jdodson gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
jdodson gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
After recently completing Metroid and Mega Man 2 I decided to start playing Castlevania. One big motivation for picking up the Nintendo Classic was to finally add a bunch of games to my collection to play and Castlevania was one of those games. Castlevania has been a game on my bucket list and it's good to finally get around to playing it.

"Nintendo hard" came to mind immediately as I started playing Castlevania. The first few levels aren't too difficult but once you move on the difficulty ramps up and it doesn't seem to stop. Like with Mega Man 2 or Metroid if you spend some time to learn the game, you can get better a bit at a time. If you look at how long these original Nintendo games are from start to finish(if you were practiced at them) they only contain a handful of hours of gameplay and because of this developers made them hard. So the average time that players beat Castlevania might be 3 hours but if you add up the amount of times you have to play the game to do that, it could take you upwards of 20 or more. So if you're not into playing the same levels over and over again then these old games might not seem like very much fun.

If I had one complaint of Castlevania it's that the platforming is often strange or a bit too unforgiving. For instance if you jump on a moving platform and you don't jump dead in the middle sometimes you can fall through it. This means that I am really careful jumping on moving platforms but it's something the original Super Mario Brothers could do well so i'm wondering what happened here? There are other instances that are just as odd but I have a few gameplay workarounds that seem to be fine they just took some figuring out.

One really nice feature of Castlevania is that the game doesn't penalize death as much as it could. Firstly you get unlimited continues which helps because Castlevania has no saved game feature and you die a lot. Castlevania is also fairly liberal with your whip upgrades often giving you them all in the very early parts of each stage making you get the most powerful main weapon rather quickly after you die. This is a huge improvement over other games like Altered Beast or Gradius that punish you way more for dying. One other fun aspect of Castlevania is the secondary items. Each one is pretty unique and useful in most situations. It's fun to consider how Castlevania influenced modern games such as Shovel Knight as many of the Castlevania items have direct Shovel Knight equals.

All that said, Castlevania is an incredible platformer and it's no wonder this kind of game spawned the incredibly popular Metroidvania genre. Even though Castlevania is difficult it never feels too punishing just that I have yet to figure something out or time a jump or attack properly. I'm looking forward to continuing my playthrough and I can't wait to take a crack at killing Dracula when his times comes!


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