In Castlevania X: Rondo of Blood, the player takes control of Richter, the ultimate Vampire Killer, guiding him through a total of nine stages filled with treacherous traps and hidden secrets. Using your legendary whip – passed on from generations of Belmonts – and a powerful selection of Item Crash attacks, it's up to you to destroy Dracula and his evil horde. What's more, rescuing MARIA at some juncture in the game allows you to use her as a playable character for even more vampire-slaying fun.
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A dramatic pivot in Castlevania to something more about fast jumps and rooms with many puzzle like approaches rather than turtling and attrition. Much kinder than classic-vania but more demanding in terms of control than modern-vanias. The solution and rhythm of rooms are designed to express a grand scale that crumbles before you after some perseverance and careful footwork. The game then just fucking implodes when you unlock Maria and get a double jump in a turn that's almost as transformative as the infamous castle flip in Rondo's sequel. The Dracula fight is really boring but doesn't undercut how delightful and empowering it is to master the game enough for your first clear.
Enfim completei o seu 100%. Rondo of Blood foi o primeiro Castlevania que zerei, e tenho que dizer que foi uma surpresa em tanto. Inicialmente realmente fiquei hipnotizado com suas cutscenes, uma animação muito boa que caracteriza muito bem o jogo, os designs lembram muito aquelas visual novels de pc-98 o qual eu gosto muito. Sobre a história, bem, não da kkkkkkkkkkkkkkk é o básico do básico e ainda é ruim, entretanto, a conversa do Dracula e do Ritcher tem de ser pontuada no final, é ótima e é o único ponto bom a se destacar na história. A exploração de Rondo of Blood é bem legal, quebrei tanta parede que não tenho mais conta, além de claro ser muito desafiador, só me senti uma vez frustado na luta contra o Shaft. Enfim Rondo of Blood no geral me encantou muito e me divertiu bastante, me senti muito realizado após fazer 100% do jogo.
okay yeah this is probably the best one lol
there's a lot of stuff this game does right in my eyes. alternative pathways while you make your way to Dracula? check! another playable character who's unique and fun to use? check! kick-ass music that makes me want to dance and never gets out of my head, forever being trapped inside for eternity with no hope of escape? check.
Richter doesn't have any of the cool whip attacks that Simon has in Super Castlevania IV, but he doesn't really need them. not only can he make it by just fine, but the level design is based around just the one whip direction, so having diagonal whip movement would either be unnecessary or make things a little too easy, and we already have a character for the latter. besides he has a backflip and item breaks instead, and that's good enough for me. if you tap the jump button twice, Richter performs this radical and groovy backflip that lets him easily avoid enemy attacks and it is much more fun than it needs to be. as for the item breaks, if you press one of the buttons, you'll perform a powerful super move depending on what sub weapon you have at the cost of using up more hearts. they're good for getting enemies of the screen but you're better off saving the attacks for the bosses.
now let's talk about Maria. if you can figure out how to save her in Stage 2, you'll not only be greeted to a cheesy cutscene but you'll be able to play as her by going to your file select. playing as Maria makes you realize that the Belmont bloodline is facing the unfortunate reality that is power creep, she is overpowered. a double jump making platforming sections easier, a slide that makes hallways faster to traverse coupled with her already faster movement, being able to attack enemies while already moving, and her different sub weapons that are much more powerful than the ones Richter has. Maria is simply built different, and it's an absolute spectacle witnessing this dork slaughtering the likes of Dracula and Death. her only downside is that she takes more damage than Richter, making her a glass cannon, but in the right hands that doesn't matter because she has too many things going towards her favor. choose her if you want to have an easy time to get through this game.
this game is pretty hard if you play as Richter but it isn't unforgiving. this is probably the most balanced Classicvania, it's not ridiculously unfair, but it also isn't a curb stomp, it's the perfect balance. you'll find yourself falling in pits much less than you'd would in any of the other games because a majority of the game doesn't rely on something like that. most enemy attacks are also telegraphed so if you pay close attention to them you won't end up getting hit as much. the graphics of this game are very nice to look at, it's backed up with the vibrant colors and the fun presentation like the stage subtitles that show up at the beginning of each one. I also enjoyed the old fashioned 80s/early 90s PC anime style that the cutscenes have, I can't imagine how surprised a veteran Castlevania in the 90s would have felt being used to the more grounded and horror vibes of the old games then seeing how different the tone has changed with this game. obviously the music great too, every track here is excellent whether it'd be the rock tunes, the more peaceful tracks, or the spooky ones. predictably my favorite is Opposing Bloodlines, or Divine Bloodlines, or whatever the correct name is. this track was so cool that they had two different versions for it in the same game. the stage version is a blast to listen to from beginning to end and the intro version has this epic guitar that I wish was used in the former. excellent.
my only major gripe is that the Dracula fight was a little on the easy side. here I was expecting it to be difficult since I've figured that the Symphony of the Night version was made easier since that's the first boss you face there. but nah, they never nerfed him at all, he's just as easy here then he was there. outside of that it's just tiny nitpicks that don't matter too much. this game is cool, you want to be cool? finish this game so you can tell your friends "hey, I'm cool because I completed Castlevania: Rondo of Blood!"
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