Review by Kain Stryder

"Possibly The Worst Castlevania Game Ever..."

Man, Konami, what happened here? The Castlevania series was going strong and kept on improving, but then this game came out. With the release of this game, it had alot to live up to, with Castlevania and Castlevania II: Simon's Quest already out and being instant hits and classics among gamers. Though it's an entirely new adventure and game with a new Belmont taking up the challenge to face Dracula, did the series improve again with this game or did it take a dive this time? Well, read on...

Story: Actually, like Castlevania, there's little story here, if any. Just the new Belmont, Christopher, is called upon to face The Count in the year 1576, 100 years after Trevor, Grant, Sypha and Alucard last banished him. That's it, though. Nothing else to the story besides Dracula is back and you have to stop him. Come on, Konami, you could've added some more interesting aspects to the story than ''Oh no, Dracula's back! We need a Belmont to stop him!'', but you didn't and since this isn't like the first game and by now you should've known to add a better story to a game, this gets barely any points.

Rate: 2/10.

Controls: Well, seems Konami enjoys having the controls for each Castlevania game the same. Just like Simon, Christopher moves exactly like he does, with NO difference AT ALL. No variation, movements or anything. Just the exact same and it's still a pain to even move him around, as it was with Simon. Come on, Konami, what are you doing here? Each Belmont can't possibly be the exact same, can they? That just gets boring and hell, if I didn't know squat about the series, I'd think I was playing as the exact same guy for each game. But, just like Simon, Christopher can execute moves perfectly and there's no problem there...exact he only has one move. Well, if you've been playing the other Castlevania games, you'll be able to play this with no trouble.

Over all, just the same old controls from the other 2 games and nothing is new or fixed up or anything. They could've taken the extra effort to make Christopher at least handle a bit different or maybe do something Simon couldn't, like perhaps a better jumping kill or something, but no, just the same as Simon, minus the controls and use of the Sub-Weapons. What a letdown.

Rate: 6/10.

Graphics: Unfortunately, not even the graphics, which have been one of Castelvania's good features can save this game. The graphics for Castlevania: The Adventure are downright poor. Given this was a game made in 1989, the backgrounds are bland, with little to no detail to them and repeat constantly. No real variation, except for the stage changes of each area. For example, you can clearly see Christopher on the screen at all times, but each area he explores is ''empty'' and the graphics that are around are insanely simple with little to no detail in anything. As for the creatures, they're fair at best. I think the Bats and Crows were the best detailed normal enemies in this game, followed by the bosses, which weren't even that greatly detailed.

As for Christopher himself, he looks a bit like Simon does, but with some changes here and there, so he doesn't look JUST like him and that's good. His sprite looks fine, as the NES games made Simon look like how he did, but just with color, so he's fine. Even his animation is good, from his whip attack to his movement, definitely good there. Even the enemies have some good animation and movement that flows smoothly, so Konami did good here, but that's where it ends. The rest is just normal to below average at best. Over all, the graphics didn't really stand up to what you'd expect for a Castlevania game and they definitely could've been improved for the better. Just utterly bland and boring things to look at with nothing interesting in the least, except the enemies and Christopher, which is the only highlight to the graphics. The rest can't hold a candle to what you'd expect from Konami. Definitely open for improvement.

Rate: 2/10.

Sound/Music: Yet another thing Castlevania is known for, is its music and sound. Unfortunately, despite what some of the fans of this game may say, the music is only fair at best and not even the best tracks of the series. I mean, there's three (3) songs TOTAL in this game. Three. Come on, Konami, what is this? Three songs for a game? Christ, two of the songs are played while you play the game and the third is the ending theme. The only song I liked out of them was Battle Of The Holy, that was good, but the other two weren't that great in my eyes. With a low quality soundtrack like this, something's telling me this game was definitely rushed...

Now, as for the sounds in the game...they're ok, I guess. I've heard better for the Gameboy, but for it's time, they're fine and I won't bash them. They fit and all and I no complaints about them, same goes with the sound effects, for what little there are. Over all, barely any music in the game, with a total of three songs that are below average at best and sound that's reasonable for a game made in 1989. Konami, this game is not looking good so far...

Rate: 2/10.

Game Play: So far, the game has not added up to anyone's expectations, but can the gameplay save it? Well, no, I'm afraid not. Even with the most important part with any game, Castlevania: The Adventure doesn't go far. With a total of four, yes that's 4 stages, there's little to any real solid gameplay to this at all. With stages such as the Graveyard, the Caverns, the Tower and the inside of Castlevania, this game definitely could've used more levels. Even the levels that are present are NOT fun to get through in the least. Unlike with Castlevania, when you got the Vampire Killer power ups, you kept them until you died. This is not the deal with Christopher, no, not at all. Once you manage to find a rare power up, if you are hit by ONE attack, your Vampire Killer downgrades back to the Leather Whip. Fun, huh? Though, unlike Simon, Christopher can upgrade the Vampire Killer to be able to shoot a small Fireball from the end of it, which is very useful, but once you're hit, you lose it.

So, with this problem hindering your progress throughout the game, if you fail to have the Chain Whip when you enter a Boss Battle, you can pretty much kiss your ass goodbye. With the Chain Whip, you stand a chance, but with the Leather Whip, expect to be here for a while. But with 4 stages, you'd think they'd be long, right? No, not really. They're all beatable in...oh, 10 minutes or less. Not to mention they're all a pain in the ass to beat, especially stage 3. If you make it that far, expect to give up on the game here, as you'll be dying so many times, you'll end up restarting the whole game over again! Yes, another ''fun'' feature with this game is once you run out of lives, the game is over, period. Also, did I mention they've totally removed the Sub-Weapons? For no apparent reason? Yup, Christopher doesn't have them. So, you only have your whip. What fun. Ugh...

So, faced with a down gradable whip every time you are hit, 4 stages of complete chaos that make Castlevania look like a cakewalk and constant fear of the Game Over screen and NO Sub-Weapons to make anything easy on you, the gameplay fails to save Castlevania: The Adventure from being possibly the worst Castlevania to ever be made. Sorry, Christopher, maybe next time. Over all, with only 4 stages of gameplay, which are NOT fun to go through, an impossible task to survive and take down Dracula and with the odds against you in every area, this is definitely not going to be a great adventure in the least. The challenge is DEFINITELY here and it'll give all you pros a great task, but for the normal player, heh, get ready for one hell of a ride.

Rate: 1/10.

Over All: Well, there you have it. Castlevania: The Adventure is definitely something that you shouldn't get your hopes up about at all, if you've yet to play it yet. If you're coming from Castlevania and Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, it's best to avoid this one, just take into account Christopher banishes Dracula and then go onto Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, because you are missing nothing at all. With a bland story that is even worse than Castlevania's, controls that are yet again the same for the THIRD game in the series, graphics that disappoint, even for a Gameboy game, music that's less than acceptable and sound that's fair at best, with gameplay that's a joke and a complete chore to play through, this game should never have been made, period and is an insult to the Castlevania series.

So, if I had to say rent or buy this, rent or borrow it from a friend who actually bought it. I suggest you ONLY give this game a try IF you are a Castlevania fan and a hardcore one at that and I don't recommend you buy it, unless you are a fan of the series and want every game possible, then grab it if you see it for a few bucks, because this is all that it's worth. Other than that, stay away from it and try one of the other Castlevanias. Any one will do, as any one but this is better. Konami, what were you thinking? Oh well, perhaps the sequel to this is better...?

Final Rate: 3/10.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 10/14/03


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