Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles

Game Overview

Among fans, Castlevania Dracula X: Rondo of Blood was considered the "lost" title in the Castlevania series. Never released in the United States, it was the original, superior version to the SNES remake (Castlevania: Dracula X). 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 true re-release/remake in Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, a PlayStation Portable exclusive that boasted a 2.5D enhanced version of Rondo of Blood, as well the original game and its sequel title, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (both unlockable through easter eggs hidden in the remake). Everything fans wanted -- Richter's full adventure; gorgeous anime cutscenes and rich, orchestral music; playable Maria Renard -- was included, giving fans the fullest Dracula X experience.

The ehanced remake consitutes the main game in the collection. Along with the newly detailed, polygonal graphics, the game features 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 (Iris and Tera), unlocks the ability to break certain barriers. These barriers block other unlockables, and the powers are 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 (that one you'd get if you played the game with the wrong system card), 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 and providing just about the most complete experience any fan could hope for. In fact, (as noted elsewhere on the Inverted Dungeon) the only omission the in title would be the lack of the SNES remake, Dracula XX. In all other ways, and especially for American audiences, this is the version of Rondo of Blood to get.