the first release and, in 2007, was remade for PlayStation Portable. The version for Nintendo Wii was released in Japan in 2008 and in Australia, North America and Europe two years later.
Richter Belmont is the primary character of the game and the player has to guide him through nine different stages. There are four alternate routes as he searches for Annette and he has to confront Dracula in the end of the game. His main weapon is a whip and he has other sub-weapons: an axe, a dagger, holy water, a grimoire, a pocket watch and a cross.
Though the game was redesigned, it still contains features from the first linear games, released in the previous years. The game has a clear beginning, but more than one ending on different levels. The ending depends on the player’s actions. He can affect the environment, the monsters and the boss monster at the end of the level. Money, hearts (for improving health) and food can be found scattered throughout the stage.
The critical reaction after the release of this installment was very positive. The game was described as being a "beautifully crafted action game in the classic Castlevania style". The Wii version was awarded by IGN the "Editor's Choice" and was described and enjoyable and "worth the wait". The game was rated with 9 out of 10 by Nintendo. Its level design, soundtrack, graphics and level difficulty were praised by the popular developer. The game won the Best Japanese Action Game of 1994, awarded by Electronic Gaming Monthly. Dracula X was rated with 73.75% by GameRankings, but there were only four reviews.
The Castlevania series has long been Konami's flagship series. The excellent gameplay and wonderful graphics throughout the years have won players over. The series finally goes 32-Bit with the latest incarnation on the way to the PlayStation. One look at the graphics, and it is easy to see how exciting this game is. Look for more info as it hits.
Castlevania: Dracula X is a platform game developed and published by Konami and based on Akumajou Dracula X: Chi no Rondo. It was released in Australia in an uncensored version, and under the Vampire's Kiss title. It shares the gameplay, which is the battle between Dracula and the Belmont family began.