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General Category => Gaming Discussion => Topic started by: Anddo on May 24, 2019, 12:49:37 am

Title: The different versions of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Post by: Anddo on May 24, 2019, 12:49:37 am
From what I've seen of all the different versions of SotN, it seems like there is no single "definitive" version of the game. Every release has its own strengths and caveats, which I've chronicled here in my own personal order.

1. PSX Original (CRT)
+Originally designed for the PlayStation
+Sharp even pixel sizing on a horizontal and vertical plane (no dither or shimmering effect when scrolling)
+Basically the most cycle accurate way to play the game
-Lacking the extras some of the other versions offer, no voice language option
+/-? Laughable original dub track

2. PSP digital "PSOne" release (w/ CRT connector)
+Nice even pixel sizing
+Decent screen sizing options
 +Custom scaling engine that preserves the pixel sizing no matter how you scale it
+Authentic 240p presentation in interlacing mode
-Added dither on an LCD panel
-Pixel edges are a tad softer than PS1 (invisible to CRT displays)

3. PS3 digital download ("PSOne" release)
+Essentially identical to the PSP with even pixel sizing
+Accurate Moon glow effect under Dracula's Keep
+Preserves the original aspect ratio with no screen sizing options (albeit a stretched mode)
-Softer pixel edges even with "Smoothing" turned off

4. PS4 "Requiem - SotN and Rondo of Blood"
+Sharpest pixel output available on consoles
+Proper horizontal pixel sizing as long as you pick "Full Mode" (-the smaller "Normal Mode" oddly displays short square pixels)
+High resolution 3D backgrounds/objects
+Dracula X Chronicles' extra familiars and items
+Rebound Stone and Save Room coffin jagged lines anti-aliased, really a personal preference
-Despite the higher resolution textures, the 3D objects in the game retain their PS1 era janky 3D animation
-Performance based on the slower PAL 50hz Dracula X Port, though it maximizes performance wherever possible, despite this it shares some of the downsides of that version such as sound issues and saving/loading stutters (likely the result of a quick and dirty PSP conversion)

5. PS Vita
+Sharp pixels
-Uneven 256p horizontal sizing (the original displayed at 240p)
-Custom sizing is available but the forced touch controls make pixel perfect sizing impossible

6. PS3 with original SotN PS1 CD-ROM
+Sharp pixel count
+Proper scaling
-Uneven pixel sizing resulting in shimmering issues
-Inaccurate effects such as the moon glow in Dracula's Keep

7. Xbox 360 Arcade (by Digital Eclipse)
+Backwards compatible with Xbox One
-Uneven horizontal scale (screen sizing is available)
-Pixel perfect scaling virtually impossible
-Enhanced mode smooths over pixels and displays by default
-Permanent borders

8. Dracula X Chronicles PSP version
+Saturn familiars and items
-Blurred art assets
-Broken vertical scrolling
-Inferior sound effects
-Permanent borders

9. Saturn
Really more of an alternate option but still has major issues
+Richter and Maria unlocked at the start
+Original moveset for Maria not seen in DXC or Requiem versions
+Two original areas, new bosses/music
+New familiars and items (carried over to the DXC and by extension Requiem versions)
-Massive slowdown
-Missing transparency
-Stretched 320p resolution with heavy aliasing
-Pause menu loading times
 -The map (arguably what you'll be accessing the most) is IN the pause menu

10. PS TV
-Cannot run in 1080i, only 720p or 480p
-No video options (unless using custom firmware)
-Blurred art assets

And that about wraps up my exhaustive analysis. Let me know if you want me to do any other games with a ton of versions!
Title: Re: The different versions of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Post by: GhaleonUnlimited on May 28, 2019, 09:55:53 am
Thanks for posting. Didn't know the resolution issues of the Saturn.
Title: Re: The different versions of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Post by: Starscream on May 29, 2019, 10:48:04 am


5. PS Vita
+Sharp pixels
-Uneven 256p horizontal sizing (the original displayed at 240p)

9. Saturn
-Stretched 320p resolution with heavy aliasing

No "p",  the p (rogressive) is relevant for vertical res. The mismatch in the case for the Saturn is horizontal (there's no 256 horizontal mode on that console).
With that in mind the description for the Vita version isn't entirely clear.
Title: Re: The different versions of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Post by: Bregalad on May 31, 2019, 04:57:23 pm
I didn't know there was so many re-releases, and I didn't know the Saturn version had that many issues with screen resolution and scrolling. This makes it hard to believe it was officially released at all.

However, if I remember well the original PS1 version has MAJOR differences between Japanese, US and European releases. It's almost a tradition in the CV series to have such major differences :)
Title: Re: The different versions of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Post by: CrackZero on June 03, 2019, 02:29:44 pm
I think there may have been one on the original Wii's Virtual Console, or I could be thinking of Rondo of Blood (that title needs more love).
Title: Re: The different versions of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Post by: Lenophis on June 05, 2019, 02:19:56 pm
7. Xbox 360 Arcade (by Digital Eclipse)
+Backwards compatible with Xbox One
-Uneven horizontal scale (screen sizing is available)
-Pixel perfect scaling virtually impossible
-Enhanced mode smooths over pixels and displays by default
-Permanent borders
There's another significant downside to this particular version, and that's audio quality. Music and sound effects all sound like they were downsampled to 11KHz, possibly to save on space for the download itself. IIRC, the game is 90MB in size, while the original Playstation version was about 680MB.
Title: Re: The different versions of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Post by: Bonk on June 12, 2019, 02:49:40 am
"-Lacking the extras some of the other versions offer, no voice language option"
You can play the translated ISO of the Japanese version here on the PSP with TV out in 240p.

The PSP has slightly softer video output even on a CRT but on a CRT you can increase the sharpness to almost perfectly match native PS1 output without artifacts. On one of my CRTs +6 on sharpness matches a native PS1 just about.
Title: Re: The different versions of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Post by: Lord Igniz on June 12, 2019, 06:42:49 pm
Anddo,

Thanks for compiling this list. I am currently playing through the entire mainline Castlevania series, finished the first 4 games thus far and am trying to 100% Rondo of Blood right now. Symphony of the Night is my favorite game of all time, and I'm looking forward to finally replaying it soon.

From all these versions, it seems to me that I'll probably stick with playing the PS1 version again. I also have the Saturn version, but like you mentioned, the games slowdown and accessing the map screen were huge issues for me. I really wish they didn't drop the ball on that Saturn port, it should have been the definitive version of the game.
Title: Re: The different versions of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Post by: Badseed on June 21, 2019, 09:15:02 am
I love the Saturn and I love SotN, but they really dropped the ball on that one.
Title: Re: The different versions of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Post by: shadowrunner on June 30, 2019, 08:41:36 pm
After playing SOTN most of my life, I finally sat down with the Saturn version. It's simply the best. The 3D effects of PSX are nice but not missed amidst new pixel effects. Even the transparency effects matter little compared to the excitement of NEW areas, enemies, bosses, sounds, music, weapons, and relics. The single most attractive feature: WingSmash lasts forever. It's the closest SOTN gets to the Black Panther Soul. The smaller aesthetics are too numerous to list.

Absolutely do not settle for "another play of the PSX version." Ever. The PSP version is good, but not as good as Saturn.