Review by MMcPhun
"What a terrible clone of 8 Eyes!!"
Just why is this game so popular? It's a simple man's action game. There's absolutely nothing to set it apart from the usual doldrums of NES platform adventures. Who the hell are you, anyway? You have no face, and it seems like the ''plot'' is to ultimately vanquish every undead creature you come across. Gosh, isn't that original. Anybody ever seen Evil Dead, or any of the Olsen twins' movies?
The main goal of Castlevania seems to be to bore you to death with its complete lack of anything worthwhile or exciting. Hey, you can swing an axe. Look, you can throw a boomerang that doesn't even resemble a boomerang across the screen and let it return to you. Yes! I've already forgotten Mega Man and Metal Gear. This game approaches the standards set by Last Action Hero and Total Recall.
Okay, I'll be fair. The graphics are pretty impressive for such an early date on the NES, and the enemies are all very creative and menacing. Each level has a different motif of its own, so you're not revisiting the same hallways over and over. I guess the faceless hero is okay, but you've really gotta wonder what he looks like. Maybe he's actually a well-known celebrity and wants to remain anonymous.
Now that I mention it, I really like the music in this game. Each stage music fits the scene perfectly, and most of these tracks have been redone countless times in future games or on CDs (Perfect Selection 1 and 2 are good purchases for any Castlevania fan... too bad I'm not one). The sound effects are high class, which isn't very surprising considering Konami made this game.
I suppose the control is okay, too. It was good enough for me to beat the game, and damn, that has to be saying something. The setup is deceptively simple (whip, jump, special), but the game can be very difficult to win, especially Dracula. Man, I hate that guy!
This game suffers the From Dusk Till Dawn syndrome: the first half is very easy, and you breeze through it with little or no brain activity involved. Reach the halfway point, though, and you'll be scratching your head and wondering what the hell happened. Everything is suddenly a hundred times harder and confusing. The last three bosses are about as fun as proctology exams, but once you learn their flaws and weaknesses, you can take them down.
Well, I suppose Castlevania isn't as bad as I first stated. That kind of annoys me how almost every game Konami makes is so awesome. I was perfectly content playing Puss 'n Boots and Bible Adventures every day of my life, but then this addicting game came along. Fine, I admit it. It's a classic. Are you happy now?
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/16/00, Updated 02/22/01
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