Here is the first ever CastleVania game done in the dreaded 3D. Now I know some people that liked it and thought it was one of the best action games for the N64 while I know others that totally hated and wanted to burn the cartridges and go over to Japan to kick the Konami developers right in the nuts. OK, the game is a huge departure in the long running series but the game is still loaded with lots of monsters to kill and puzzles to solve if you want to slay the evil Count Dracula. If you're a true hardcore fan of the horror series than you don't want to miss this game.
After another 100 years of enforced sleep, the undead Lord of Darkness: Dracula is ready to raise again in the middle of the 19th century and only two warriors dare enter the house of horrors to try and stop him. In both missions you have to travel across ten different levels (levels 4, 6, and 7 differ between the characters) in either the day or the night. Here are the two vampire killers:
Reinhardt Schneider is a lone descendant of the Belmont family and has been training for this day when he learned of his doomed bloodline. Although he is trained to be an Vampire Killer, Reinhardt is bound by faith and he cannot let one women kill herself during the game, even though she's a vampire. He uses the traditional whip weapon to hit enemies from a distance (the whip can also be powered up) plus you can even use a small sword for close range attacks.
Carrie Fernandez is a young spell caster and is actually easier to master so she's better for beginners. Her mother was killed by an angry mob who thought she was a witch, now she enters CastleVania to prove her magical power isn't evil. Carrie will encounter a powerful witch named Actrisce during the game who will try to get Carrie to serve under Count Dracula but will she listen to her? The cool thing about Carrie is she uses fireball attacks than can even be charged up by holding down the button for a stronger burst (you can also power up your shots too). Her short range of attack is her hand rings but they are not very powerful though so it's a trade off.
The graphics are really sharp looking especially in the empty Mansion (level 3) and in Castle Keep (level 5) plus the bosses are not huge but they animate great too like the freaky giant minotaur in a empty coliseum that returns to life to try to kill you. Sadly, the first level looks the worse in the game because of the trick use of fog or darkness and it may turn people away from the game too early.
The music was also a mixed bag because in the first level there is no background music at all and in some of the other levels the music is fairly low key. However, the opening intro was simply awesome because it features the castle of Dracula in 3D with lightning in the background and eerie moody music. Then you'll see a young boy playing an violin and it sounds incredible. The sound effects were well done with all the trademark monsters sounding like they should (like the howling of werewolfs).
The game's camera has three different setting here; Normal, Action, and Battle. It's up to you to set it to the right setting during game play but sometimes the camera will be on a fixed angel so there can be little you can do. Jumping is definitely the most challenging part of CastleVania so learning the camera and the controls is very important. Yeah, the controls are a little confusing at first but after a few plays you'll get use to all the buttons and what they do and the different options here help.
There are some people who will compare CastleVania 64 to the acclaimed CastleVania Symphony of the Night for the Sony Playstation but both games are so great in their own way that there shouldn't so much complaining about the fact that CastleVania 64 is in 3D instead of 2D. Despite the somewhat boring first level, the game easily becomes more in depth level by level, plus there are two characters to choose from and each adventure is differs with two endings for each too. After I finished the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, CastleVania was the next great game I played. I personally think this game was way better than other horror games like Resident Evil in my opinion because of the better control and storyline too (well, at least there is none of that lame voice acting). CastleVania is a very deep action game and a great choice for adventure seekers who have an N64.
*Gamepak needed to save
CastleVania overall rating: 84/100
For 1 player only
Rated (T) for Teen
This review can also be found on:
(Ryan Genno) 2007
This game was made by Konami and came out in 1987. Its a one player action game. Transylvania has some trouble with the local vampire Dracula, and it`s up to Simon Belmont to trek through his castle to stop him. You play Simon. Each round is pretty easy and you just try to get to the end. Before that there are enemys that try to stop you. These change from round to round. There are monsters such as bats, skeletons, knights, fire breathing statues etc. There are various items to be picked up in each round. The whip makes your whip bigger, money gives you an extra life when you have plenty of money, invincibility, hearts and new weapons. The weapons you can get are swords, boomerang stick, big axe and time stopper. The more hearts you have the more of each weapon you get, when you change your weapon. At the end of each round are bosses. These are a bat, fire breathing thing, two frankensteins, frankenstien and a bat looking monkey thing, a grim reaper lookalike and finally the count himself. Each boss is easy enough including the count. The graphics are great. The sounds great with music changeing in each round. Gameplay is great as this is a game you will want to play. Even when its been completed.
