Review: Kid Icarus – Of Myths and Monsters

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I’ve had the last few days off of work so I’ve taken advantage of this time to knock out a few of the shorter games on my to-do list. One of them being yet another Nintendo classic that I somehow missed out on the first time around.

This game is a sequel to the original Kid Icarus, but was lost in obscurity for reasons that I can’t understand. The title received pretty good reviews at release but I never once saw a copy of it for sale or knew anyone who actually owned it. Recently, the game was released a digital download for the Nintendo 3DS and I finally got a chance to play it for the first time.

Overall, this title is pretty true to the original. Here we have the goddess Palutena receiving a vision that Angel Land will soon be invaded by a powerful demon. In preparation for this, she commands Pit to undertake training. Most of the game consists of Pits working his way thru the trials, but climaxes when the demon invasion actually happens. Much like the original game, the last level see’s Pit equipped with the sacred treasures so he may do battle with the demon Orcos.

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The game feature play that is very similar to the NES original. There are a few differences that are very welcome changes. First of all, the levels are free-roaming. Meaning you can go up, down, left, right and back again. The original game did not allow any backtracking at all.  Also, the difficulty in this title has been lowered a bit so while still challenging at times, it’s not nearly as frustrating as the original.  The password system is gone, now your progress is saved at the end of each level.

Players of the original Kid Icarus will certainly feel at home with the environment here, but there is also enough new about the game so that it does not feel like a re-hash or a cheap port.

Overall, I feel that the game is actually a bit of an improvement over the first, but it does seem to lack of the charm of the first Kid Icarus title. I think perhaps, if this game has been presented in a color 8-bit format, it would have better represented what Kid Icarus should have been.

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Difficulty: Medium  –  This game is much easier that the original, but it still has a bit of challenge at times. Players who mastered the NES game or have a lot of experience with platform titles should have no problem completing the game in a few hours.

Story: As with most action games of this era, the background story exists mostly in the instruction manual and a brief intro at the beginning of the game. While there’s no Medusa this time around, the demonic Orcos makes for a really great bad guy.

Originality: In many ways this game is a rehash of the original with a few welcome updates to the gameplay. This is an example of “improvement progression”.

Soundtrack: The music in this game is very similar in style to the original. So thematically, it’s well done. However, neither the original game nor this title have tunes that I found to be very enjoyable. The music is quirky and peppy, but somehow seems a bit out of place to me.

Fun:I actually enjoyed this game a lot more than I thought I would. It is very dated, but I feel that’s easily overlooked. It’s not near as frustrating as it’s counterpart.

Graphics: I feel the game suffers a bit here. This title was released in 1991, The Game Boy was two years old at this point and many developers had a good handle on things by this time.The graphics are clear and not particularly bad, but overall it’s a bit uninspiring. There’s a few exceptions, some of the bosses are well drawn, and the final boss is pretty cool looking. But most of the trash enemies seem poorly rendered. Same for the background scenes.

Playcontrol: This game controls quite well for a portable title. Motions seem quick and smooth. An improvement over the NES game.

Overall rating (out of four stars): 3 – Myths and Monsters is a good game, but it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table and there are many other similar games that seem to be more entertaining. I feel that it is a step in the right direction for the franchise, but it would be many years until fans would receive another game in the series. The game suffers a bit graphically and the soundtrack leaves a lot to be desired.

Currently available on: 3DS eShop

Other Reviews In This Series:

Kid IcarusMyths and Monsters – Uprising

Review: The Legend of Zelda – Link’s Awakening

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Next up we have the first portable Zelda title, Link’s Awakening. Originally released on the Game Boy and then re-released (with improved graphics) for the Game Boy Color, this is a game that spent a lot of time with when I was younger.

For this title, we play another version of Link as he explores the mysterious island of Koholint. This makes the game unique as it is the first Zelda game to take place outside of the Kingdom of Hyrule.  In many ways, this game looks and plays very similarly to a Link to the Past, but also features several unique features. One of the most obvious changes is Link’s ability to jump. This is something that is a first for an overhead Zelda game.

