What makes this game unique is the partner system. At any point during the game, you can play as either Jonathan or Charlotte. Jonathan excels at physical combat while Charlotte handles magic, so you will find yourself needing to switch characters from time to time. However, you can also have both of them out at once, with you controlling one and the AI having the other following your moves and attacking nearby enemies. In this method, your partner’s HP is the MP bar, so if you run out of juice, they’ll fade out. They don’t die, though, so you can still switch back and forth between them. The next mechanic is somewhat simple. By pressing one of the shoulder buttons, your partner will appear and use their sub-weapon/spell, then disappear again. This, though, isn’t too terribly useful. Jonathan’s sub-weapons are rather underwhelming, and Charlotte won’t charge her magic to full power, meaning weaker spells at the same MP cost as a full charge.
Lastly, there’s the Dual Crush . What happens here is that both characters use a special move that generally rains death upon everything on screen, depending on what Crush you have equipped. Much, much more useful than calling them in for a quick subweapon attack. Outside of all that, if you’ve played any 2d Castlevania since Symphony, you know what to expect.
Sound : There’s more dialogue in this game compared to previous entries in the series. A majority of it is still just in-battle grunts and attack names, but there are a few occasions where the characters will actually talk. Those few times, though, are the opening and the priest’s bizarre remarks if you hang out in his shop for too long doing nothing. (4 different possible comments based on lead character and/or a lack of a second character.) However, the twist is that this time around it’s all in English, which may or may not be a good thing.
When some Japanese guy is screaming something random that you can’t understand, it seems to sound a bit better than it would to hear someone screaming a goofy attack name, but, all in all the acting is okay. You will be hearing the characters yelling eachother’s names a lot, though. The music is what you’d expect from Konami; Wonderful, wonderful stuff. Not reall much to say beyond that, though, Yuzo Koshiro was involved. You may remember him from such soundtracks as Streets of Rage and Streets of Rage 2. If that doesn’t convince you of quality, just leave. Leave this website immediately, power down your computer, step outside, and begin to seriously reflect upon what went wrong in your life.
Others : Quite a bit of replayability in this one. Upon gaining the good ending two new game modes open up, and they are very, very appreciated. One makes use of the stylus, the d-pad, and nothing else, and the other is a rush of nostalgia that most will appreciate. Also, there are three seperate boss rush modes, an online-shop mode for trading with other players over WiFi (where you can sell any item you’ve ever had, despite not having it anymore, and therefore making an absurd profit in a hurry), a coop mode which I honestly haven’t tested yet, and the usual music/sound test. And you get to draw your own file emblem, too, so that’s kinda nifty.
Overall : Look, I can’t really say this any other way: Despite some rehashing here and there, the game is still loads of fun, and there’s plenty of new content. You want a number? A solid 9 out of…
There is one annoying issue. During the latter half of the game, I kept encountering a bug that caused my game to randomly crash when I used a subweapon. Now, I haven’t seen a console game crash in many, many years, so it goes without saying that this can be a seriously irritating issue, and one that you wouldn’t expect from a very reputable company like Konami. It’s enough of a joykill that I’ll actually knock a point from the score.