Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles

Castlevania compilation hands-on

Rondo currently plays much the same in its 3D version as it did in its 2D version. The first level of gameplay was available for us and it's virtually the same, down to the point where power-ups were available in the same places. The lone exception is that it seemed a touch easier than the original version, with enemies moving a bit slowly, but Igarashi and others were quick to point out that the code was very early, and glitches such as Richter's sluggish walking animation will be fixed by the time the game's on shelves.

For those who haven't found a way to play the original Rondo, you're in for a treat, as well as one of the most challenging and elaborate 2D games on record. Rondo was, in many ways, the ultimate expression of 2D Castlevania, combining elegantly hand-drawn sprites with lengthy, impressively animated levels. The player's task, as neophyte vampire hunter Richter Belmont, was to free four maidens from captivity along the way to battling the evil Count Dracula; one of those maidens, the young magician Maria Renard, became a second playable character.

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