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   Comparison of original and DX version

 

One of the biggest drawbacks of the original title is the graphics. In many ways, the game features excellent art for a classic Game Boy game, but many players felt that the screen was too “busy” and lacked fine details and definition, and the game suffered as a result. Thankfully, the re-release fixes many of these complaints. The use of color made obstacles and environmental details much clearer.

Another feature of the DX version is a new dungeon that does not appear in the original game. Naturally, this dungeon takes advantage of the GBC new color feature to present the player with color-based puzzles.

To me, the game is very enjoyable but occasionally doesn’t feel much like a Zelda game. I think this is mainly due to the introduction of new monsters and the foreign style environment. Overlooking these oddities, Link’s Awakening is a solid game and a great way to experience classic Zelda on the go.

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Difficulty: Medium  –  Another very well balanced Zelda title. The game is very playable by most even if it does feature some pretty tough dungeons at some point. The key here is patience and repetition.

Story: Surprisingly, this title features a very in-depth story, even if it is mostly isolated from the rest of series. The introduction of a new locale and new characters and creatures make for a really good time. There’s a cute little twist at the end of the game that I’ve never really been sure if I liked or not. You’ll see what I mean if you complete this title.

Originality: I think the goal of this game was to create a portable “Link to the Past” experience. In many ways, this is exactly what Link’s Awakening is. But there’s enough new and original idea’s present to let this title shine all on it’s own.

Soundtrack: The music composed for this game is nothing short of wonderful. One of my favorite memories from this game is the ever popular “Ballad of the Wind Fish”. Classic chiptunes.

Fun: What’s not to love? Portable Zelda and its done right. Great fun to be found in this title.

Graphics: As I mentioned in the main review, the original version suffered a bit. The artists filled the screen with lots to see, and the pixel art is not bad per se, but in a black and white environment, things got really confusing at times. The DX version of the game was a much needed improvement and is the only way to go if playing the game on modern hardware.

Playcontrol: Overall no complaints. The controls are very precise and accurate. However, playing with only two buttons get’s a little annoying with all the menu switching.

Overall rating (out of four stars): 4 –  Again, another four-star Zelda game and a must-have for any fans of the series. Link’s Awakening is classic Nintendo and one of those games every Game Boy owner should have.

Currently available on: 3DS eShop (DX version)

Other Reviews In This Series:

LoZ –  LoZ IILink to the PastLink’s AwakeningOcarina of Time – Majora’s Mask – Oracle of Season & Ages – Wind Waker – Four Swords – Minish Cap – Twilight Princess – Phantom Hourglass – Spirit Tracks – Skyward Sword – Link Between Worlds – Breath of the Wild

Review: Wario Land – Super Mario Land 3

563296_28973_front-5B1-5DNext up in my portable trip down memory lane, is the unusual but classic Wario Land. Technically, this is a sequel to Super Mario Land 2, but other than the name, and the fact that the game features Wario, there’s not a lot of similarities.

This title is very unique in many ways. For starters, you get to play as the villain. That’s right, you control Wario in his quest of sheer greed. The goal of the game is to earn as many coins and find as many treasures as possible before the end of the game in hopes of having enough wealth to one-up Mario. Silly, but fun.

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Unlike Mario who jumps on top his enemies, Wario prefers to dash at them at high speed. Also, he’s quite fond of throwing things. Wario’s power-ups consist of different hats that provide him with various abilities. (I’m personally a big fan of the dragon hat). Aside from these differences, the game plays very much like your standard Mario title.

This is a game that I actually didn’t experience as a kid. I first played this in my early twenties. Shortly after getting married, I went thru a second gaming phase in which I purchased a couple of the systems and various titles I missed during my teenage years. This was one of the games that landed in my hands and I’ve been a fan ever since.

