Review by Green Goblin

"Konami nailed dracula, pun intended."

A great start to a great trilogy of castlevania games on the NES. You play as vampire hunter, Simon Belmont. You must roam the levels of Castlevania, and slay armies of undead monsters such as witches, bats, skeletons, and living statues. That, all before doing battle with Dracula's henchmen, that await you at the end of every level. This game is not a walk through the park. It starts off withy a couple of easy levels to warm you up, but once you hit level 3, or 4, it's open season on vampire hunters.
Throughout the game are candles you can destroy for weapons, hearts (ammo for your weapons), and other useful items. Some of the weapons you'll be using to clear out the castle are the axe, boomerang, stop watch (freezes all enemies for a short period of time), daggers, and holy water. You'll definitely want to get your hands on a weapon before facing off against any of the games stage bosses, as usually the standard whip just won't do it. Also, different weapons work better or worse, on any given boss, something that you'll learn over time playing this game.
Castlevania is such a good game mainly because it's a good challenge, but it doesn't make your progress frustrating by starting you back at the begging after you die, or loose all your continues. You start at the begging of the level, and have unlimited continues. Don't think that's going to make you home free to conquer this monster, the later levels will take most of you hours to get through alive, if you haven't already played the game a thousand times. Another thing is, in my opinion, the game never really gets boring. You'll actally want to keep going, and try to complete this one.
Easily one of the best themed games for the NES. It has a very tight horror plot, and sticks with it throughout. The music ties into this very well, and never even comes close to annoying. The graphics aren't anything special, but their not bad either. Castlevania games have always had that weird ''sketched'' graphics feel to them, like someone drew everything by hand. About the only bad thing i can say about this game, is the jumping contolls. They are prone to falling in gaps, and missing those moving platforms. But, I can deal with it, isn't every Castlevania game like that?

If you don't own this one, your really missing out on a classic. If your planning one of them all night nintendo marathons, this game is a great time killer. I've played it for hours, and hours straight, just because it kept my interest, and that's rare with the 8-bit games that usually either get boring real quick, or can be beat real quick. So, go and buy this game wherever you can find it. GO!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/05/01, Updated 08/22/01

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