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Hands-on: Castlevania Dracula X Chronicles

At long last, we were able to get our hands on Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles at Konami's E3 booth. This upcoming PSP-exclusive remake of Rondo of Blood is easily the best-looking handheld Castlevania to date. Although far away from being the best looking PSP title to date, the game offers a visual feast for those that have become accustomed to the excellent, but somewhat visually underwhelming DS offerings.

The old roots of the game can be easily seen in the game's somewhat antiquated controls. Richter feels stiff, missing the quick movement of recent Castlevania stars. Regardless, we found ourselves compelled by the classic Castlevania gameplay. The creatures are well-designed, and the music is even more stunning.

As revealed earlier, Dracula X Chronicles will include three games: the new 3D remake, the original 2D game, and a newly enhanced Symphony of the Night. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to see Symphony of the Night in action. But even without that, it appears that Dracula X Chronicles will offer a significant, meaty adventure. There are multiple paths through levels, and at completion, another character will be unlocked. Eventually, players will be able to remix the music of the game, reassigning levels with songs of their choice. From what we've seen, we can say the game is drawing close to completion. Expect Dracula X Chronicles before the end of the year.

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