Difficulty: Medium  –  One of the biggest challenges in the game for me was learning to do things the “Wario Way” and not the “Mario Way”. Also, Wario controls a bit differently from most platformers. This makes for a bit of a learning curve. But once you get the hang of things, it’s a lot of fun.

Story: In a bit of refreshing change, we finally get to the play the bad guy! While there’s not much more to it than “get as rich as possible”, it’s a lot of fun and a nice change of pace.

Originality: Despite being another platformer, the concept of playing as the villain and the differences presented in the gameplay really give this title an original feel.

Soundtrack: Dopey, quirky sounding tunes. I suppose they are appropriate for the title, but I could take it or leave it.

Fun: I found the game to be a lots of fun. It’s very childish in many ways, but if you don’t take things too seriously, it’s a real blast to play.

Graphics: The graphics here are on par with SML2. There’s not much more you can squeeze out of the Game Boy in terms of looks.

Playcontrol: The feel of the game is a bit different from either of the other Mario games. Wario seems to move a bit more sluggishly. But I believe this by design. It’s a bit getting used to if you are playing this immediately after Mario Land 2 like I did. Regardless, the controls themselves are perfect.

Overall rating (out of four stars): 3 –  Wario Land is a solid title and it’s different enough to stand out in a crowd. It’s memorable because it’s fun and different. In some ways, it’s been my favorite of the Mario Land trilogy.

Currently available on: 3DS eShop

Other Reviews In This Series:

SMB   –   SMB Lost Levels  –  SMB 2  –  SMB 3  –  SM World – SM World 2-  SM Land  –  SM Land 2  – SM Land 3 –  Mario 64 – Mario Sunshine – New SMB – Galaxy – Galaxy 2 – New SMB Wii – Mario 3D Land – New SMB 2 – New SMB U – SMB 3D World

Paper Mario – Thousand Year Door – Super Paper Mario – Sticker Star

Wario Land 2 – Wario Land 3 – Wario Land 4 – Master of Disguise – Wario Land Shake It

Luigi’s Mansion – Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon – Super Princess Peach

Review: Super Mario Land 2 – 6 Golden Coins

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Moving right along with the Mario series, we switch back to the Game Boy for Super Mario Land 2 – 6 Golden Coins. While, many of us enjoyed Super Mario Land for what it was, there was a lot about it that just didn’t feel very “Mario-ish”. Thankfully, this was corrected in the sequel.

Here we have a game that is all around more familiar. We have the overworld map that has now become a staple of the serie and much cleaner and more defined artwork. This game is also famous for introducing the now famous villain, Wario.

That’s right, this title actually has a bit of a story. Forget about Bowser, forget about the Princess. This time around, Mario must fight to retake his castle from the evil Wario (who took it upon himself to move in while Mario out was fooling around in the strange world of SML 1).

While many aspects of the game are familiar. There’s still plenty of surprises in the title. We get to see some new and unusual power-ups for Mario. (Bunny Mario!) As well as some interesting level design. Some of stranger aspects of the previous Mario Land game are also inserted into this title. Which, in my opinion, helped legitimize them.

Some of the levels, while imaginative got old after a while. But, overall, Nintendo delivers a solid handheld Mario experience this time around. I personally enjoyed the original Super Mario Land a lot, but in many ways, this is the game it really should have been.

Difficulty: Medium  –  Difficulty-wise, I found the game to be easy to moderate in difficulty. I feel that it’s pretty kid-friendly compared to many other platformers of the era.

Story: For once we have new premise to a Mario game. This is both surprising and refreshing.

Originality: While keeping true to the classic Mario formula, there are some nice surprises thrown in to the title as well. Three cheers for Wario!

Soundtrack: This is one of the weaker aspects of the game to me. I’m not sure how most other players feel, but the game seems to be lacking in the music department. The tunes are odd and not very memorable.

