Review by vgc2000
"Christopher must have been cursed by Dracula to have the stamina of an 80 year old man."
Castlevania was released to huge success on the NES, it was one of Konami's most popular games of all time and spawned a myriad of sequels that continue to be made to this day so it only made sense to create a Castlevania game for Nintendo's widely popular Game Boy handheld.
Konami was smart in the sense that they made an original adventure featuring Christopher Belmont instead of Simon this time around. The game has four stages and then a showdown with Dracula of course. So how does the game turn out on the pocket sized portable? To be honest, some good but mostly bad, read on to see what makes the game suffer such a mortal blow as the first Castlevania game on the system.
There are several differences here from the NES counterpart. To start, your whip is upgradeable but can be downgraded each time you're hit by an enemy and there aren't any stairways in the game, instead Christopher climbs ropes to reach high up platforms or floors.
The game would actually work and be a great game if not for one flaw, you move like an 80 year old man, he's so sluggish, can't jump well and constantly misses jumps and dies cheap deaths because of that. On top of that he can't whip or climb ropes fast so you can't hit enemies unless you're far away from them or avoid them if you need to jump off of a rope in a hurry. To make it even worse, it's like the programmers knew this was a problem and designed a whole stage to take advantage of the cheapness. Dtage 3 is nothing but an endurance run while your chased by non stop spike walls and ceilings that will crush you and the level is far too long and you constantly have to over compensate for the slow control. Aside from the sluggish controls, the rest of the levels are laid out pretty well and feel like they are from a Castlevania game thankfully.
Konami obviously tried to make the game dark but the graphics come out dull because of it; there isn't as much detail as there should be and while it isn't a major problem, it is still noticeable and even bosses are rather underwhelming to look at visually.
I've heard many complain about the music in the game but I think it actually is pretty good. Stage 1 and 3 have extremely catchy music and stage 4 isn't bad either but stage 2 is probably where the gripe comes from as it's pretty dull. I would love to have a midi file on my laptop with some of the tunes because they are enjoyable. The sound effects are also very well done, they sound just like the NES version but with the obvious limits of the Game Boy's sound in effect.
Castlevania Adventure is extremely frustrating, easily the most frustrating I've played in a long time and the most frustrating Castlevania game overall. I just wanted to see the ending and finish the game so I used a Game Genie and believe me when I say I still had problems finishing the game. Several other Konami releases moved slow on the Game Boy but they worked fine, here it is just plain bad and intolerable to play. I can't recommend the game to anyone but die hard Castlevania games but they probably already know that it's one of the series' clunkers.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 08/12/09
Game Release: Castlevania: The Adventure (US, 12/31/89)
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