These levels will immediately give older Castlevania fans a strong sense of déjà vu, as they are reminiscent of the first levels within the classic NES versions of the game. The look and feel is very similar, and the paired-down gameplay will remind players of those original 8-bit titles. Simon Belmont cannot whip in multiple directions, although he can whip in downward when he jumps. Extra attacks are limited to the familiar arsenal of boomerangs, holy water, and other weapons of days past.
The whole game has a strong retro feeling, and it certainly isn’t for everyone, especially those who’ve cut their teeth on Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. But as a pure platform game, it is an excellent diversion. The bosses, while familiar, are all updated and challenging, from a giant skeleton-dragon to the omni-present Grim Reaper. Most players won’t be able to blow through this game immediately, although it isn’t overly difficult.
The Arrange mode does enhance the experience a bit, but it really doesn’t add anything to the actual gameplay. The graphics get a boost, mainly through updated backgrounds, but most of the monsters and other sprites remain the same, unfortunately. The animation, somewhat stilted in the Original mode, isn’t updated, and there are no extra paths or secrets to discover. The major improvement in this mode is the music, which has a completely new and instrumental score. Konami almost always delivers on the music within Castlevania games, and in both modes of this title they live up to their legacy.
Castlevania Chronicles is not an “advanced” title, but it is still a definite bargain at half the price of an average PlayStation game. Those who really love Castlevania in all of its forms will definitely want to pick this one up.
While they’ll fill you with nostalgiac glee, the graphics are a bit primitive by today’s standards, although the Arrange mode does give them a bit of an update. It won’t upset hardcore fans, but those who haven’t lived with the series for 15 years will be let down.
The music has always been one of the high points of the Castlevania series, and here, that is no exception. The Arrange mode features some amazing instrumental music.
While the gameplay is strongly rooted in the old school, Castlevania Chronicles does sport some intense gameplay and a classic feel that serves it well.
While the linear gameplay and limited character functions do inhibit the replay value of the game, the Arrange mode does give you another option in terms of aestetics, and the classic gameplay can be picked up again and again.
Konami has done a fine job in laying out the simplistic game, but the manual is no work of art.