Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Netflix's animated Castlevania series has a debut trailer

Netflix's animated Castlevania series has a debut trailer

UPDATE: Will premiere on 7th July in the UK.

UPDATE 25/05/2017 4.20pm: Netflix's Castlevania series will launch on 7th July in the UK as well, the streaming service confirmed.

ORIGINAL STORY 25/05/2017 1.02am: Netflix's animated Castlevania series will debut on 7th July, at least in the US and Latin America, and the streaming video company has released its first trailer for the show.

We're still awaiting official confirmation for a UK release date, but hopefully it won't be far behind its North American Netflix brethren.

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Castlevania's Vampire Killer beats

Exploring the music of Konami's iconic series.

Castlevania is a series with heritage. Since its introduction in 1986 it's rarely skipped a year, with 40 released titles spanning consoles, PCs and arcades. Over nearly 30 years, the backbone remains the same. The plot is an eternal repetition of the need for the Belmont clan (and occasional affiliates) to destroy Dracula who, against all odds, keeps getting resurrected in all manner of bizarre circumstances. Features and details may change, or occasionally be absent, but they're indelible parts of the series, always remembered, always returning.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night rises on EU PSN

Only five years after it came out on XBLA and the US PSN.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night i.e. the game that coined the term "Metroidvania" is coming to the European PSN on 10th October, a scant five years after it was added to XBLA and the US PSN.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Even in 1997 this was an anachronism. Videogames' bright new horizon was three-dimensional and Sony's first console wunderkind the only viewing tower worth climbing. The PlayStation future was all about Lara Croft's curvaceous polygons, Gran Turismo's reflective bonnets and screen-filling Tekken sucker-punches. It was the Chemical Brothers serenading Wipeout races and the Designer's Republic packaging. Aspirational pixels backed by aspirational music promoted by aspirational faces; not much room for two-dimensional gothic oddities in this too-cool-for-school marketing vision.

As such, Symphony of the Night, with its dank 2D walls, brooding orchestral soundtrack and Street Fighter-esque special moves stole across videogaming's busy vista mostly unnoticed the first time round. But not completely unnoticed. Those with eyes to see its exquisite design, extraordinary scope, aesthetic elegance and coherence were quick to evangelise. The game's underground following bustled and grew until copies of the game were changing hands on ebay for Ł60 and upwards. Symphony of the Night had made the celebrated canon and every discerning games player wanted a look.

And that, in short, is why Microsoft's been so keen to accommodate this, the Castlevania series' debated highpoint, tripling the 50MB size restriction of all its Xbox Live Arcade games specifically to allow it into its line-up of mixed importance. Symphony of the Night is to action-adventure fans what Mario 64 is to platform lovers, Monkey Island is to point and click autistics or Final Fantasy VII is to incurable geeks. It's important, beloved and, crucially, it expands XBLA's remit to include fan-favourite console titles as well as those arcade classics such as Pac-Man, Defender and, er, Teenager Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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Castlevania on XBLA now

At a whopping 95.32 MB.

Bulging like a juicy jugular on Live Arcade this morning is Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which will cost you 800 Microsoft-bob and weighs in at a record breaking 95.32 MB.

Symphony of the Night on Weds

Finally hitting Live Arcade.

"Fangs" are due this morning to Microsoft for word that Castlevania: Symphony of the Night will be arriving on Xbox Live Arcade this Wednesday at 9am GMT.