On one corner, you have the PlayStation version of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Japanese- Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight). Graphics and sound is polished, load times slightly annoying, but it's clean, and very crisp. However, little do people realize that it's incomplete.
On the other corner, you have the Saturn version which came out a bit later, and only in Japan. The 2D aspects are quite clear, however the 3D effects and the MPEG movies are absolutely horrific to look at. The loading times are a little more bearable, but there's another hour or two to play through. And in addition, there's a 3rd playable character, available right off the bat.
So is it worth is? In my opinion, yes. In many ways.
One word. Wow. If you compared both platforms side-by-side, you'll be hugging the PSX version. Not only does the Saturn version suffer from a total lack of a decent 3D-rendering capabilities, it also has trouble playing MPEG movies. This is very apparent in the opening sequences. The resolution is horrid, the framerate is even worse than that of PSX (we're talking 5-15 FPS).
The 2D aspect however, is pretty much the same. It handles a few parts better than the PSX counterpart. However, because of the amount of 3D effects integrated into the game in the PSX version, you'll be more distracted by the other 2D effects that Konami had to substitute for the 3D effects. It's very flat and annoying.
An absolute masterpiece. Beautiful varying themes, from harpsichords, to choir chapel themes, to rock/crunch guitars for boss themes. This game's soundtrack could not be any better. Konami gets kudos for such an excellent soundtrack, I could not ask for anything more. It keeps the tradition of excellent Castlevania music going.
The game controls very well too, however my biggest problem is when you have to perform spells. This can be the biggest pain ever, especially when you have spells like the full 360 spell. Thankfully, spells are not a huge necessity in the game, and the ones you need are really simple to perform.
Richter has been tweaked a little bit from his PSX counterpart. Aside from that, he plays the same.
Unfortunately, if you know a few tricks with Maria, she's either horribly under-powered, of disgustingly overpowered. She lacks balance, and it seems Konami rushed her a little bit.
The voice acting is top-notch. I had no problems with any of the acting. It's stays true to the tone of the game, and doesn't distract you with horrible accents or what-not, even in Japanese. However, if you cannot read or understand Japanese, you may find a few parts difficult to go through if you've never played the game before.
Although difficulty isn't a huge factor, if you play it safe, the game should prove to be fairly simple. Except a few areas. With the addition of a two whole new areas, you'll find that the difficulty, especially in the new castle area is VERY high by the first time you find it. Also, a few bosses may prove to get you a little frustrated (Galamoth comes to mind).
Thankfully, if you aren't able to play this version, the new areas do not retract from the game's storyline.
If you've played the true prequel, Dracula X for Turbo Duo, then your first reaction to the opening Castle area and seeing Maria all grown up is ''that's awesome!'' This is a true sequel to the least, and one of the greatest Castlevania platformers, Dracula X: Rondo of Blood (don't be fooled by Konami of America's remake, Castlevania 5: Dracula's Kiss. This is a horribly stripped down remake, that really has nothing to do with the main storyline. It just uses some of the same levels and Richter).
Turn after turn, the game takes twists and turns. And in the end...you'll have to play it to find out what happens.
Once you finish the game at 100%, you find out there's yes another castle to explore. Think 100% is maximum? You'll have to finish the game at 200% to see the real ending. Even then, there's 3 more variants of the ending to choose from. And when you're done with those, you also have to beat it with the two extra characters, Maria and Richter. Maria can be especially difficult because her attacks are very weak and lack range, unlike Richter and Alucard. With each character, there's 200% of the castle to beat.
If that's not enough, there are plenty of rare weapons to find in the game. And when they say rare, these items are rare, but well worth your time to hunt them down.
If it wasn't for the poor graphics problems, this game would be on top of my list to play. I recommend it for every Castlevania fan, and everyone who has so much seen the PlayStation version.
Aside from the graphical issues, this is the true heir to Dracula X, and debatably, the greatest Castlevania ever.