Review by bruplex

"Top notch music, top notch game"

Castlevania was one of the very first NES games to showcase the true potential of the system. For the first time, the music was more than just an accessory of bleeps and blips, it was well orchestrated, smooth, and catchy. Couple that with uniquely solid play control and stunning graphics (for the day of course) and you get an instant classic!
If there was any game that put Konami home-console map, it was this classic. The backgrounds were detailed, dark, and gothic. To this day, very few games have the quality tunes of the original Castlevania, most notably levels 1,3, 5 and 6.
I'm not sure how many people on this site grew up with the NES, but believe me this was an amazing piece of art when it surfaced around 1986-87. A must have for any NES collector.

Graphics=9.8 Excellent use of the 8-bit palette! For the first time, players were immersed in a world dark, erie, and forboding; a far cry from the happy mushrooms and smiling clouds of Mario world. For the first time, games became SERIOUS. It may seem like baby steps today, but it set the mood for a whole genre...

Sound=10* Amazing songs not only contributed to the baroque/gothic feel to the game but got stuck in the heads of gamers everywhere. The intro/ 1st level music has been remixed in many later versions of the game and is a gaming classic! Konami did everything right on this one, adding excellent sound to a visually impressive game.

Storyline=9.7 Classic!! Unlike the normal rescue the girl in distress, you are fighting to vanquish a curse on your family as well as rid the country side of a sinister, bloodthirsty apparition! Very nice twist on the dracula theme.

Challenge=8.0 A tough play the first time through, but once you wire it, it's not too hard. It's all in the weapons you have. The triple shot boomerang was the savior weapon, reducing bosses like the Grim Reaper to crumbs in mere seconds!

Gameplay=9.2 Konami makes the most of the limited controller functions, opting to use Up and B as a special weapon instead of the select button. Players found the way your hero (Simon!) recoils when hit to be a bit offputting, but there are times when this actually helps make the game easier!!

Overall=9.8 Pretty close to the best NES game ever. With amazing music, beautiful graphics, and respectable challenge and gameplay, Castlevania is a must have for anyone who owns the NES. The current games still have a similar feel, but as of right now, it is safe to say the series topped out with PS's Symphony of the Night. A classic!


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 02/06/00, Updated 02/06/00


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