Fun: Overall, there’s a lot of good times to be found here. The hub/level select system allows you to switch things up if you find yourself getting bored with a particular theme. A feature I took advantage of often (I hate the Maple Tree levels).

Graphics: Mario Land 2 is a BIG step up from its predecessor.  High marks here. The sprites are larger and more defined. No more squinting!

Playcontrol: Over all, there’s no real issues here. However, I’ve found the play control to be a bit loose at time. Nothing major to gripe about, and almost not even worthy of mention, but to me, it’s there.

Overall rating (out of four stars): 3 –  Mario Land 2 is a great game. Is it perfect? No. Is it a step in the right direction? Yes. Despite its few flaws, I feel it is certainly a game every Nintendo fan should have in their collection.

Currently available on: 3DS eShop

Other Reviews In This Series:

SMB   –   SMB Lost Levels  –  SMB 2  –  SMB 3  –  SM World – SM World 2-  SM Land  –  SM Land 2  – SM Land 3 –  Mario 64 – Mario Sunshine – New SMB – Galaxy – Galaxy 2 – New SMB Wii – Mario 3D Land – New SMB 2 – New SMB U – SMB 3D World

Paper Mario – Thousand Year Door – Super Paper Mario – Sticker Star

Wario Land 2 – Wario Land 3 – Wario Land 4 – Master of Disguise – Wario Land Shake It

Luigi’s Mansion – Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon – Super Princess Peach

Review: Final Fantasy Legend (Sa-Ga) Trilogy

 

Still delving into the Game Boy classics of my youth, I’ve decided to do something a bit different. I’m going to do a combo review of the three Final Fantasy Legend games. These games, while different in many respects are similar enough in design and appeal to warrant a combo review.

First things first. These are not REALLY Final Fantasy titles. The series is actually called Sa-Ga (in Japan). During the move over to the US market, they decided to slap the Final Fantasy label on them in attempt to sell more copies. It worked. Later, a couple other Sa-Ga titles were ported over to the US under their true name.

Despite being portable titles, the games are filled with content. Make no mistake, all three of these are full length games. While each game is a little different in terms of play, there are several constants that remain. In each game you can create characters that are either Human, Mutants, or Monsters. The third game only offers the first two options at start, but later you are given the opportunity to become either a cyborg or a beast.

The games feature an overhead design and menu-driven combat system that is common with many RPGs of the time. What these titles really excel in are the storylines.

The premise of the first game is the ascension of a mysterious tower said to have been created by God. Anyone able to climb the tower will reach the ultimate goal of heaven. Once the heroes manage to begin their climb, they soon realize that other worlds exist above their own. More truths about the mysterious tower are revealed the higher they climb…

The second game focuses on the search for the main character’s long lost father. Eventually, it is eventually revealed that dear-old-dad is a member of a secret organization charged with finding fragments of a mythical statue. The game takes our heroes through many strange worlds as they continue to collect the pieces and learn the ultimate truth…

The third game in the original Sa-Ga series is the most unique. This game contains a good dose of Sci-Fi, which is a bit of a departure from the other titles. In this story, the heroes are charged with travelling through time to prevent a terrible flood that has destroyed their world. Throughout their travels they uncover new parts to augment their time machine so that they can eventually reach their ultimate goal.

I’ve played through these titles a number of times. So I know them all like the back of my hand. If I had to rank them in order of preference, I’d do so in this order: 1, 2, and then 3. The first game is nothing short of a classic. Even as a kid I was floored with the idea of traveling all the way to Heaven to learn the long lost secrets of the divine, only to meet one hell of a twist at the end. The second game, while excellent and with many improvements over the original, just did not measure up to the majesty that original game provided. The third is by far my least favorite. Again, it is truly an excellent game. I’m just not nearly as passionate about it as I was the other two.

When looked at as a whole, these games are nothing short of masterpieces. From everything to the epic storytelling to the fantastic soundtracks. These are top notch titles.

