The result: Symphony of the Night has landed on Xbox Live Arcade, and along with Geometry Wars Evolved, it's the best download out there. Company reps know it, fans know it, and we know it. So when one of these classics gets a revival for current-generation gamers, it's a true achievement not only for the original creators of the game, but also for the platform that has the honor of giving it new life. Just like in Street Fighter, hardcore gamers may end up spending the bulk of their first few minutes cursing the controller more than enjoying the game, but after a little getting used to both the sticks and d-pad work just fine minus the occasional issue. Oh yes we will, Death. Some basic pixel-blending, shading, and contrast was added, giving the game a slightly more well-rounded and warm look, but that's about it. During a burst of 3D game development Castlevania stuck to its roots, and the result is one of the best platformers of all time.
If you don't know Castlevania: Symphony of the Night by now, you're about 10 years late to the party. Digital distribution has given the game new life, and for anyone who doesn't own the game or -- dare we even think it -- even played it, this should be the easiest purchase you've ever made. Pass this up and you might as well trade in your 360. For a franchise that has been around since the beginning of gaming itself, it didn't always have the best sense of direction. Some level design and enemy placement is a bit basic, but was a monumental starting point for current-day Castlevania. . We could spend all day ranting about the amazing gameplay, killer boss battles, and unparalleled musical score with an odd hint of cheesy, cheesy voice acting , but we'd rather you go download the game for yourself and enjoy it.
The core game is the same, so you'll still have hours and hours of legendary content, but there are a few lingering oddities that keep it from being a hands-down replacement to the original. In the graphics department, Symphony got very little treatment. Considering its depth and design, it's odd to even consider Symphony of the Night a Xbox Live Arcade game. Along those same lines, the Xbox hardware isn't really the greatest platform for the game's controls, as its primary control feels best with a d-pad, and the 360 controllers have some pretty shoddy pads. In addition the game's audio compression suffers just a bit, with a few -- just a few -- of the sound effects receiving most of the hit. Castlevania has an amazing style, though some of the decade-old tricks such as Mode 7 and basic 3D backdrops are showing their age.
Both of the cinemas of the famous castle are extremely short, very low-poly, and in nearly every way worthless to the actual game itself, but they're still missing, and it did leave us wishing they were there. There are a small handful of games out there that will without a doubt be remembered as timeless gaming classics. Most players wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two, but hardcore gamers and longtime Symphony fans will be happy to get an enhanced - albeit slight - visual presentation. Ten years and running; we still love it. And in the end, that's really the long and short of it. .
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