Review by Mikester
"ph34r this game"
The Castlevania series is one of the best collection of platform games for any console, ever. CV is, naturally, the one that started it all. It's the oldest, and it's the best(although CV3comes close). It was the first ''horror game'' available for the NES, and it puts you in the shoes of Simon Belmont, whose task is to find and destroy Count Dracula. You'll use the usual assortment of whips, daggers,axes, and more. Your quest will take you through six different locations in the castle, leading up to the final (rather challenging) battle with Drcula himself. But getting there is half the fun, right?
When you consider that CV is a first-generation NES game, the visuals are really rather excellent. The locales are varied,and the backgrounds are suitably creepy for the subject matter of the game. Also, there is a fair variety among the monsters that you fight, and everything is crisp and clear. You won't be squinting at the screen asking ''what the hell is that supposed to be?''.
Sound effects are what we've come to expect from every CV game. Whips, daggers, grunts, check check check.
The music, however, is excellent, as you would expect from Konami, who have made a delightful habit of sprinkling their games with tantalizing tunes. Every level(well, one level uses repeated music) has its own music, and it is catchy and moody.
The first level of CV also features the debut of the immortal ''Vampire Hunter'' theme, which has appeared in nearly ever CV game since. I don't think it was in Bloodlines, but that game has far more serious problems than that.
Yes, it is the standard ''walk left to right and kill stuff'' formula, but it's done well. Plus, some climbing is thrown in too.
Consider yourself warned, though: CV gets extremely difficult in the later stages of the game, specifically in the last two levels. As mentioned earlier, the battle with Dracula is very challenging, but it is a cake walk compared to the battle with the Grim Reaper. You have not known frustration unless you have tried to kill the Reaper without the triple-shot boomerang. It will crush your spirit. The level preceeding said battle is rather formidable as well, sporting a number of axe knights that can absorb many, many hits with your whip before they will die. If you can beat this game without savestates, your skills are 4l33+ and I ph34r them. Well, not really, since I've done it too, but...you know.
Bottom Line: Platforming at its finest. I would rank this just below Mega Man 3 as the best platform game in the long, glorious history of the NES. If you haven't played this game...how can you call yourself a gamer?
Strongest recommendation. But watch out for those sickles.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/14/01, Updated 06/14/01
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