Review by Rango
"My first Castlevania. What a classic. It's nearly flawless."
Castlevania is one of those classic series that started on the NES in the '80s, along with Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, Final Fantasy, Metroid, and the like, and became a successful hit series that has appeared on many systems, to include next-gen, as well. But can even this simple 8-bit game stand the test of time today? You bet it can.
Castlevania is about going through Dracula's castle to defeat the evil Dracula. While going through the castle, you will meet new fiends, such as vampire bats, skeletons, black knights, eagles, fishmen, and those nasty demonic-like creatures that are after your blood. Fight them, and meet the Count himself to destroy his evil curse!
Along the way, you will use a whip to fight your enemies with, along with access to various sub-weapons, such as a Dagger, a Watch, an Axe, a Fire Bomb, and a Boomerang. Along with sub-weapons, your whip can get upgrades to extend longer and become more powerful. You must jump on platforms, avoid traps of danger (mainly pits, of course), slay your enemies, and collect items to restore your ammo and, on rare occasions, your health. Having rare health upgrades make this game quite a toughie. The only one problem I have with the game, though, is that it's a little slow-paced. But the amount of enemies in the game that you can slay constantly and platforms to jump on make up for that nicely.
This is an 8-bit game, so it has nice difficulty. It also has the visuals of an 8-bit game. They may, of course, not seem that impressive today, but back then, they were the top of the line visuals. It's a castle that, oddly enough, isn't really that dark, despite all the evil that lies in there. The effects of the attack mainly cause an enemy to pretty much just burst and sometimes leave an item. The castle has about 6 different areas. Some are on the exterior of the castle, which feature a night sky, or one is in a deeper place with water and fishmen.
It looks great for an 8-bit game, though. It also sounds quite nicely, too. The music isn't anything frightening. It suits the mood of an epic quest to fight monsters and go through the castle and gives the mood of a nice 2-D platformer of the NES days. Sounds suit their corresponding attack rather nicely, too. Explosions from the Fire Bomb have a fiery sound to them, enemies die with a quick blowup-like noise, and just suits everything nicely.
After you beat the game, there isn't really too much to do. You're probably gonna wanna go through it one more time for fun, though, but that's about it, so it lacks a little on repaly.
Overall, it's a nice 2-D platformer that's about going through a castle, fighting evil creatures, using a whip and sub-weapons, and just giving you a nice classic platform action game.
I suggest you get this game if you like 2-D platformers, like slaying demonic-ish horror-themed creatures, or have never played Castlevania. You'll like this game.
Final score: 9/10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/22/04
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