With MercurySteam’s Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate launching this week, it’s nice to take some time to go back to where it all began for Nintendo gamers.
In 1987, or 1988 for Europe, Konami unleashed Dracula upon the Nintendo Entertainment System to much critical acclaim. Over the years the series has undergone a change in structure and gameplay but the theme is always the same, kill Dracula.
This is Castlevania in its purest form. There is no levelling up or backtracking à la Symphony of the Night, you just have to use your whip and sub-weapons to eliminate the hordes of the undead before facing off with old McFangs himself, Dracula.
One consistent throughout the many games of Castlevania is the music. The series has some of the most memorable tracks in gaming, and the original set the tone superbly.
Castlevania holds up very well today, the side-scrolling action-platform gameplay still remains just as good as it was back when it originally released. Yet the game seems more difficult than I remember though; although this could be due to being used to levelling up mechanics introduced in Symphony of the Night.
In terms of side-scrolling action platformers available on Nintendo 3DS, Castlevania falls behind Mega Man 2 and Gunman Clive and, especially with the latter costing less than half the price, it proves hard to recommend. As much as I love Castlevania, I would advise waiting for the superior Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse.
If you have the money to spare or have already played, and enjoyed, games like Gunman Clive or Mega Man 2 then you won’t be disappointed in delving into seeing how the Castlevania series began.