Total time played: 1 afternoon, approximately 2 hours
Short review: One of the many classic platformers for the NES. Full of movie monster boss battles with one of the best soundtracks in video game history. Difficulty is through the roof and you are guaranteed to yell at the TV or throw the controller while playing this game.
Interesting links related to Castlevania
- Original Soundtrack
- Soundtrack performed by Video Games Live Orchestra
- Speedrun with live piano (game beaten in less than 15 minutes)
After a day at Comic Con me and my friend Landon decided to come back to my house and play some NES. I have been collecting NES games since 1995 but hadn’t really considered myself a gamer for several years. But, I had recently set up two 19″ tube TVs side by side with an NES hooked up to each so I could hang out with a friend while we each got to re-live our childhood by playing a game. Landon chose the game TMNT 2 and I chose Castlevania. The reason I chose Castlevania was because I wasn’t very good at it and figured that by the time I got a game over he would be done playing TMNT and we could do something else.
I never owned Castlevania but rented it often; I was never able to get past stage 3. I blame it on a combination of the controls and the flying Medusa heads. Just like real life, while you are jumping you cannot change your direction in mid-air. After playing a game like Mario or Mega Man with very tight and fluid controls Castlevania is hard to get used to. The jumping mechanic was a deliberate choice by the programmers because it is the same in all subsequent Castlevania games.
After about 20 minutes of playing the game I was able to get past the 3rd stage which I had never beaten as a kid. I was in the zone and in less than an hour I was at the final boss, Dracula, who destroyed me over and over again for several minutes. I probably died 50 times and decided to give up when Landon encouraged me to keep playing. It was probably an hour or more before I finally defeated Dracula when I discovered that he transforms into a giant white monster and you have to fight him again with no additional health. After another 30 minutes of playing the same battle over and over I finally did it. I felt like Leonard in Memento when he finally killed the man who killed his wife, except unlike Leonard I will never forget this moment. I was so excited/proud that I had Landon take a picture (again, like Leonard in Memento) for proof and so I could re-live the memory over and over again. I posted the photo to facebook and was pleasantly surprised by how many people liked the post. I decided to make it my goal to beat as many games as I could and share the proof with anyone who cared. This is what kick started my desire to beat NES games and re-live my childhood through video games.