Castlevania Symphony of the Night is one of those unforgettable classic games. The interesting thing about it is that it was not flawless by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, back then, this game completely changed the entire industry and gave a start to series of games that are still loved to this very day.
One example would be the dramatic exit of its main developer, Koji Igarashi. He left Konami in 2014. Then he used Kickstarter to develop his own game, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. It’s basically a continuation of the Castlevania series. Fans pledged over $5,5 million to Igarashi’s campaign.
But just for now, let’s look at where it all started.
Castlevania Symphony of the Night: The Story
Castlevania story begins in 1986. Between the first edition and the Castlevania Symphony of the Night there is a 11-year and 13-game gap. So, why 1997 is so important to the franchise of Castlevania?
For starters, it was the first time Castlevania reached PlayStation. After a decade of experimenting with gameplay and different genres, Castlevania found its path that Konami stuck to ever since.
The change was not massive. In fact, the only significant change was an introduction of the RPG elements like armor and different weapons. But due to an extremely positive feedback from players, Konami kept RPG in all of the following games.
How Castlevania Symphony of the Night changed games
Castlevania Symphony of the Night gave players a non-linear, quest-based challenge. Konami combined humor and mysteries to enhance the experience.
For instance, players that went through the game in just a couple of hours were baffled to find out that there were still vast dungeons they missed. Needless to say, for a simple ‘slash and grab’ game, this one offered tons of replay value.
But many will agree that where really C:SotN excelled was the visuals. The developers set the high bar by polishing every edge. Which does add to the game a lot.
Funny enough, even compared to 2D games released 10 years later, the visuals on the new games were only a few steps ahead of the 1997 Castlevania.
All in all, Castlevania’s impact on the future of the series and the whole game industry cannot be underestimated. Yes, the continuation story is critical to keep players interested. Yet, even without it, it’s simply tremendous what the developers were able to achieve with this, comparably speaking, simple concept.
The only flaw of the game may be the abundance of skills and features that, in theory, were additional choices but in reality, proved to be useless.
And who can deny that it wouldn’t stand a chance today?
How sure are you that you explored all of the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night mysteries and hidden rooms? Didn’t you miss the clock?