Difficulty: Medium  –  As any old school RPG player hates to admit. If you’re patient, the games are not difficult. Each of these games is about the same in terms of difficulty, and if you do encounter a tough spot, you can usually grind past it… shhh.

Story: Each game is unique in terms of storyline, but each title features a rich story. There isn’t really one scenario that comes out a clear winner here. All three are fantastic.

Originality: The Sa-Ga series is the first real portable RPG experience. Despite the hardware limitations of the original Game Boy, these games somehow manage to pack everything one would expect into the little cartridges. Upon release, there was nothing else like it.

Soundtrack: Despite the archaic sound chip in the original Game Boy, composer Nobuo Uetmatsu worked magic. Famous for scoring most of the Final Fantasy series, he was once again provided three soundtracks of sheer awesomeness.

Fun: I love all three of these games almost equally. Each one provides hours of great entertainment. And regardless of all the modern hardware and fancy colorful RPGs of today, I find myself slapping these into the trusty Game Boy Advance and returning to them even today.

Graphics: Surprisingly, these games feature a lot of fine detail. While graphics on the Game Boy can often be hit or miss, the artists for these games are truly masters of their form.

Playcontrol: As expected with this type of title, there are no real issues with control or navigation.

Overall rating (out of four stars): 4 –  Classic RPGs from out friends at Square, (and later distributed by SunSoft). It doesn’t matter if you play one of the title or all of them, each will provide you with a memorable experience. I can’t recommend these enough. Classic stuff.

Currently available on: Not Currently Available

Review: Super Mario Land

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Ahhh first generation Game Boy titles… No one had any clue what they were doing. To kick off my Game Boy era reviews, we have Super Mario Land. This was the first Mario title on the Game Boy, available at launch, and the game is both familiar but also very unique.

Being a launch title, the graphics are a little obscure. It many ways, it doesn’t seem very “Mario” . There are bricks and pipes, and flowers and turtles. But it just feels different… it might have something to do with all the UFOs and Pyramids… Who knows what’s going on, but it is fun!

The graphics in this title are really a mixed. I chalk it up to a lack of experienced working with the platform, as many GB launch titles suffered from the same issue.

Despite it’s flaws, it is a short and cute little game. I played through it in about 30 minutes, start to finish. Perfect for plane rides, or killing time at a boring family reunion ( I’ve used it for both in the past.).

The theme is what you would expect, but this time Mario is called to rescue a different Princess, Daisy. So there’s not much new there. It is hard to complain though, I don’t think Nintendo designed this game to blow any minds. It’s merely a low budget portable title, meant to pass some time with. I think the key here is not to take it too seriously. It is what it is. The music is pretty catchy tho!

Difficulty: Easy – As Mario titles go, this one is easier than most. Most of the time, I can manage to complete it in one play.

Story: Its Mario… there not much to expect here… and who is Daisy???

Originality: The basic premise is familiar to most Mario fans. Although there are a few new twists and turns to be found here. The post-level mini games are new, and personally, I’m a big fan of “submarine” and “airplane” Mario.

Soundtrack: Very basic in terms of composition, but incredibly catchy tunes. Mono beeps and boops at their best!

Fun: A lot of people tend to dismiss this game, but I find it to be quite a good time. It’s very basic, true, but that isn’t always a bad thing.

Graphics: As I mentioned, the graphics are pretty basic compared to later Game Boy titles. But, things are clear and well defined. Many of the other “Mario Land” titles released later are big step up in terms of quality.

Playcontrol: Flawless. I find no complaints. This is true for both the original Game Boy as well as the GBA or 3DS.

Overall rating (out of four stars): 3 –  This is a really good title, and one I would recommend to most collectors. However, it is far from perfect. It’s very short and as I said, not very pretty to look at. But, it is what it is, a simple handheld version of Mario for players on the go.

