"Decent but nothing special."

When I first wrote this review I gave this game a score of 7/10 but after rethinking things over I realize that the game is not really worthy of that high a score so I've revised the review.

Castlevania: The Adventure is one of the oldest available GameBoy games (released at the time of or just after the GameBoy's initial launch). I just recently got a hold of this game and thought that it might be good to review it so here we go the first GameBoy game review from chrono trigger fan.

GAMEPLAY:

The basic gameplay is very reminiscent of earlier Castlevania games on the NES as are many other aspects such as the graphics and sound (but more on that later). You control one of the Belmont family members (I think it's Simon Belmont but I'm not sure) through four levels. The game is the usual side scrolling fare which is good since this game is essentially a portable conversion of a console series. You use the vampire hunter's whip to defeat Dracula's minions as you advance through the game, collecting coins and other items as you go by whipping the candles strewn throughout each stage. The excellent gameplay is here but unfortunately so is another familiar element that has always hurt the series. I am of course referring to the crappy play control found in all three NES episodes and to a lesser extent the Super NES and Genesis conversions. The main control problem is making those tricky jumps we all know and hate and unfortunately there are lots of them in this game. You might not think this would be a major problem but just wait until you come across some of the falling platforms and ledges believe me there are lots of them in this game. Its enough to drive someone crazy and enough to bring down the score of an otherwise okay game quite considerably. Another little complaint that I have is the fact that your character moves very slowly making it difficult to dodge enemy attacks and perform the already nearly impossible jumps.

AUDIO/VIDEO:

The GameBoy is not really known for having great graphics or sound but luckily Castlevania Adventure managed to break this trend by producing well detailed character sprites and backgrounds. The enemies are of fair size and there are trees and other little editions to liven up the backgrounds. As for music and sound, although the GameBoy's sound speakers are of a low quality they were still able to put some fairly good music into the game that manages to convey the creepy theme fairly well. There aren't many sound effects to speak of but what is here is mostly well done and acceptable for GameBoy.

STORY:

Basically the same story as all the other Castlevania games on the NES and Super NES, a member of the Belmont family must seek out and destroy Dracula and his minions to restore peace to Transylvania. While the story is unoriginal it is hard to really deduct any points because unlike many GameBoy games Konami at least managed to give us some sort of story to go on and its not as if excellent story lines have ever contributed to the success of the Castlevania series.

REPLAY ABILITY:

Since there are only four stages and nothing really special to uncover there really isn't a lot of incentive to replay this game once you have beaten it. Although it is a short lived, one time experience it should be enjoyable enough that you won't feel ripped off.

TO BUY OR RENT?:

Buying the game is the only realistic thing to do if you want to play it and since this game can probably be had for $5 or less you might as well pick it up and give it a try. Overall I wouldn't rate this as being an exceptional game (in fact it is probably one of the worst titles in the Castlevania series) but decent enough to at least make it worth a look.


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 12/27/01, Updated 08/04/02


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