Sony PSP fans have been clamoring for a 2-D Castlevania for a long time now, and have had to sit and watch as not one, but two Castlevania games have been developed and released for the Nintendo DS system. Now Konami is about to change all of that and not only are they finally bringing a 2-D Castlevania game to the Sony PSP, they're bringing one of the most coveted of the Castlevania titles, the PC Engine version of Dracula X: Rondo of Blood. And as if that were not enough, they're going to throw in the original PC Engine Dracula X: Rondo of Blood as well as a widescreen port of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The working title of the game is "Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles" and the game could be the ace-in-the-hole PSP title Sony has been looking for. Not to mention those who already own the PSP.
For many years Castlevania fans have been purchasing the PC Engine Super CD game off of ebay for in excess of $300 at times. The game is considered by many to be the pinnacle of the Castlevania series and has become increasingly more difficult to find over the past few years. Konami has decided that it's time to give the classic a re-release and they're updating the game from the ground up including some amazing cut scenes, remixed audio, and a fresh coat of polygon graphics to make everything nice and smooth. The game will still play exactly the same but the use of polygon graphics will allow them to make everything from the characters to the enemies scroll in a silky smooth and up-to-date way. Finally the great Rondo of Blood will see a new release and Rondo of Blood purists aren't being left out either. As a bonus, Konami is going to include the original and unchanged Rondo of Blood game on the release as well as the original PS1 release of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night in widescreen format. Could it possibly get any better. Two of the greatest Castlevania games ever released on one UMD disc.
Castlevania: Rondo of Blood is more of an action-oriented Castlevania game much like the early titles that invlovled a more linear approach to playing through the game. You progress through each stage defeating smaller enemies and performing pinpoint platforming-style jumps and then face off with a deadly boss at the end of each area. The game features some of the best bosses the series has seen not to mention multiple pathways to take in most areas that really increase the playability and replay value of the game. One thing that made the PC Engine version of the game so desirable was the CD-quality soundtrack. The classic Castlevania music has never sounded so good and hopefully Konami can enhance the tunes even more with this new version of the game. Couple all of this together with the brand new, and stunning-looking cutscenes and this could be the best Castlevania release to date. Even in the early screenshots you can see the level of detail that Konami is able to create on the PSP and fans of this classic Castlevania title can see how much better the game looks even this early in development. Kind of gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling inside, doesn't it?
After watching the video of the complete first level of the game the only thing left to say is "wow!" Even as good as the original PC Engine version of the game looked and sounded, the new updated version just absolutely blows it away. The use of the polygon graphics just makes the entire presentation of the game so silky smooth and the way the game will swing the camera around at angles at certain important times in the game is astounding. The game seems to play almost exactly as it did originally, with all of the enemies and bosses still intact, albeit with a little more flare to them. I don't think it's too early to say that this is lining up to be the best looking Castlevania game to date. PSP fans may have had to wait for a while before getting the chance to experience a Castlevania game on the PSP but Konami has obviously been putting in some serious development time with this title and if this early level is any indicator of the final product, PSP owners are in for a serious treat later in the year. Now I'm just going to sit here and drool over the video for another hour or so.
PSP fans have much to be excited about with this new Castlevania news and we'll have more information on this exciting new release as more details become available.
I've been waiting for a PSP Castlevania game since the day I imported my PSP. And Rondo of Blood is one of my prized game possessions and the main reason I've kept my PC Engine Duo-R around for so long. I'm so excited about this new "arranged" version of Rondo plus getting the original Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night on one UMD disc is like dying and going to heaven. This announcement has officially made my year.