Currently available on: Nintendo eShop 3DS

Other Reviews In This Series:

SMB   –   SMB Lost Levels  –  SMB 2  –  SMB 3  –  SM World – SM World 2-  SM Land  –  SM Land 2  – SM Land 3 –  Mario 64 – Mario Sunshine – New SMB – Galaxy – Galaxy 2 – New SMB Wii – Mario 3D Land – New SMB 2 – New SMB U – SMB 3D World

Paper Mario – Thousand Year Door – Super Paper Mario – Sticker Star

Wario Land 2 – Wario Land 3 – Wario Land 4 – Master of Disguise – Wario Land Shake It

Luigi’s Mansion – Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon – Super Princess Peach

 



 

Review: Castlevania Adventure II – Belmont’s Revenge

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I’ve moved on the the next installment of the Adventure series. “Belmont’s Revenge”. This game takes place in 1591, several years after the original. In this game, Christopher Belmont’s son, Soleiyu, goes exploring and discovers four unmapped castles. During his exploration, he is enveloped by a supernatural mist and disappears. Suspecting the forces of evil are at work, Christopher Belmont takes up his whip in search of his missing son.

This game, while similar to the original “Adventure”, features much improved playcontrol and slightly better graphics. The soundtrack actually seems to suffer a bit compared to the previous game. The difficulty of the game remains the same, very frustrating.

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What sets this game apart from most other Castlevania titles is the “level selection” screen. When starting the game, you are given the choice between four levels. This option felt very similar to the way Mega Man games allow you to choose which stages to complete. Once the four castles have been conquered, Castlevania itself appears .

At the end of Castlevania, Christopher encounters his son, who is now possessed by the spirit of Dracula. After the battle, Soleiyu comes to and points his father towards Dracula’s secret chamber. The final battle is, of course, between Christopher and Dracula.

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Overall,  I found this game was an improvement over the original, however, I still believe it is too difficult. I personally, was able to complete it, but not without much frustration. It took me a few days to complete the game, when start to finish, it actually could take no more than an hour.

1476: Castlevania III – Trevor Belmont, Sypha Belnades, Grant, and Alucard vs. Dracula.

1576: Castlevania Adventure – Christopher Belmont vs Dracula
1591: Castlevania Adventure II – Christopher Belmont vs Dracula

1691: Castlevania – Simon Belmont vs. Dracula

1698: Castlevania II – Simon Belmont vs. Dracula

Difficulty: Very DifficultMuch like it’s predecessor. This is a very frustrating platformer. Overly difficult by today’s standards. Thankfully, there is a password system in the title that makes things a bit easier.

Story: The concept of Christopher setting out to find his son is a bit weak. Personally, I feel this game was created as a way for Konami to redeem themselves and attempt to make a better GB title. The story is just a means to an end.

Originality: Despite being very similar to the last game, Konami did take some steps to make the game stand out. The level selection makes this game a nice touch.

Soundtrack: In my opinion, this is a step down. The music in this title does not have the same level of quality seen in the first GB title. Other aspects of the game sound do seem a bit improved, however.

Fun: It’s interesting to see the difference between the various castles, but the difficulty of the game again often leads to frustration.

Graphics: A step up from the previous release. The main characters still retain a low level of detail. But the stage design and background are a definite improvement.

Playcontrol:  Much better than CVA. I must not have been the only one who hated the way to previous game felt. It seems that the developers really took the time to tweak it for this title.

Overall rating (out of four stars): 3 – Despite many of my complaints, this game is a solid improvement in most ways over the original. I suppose you could say it is the definitive Gameboy Castlevania title

This title is currently not available.

Other Reviews In This Series:

CVCV II – CV IIICVACVA II – Super CVDracula X BloodlinesSotNCV64 – CotM ChroniclesHoDAoSLoIDoSCoDPoROoECVA RebirthJudgment 

LoS Los: Mirror of FateLoS II

Review: The Castlevania Adventure

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The Castlevania Adventure is the first handheld Castlevania title. In the early days of the Gameboy, developers were in a rush to make a GB title for their franchises. Many of these early titles were thrown together and done rather poorly. Fortunately, as time went by, developers figured out how to better implement their ideas on Nintendo’s new mobile platform.

