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Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Mobile Port [REVIEW]

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night sees the return of a cult classic to a very popular platform.

Initially released on March 20, 1997 for the Sony PlayStation, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a hidden gem. When it first came out, it received critical acclaim, but it didn’t do well commercially. Still, its excellent story and superb gameplay allowed it a measure of longevity.

Indeed, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night’s appeal allowed it to return time and time again in every generation of consoles. Now, it’s out on both Android and iOS devices. But what actually makes this game great? And does it translate well into mobile?

The Metroidvania of the Castlevania series

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Review

Fans regard Castlevania: Symphony of the Night as a turning point in the Castlevania series. After all, it’s the first to introduce exploration, RPG mechanics, and non-linear level design. It’s also described as the first game in the series to transition to “Metroidvania”, a sub-genre of action platformers.

This turning point led to massive leaps in Castlevania’s game mechanics. It subsequently evolved to more pronounced RPG mechanics in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and beyond.

The gameplay is crisp, the story is very engaging, with sympathetic characters that you could get behind. The protagonist from the previous game, Richter Belmont, has been taken control of one of Dracula’s minions. It is up to you, Alucard, son of Dracula, to stop the Lord of Darkness’ resurrection.

The game’s soundtrack further enhances the gaming experience. The masterful Michiru Yamane composed music for the game that turned into an instant classic. It adds a lot of flavor into the game, adding more tension during boss battles, and emotion during the dramatic scenes.

The Move to Mobile

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Review

But how does Castlevania: Symphony of the Night translate to mobile devices? For one, the version that arrived on Android and iOS devices isn’t the original game from the PlayStation. Instead, this version is the one from the PlayStation Portable remake. It has minor differences, including bug fixes and quality of life improvements. However, hardcore fans would notice that parts of the script, some musical scores, and voice acting have changed. There might be some purists who would take offense to that, but the PSP version is frankly the best port for the game.

In terms of controls, the game’s touchscreen controls are poor but serviceable. Thankfully, the game supports controller support, so you could play the game with how you’d like to experience it.

Having the game on mobile gives people like me, long-time fans of the game, to replay it again after many years. Meanwhile, it also introduces the game to a whole new generation of players. With Konami’s plans of moving their IPs to mobile, this is a good starting point. Now, if only Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls would be just as good.