Many gamers were rightfully excited when the Dracula X Chronicles was announced for release, then they announced it would be on PSP. Some groaned on the system choice, but others recognized its potential as the first domestic release of the only Castlevania game yet to be released in America. They declared Chronicles a killer app for the PSP. It was for me the reason to pick up the system, and with more goodness coming in 2009 (Kingdom Hearts:Birth by Sleep, Final Fantasy Dissidia and more) it is looking like a great decision.
The Dracula X Chronicles is a 2.5 D remake of Rondo of Blood that was released in October 2007. There are some minor changes, mostly aesthetic, with new dialogue screens added, and existing scenes are altered or extended. The 4 maidens you can save have you needing to solve different puzzles to do so. There are also barriers blocking certain maidens if you rescue them out of order. The alternate Stage 5 has a different layout and a brand new boss. Also, there is the potential for a new boss in Stage 7 if you don't fulfill certain conditions. Finally the path to the good ending adds a final 3rd form to the battle with Dracula, an awesome addition and the only CV game besides Bloodlines in which Drac has 3 different forms.
The story is the same of course, with minor additions such as the above. The biggest change is a spoiler than I won't reveal here, but it involves Annette, Richter's love. Also, the final stage is changed to "Bloodlines" to better sync up with the prologue of Symphony of the Night.
Graphics in Chronicles are redone in a 3D visual manner but the game still plays like the original, the term 2.5D was coined to describe this style. Richter and Maria also have new outfits that may or may not be your cup of tea. For me, Richter's outfit is better, but Maria's is worse.
Music is completely remixed for this version of Rondo, with some really good new mixes, such as Bloody Tears and Cross Fear. The Dracula X Chronicles remix of Tears is now my second favorite remix behind the Tears from Castlevania Chronicles, nothing can touch that epic one! Also the German intro is intact from the original and is as ominous as ever!
Gameplay is also the same and the two characters are just as responsive as ever. I can't recall any accidental deaths due to character error either. All around solid.
Challenge is pretty much the same, but that 3rd Dracula form might give you a tough time the first few tries.
Replay value is also the same as Rondo of Blood. No surprises here, but perhaps the portable aspect will make you play it more quickly
In summation, this version is how remakes should be done, change enough but keep enough to attract new fans while keeping older fans intrigued. The Dracula X Chronicles is definitely worth checking out for fans of Rondo of Blood, especially because they have to check it out if they want the original.