Well, it is finally time to review the last part of the Castlevania Advance Collection, Castlevania: Dracula X. If you were looking for the other games in this compilation, read Review: Castlevania Advance Collection: Part 1: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (Switch), Review: Castlevania Advance Collection: Part 2: Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (Switch), or Review: Castlevania Advance Collection: Part 3: Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (Switch). Now let’s begin.
First thing you might note about this game is that it was never on the Game Boy Advance, Dracula X is a Super Nintendo game. This might be that it just didn’t fit in previous compilations, or that this one might’ve been too short without it. The next thing to take note of is that Dracula X is frequently confused with Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. That game was originally a japan only PC engine game, which was remade on the Super Nintendo with drastic changes as Castlevania: Dracula X. Also, I never played Dracula X or Rondo of Blood before, so I’m going into this with fresh eyes.
So Dracula X is a game that doesn’t quite match the style of the other Castlevania games on this collection. Dracula X more closely resembles the older Castlvania games on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The progression is linear, the map isn’t interconnected, there isn’t any equipment, or experience points. The game uses points and lives like many old games, and is quite challenging also like a lot of old games.
The gameplay revolves around the whip wielding Richter Belmont, plus the player swaps between sub weapons, much like in Circle of the Moon and Harmony of Dissonance. The game does have an “item crush” action, a powerful way to use your sub weapons at the cost of more hearts. I found I was only using this action when desperate, such as in the tough boss fights, as you are invincible while the long animation plays. As such, it was a neat feature, but didn’t change much in comparison to the older Castlevania games.
Dracula X is a very difficult game. You will find that there are a bunch of cheap hits you can’t avoid unless you know this game well. The first time you play, you will die a lot. As early as the first stage, there’s a jump that requires the full jump distance to make, and you have to time it right while being chased by an invincible monster.
If you lose all lives, you will be kicked back to the beginning of the level. This is really rough to play through on the original hardware, as there’s only a password system in place of saving. In the Castlevania Advance Collection, you do have the option to use save states, so you can save and load at any point. Without this feature, it would have been nearly impossible to defeat the many bosses in this game, as the player might not have enough health or lives to learn the boss’s attack patterns otherwise. That’s even without mentioning that the finale is incredibly tough, and may even be incredibly unfair even with save states. (For the record, yes I did finish this game, to my surprise).
Ultimately, Dracula X is a very hard game caught in between the design decisions of the Nintendo Entertainment System, and the technical advances the Super Nintendo offered at the time. Completing it requires precise platforming, and the game is often too unforgiving for new and old players alike. In other words, Dracula X is a hard game for the wrong reasons. If you are picking this game up by itself, beware of this game!
- Use save states to get through this tough game, if you are playing a version that has it. Have at least one extra life when you save!
- Take breaks! This game could get on your nerves!
- If the version doesn’t have save states, you’ll have to use passwords!
- Good graphics.
- Great Castlevania Soundtrack.
- Good basic gameplay systems.
- Requires a password system to save in the original version.
- Very difficult, even with save states.
- Many unfair hits to the player.
- Limited story.
- Linear progression (possible con, based on tastes).
- Slow movement.
7.5/10 Good, but very hard, and not for everyone
This game’s range is 7-8. Dracula X is a game that is hard for the wrong reasons, in ways old games used to be almost impossible to complete. As such, this game isn’t for everyone, especially for those who don’t like unfair challenges. The game is otherwise put together nicely, so gamers that like a lot of difficulty may still like this game.
What did you make of Dracula X’s difficulty? Did you beat this game? Did you enjoy this game? Did you use save states? Let me know in the comments below! If you enjoyed this review, then click that like button and share in social media! To keep up with That’s All Games, you may subscribe via email or WordPress. Until Next time, have fun gaming!