Review by Spektre

"The beginning in the greatest action/adventure series."

I actually first played Castlevania at a Pizza Hut. They had it on a dinky little arcade machine beside Sky Kid (anyone remember that game?). I was immediately addicted, although I actually couldn't actually pass the second stage. This game is the one that led to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, one of the greatest games available. So let's continue, shall we? ONTO THE REVIEW!!!

GRAPHICS: Not terribly good, but the backgrounds are literally stunning. The first stage alone has one of the best available backgrounds. Simon Belmont, our cursed hero, moves quite stiffly, but his whip and special weapons are pretty neat. Bosses are cool, and I was always freaked out by the Medusa Heads. Ugh! The enemies are great looking, and every stage is nicely laid out to perfection. The Castlevania series starts with a bang. (8.5/10)

STORY: Here we go! Simon Belmont is heading through Romania on his way to the Transylvanian hills. There lies Dracula's huge and magnificent castle, Castlevania. Poor Belmont has been cursed for eternity to fight Dracula, starting with his ancestor, Trevor Belmont (see Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse). He must defeat the Dark Leader and save his family from ever battling him again... which, of course, is impossible. He's cursed! I actually don't see the point of fighting Dracula and killing him only to have him resurrected every few years. But it is still an original plotline, and for a game released in the 80's, it is quite good. (8/10)

GAMEPLAY/CONTROL: Like I mentioned before, the second stage is a pain in the butt! Those Medusa Heads will drive you nuts when you're trying to jump on the platforms. Every stage is quite challenging, with the leaps and bounds and enemies galore. The one frustrating thing involves jumping and getting hit in particular. You can only be hit four times, despite how long your lifebar is. Jumping requires great timing, because you can leap and fall straight into a bottomless pit. Ouch. Whipping while you jump pertains in the same deal. Getting items are a matter of hitting candles with your whip, plus you can receive items that extend your whip and add to its power. I just really get annoyed by jumping- can you tell? ^_^ Control is slightly awkward, but using your special item is a matter of pushing Up + B. Cinchy! The first boss alone is sort of annoying when it comes to jumping and timing your movements... When will I shut up?!? (8/10)

SOUND/MUSIC: Generic. Not very nice, but you may remember a few tunes. Neat-o. The infamous Castlevania theme song is missing from the title screen, but it always seems like the first in a series is lacking a theme song. The sounds are nothing to die for. (7.5/10)

OTHER STUFF:
-Players: 1-2, if I remeber correctly...
-Fun Factor: 8. Those jumps will drive you nuts!
-Replay Value: 7. There's nothing hidden here besides little point-rackers.
-Rent or Buy: Go to your local bargain bin store- I doubt you can rent it.

There ya go! I was slightly dissapointed in this game, but I tend to review games that I played in my childhood, so I can never give my exact true feelings. Besides, all of the games I own today have nearly 20 reviews. So, I will leave you with this haunting word:
SMURF.

OVERALL: 8/10


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/21/00, Updated 02/21/00


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