Review by Crunkman2000
From Belmont's Revenge to this...
Castlevania Legends was meant to be a classic on par with Symphony. In reality, it was just a cash-in on SotN's popularity at the time. On to the review itself, since I can't come up with anything witty to put here...
Even for a Game Boy title, the graphics are a little...blah. Sonia's sprite looks very different from the other Belmonts (for obvious reasons), and the enemies don't look anything like they used to. It's nothing that will cause eye damage, but it does look slightly better on a Color screen.
The sound effects themselves are minimal: the "splat" of an enemy, the sound of a fireball (same sound for every one, from Sonia's to a Gargoyle's to Drac's), the famous Belmont grunt (seems a little higher pitched here), and the very miniscule sound of what seems to be a whip. The music is decent, for a GB Castlevania. Nothing Symphony-killing, but still good.
This is where the game really falls on it's face (or, rather, into a pit). Sonia moves slowly and whips at an average speed. That wouldn't be so bad, except she can't use the classic subweapons. Instead, she gets "soul powers" from bosses, meaning you have to finish a level before you can use a subweapon (sounds familiar doesn't it? *coughmegamancough*). Granted, some of the powers are useful (screen-clearing FTW), but nowhere near as great as the original weapons. Sure, they (classic SWs) make appearances as collectibles that lengthen the ending (more on that in a sec), but otherwise won't make a difference. You also get a "burning mode" that renders Sonia invincible for a short time. Sadly, it can only be used once per life. Also, Sonia can't whip any direction but left/right, which really helps when you're fighting endless swarms of enemies that fly above you, especially on the many, MANY ropes that replaced every staircase in the castle. [/sarcasm] Sonia seems to suffer from jumping problems as well. Just play and see what I mean.
Has one of the better stories in the series: Sonia (who, at the time of this game's release, was the first Belmont, story-wise) does the typical Belmont thing and goes out to kill Drac. Alucard (yes, THAT Al) tries to stop her (apparently they have thing going there), and she defies him and goes anyways. It's typical CV fare, with one exception: the full ending (which you get by collecting all of the Mystic Weapons/Classic SWs) reveals some rather interesting facts. Apparently, Alucard is Trevor Belmont's father. It's never stated directly, but many fans have deduced this due to III's setting (16 years after Legends), and some use this as evidence as to why Al helps the Belmonts in every game he's ever appeared in. Of course, IGA decided to retcon Legends from the canon, so none of this matters. Still, at the time, it was a massive shock, and many fans still believe that this has canonical significance (placing Sonia as a later Belmont instead of the first, due to Lament), also using it to explain Richter's susceptibility to Shaft's spell in SotN.
What was supposed to be a return to classic CV gameplay was really a disaster of near-epic proportions. CV:L is still better than Adventure, but not by much.
BUY OR RENT: Rent or emulate it. This game isn't worth the money IMHO, but you may find it interesting. I'd go for Belmont's Revenge instead.
Rating: 2.5 - Playable
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