Dracula X PC Engine Duo
Review by Preston Elder Konami Action
Graphics: 7 Sound: 9 Gameplay: 10 Overall: 9

If you own a Turbo Duo/PC Engine, or are looking into owning one, you have probably heard of a game called Dracula X. Some have hailed it as the second coming, others say it's a bit overhyped. Almost without question, it is one of the best games for the PC Engine/Duo.Considering the outrageous pricetag a real copy commands, a little reviewing is required.

From the start of Dracula X, with its beautiful anime intro and a burning town from Castlevania II, you'll know you in for something special. The gameplay itself is standard classic Castlevania fare, with a super attack thrown in. If you can't live without the multidirectional whip from Super Castlevania or the adjustible jump from later installments of the series, then this game is gonna give you a headache. It's tougher than Symphony of the Night and Circle of the Moon, but (thankfully) not as difficult as Castlevania I, III, or Chronicles.

Despite these limitations on control, the game is surprisingly well balanced. It's doubtful that a player will ever think the game is "too hard," yet infinite continues are certainly useful. Bosses use tricky patterns (mostly) that keep you on your toes, and some of them even lunge at you after their deaths in an attempt to take you down with them. Developers should take notes on how well designed the difficulty curve is in this game. You'll feel right at home in the later levels, despite their considerable challenge.

The graphics are bright and colorful and the sprites large and beautiful, but it isn't anything groundbreaking for 16 bit. What is nice about them is the touches placed within the game. Enemies can be seen in the background before they charge in for the attack. People can be seen within paintings trying to get out. Little things surprise and delight players throughout the game, and show the care put into it.

Finally, we reach the sound department. Dracula X's tunes are some of the best I can ever recall hearing on any game period. They keep you moving and sound as dynamic and impressive as any soundtrack devised for a game should.

So is Dracula X worth the 100+ bucks it commands on ebay? Well, if you are just dying to play every top notch action game there is, then sure. But, just remember, Dracula X is a masterpiece of the sidescrolling action genre, but it is still very typical of that genre. (Also, although it is commonly known, Dracula X may be played on an American Turbo Duo or TG-16, with CD and Supersystem card, without modification.)


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Last updated: Wednesday, April 21, 2004 04:40 PM