Review by Jiriki

"Don't waste your time"

Castlevania. The name conjures up images, of a dark, moody atmosphere and classic action. Unfortunately Castlevania IV replaces these with dark, boring graphics and uninspired gameplay.

GRAPHICS
The 3d map that displays the progression through the levels is easily the most impressive visual part of the game. Once the actual levels are shown, the game goes down rapidly—visually as well as everything else. Technically the game is not bad. The sprites are big and the game moves along decently. Aesthetically though, the visuals are terrible. The enemies’ visuals fade into each other giving the feeling that even the new enemies have been seen before. This is even more obvious with the backgrounds. Rather then creating truly different areas the developers took decidedly generic backgrounds and made them dark. Needless to say this is not impressive, and rather than adding to the backgrounds, as darkness can do, it just makes them drab.

GAMEPLAY
This is the type of game that is quite difficult to go through initially, but once learned can be gone through while sleeping. Stand in spot X and attack. Move to spot Y. Repeat. This is largely due to the slow nature of the game. The game is too slow to ever present much in the way of “action.” Simply memorizing enemies is enough. Then there is the horrid control of the character himself. Using his whip to jump from hook to hook could easily be the high point of the game, but this is nullified since the character responds very slowly to the controls. One particular spot requires a short jump that is followed by throwing out the whip to grab a hook. However, the controls are such that the whip button must be pressed before jumping in order for the character to respond when in the air. This is not a reasonable delay due to the whip being uncoiled, but merely a delay in the game. The bosses themselves are rather interesting; however, the control of the character makes every boss fight feel as though you are supposed to be underwater, though the boss is not.

DIFFICULTY
Moderately difficult overall the game is too easy in many places (most levels) and too difficult in others (most bosses). These fights are quite challenging and may appeal to some, but as the fight was more against your character than the boss I found the fights more annoying than entertaining.

OVERALL
The game lacks any kind of story, has poor graphics, despicable gameplay and a great name. Solution go buy Castlevania SOTN and play that, or if you already own it play it a second time. Or a third. In short, don’t get this game.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 05/29/01, Updated 05/29/01


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