Castlevania Symphony of the Night is widely regarded as a classic game, but is it really as great as people remember it?
Castlevania Symphony of the Night was a groundbreaking game when it was first released in 1997. It was the first game in the Castlevania series to adopt the Metroidvania-style open-world format, and its success led to the development of many other similar games. The game has since gained a reputation as one of the greatest games of all time, but is it really as good as people make it out to be?
Firstly, let’s look at the gameplay. The game is a blend of action platformer and RPG, with exploration being a key part of the experience. While it’s true that the game is well-designed, with a wide range of enemies and challenging boss fights, there are some aspects that make the game less enjoyable.
There’s the issue of difficulty. While the game is challenging in some parts, it can be made much easier by exploiting certain items and equipment. The Valmanway/Crissaegrim is a weapon that makes combat trivial, and it can be acquired relatively early in the game. This removes a lot of the challenge that makes the game interesting, and it can make the game feel less rewarding. One of the biggest flaws in the gameplay is the ease with which players can acquire health potions. The game is littered with them, and they can be used to heal the player at any time. This makes the game much easier than it would be otherwise, and removes a lot of the challenge that makes the game interesting.
One issue is the game’s inventory and menu system. While it was undoubtedly groundbreaking at the time, it hasn’t aged well, and can be confusing to navigate. This can lead to players wasting time trying to figure out how to use items or where to go next, which can be frustrating.
One of the most frustrating aspects of Castlevania Symphony of the Night is that fighting the boss fight against Shaft is not straightforward. In fact, it’s almost impossible to figure out on your own. I remember my friend telling me he beat the game, but never fought Dracula, which left him disappointed. We were looking at screenshots of the game in a magazine, and he was telling me how the screenshots must be fake because half of them aren’t even in the game. The game’s lack of clear direction on how to fight Shaft can leave players feeling lost and unsure if they have truly beaten the game. However, due to the internet, this has become common knowledge about the game and many people know how fight Shaft on their first play through.
Lastly, the level design is also problematic. While the first castle is well-designed, with a clear sense of progression and a sense of accomplishment as you unlock new areas, the second castle is much less focused. It’s an open mess with no clear direction, and it can be hard to figure out where to go next. This can lead to players feeling lost and disoriented, and it can make the game less enjoyable as a result.
In conclusion, Castlevania Symphony of the Night is a game that is still fantastic and deserves to be played. The game was a pioneer in the Metroidvania genre and influenced many games that followed. Despite its flaws, such as the overly easy gameplay due to health positions, the terrible level design of the inverted castle, and the unintuitive inventory and menu systems, Symphony of the Night is still a classic that I enjoyed playing when I was young and still consider it a classic today. It is important to acknowledge its flaws and recognize that it is not a perfect game, but it still offers a great experience that stands the test of time. If you’re a fan of the genre or looking for a classic game to play, Castlevania Symphony of the Night is definitely worth checking out.
If you’re looking for another great 2D platformer, Beware is a game worth checking out. It’s similar to Donkey Kong Country, and features a narrative-driven gameplay that will keep you hooked. Add Beware to your Steam wishlist today, and get ready for a new gaming experience!