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Classic EGM Review: Castlevania Symphony of the Night (PS1) From EGM 100

18 Aug

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night PAL Cover Art

Symphony of the Night is highly regarded as one of the best games of the 32bit generation.

This Castlevania: Symphony of the Night EGM Review from issue #100 tells you what kind of stir the game caused back in late 1997/early 1998; November 1997 to be exact.

In this new feature, I will highlight a fun classic Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine review each day from my vast collection of issues.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Preview In EGM #99
Players: 1
Awarded EGM Gold
Best Feature: Two Different Castles
Worst Feature: Lame Voice Acting

9.0 From John Ricciardi
If this isn’t confirmation that the Konami of the old days is back and better than ever, I don’t know what is! Casltevania: Symphony of the Night is probably my favorite PlayStation game yet, and is easily the best of the Castlevania series (of which I’m a huge fan, by the way). The graphics are incredible – everything is animated with an amazing attention to detail, and the special effects used throughout provide an atmosphere that just begs to be experienced.

The soundtrack is awesome as well – Every song is brand new (no remixes like in past Castlvanias), and each fits its area of the game really nicely. Also, the game is huge, and there are two full castles to explore, tons of monsters and cool Bosses, hundreds of items to obtain and so on. And if that wasn’t enough, once you complete it all, you can play through again (with a code) as Richter, the hero from the prequel to Symphony of the Night!

Still, I do have two minor qualms about the game. One, I think the voice acting bites. The voices themselves are fine, but the actors don’t seem to understand their parts, and it adds an element of cheese I’d rather not have to deal with in a game of this caliber. Two, the game is a bit too easy, which is a letdown because past Castlevania games have been known to be tough. Other than that though, Symphony of the Night rocks, and I honestly can’t recommend it enough.

9.0 From Dan “Shoe” Hsu
I’m so happy that SCEA approved this “lowly” 2D title for the U.S. The newest Castlevania is absolutely awesome. It looks good, it sounds good, it plays good, although it may get a bit boring at times. It plays just like the 16-bit hall of famers (especially Metroid). The RPG elements and the sheer number of ways you can attack make Symphony of the Night one of the best PSX games of all time. This masterpiece more than makes up for Contra: Legacy of War…

9.5 From Kraig Kujawa
How ironic that Castlevania X, one of the PlayStation’s best games, is 2D. This game is ridiculously fun, the graphics are awesome (lots of huge creatures and cool effects) and the music fits the game’s mood perfectly (the voice acting is cheesy and monotonous though). There’s so much to do and explore in Castlevania X that it will hold anyone’s attention for quite a while. Any fan of action games should definitely buy this stellar title.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night American Box Art Cover (PS1)

The well-known US cover art of the Dracula Castle’s shadow in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

9.5 From Crispin Boyer
This is exactly what I’m looking for in a 32-bit Castlevania game: great graphics and animation, plenty of way-cool Bosses and tight 2D gameplay. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night plays like the awesome PC Engine CD Dracula X, except with the RPG and exploration elements of Castlevania 2 and Super Metroid. You get more than enough weapons to discover in the game’s huge castle. I only wish they stuck with the same tunes from the previous games.

Visuals: 9
Sound: 8
Ingenuity: 6
Replay: 7

All text is copyright November 1997 Electronic Gaming Monthly/Ziff Davis/EGM Media, LLC

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