Having enjoyed playing Castlevania on the Super Nintendo I was eagerly awaiting the release of this game. Initially the game did not disappoint, after I had mastered the somewhat awkard game play. Having found the new 64 format hard to grasp I decided to play the game on the 'easy' mode, figuring that I would go through the game at this stage and then complete it at a harder level when I was a bit more experienced. Having taken a good couple of months to even get to the half way stage of this game I was very disappointed and to be honest put off from playing further when having completed the first half of the game and finally getting onto one of the towers (or so I thought!..) the game reset itself saying that I now had to complete the game in the higher game play! Now come on Konami that's just not fair!! I know I chose the easy option but hey it still wasnt 'easy'! I have now totally lost interest in the game as the thought of going through all the same section's AGAIN did not exactly appeal to me!! My husband has played my game for me and I am now back to the stage that I was previously but I now no longer have the thirst for Dracula's blood!! A fair game, with load's more to do than the super nintendo version but a bit rotten to do that to me!! So I am afraid in the true tradition of a woman scorned I don't rate this game very much!!!!! Just be warned if you are playing on the easy mode that when you get half way it's game over!! To say I was gutted would be an understatement!!
I was a little disappointed with this game. The graphics could have been better especially when it is on the N64. The storyline really sucked. The game is also incredibly hard and it should have played easier like SOTN. The music made me very mad because the soundtrack was not nearly as good as Symphony of the Night. It could have been more like Symphony of the Night like being RPG based, longer, and a better soundtrack. I didn't even beat the game yet because it is too hard and I have lost interest in it. If I had the time I could beat Symphony of the Night 10 more times but not C64. I wish Konami would have modeled this game more after Symphony of the Night. I hope this Castlevania has made Konami realize its mistakes and hopefully the game for the Dreamcast is better.
Castlevania on the gameboy was difficult to control and at times very frustrating as this could hamper jumps needed to very delicate. This gave a lot of satisfaction to completing the game however. The N64 incarnation is not much different, it's quite difficult to control although there is the added bonus of having a 3D view which can make things even more difficult. After seeing all the previews of Castlevanie I was quite looking forward to it, the 3D graphics looked quite good. After having played throught the whole game I have to say it's not bad, but as other people have said the control system and camera system are serious flawed at times. Let me start at the beginnning... From the start you can choose between two characters, Carrie whose weapon is a heat seeking fireball and Reinhard (or something like that) who is a guy with a whip. Both characters mission are completely separate, if you choose one character you will never see the other, effectively they will have never hunted Dracula. You start off in a dark area somwhere outside the castle. As you start walking skeletons come out the ground and start attacking. You have to fight your way through various enemies including a large skeleton and a werewolf. You soon get into the castle and continue from there. The levels take place in several different environments, one of the levels inside a large mansion, another sees you going through the sewers. The characters share some levels, up to level they are the same except for the third. However after the fifth level Reinhardt's levels involve more fighting and Carrie's lots of jumping. Most of the levels involove quite a lot of fighting and some puzzles. There is a clock which influences when things happen, on the second level there a girl called Rosa who can only be found at 5am. Also certain doors will only open if it is daytime. Most of the levels are farily well designed and quite enjoyable, I found
myself really getting into the Vampire hunt. From the start Reinhardt is the more difficult character, with his whip you have to be reasonably close to an enemy whereas Carrie can simply launch her fireball from any range and it will hit the enemy. Also Reinhardt's specific levels are more difficult than Carrie's, there is a fair amount of fighting and difficult jumping, whereas Carrie simply has difficult fighting. I feel this is a bit of traditional game in that there is lots of difficult jumps over bottomless pits. This can make the game quite 'thrilling' to play as you are always on the verge of death. Unfortunately the camera can be awful and give you the wrong view or change just as you are making your jump. This means a lot of the time you fell like you're fighting the camera system rather than Dracula. Save points are usually far apart so it is not usually possible to save before a difficult section. And there are a lot of difficult sections, most of the game's overall difficulty comes from tricky platfrom jumps. This can leave you tearing your hair out after spending ages getting through several jumps and avoiding nast falls, only to have to do it all because you fell down just before the save point. This game is far from perfect but if it is fairly cheap and you don't have too short of temper it is a satisfying game to finish.
Castlevania for N64 starts out very disappointingly, you rapidly discover that the control system and camera angle choices makes accurate jumping incredibly hard. To make maters worse within the first half hour of gameplay you will need to jump accurately to progress. What this means is that you spend the first hour or two of gameplay struggling to master the art of jumping in Castlevania. Chances are when you do get through the first stage or two you'll find yourself needing to replay them in order to get your character into a better position. It's a shame that the game puts up this barrier as perseverance i rewarded with quite an interesting game. It's not outstanding, but there are nice details that manage to entertain. Interaction with other characters, though limited adds a RPG element to the game. Certain acts must be performed during the night or day so you have to keep track of time. The locations are often quite interesting, especially the garden maze where a chainsaw wielding monster continually chases you. Combat can be difficult at times again coming down to the problems of the control system and the camera angles. Graphics are quite good, up to the standard of many other N64 games, but not with the best of them. Sound is the usual quality for the N64, unfortunately cartridge based systems never deliver the sound of their CD based counterparts. As an overall package Castlevania is a mediocre game, what is good about it is hampered by its many difficulties. I waited for the price to drop on second hand copies of the game, having been warned of the control problems by a friend. There are better games for the N64 more worthy of being in anyone's collection though.