Review by HEMIstation

"Why are there never any lesser vampires in CV?"

This game stirred up a lot of controversy. Should Castlevania attempt 3D again? Is the best of Castlevania's future destined to be 2D? A character that levels up, or one that finds more and more powerful spells? And finally, whip?—or various handheld weapons?

Well, Let me first start off by saving that Castlevania64 was a very good game. It was excellent if not for the weak boss fights. Castlevania LOI was a move, again, to 3D after such prestigious Konami titles such as Contra Shattered Soldier were embraced for finally getting ‘change' to go right. Contra and Castlevania are beloved titles of mine, especially for their NES, SNES/Sega and GBA side scrollers. This was castlevanias opportunity to shut those fan boys up that can't stop whinning for Konami to keep the vampire whipping franchise in the Symphony of the Night (PS1) mold. They tried, but overall this game can hardly be considered much of a stepping stone over C64.

StoryLine: This is supposed to explain how the Belmont family came to be so determined to make Dracula lick the spoon. It starts off pretty interesting, but you can see through the blandness of the story line. It isn't bad, but I think it could have been more intriguing. See for yourself re: the story line because I don't want to spoil it if you haven't played it yet. But just so you know, Drac won't be in this castle, so make friends with some other baddie and kick his butt instead.

Graphics: Pretty good. Definitely above average. Castlevania is well known for using bright colors, especially for character design. But are the graphics better than Resident Evil for GC? No where close. The backgrounds are boring, the hallways are so repetitive it almost makes you want to turn the game off. Everything looks the same in the hallways, including the path (each is curved) Each section of the castle is accessed through a port in the main entrance area---- this sucks. You cant even see the connection or how Dracs castle intertwines. So for level design and layout, this title earns a failing grade.

GamePlay: Very good, I especially enjoy the double jump, but the fact that you start the game with this ability just makes no sense at all. You have a whip as your primary weapon, and can pick up side items (ie holy water, dagger, axe, crystal, cross,….) and change their effects with various orbs which you collect as you progress through the game. Some are cool, some should do more damage, and the crystal absolutely sucks. It is worthless. Level up? There is no level up for defeating regular enemies, and they don't drop anything to get excited about, so why fight them?? The game occasionally locks down a room, dumps in enemies, and now you have to kill all enemies to unlock the room. Horrible idea. Fighting is cool over hours and hours if theres a possibility of finding new armor, or a new sword, but this game doesn't offer those rewards. So fighting is EXTREMELY repetitive, although I enjoy whipping the crap out of all of them anyway. The key here is to not get hit. Don't take the damage, just bobble around and sneak in a couple hits when you can. Jump, roll, tumble, WHIP. This reminds me of Ghosts N Ghouls for SNES.

Bosses: Pretty cool looking, and great ideas as far as their attacks. But the bosses don't do enough damage. With the exception of the Death, who finally lays the smack down. Other than Death, I could beat these bosses in 5 minutes each while I eat some Popeye's chicken at the same time. The bosses were extremely disappointing and are THE MAIN REASON THIS GAME IS JUST *BLAH* (blah—see “average”) There are certain avenues in the game that pit you against 4 additional bosses, which you don't have to beat in order to finish the game, but they provide little incentive for the amt. of damage you will take. The 3 elemental bosses and the “forgotten one” are actually easy, but you have to be sure not to take one of their hits. Overall: Death is your ONLY challenge.

Sound: It's ok. Too much techno influence. If you have a little subwoofer for your PS2, some of the beats are enjoyable. The boss music STINKS. Terrible. The character voices are below average. Sound effects are average. Nothing to get excited about AT ALL in this department.

Challenge: SOTN is harder than this (the inverted castle portion I mean) The regular enemies are less than push-overs… they are push –overs and sweep under the rug because they are as difficult as fighting an Owl crossed with a bungee cord. I think I died in this game once, and that's because I went into the last boss fight all gung-ho, but I seemed to forget I had about 4 healing items left. I got punished. Fighting Death was very enjoyable because he actually DID DAMAGE. Why couldn't the other bosses be like this?? If you use the cross mixed with, I believe, the green orb, the boss just before Death is as easy as fighting a teenager that drives a Volvo.

BY The Way: Why are there no vampires in this game? C64 is about the only one to break out some lesser blood suckers. HELLO! We need some creatures that would make the MOST sense to be in Castle de Dracula.

Decision Time: Buy or Rent? I was so hyped for this game I bought it the first day it came out. Don't be like me kiddies. I won't trade it in because I collect my games. C64 is this games DADDY. Replay value, yea, that would earn a ZERO/INFINITY. This game is worth about 10 bucks for the experience it delivers. My opinion, if you have 10 bucks in hand, and are headed over to the video game store to pluck this Title, but happen to see a Taco Bell on the way……. Get 2 Nacho Cheese Chalupas, 1 hard beef taco, an order of Nachos and Cheese, and use the rest of the money to refill the wasted gas you just used.

Reviewer's Rating:   1.5 - Bad

Originally Posted: 11/04/04

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