Castlevania Requiem, a collection that brings Castlevania classics Symphony of the Night and Rondo of Blood to PlayStation 4, is available today, but one of those games might not be the same game you remember from the original PlayStation era.
The version of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night included in Requiem is based on the 2007 re-release for PlayStation Portable. That means the game features an updated script and new voice overs; the cheesy translations of the PlayStation original are gone. In other words, you won’t hear Dracula’s infamous “What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets.” and other so-bad-they’re-good lines when Richter Belmont confronts him in the game’s opening scenes. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, well, stick to the version from 1997 (or the Xbox 360 port of that game).
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night lets you choose Japanese voice overs and lets you play as Maria, just like the version included in Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles for PSP, but there are few other options. For both Symphony of the Night and Rondo of Blood, you can choose to run the game at its “normal” size or at full screen. The game’s 4:3 aspect ratio remains in tact, and the game scales well (full screen shaves a couple pixels off the bottom of the image), with six wallpaper background options at your disposal.
Both games can be played with display effects, including scanlines and interlacing. The latter creates a horrible flickering effect, and its unclear why anyone would elect to view the game this way. Sprite smoothing, which rarely offers any visual improvement, is also available.
Konami doesn’t offer any sound options outside of Japanese-language voices. Some sound effects, like item pickups and select voices, are delivered through the DualShock 4’s built-in speaker, and there doesn’t appear to be any way to turn this off.
Other than that, the package includes Symphony of the Night and Rondo of Blood mostly as you remember them, accessible from some clunky, confusing menus. The Requiem collection offers little else: no bonus art galleries, no music libraries, no developer interviews or insights. Anyone familiar with Konami’s track record for game collections likely won’t be surprised by the barebones treatment, but when other publishers, namely Capcom, are releasing Mega Man and Street Fighter collections with a treasure trove of source material, it’s a massive missed opportunity.
Fortunately, Symphony of the Night and Rondo of Blood still hold up, and that’s the only reason to recommend this collection.