After the Bomb that is Final Fantasy VII, Playstation owners are probably left wondering what can possibly come next (in terms of Great Gaming experiences)? Well along comes Dracula X. From one gamer to another: You must go out and BUY this game! But please be forewarned: This game isn't about 'true anti-aliased, tri-linear mit-mapped 3D polygon objects.' It is about Pure, Awesome, Godly, 2D Gameplay. Konami Japan is _Back_! This is the Konami we have always remembered, bringing back a _Real_ game that we've all been waiting for!
Some quick BG info: You take control as Alucard, son of Dracula, and you must go through Dracula's Castle to defeat him. It sounds simple enough, but this relative simplicity belies the true nature of this game, as Dracula X is one of the most Massive side-scrollers that I've played in a long time.
GRAPHICS: Although it sounds cliche, the screenshots _Really_ do NOT do this game justice! All the frames of animation for Alucard and the tons of different creatures in this game show once-and-for-all that the PSX Can do Awesome 2D games, and that this game could _Never_ be a 'SNES title' as some ignorant observers might try to point out. This isn't even mentioning the Insane amount of Parallax scrolling and scaling that will leave you shaking your head (the Church/Cathedral area comes to mind:).
GAMEPLAY: Like I said, this is Classic 2D Side-scrolling gameplay from the days of the immortal games such as the old Contras and Castlevanias. Yet Konami Japan didn't stop here. They also incorporated _two_ attack buttons: One for the Left hand, one for the Right hand. You can also transform into various creatures (a bat, wolf, or mist) after finding certain items. In addition, there's some RPG elements, such as gaining Levels/HP/MP and finding/buying new weapons and items! There are also plenty of secret Super moves/spells done via Street Fighter-style motions, etc. The control is Excellent and tight, which is crucial in this type of game.
MUSIC: As if the rest of the game didn't shine already ^_^, the music for Dracula X is the BEST Music of all-time for the Dracula series. And that's not just because it's 'CD'; the compositions range from frightening, ghostly tunes, to godly classical compositions using real instruments! The music for the Long Library is one of the standouts using Harpsicords! And the End Song @_@! No spoilers here, but suffice to say that you will be well rewarded with a very nice _real_ professionally recorded song! One of the best that I've heard in any video game to date.
In conclusion, I heartily recommend you to go out and buy this game! I almost forgot to mention it, but Dracula X comes with a free mini-Art Book with godly art from Konami Japan's newest talented artist, Ayami Kojima, and a Bonus Music CD with tunes from all the previous incarnations of Dracula/Castlevania! Not to mention the beautiful cover/CD art for the game. The whole package just screams quality! But fear not! You realistically need little to No knowledge of Japanese to play/beat this game. If you need any help, I have translations of the Item List from the Merchant available. Also, I beat this game the first time and got the 'crappy ending' ^_^. There are TONS of secret areas that will lead you to the 'new world' (which is a completely different 'world' with even Better Music!) and the Best ending in the game. I highly recommend you to check out this game. The voices are done by some of the top anime seiyuu in Japan today: Chisa Yokoyama and Hekiru Shiina. The saddest thing is that you know that Konami US is just going to mangle this (their Pathetic US 'Contra:LOW' style 'art,' black and white manual, horrible dubbing of voices, and no freebies).
Final Scores (out of a perfect 10):
Reviewed by Kenneth Lee, firstname.lastname@example.org