Castlevania (NES) Retro Review

Castlevania is a 1987 Action Platformer developed and published by Konami. The game is set in 1961 where the player controls Simon Belmont, a vampire hunter, on his journey to defeat Dracula.

The title screen looks quite nice and the bat is quite cool, not sure about the top and bottom althouh it does make me fthink of old film reels. Like other Konami games it has the logo at the top which is honestly a bit annoying. There’s no sound and an awkward glitch if you sit through the demo play which causes the game to start with no music so its better to just start playing straight away.

Getting into the game the graphics are pretty good if you can ignore the few weird things like blocky floors and walls, the music is absolutely amazing though. Controls are very easy to get used to and having Up+B to use thrown weapons is useful too. There are alot of little things that are slightly annoying to me and would definitely drive off non-retrogamers. Firstly some subweapons are total shit compared to others and accidentally replacing them is incredibly frustrating, especially if you replace the awesome boomerang like cross with the almost pointless holy water (creates fire on the floor) or the watch (stops time for a bit but costs alot of hearts and doesn’t work on bosses). Secondly, there is insane knockback when you are hit and coupled with the amount of holes to your death there are coupled with very annoying constantly spawning enemies known as medusa heads in some areas rage quitting is very possible. If you can get past these hurdles though its quite enjoyable.

That's me getting screwed over...

Bosses are quite interesting, while they always stay quite challenging to beat their overall difficulty is essentially set by how you play the level leading up to it. Specifically its good to have a decent subweapon and plenty of health by the time you reach them. In fact i found them almost necessary as using the whip obviously meant getting close and the fact you can’t turn while jumping made using it hard if you end up having to dodge alot. The only problem is the fact you lose your items when you die making it potentially harder although its nice to know you have infinite continues (starts you at the beginning of the stage). It is extremely satisfying when you beat each boss, especially since you see their health bar under yours for the entirety of the level even before you get to them. I didn’t really get that far but i did really enjoy myself.

Overall i can recommend this game to any retrogamers out there. However if you aren’t a hardcore retrogamer or just aren’t a fan of challenging games I’d possibly recommend the GBA games instead (note i haven’t played the PS1 castlevania yet).


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