Review by dtm666
"First game was bad. Second game was good. This one's in between."
First, there was Castlevania Adventure. The first attempt was crap. One poll.
Then, there was Belmont's Revenge. The second attempt was anti-crap. The other poll.
Now (actually, it's still Then. But you get the idea!), we have Castlevania Legends... the third attempts quietly lays somewhere in between the two polls. In many ways, this game seemed somewhat rushed.
STORY: Until the glorified 3D wankfest Lament of Innocence came along, this was supposed to be the first chronological encounter between the Belmont family and Count Dracula, as Sonia was supposed to be the first Belmont to take up the whip... Then Leon Belmont came along and screwed up the timeline, thus negating this game's story. Long story short: bad guy shows up, bad guy does bad things, girl kills monsters, and to continue this little tirade would be spoiling it. 4/10
GRAPHICS: After the improvement of the graphics in Belmont's Revenge, Legends was a major letdown. The player character, Sonia, is badly drawn, looking more like a deflated Hulk Hogan with a ponytail than a 'young girl' standing up to the tyranny of the vampire lord Dracula. The backdrops are also uninspired. The only saving points are a couple of the anime intermission scenes and mugshots, which are nicely drawn. Other than that, nothing special. 7/10
SOUND: After the improvement of the sound department in Belmont's Revenge, Legends takes a step back. The sound effects are terrible and the music, while still alright, are of lower quality than Belmont's Revenge. It's nice to hear the familiar Bloody Tears song on a Game Boy game, but I would have liked it more if the sound was handled a little better than it was. 6/10
GAMEPLAY: After the improvement of the... you know? Starting every paragraph that way is starting to get redundant, but it applies. Even in the gameplay department, Legends falters. Whereas Belmont had two sub-weapons and Adventure had jack, Legends has the spirit system, which is the Castlevania version of Megaman's ability to gain new powers by defeating bosses. The system, while interesting in theory, is utterly worthless. It complicates more than it helps. The 'burning' mode is a good idea, but it can easily be activated by accident... nice try. Controls work, at least. 6/10
CHALLENGE: The levels in this game are pretty long. They tend to drag too and get overly tedious. Your whip has an EXTREMELY LIMITED range; I mean, you practically have to damn near touch the desired target to score a hit with this thing. You have two skill settings, but it doesn't really matter in the long haul. 6/10
REPLAY VALUE: You can play through it once. You can try and get to the extra level. You can play through it in both skill settings... I can't think of anything else, because this game doesn't really have much in terms of replay value. 4/10
OVERALL: Legends is a better game than Castlevania Adventure by a long shot, but it is a pitiful follow up to Belmont's Revenge. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone but the Castlevania purist, but even then, I'd be very weery. On a side note, you have to feel sorry for Sonia Belmont. It's bad enough her debut game isn't all that great, but her next appearance on the Dreamcast got canned. If only Legends was a much better game, then they wouldn't have to produce Lament of Innocence and deem Belmont the 'first' to fight evil. Oh well. 6/10
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 01/02/04
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