This game, The Castlevania Adventure, was one of Konomi’s first GB titles, and it really shows.

The graphics and playcontrol are horrid. The storyline is weak. The saving grace of this game is the soundtrack. I have to give them credit, the things these guys could accomplish with the gameboy’s soundchip was astounding.

As far as story goes, this title hearkens back to the original Japanese manual for Castlevania 1. The manual read:

“Simon Belmont, ancestor of the fabled vampire hunter Christopher Belmont…”

The Castlevania Adventure is the legendary story of Christopher. It takes place in 1576, generations before Simon took the whip in hand. The tale is typical, Dracula has reappeared on earth and the Belmont family rises to stop him. The usual… In the end, Christopher is successful and Castlevania crumbles to the ground soon after Dracula’s defeat. As Christopher turns away to head home, a giant vampire bat is seeing flying from the ruined castle.

The game is fairly short, there is no saving or passwords. It can take as little as 30 minutes to play through it, or as much as a lifetime, seeing as the game is so difficult. Seriously. These games keep getting harder. This title is DAMN NEAR IMPOSSIBLE unless you were a narcissistic child like me and remember all the tricks years later as an adult.

The playcontrol of the title is very stiff and unforgiving. Some of the jumps require pixel-perfection, and let’s not even talk about the final battle with Dracula….

All that being said, the game is nostalgic for me. I love the music and as much as I hate the game itself, I also love the game… lol … Does that make any sense?

1476: Castlevania III – Trevor Belmont, Sypha Belnades, Grant, and Alucard vs. Dracula.
1576: Castlevania Adventure – Christopher Belmont vs Dracula
1691: Castlevania – Simon Belmont vs. Dracula
1698: Castlevania II – Simon Belmont vs. Dracula
Difficulty: Very DifficultThis is another example of extreme difficulty. Of all my friends growing up, I’m the only person I knew that actually bothered to finish the game. After the 2nd or 3rd stage, it’s ridiculous.

Story: Again, Konami has decided to focus on a new hero. It’s starting to become clear that the Belmont family has long been the saving grace against the forces of Dracula, which seem to return approximately every 100 years. Aside from the backstory in the manual, there’s nothing in the game that really elaborates.

Originality:  I get the impression that the team wanted to try to bring the feel of CV and CV3 over to the handheld market, but wasn’t sure how to do it. There’s really nothing new to be found in this title.

Soundtrack: For the step-down that the Gameboy was, sound-wise, over the NES – the music in this game is surprisingly good. This game is proof that you really don’t need fancy sound synth or redbook quality audio to make a good soundtrack. All you need is some catchy tunes.

Fun: Most the fun in this title is quickly eroded by it’s high level of difficulty. For me, I take most of my pleasure out of the novelty that this game provides.
Graphics: Mixed bag here. The backgrounds are actually fairly well done. However, the main character and monsters are pretty basic looking. There’s little to no detail in the character art. Very generic looking, even for an early Gameboy release.
Playcontrol:  The worst. Controlling Christopher Belmont feels like walking with a steel rod stuffed up your backside. Personally, I find the controls to be very unresponsive and somewhat laggy. This is probably my biggest complaint with this title.
Overall rating (out of four stars): 2 – Overall, this is not a very good game in my opinion. But, it is Castlevania and it’s worthy of a look. Being the first handheld CV title, I can be a little forgiving to the developers, but not by much.
Available now on:  Nintendo eShop

 

Other Reviews In This Series:

CVCV II – CV IIICVACVA II – Super CVDracula X BloodlinesSotNCV64 – CotM ChroniclesHoDAoSLoIDoSCoDPoROoECVA RebirthJudgment 

LoS Los: Mirror of FateLoS II