|Castlevania - it all started here....|
Format: Nintendo Entertainment System
Year Released: 1986 (Japan), 1987 (USA), 1988 (Europe)
Also released on: Famicom Disk System, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, DOS, Microsoft Windows, Gameboy Advance
Now available on: Virtual Console (500 Wii points)
Once upon a time, vampires were the hardmen of horror. They would go around and commit all kinds of socially unacceptable atrocities to satisfy their bloodthirsty desires. If there was any character in fiction that would typify evil, that character would be Count Dracula, the most infamous of vampires. Although Dracula and his cronies seemed to have an unhealthy obsession for young virgins, anything containing blood was fair game to them. Vampires were feared, and quite rightly too. Nowadays though, the reputation of vampires as being Transylvanian terrorists has been tainted somewhat by the popularity of teenage trash such as Twilight and The Vampire Diaries (lots of 't's in that sentence, wasn't actually intentional). In these, the vampires have morals and an awareness of good and bad. They hold upstanding roles in society and prefer to sip from the blood of animals rather than humans. They do well at school, appear to be rather cultured and knowledgable. The Cullen clan in Twilight seem to be a bunch of do-gooding vampire foster kids, all partnering off with each other, in a wimpy vampire version of Home & Away. If only Shannon from Home & Away was in it, it might be more interesting. Or Sophie. Or Angel. Or, er, ahem, where was I? Oh yes, vampires are now pansies. Fortunately, saving us from this current soft image that vampires now appear to possess is Castlevania, a video game featuring vampires in their more traditional guise - as the evil undead.
|Entering Castlevania for the first time. The first time of many. Mwahahahahahah!|
|A cat (or is it a dog) waits to pounce.|
|Throwing an axe at a bat.|
|The 50 Shades of Grey book features a "Red Room of|
Pain" (apparently). It was based on this.
|An annoying monkey thing is about to bounce around you. Whip the little shit as soon as you can.|
Secondary weapons can be collected throughout the game which can be unleashed by pushing up and fire. These include boomarangs, swords, clocks that stop time and axes. You can also collect upgrades that allow you these secondary weapons quicker. Using the weapons is a case of pushing up and fire, so it is sometimes easy for Simon to shoot one off accidentally. That's what she said. Throughout the game you also collect hearts. The number of heart pieces you have collected represents the number of times you can fire the secondary weapons, so it's best saving them up for end of level baddies.
|Simon meets his mummy, and his other mummy. He has lesbian parents.|
|Medusa's head is on its way. Get the bitch!|
|Duck! Duck now. Oh no, it's a bat.|
|A big white bird craps out a bald monkey.|
|Looks happy, but scary at the same time. Bit like Ronald|
As a franchise that still exists today, it is good to see how many of the ideas the exist in current games began in the very first one. As a platformer in its own right, Castlevania is fun and challenging, if a little frustrating. A lot of 1980s platformers just haven't stood the test of time and are just a chore to play today, but Castlevania is still an enjoyable test of your gaming skills, looking and sounding good too.
Functional presentation which allows you to get into the game easily and suits its purpose well.
Mostly dark and moody and suit the games theme.
The birth of some famous video game tunes was in this game. They are typical NES tunes, but not as forgettable as most.
The main character controls well, but is hampered by his reaction when coming into collision with enemies which results in some frustrating and unfair deaths. Gets a bit tough later on, but it's not impossible to complete due to unlimited continues.
A high-quality, enjoyable platform game which captures its theme well.
|This is a level from the demo seeing as I never got this far into the game when getting these shots.|