Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
A seminal 2D metroidvania in which after the events of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (1993), a man named Alucard arrives at Dracula's castle after it rises from the rubble, and seeks to defeat the evil contained within it once and for all by exploring, fighting its inhabitants and collecting the various weapons and abilities hidden in its depths.
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I'm not exactly a Metroidvania expert, but SOTN... is pretty good! I definitely like how open ended the exploration is, there are plenty of places to go early on, especially once you get the Unlock Jewel. Exploring is also really fun thanks to Alucard's moveset, it feels great to be able to dash from one end of the map to the other really quickly.
The music and art style are amazing, but in a different way from Rondo. Ayami Kojima's art gives this series a really cool aesthetic, it compliments the whole gothic vibe really well. Also Alucard's design is sick, one of the coolest video game protagonists for sure.
I guess you could say this game definitely puts the "Vania" in "Metroidvania" am I right? Anyway good game.