Review by ABlaster

"Owners of the Nintendo 64 should get this"

Important info:

Memory Card: Yes
Players: 1
Expansion Pack: If you want to


All of the CastleVania games are made by our beloved company, Konami. What Konami do best in my eyes, is making games like CastleVania, MetalGear etc. At this point Konami is one of the biggest companies out there, with lots of games on the market. Some of Konami's games are Metal Gear Solid, Dance Dance Revolution, Silent Hill and of course CastleVania. I was really looking forward to this game after I first heard about it from my good friend at school. I got it on my birthday and it turned out to be a great gift. I actually played it for hours every day the first five days or so. And the money spent on a Memory Card was well worth it. Lets go straight to the details.

Story
It's simple with few details but still decent. Some times you just want to skip trough the story and get straight to the action, and sometimes it is really interesting. So it varies through the game (I think). All playable character has his/her own story. It's above average, but nothing to really brag about comparing to big games such as Zelda, MetalGear and Final Fantasy. I really can't tell you much more because it's hard not to spoil anything then.
I'll give it: 7.5/10

Graphics
Way too much gray and brown in most levels. It somehow matches the type of game, but I would still prefer some more variation. But that's just me though. Some few places still has more variation later in the game so there really isn't anything to complain at. And when it come to the details, I would say it is good enough. You see smaller things from a decent distance. It's a little foggy, but maybe that's just how it's supposed to be. The graphics are pretty average, you won't really care too much about it.
I'll give it: 6/10

Music/Sound
This is a very good part. This might be Konamis strongest point after what I've experienced. The tunes are placed on perfect places, and some of them make you just to lean back in your chair, close your eyes and just chill while listening to beautiful and terrifying tunes by the team behind the music. It's between four and six really good tunes which is more than most other games. The sounds from fighting, running, jumping etc isn't really anything to care about in this review. It will not bother you and not blow you away.
I'll give it: 8.3/10

Gameplay
As you may know, this game is about killing vampires, demons etc. just like the other CastleVania games out there. You can play as four playable characters. I'm not going to mention their names in this review though. All of the characters are unique on their own way. They have different ways of attacking, strong points and weak points. The bosses are really great in this game. There's a lot of them. Some are huge and extremely challenging, while some just make you laugh. Most of them (like vampires etc.) is pretty terrifying. It's like some of the places in Silent Hill; you just don't dare to enter a place where you don't know what lies behind. You can always upgrade your strength. You will lose the upgrades after you die once though. You can choose between three difficulties; Easy, Normal and Hard (if I remember correctly). The level system is as most other CastleVanias. You advance through levels from first to last until the game is completed. There's some secrets and also a guy you can buy stuff from. You get the money from fighting enemies and bosses. It took between 15 minutes to three hours to beat each level (for me that is). The jumping system can somehow be a little frustrating at times, but I like it better at some levels when you get the hang of it. You save at save crystals around the levels. It's a nice system that works fine for me. When it comes to the challenge; I think some parts are extremely hard (especially at the hardest difficulty) and other parts are easy. It really couldn't be much better. The gameplay overall is very nice, if you're a fan of the CastleVania games, you will not be disappointed here either.
I'll give it: 8.5/10

Pros and Cons

+ The bosses
+ The music
+ The ability to upgrade yourself
+ The difficulties

- You lose your upgrades after dying

To rent or to buy?
If you're a fan of CastleVania you should buy this at once, actually I would recommend it to all owners of the Nintendo 64. Games such as Perfect Dark, Zelda etc. is better though. But of course you already own those, right? It's the same type of game as Resident Evil, Devil May Cry and Silent Hill, but still not too similar.

Overall score: 8.3/10


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/06/03, Updated 03/25/05


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