Review by CC DeVille
"I'm hunting vampires but I'm taking my time."
Ah, Castlevania. I never understood the fascination with you. Possibly the most overrated series ever with lame titles Super Castlevania 4 and this one. Like most of the older Castlevania games, it's an utter chore to play. Platformers need something different in order to make them stand out, and although Castlevania does have certain aspects that make it stand out, none of those qualities are actually good.
The Adventure starts off with a title screen featuring a moon and no music. Then you begin, eagerly awaiting what lies ahead. The game basically features no storyline, except that you need to reach Castle Dracula. As Christopher Belmont, your aim is to make your way through the four levels while encountering enemies such as bats, slimy zombies and some quite rude monsters that roll their eyes at you. Especially annoying are the birds that just don't know when to give up, like the ones from the Ninja Gaiden games.
The controls are responsive and simple - A is jump and B makes your character use his whip. Because of Chris' dreadfully slow movement, it's hard to dodge enemy attacks. This raises the already outrageously high difficulty to a level that's almost incomprehensible. The first two levels are okay, but level three, with all those rising spikes combined with the moving screen? Gimme a break. Maybe if there was an incentive to keep playing and practice until I finished the third level I'd have completed it. But I can't see anyone bothering with such poor game elements.
There isn't much to Castlevania - walk, whip, jump. Over and over. It's very repetitive, and the level design isn't anything to get excited about either. Your whip can be upgraded and there's money and health to collect from whipping those candles. The boss fights are mildly entertaining, but other than that, there's no fun to be had. It's a very simple game with only four levels, and there are no other options or game modes. The slow movement of Chris, combined with annoying enemies and sadistic level layouts make for one frustrating game.
The graphics are pretty dull, though that is to be expected for a game so old. The sprites tend to flicker if too many enemies are on screen, and the backgrounds are plain and lack detail. You and your foes are quite small and are without decent animation. The sound effects are the usual bleeps and simple sounds that the Gameboy produces. Castlevania: The Adventure's definite high point is the music. Very moody and atmospheric, ranging from fast melodies to slow haunting themes. The only positive to come out of The Adventure.
Though the game has some good tunes, Castlevania: The Adventure is a very poor platformer. It is slow, boring and repetitive and does nothing to make you want to play it again. I guess the many Castlevania fans that love the series will possibly like The Adventure, but I can never understand those guys. Play Belmont's Revenge instead.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 03/15/02, Updated 12/24/03
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