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Title: Castlevania - Dracula X (2nd Review)
Rom Player: ZSNES
Reviewer: ItalianStereotype

Synopsis: By now, every gamer has played Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Most of them have beaten the game and have probably gone back to play through as Richter Belmont. Now, any gamer worth their console knows that SotN was indeed not the first Castlevania game to involve Richter. In 1995, Castlevania Dracula X was released on the Super Nintendo and provided an experience that no fan of the series should be without.

The year is 1792. At this point, almost a century has passed since Simon gathered the various parts of Dracula to break the curse of the beast and fifty years have not seen the courage of Juste Belmont. Awakened once again, the vampire lord kidnaps Annette Renard and her sister Maria in order to draw Richter towards Castlevania. Thus does the Belmont set forth to rescue his loved ones and fulfill the obligation of his bloodlines.

Game Play-As can be expected of any Castlevania game, the game play in Dracula X is excellent. The same basic moves are all here along with a few newer ones that truly set an example for the series. Many people criticize Dracula X for not allowing Richter to swing his whip in a full circle, but I prefer to count only the improvements. Instead of having more expansive whipping abilities, Richter is able backflip, slide, and use his secondary weapon in an Item Crash, or an especially powerful special attack for each sub-weapon. All in all, there were many improvements in this category.

Graphics-With the exception of SotN, Dracula X has the absolute best graphics in any Castlevania installment. The sprites and environments are clear, crisp, beautiful, and without equal in any other game of the series. For example, in the first stage, Richter is chased through the burning city of Veros by the decomposing corpse of a giant bull. By the end of the first level this game has set a precedent for its posterity to follow. Simply astounding. Also, the graphics in Dracula X begin a conversion of the series from the darker, gothic feeling of games like Castlevania 3 to the more classical settings of SotN, Harmony of Dissonance, and so on.

Music-Some classic tunes and some new ones. Overall, some of the best music from any of the Castlevania games can be found here. I especially love the new version of Vampire Killer and Bloody Tears.

Originality-Although the overall storyline of Castlevania does not change much, Dracula X provides perhaps the most unique, well-known Belmont of the franchise. Also, the stunning visuals, multiple routes through certain stages, and the brand new character moves gives this Castlevania a certain flair that masks any stale bits or age that the series shows.

Overall, Castlevania Dracula X is one of the best installments of the series and is requisite to becoming a true fan. Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to find each day and should immediately be bought by anyone who happens to find a copy. This is a game that you absolutely cannot go wrong with.

Best Cheats: Stage 2
Line 1: Blank, Holy Water, Axe
Line 2: Axe, Axe, Axe
Line 3: Axe, Holy Water, Holy Water

Stage 3
Line 1: Holy Water, Blank, Blank
Line 2: Axe, Axe, Blank
Line 3: Blank, Holy Water, Holy Water

Stage 4
Line 1: Axe, Axe, Axe
Line 2: Blank, Holy Water, Holy Water
Line 3: Axe, Heart, Heart

Level 5 Password
Holy Water, Heart, Fire
Fire, Holy Water, Axe
Holy Water, Heart, Heart

Alternate Level 5 Password
Axe, Holy Water, Fire
Fire, Holy Water, Holy Water
Axe, Holy Water, Holy Water

Stage 6
Line 1: Holy Water, Axe, Axe
Line 2: Holy Water, Blank, Holy Water
Line 3: Axe, Holy Water, Blank

Stage 7
Line 1: Holy Water, Holy Water, Holy Water
Line 2: Axe, Blank, Heart
Line 3: Blank, Blank, Axe

Game Play: 8
Graphics: 9
Music/Sound: 9
Originality: 8
Overall Rating: 9


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