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.