Review by Megaman1981

Reviewed: 08/02/04 | Updated: 01/09/06

A must own game for N64 fans.

Castlevania is one of the oldest game series in the history of gaming. The series became an instant hit with the original Castlevania on the NES. Many sequels later, Castlevania arrived for the first time in 3D on the N64. While not an instant success, the game sold well enough for a sequel. It has now arrived and is called Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness. I chose to review this game for my first review on Gamefaqs. August 2, 2004 will always be a special day to me because it was the day I realized that I too was a video game reviewer. While a lot of people think that Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness is a rehash of Castlevania 64, it is what it is; a more evolved version of Castlevania 64. A must own game for N64 fans.

The gameplay is very similar to the first game, which isn't really a bad thing. The first game had very good gameplay except for one small problem, the camera. Sadly, the camera is exactly the same in Legacy of Darkness, so for those expecting a change, you won't find it. However, while the camera can be a pain sometimes, you get used to it very quickly. Some of the levels are a mix of Zelda style gameplay, and it works well. Basically this game is a mix of both adventure levels and platform levels all in one. You are also allowed to carry a sub-weapon such as an axe, holy water, knife, and cross. Hand to hand combat is easy, but it is worth noting that there aren't too many enemies in the game. That's very strange for a Castlevania game. This game is also easier than the first offering. An easy mode has been added, which makes the game so simple, but there is also a hard mode for all you hardcore gamers out there.

The story takes place eight years prior to the first game. It puts you in control of a man beast called Cornell. Cornell has spent a year away from his village training to master his man-wolf powers. When he returns, the village is engulfed in flames. His sister Ada is kidnapped, and so he sets off to rescue her. His man-wolf senses lead him to an old ghost ship. After the ship is attacked and destroyed by a sea serpent, Cornell finds himself at the gates of Castlevania. Dracula's minions of course are involved in the kidnapping of Ada, but Cornell doesn't know this when he goes off to save her. Legacy of Darkness will actually show you how the events in Castlevania 64 came about.

Graphically the game looks great. Almost as good as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and much better than the first Castlevania. Some of the stages do have exceptional detail, with the Villa being one of the best. In addition, you can use the expansion pack for even higher resolution and better graphics. The sound however is almost non existent. Yes the boss battles have awesome music, but as for the stages themselves, the only music played is low key background music. There are some stages that have music playing at all times such as the Castle Wall, but others have no music at all such as the Forest of Silence, and the Garden Maze. This I must say is very un-Castlevania like.

So once you beat the game, is it worth going threw it again? Absolutely, there is lots of replay value here. After you beat the game with Cornell, you unlock Henry's mission. It's rather easy, but fun. Once you complete it with Henry, you will unlock Reinhardt and Carrie. That's right; Castlevania 64 is actually hidden in this game.

For my final thoughts on this game I would say this is a must buy. First of all, I think that this game is better than Lament of Innocence on the PS2. Legacy of Darkness was ironically the first N64 game I bought, and I immediately fell in love with it. A lot of people keep saying that most of the levels are reused from Castlevania 64. While this is true, Cornell and Henry's games are brand new. Even better, with Reinhardt and Carrie's games from the first Castlevania included, it makes Castlevania 64 basically worthless. Legacy of Darkness tops the first game in every way. Hence, the perfect score.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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