"The one that started it all"

The first in a long line of Castlevania's. The first in the series, while not the best one, is definitely not to be missed.

Story: Dracula has risen from the grave and it is up to Simon Belmont, member of a long line of vampire hunters, to stop him. Armed with his trusty whip (and eventually, morning star) he enters Dracula's castle to fight hordes of hideous beasts, monsters and undead in his ultimate quest to finish of the vile vampire himself.

Graphics: Not much can be said here, the graphics are 8-bit NES but they serve the purpose. You'll know what something is when you look at it (and isn't that all that really matters?) The graphics in no way detract from the overall experience of the game so it doesn't matter that they are not so stunning that you'll feel the need to write home about them (not that you would anyway, but you get what I mean). I feel that a game can be worth playing without superior graphics, and Castlevania is proof of this.

Gameplay: The gameplay is pretty simple. You jump and whip. Occasionally you use one of your secondary weapons (axe, dagger, boomerang, holy water) which requires the use of hearts. You gain hearts by whipping candles that are hanging on the walls (or occasionally from killing enemies).You progress stage by stage, fighting a main boss at the end of each before progressing to the next.

Sound: Castlevania 1's music set the standard for the rest of the entire series. Just about every other Castlevania game has several remixed versions of songs from this game. The music is just that good. The music will probably stick with you for the rest of you're life (it pretty much has for me). The sound effects are simple yet effective.Besides the crack of your whip, the occasional squeak of a dying bat is reward enough for me.

Difficulty: From what I remember, this game is pretty hard. Not hard enough to be irritating, but hard enough to be a fun challenge. Some of the main bosses are particularly difficult, but fortunately most of them have patterns that can be used to defeat them more easily.

Should I buy this game? I highly recommend buying this game if you ever see it. It's a classic that no collector should be without. It shouldn't cost too much at your local used game store. Buy it today!

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 01/15/02, Updated 01/15/02

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