Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles

Game Overview

Among fans, Castlevania Dracula X: Rondo of BloodThe first adventure for Rochter Belmont, this game didn't originally make it to the West (instead seeing a SNES remake to replace it) as was considered something of a prized collector's item by fans. was considered the "lost" title in the Castlevania series. Never released in the United States (due to disputes between NEC of America, who controlled the TurboGraphix, and NEC of Japan) over games that should be released in Western markets), it was the original, superior version to the SNES remake (Castlevania: Dracula XThis SNES game was a loose remake of Castlevania Dracula X: Rondo of Blood, and even by the team that made it is considered a non-continuity adventure.). A rarity state-side, Rondo of Blood was widely coveted by fans, leading to a lively (and expensive) auction market for import copies of the title.

Thankfully, 14 years after its original release, Konami graced the world with a true re-release/remake of the title in Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, a PlayStation Portable exclusive that boasted a 2.5D GameplayThis generally refers to pairing standard 2D platforming gameplay with 3D graphics for an updated, blended experience. enhanced version of Rondo of Blood, as well as the original game and its sequel title, Castlevania: Symphony of the NightReleased on the PlayStation in 1997, this game, while not hugely successful in the U.S. at the time, went on to become on the most beloved titles in the Castlevania series. (both unlockable through Easter Eggs hidden in the remake). Everything fans wanted -- the full adventure of Richter BelmontRevealed first in Castlevania Dracula X: Rondo of Blood in Japan, and then Castlevania: Dracula X in the West, Richter is the Belmont hero of the late 1700s who worked with Maria Renard to bring down Dracula., gorgeous anime cut-scenes and rich, orchestral music, plus a playable Maria RenardA young heroine, and cousin to Richter Belmont, with the blood of the Belmont clan in her veins, Maria teams with Richter to fight back Dracula and the forces of darkness in the late 1700s. -- was included, giving fans the fullest Dracula X experience ever seen in the West.

The enhanced remake constitutes the main game in the collection. Along with the newly detailed, polygonal graphics, the game featured a new translation and updated (in English) voice acting. Additionally, explorational elements were added to the Rondo of Blood experience. Saving two of the girls (IrisOne of four girls that can be rescued in Castlevania Dracula X: Rondo of Blood. Iris was the daughter of the local doctor, and a medical student as well. and TeraOne of four girls that can be rescued in Castlevania Dracula X: Rondo of Blood. Tera was a young nun you lived in the village in the original game, although her role was greatly expanded in Castlevania: Nocturne, turning her into Maria's mother.), unlocked the ability to break certain barriers. These barriers blocked other unlockables, and their powers were required to collect all the bonuses as well as the best ending. The bonus include the aforementioned games, plus the bonus "peke" stage from Rondo of Blood (its own Easter Egg you'd played the original, PC Engine game on classic hardware game with the wrong system card installed), and the usual Sound Select and Boss Rush modes.

As a complete collection of all things Dracula X, Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles does an outstanding job of providing just about the most complete experience any fan could hope for. In fact, (as noted elsewhere on the Inverted Dungeon) the only omission would be the lack of the SNES remake, Dracula XX. In all other ways, and especially for Western audiences, this is the version of Rondo of Blood to get.