Though the count of games in this lesson is low – four compared to, say, ten – the titles included here are significant. You have handheld gems like Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, and Aria of Sorrow, all of which carved out an amazing niche in their own right years ago. To boot, there’s also the SNES version of Castlevania: Dracula X, which has been long lost to collectors and now goes for hundreds of dollars a pop physically, despite being an inferior game to the Rondo of Blood adventure on TurboDuo that inspired it.
Anyway, let’s focus here. All three of the main games here are lengthy adventures, with compelling gameplay that reminds us of the classic side of Castlevania, while carving out something new in their own right. They’re a joy to revisit, wonderfully re-emulated without missing a beat on the big screen. Sure, some of the sprites may look a slight bit aged, but they’re retaining the way the games used to look, so we’re fine with that.
And, surprisingly enough, the gameplay translates very well for each one. Aria of Sorrow in particular is a stunner; and, yep, even Circle of the Moon holds its own as the oldest of the Game Boy Advance entries, with hours’ worth of gameplay and some great looking visuals and music to boot.
Each has some stellar gameplay to spare, with some particular systems that stand out, such as the Souls system, which is really something in their own right. They’re all worth exploring, with lots of secrets to find and some truly amazing boss fights to rediscover.
Perhaps the real question here is…why Dracula X? Could Konami not have included Symphony of the Night with the package to truly make it a dramatic offering? Sure, the game saw digital release before on Xbox platforms, as well as with Castlevania Requiem on the PS4 (with text editing, grrrr), but a release on Switch with this package would’ve been right at home.
That said, Dracula X isn’t bad at all. Again, it’s no Rondo, but it’s a great Castlevania adventure with good music and lots of thrilling gameplay. It’s the least packaged of the included games, as it’ll take you just a little while to beat. But it’s a nostalgic trip, and, thanks to this package, won’t provide a beating to your wallet.