TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Castlevania: Symphony of the Night’

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The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best" thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…


Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

When one of the best games of all time, and some would argue THE best game of all time, makes its way to iOS, that is cause for celebration. With basically no warning whatsoever Konami dropped an iOS and Android version of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night ($2.99) onto those respective App Stores this week, for a whopping three dollars no less. It’s madness I tell you! While there are certainly some concerns playing a game on a touchscreen that was originally designed for console controllers more than two decades ago, this is still Symphony of the Night in your pocket wherever you go. Let me say that again. This is Castlevania: Symphony of the Night in your pocket!

Obviously the biggest question is how does Symphony of the Night play on a touchscreen? And the answer is surprisingly well, but not perfectly. You will flub something up sooner or later due to the virtual buttons, but by and large it’s nothing more than a minor annoyance when it happens and more often than not you’ll find yourself being surprised at how well things are working. Unfortunately there are no options whatsoever for adjusting the size or placement of the virtual controls, which would be helpful, but the defaults are adequate enough. Plus Symphony of the Night fully supports physical controllers, so if you have one of those that’s definitely a superior way to play, but certainly not a necessity.

The other question you may have is what sort of features are in this version? Well, not many. This mobile version is based on a version released for the PlayStation Portable as part of Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles back in 2007, and features completely re-recorded voiceover work and reworked dialogue compared to the original PlayStation 1 version. This is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your fondness of cheesy voice acting. This also means that Maria Renard is a hidden playable character in addition to Richter Belmont, and they’re playable right from the start instead of having to beat the game with Alucard first.

Probably the most welcome new feature is a continue option that lets you pick up just about where you left off whenever you close out of the game, and this is really the crux of what I love so much about this new mobile version. Symphony of the Night is actually highly conducive to dipping into for brief spurts to whack away at some baddies, find some loot, and make a little progress through Dracula’s castle. It’s actually surprisingly enjoyable to bust it out while waiting at a doctor’s office, or for the bus, or whenever you have just a few minutes to kill. I would have never thought of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night in that way before, but it actually works. Like I said, this is Symphony of the night in your pocket. For three dollars. What more needs to be said!?

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