Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Here's a review of Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. While I was writing this review, I looked at the Wikipedia entry for the series and discovered that there has been approximately one new game released every year since 1986. What's astonishing is the consistent quality. Super Castlevania IV and Symphony of the Night are bona fide classics, both among the best games of all time. Below that are the excellent original game, Castlevania III, Bloodlines, and the recent GBA and DS titles. The 3D games have been lacking, but really, what other series have been so good for so long? Every notable franchise I can think of has either had more failures than successes (Mega Man) or simply not had enough sequels to compare (Resident Evil). Maybe Mario or Zelda would count, but they've each had multi-year stretches without a good game (and in the case of Zelda, as you know, I'm not even a fan). Maybe Final Fantasy is the only good comparison -- fairly regular release schedule, consistently high quality. More to the point, when you think of the greatest franchises of all time, does Castlevania even enter your mind? It never occurred to me until now.

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