Radtacula X

Hey guys, guess what’s just arrived on Virtual Console? That’s right! Dracula X: Rondo of Blood.

Ohhh, right, sorry. It’s only out in Japan. Ha ha, silly you, thinking we’d get something that amazing the same week as River City Ransom. I don’t doubt it’ll make its way stateside sooner or later, though — there’s just too much pure money to be made off it for Konami not to bother.

And it’s worth owning — especially for eight bucks. Eight bucks! Man, I felt dumb about buying Rondo for PC Engine Duo before; now I feel unbelievably boneheaded. Especially since it appears to be the first Turbo game I’ve played on Virtual Console that doesn’t look like a big smeary pile of crap. I don’t know if it’s a Japan thing, or if they’ve actually finally taken the time to make TG16/Duo games output at their true resolution like the rest of the consoles supported on service, but Dracula X is crisp. It looks fantastic, and the full soundtrack is included — even the German intro, which Shane Bettenhausen can recite in its entirety. (And don’t be fooled by his last name, he doesn’t know a word of German. He’s just memorized it phonetically as a parlor trick to impress Michiru Yamane.) It definitely blows away the PSP port, which was too dark, slightly choppy and suffered from improperly synchronized sound. No, this is the first good-as-the-real-thing rendition of the game, and I will be very cross if you don’t download it when it comes to the U.S..

I played it for about 10 minutes this afternoon and was depressed to find myself completely trounced by that stupid water snake at the end of the first level’s alternate path. Man, was the Chronicles remake really that much easier than the original? Or is this just further proof of my foundering mental competence?

Don’t answer that.

Sadly, I won’t have time to mess around with the game again for a few more weeks — I’m facing the same conundrum at the moment that all RPG fans will be facing in two months. Namely, should I focus more on Final Fantasy Tactics A2, or Etrian Odyssey II? Seriously, this one’s gonna keep me up late at night.

23 thoughts on “Radtacula X

  1. I wasn’t soliciting advice! And yeah, the remake of 5′ is the one level I can’t finish. Just making it to the boss is brutal.

  2. Yes! Thank you very much! Whether I take the upper path or the lower path in 5′, I end up dead.

  3. I think I just barely beat the 5′ alt boss in the remake after having watched the tactics video. But it was like, just barely. And actually I think I may have done it with Richter, but I’m not sure. I don’t know if I could do it in the original, since Richter’s backflip can’t be abused like it can in the remake.

  4. “…he doesn’t know a word of German. He’s just memorized it phonetically as a parlor trick…”

    Kind of off-topic, but I sort of did the same thing with Einhander. The only difference is that I’d use similar-sounding, if nonsensical, English words in place of whatever the German was. For instance, as far as I’m concerned, the level 5 mid-boss introduces himself in this way:

    ‘Indecent! You are not 16 or Acapulco! You are El Nino, so die with me!’

    Yeah. You should also hear what One-Winged Angel sounds like that way.

  5. Finally, River City Ransom! I’m not sure what they were waiting for on this one, maybe they had to remove the exposed butt-crack from the spa scene in order to get the desired ESRB rating. There’s a wonderfully obsessive video about it out there by a gent named Peter Yang or some such, if you have the means I highly recommend it.

  6. Rondo of Blood: one of the best games to never happen to my childhood. I downloaded it Wednesday morning and am up to 88% (regular path complete). Now that I’ve put some time into the original, it definitely finally dethrones Super Castlevania IV as the best old-school Castlevania in my book.

    Parish – it’s not just you. I had trouble figuring out where the safe spots were to stand while the snake er, snaked its way across the bridge. And the Dark Priest Shaft actually killed me before I got him (in the remake I think I can beat him in my sleep).

  7. I really hope this comes out on the North American VC. I’ve never played it– how much language is there in this game? Would it be a big deal for them to translate it, or could Konami bring it over without translating at all (ala Do-Re-Mi Fantasy)?

  8. I’m an SRPG man, so I’d say sink your time into Final Fantasy Tactics A2. The story sounds really lame though (sucked into Ivallice via magical book? Really?).

  9. I’d be nice to think we could encourage Nintendo to bring over Dracula X. Personally, I’ve gotten desperate and tried the Everybody Votes Channel (that’s our only option, seemingly), though due to filtering we’re left with questions like “Do you act young for your age?”


  10. Translation wise, it shouldn’t be a problem since Konami is basically sitting on the translation of the PSP version. It is just a matter of getting Nintendo to approve it. Maybe Jeremy should mention it in the next Retronauts since that seemed to work for Super Mario Bros. 3 and Fantasy Zone.

  11. What’s this about SMB3 and Fantasy Zone translations?

    I wonder if there would be any way of getting the System Card 1.0 minigame contained within the original Drac X.

    Great to hear that it’s a practically spot-on conversion. I may have the original, but I’ll still get this one on pure principle.

    Only thing Castlevania that’s really left that I would love to see is the Japanese VRC6 version of Castlevania 3, though that’s probably not happening.

    P. S. In Japan, Hudson just announced PSP collections for the PC Engine Tengai Makyou and Galaxy Fraulein Yuna games, the latter of which includes Sapphire.

  12. Ah holy crap, it must be on the way soon! Day One download, for sure. Releases like these give me hope for the VC.

  13. It’s 270 blocks. Not to beat a dead horse, but Nintendo needs to do something about storage space. Sure, I can delete it and redownload it later, but that’s over 10 minutes of watching Fire Mario run across the screen!

  14. Think of it as clearing your refrigerator, then walking five blocks to the grocery store every time you need to restock.

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