#Assessment: Romancelvania – Destructoid

Assessment: Romancelvania – Destructoid

My secure phrase is “Phlebotomist”

With out hyperbole, Romancelvania has been one in all my most anticipated releases this 12 months. I simply didn’t anticipate it to be so quickly this 12 months, and actually, it in all probability shouldn’t have been. As a fan of each Castlevania and courting sims, you couldn’t throw a bowling ball additional up my alley. It’s like inviting me to a day of tea and ToeJam & Earl. I’m there. I’m already there.

Nevertheless, my impressions of Romancelvania’s early demo haven’t been forgotten. My fear was that meshing the 2 ideas was an ambition out of attain of a small group. Having performed by means of the entire sport and landed my massive fish, I’ve to say that the chase was certainly much more thrilling than really getting it into mattress.

Romancelvania Date With Werewolf
Screenshot by Destructoid

Romancelvania (PC [Reviewed], PS5, Xbox Collection X|S)
Developer: The Deep Finish Video games
Writer: 2124 Publishing
Launched: March 7, 2023
MSRP: $24.99

The plot of Romancelvania is ripped straight out of its inspiration. Drac has spent a century nursing their wounded satisfaction, after the Van Helsings gave them a whipping so laborious their lover left them in shame. The Grim Reaper grows uninterested in the pity occasion and whips up a actuality TV present to assist Drac get their mojo again. Drac should journey Transylvania to spherical up a tasty forged of singles, then steadily get rid of them till selecting only one ultimately.

The forged is slightly numerous. There are tops, bottoms, lefters, righters, doms, subs, and switch-witches. It’s a sex-positive courting sim, so not solely are you able to select Drac’s gender identification, nobody has a sexual desire. From the frat-boy incubus to the well-endowed pumpkin witch, the world is your buffet to rub your genitals on.

It’s fairly refreshing. The one draw back is that you’ve three Van Helsings, and you may solely choose one. No polyamory possibility. No matter, Romancelvania has sufficient variance to grapple with, to start with. The purpose is there’s lots accessible to suit your preferences. For me, Fenton the werewolf got here in with the benefit of… being a werewolf.

These peaks are turning me on

Whereas the dialogue is laced with overtly sexual themes, the precise content material is way tamer. It’s really one thing of a mismatch, however maybe that expectation comes from my familiarity with courting sims. Not that I anticipate conversations to finish with express CGs, however Romancelvania isn’t even all that playful with its imagery.

The graphics could be the weakest a part of the entire bundle. The sport appears slightly uneven and this simply will get worse as the sport goes on. The characters are represented on the planet as 3D fashions, however in dialogue, there are 2D photographs. The unlucky half is that there’s little or no range to the 2D artwork, and the 3D is tough. A number of characters don’t fairly match. Ilessa the Succubus, for instance, appears ravishing as a 2D picture and like a twisted facsimile when the additional dimension is thrown in. She appears like that cockroach monster from Males in Black crawled into the drawing, and strikes in a lot the identical method.

What’s worse is that, even on my comparatively beefy PC, Romancelvania chugged in a variety of areas. One specific spot was so dangerous, that I believed there could be a reminiscence leak concerned. I rebooted, went again in, and located that the identical concern was there.

I simply discover the graphical work to be uneven and lifeless. It appears effective – even nice – in some areas, after which others are a bit extra slapdash. I really feel like the sport would have been higher off taking a totally 2D method, however perhaps that’s my love of the supply materials speaking.

Gameplay Drac whips thing
Screenshot by Destructoid

Cuddle within the Bubbles

The consummation of the 2 genres might have gone lots higher. Romancelvania is a type of conditions the place combining the 2 genres created a product that doesn’t excel in both area. It’s neither an excellent courting sim, nor an pleasant Metroidvania. If the Metroidvania was substandard however the courting parts worthwhile, or vice versa, that will have been preferable. As an alternative, it’s simply all-around sort of weak.

The exploration is technically Metroidvania’s gated exploration components; As you acquire new powers, you get entry to completely different areas. The issue is that the world feels poorly designed. It’s laborious to boil this down to a couple examples, however the perfect I can do is inform you that Transylvania has no move. It’s a variety of disconnected branches getting in all instructions, so exploration is unsatisfying. Fight is okay, however is restricted and lacks nuance. It will get so far as “will get the job finished,” then stops.

As for the courting, it has a number of excessive factors and a variety of lows. I like the concept of discovering date spots out on the planet, however a lot of the dialogue feels disposable. You unlock new forged members on a chapter-by-chapter foundation, however which means the final batch you get has little or no time to develop. Characters like Vess, the genie, are capable of give direct traces to their hang-ups, however others, just like the zombie pirate, Robert, I simply don’t get.

I actually tried entering into the character. Leira, for instance, is a hanging siren. Nevertheless, once I tried to get to know her, I discovered she has the depth of a kiddie pool. Her hang-up is her responsibility to her royal topics, and that’s it. Dig in deeper, and that’s the drum she always beats on. I nonetheless wound up taking her on a remaining date, primarily based fully on her gorgeous look, after which she dropped the bombshell of what was required to get together with her, and it was throughout. Perhaps that’s on me. I assume it’s an unreasonable expectation that somebody will finally specific a character.

Romancelvania Succubus
Screenshot by Destructoid


Romancelvania’s greatest concern is that it’s monstrously unpolished. It provides that impression from the hop, however as you get nearer to taking the bra off, all of it begins shaking aside. Elements of it appear to be solely unused, others appear to have been glued collectively on the final minute. There’s a skateboarding portion apropos of nothing, and it’s bewilderingly thrown collectively.

The plot has a serious twist on the finish, which sounds prefer it was thought up early on, however when it was lastly carried out, it was crammed in as rapidly as doable. Such little thought went into tacking the ending collectively, that I’m not even clear on what the heck even occurred. It’s like getting somebody’s garments off, and so they immediately pull out puppets. It’s not your kink, and also you may attempt to have time anyway, however the entire expertise goes to weigh heavy in your thoughts later.

I really feel like Romancelvania’s mechanics finally failed the writing. A number of the dialogue is genuinely enjoyable and entertaining. Nevertheless, there wasn’t actually sufficient focus for it. It in all probability would have been higher if extra of the visible novel style had been pulled into it with the motion sitting in its personal silo, whereas the romance enjoys its personal journey elsewhere. The dates might have been extra than simply sitting on a bench and flirting, which will get us completely nowhere.

Romancelvania Lulu
Screenshot by Destructoid


Romancelvania feels lots like an concept too grand, a group too small, and a deadline too quick. There’s a variety of imaginative and prescient, an excessive amount of creativity, and no scarcity of affection, however all of that obtained crushed beneath the fact of the workload. The entire mixture of two established subgenres is a considerable experiment, and that requires a variety of prototyping, testing, failing, and beginning over. Romancelvania feels prefer it charged forward with out trying again on a variety of issues. As such, the tip product is a little bit of a multitude.

Like your personal favourite hand, it will get the job finished. You’ll be able to precisely say that Romancelvania is each courting sim and Metroidvania. Nevertheless, additionally like your hand, it’s finally an unsatisfying expertise.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]


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