December 18, 2010

Retro Game of the Week 059: Castlevania (NES)

This week we have Castlevania for the NES as the pick of the week, are you ready for a late post-Halloween scare? Castlevania had to start somewhere and the NES took care of that. With three installments on the classic 8-bit console, Castlevania took flight into one of the most successful franchises ever. This game was considered a horror genre and a bad ass game back in the NES era. There was really nothing like it back in the NES era and that's why it kicked ass. You were a vampire hunter off to kill Dracula, how bad ass can you get? All you have to kill Dracula was your whip, talk about kinky! Anyways, the game itself is a masterpiece and the most challenging of the three in my opinion. The gameplay is your usual hack and slash action with the help of some of the most classic Castlevania items ever like the cross or the holy water. These are the signature items that would help us reach Dracula but in the end it would only be up to our kinky whip to tame the vampire beast. The gameplay does deliver a very satisfying experience but you will find problems while jumping in the air as that's when you are more vulnerable to damage and a quick death due to the amazing gravitational pull when you fall. Other than that, it's a very playable game. The musical score is what became your typical classical horror Castlevania game, quite scary by the 1980s gaming standards but nothing to worry about today unless you are scared of 8-bit music.

The game difficulty's is what makes some people run away in panic. The game is hard, but not hard enough that you should quit and let Dracula win. You will be challenged by many monsters and will have to come up with your strategy to beat them. You can't ask for any more hard core playing than this. This game is Castlevania at its toughest! Will you take the challenge? I hope so!

Overall, this is just a trip back to a game that started a long running franchise and it has only gotten better. I do prefer the 2D counterparts rather than the 3D style games out for the next gen consoles and even one for PS2. Castlevania works best at its 2D gaming style with RPG elements, that just makes it work. We have to thank Symphony of the Night for such a great Castlevania trend that is still going strong and enjoyable to this day. Until next week!


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