Title: Castlevania
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Nintendo
System: Game Boy Advance
Released: 3/24/02

Review by: Biosoldier

If you are into magic powers, spells, castles, hidden rooms, demons, vampires and eerie music...this is the game for you. In this RPG you are in the year 1830 and Dracula has just been resurrected after a ten year slumber (I wich I had the will power to do that). You play the role of Nathan Graves a Vampire Hunter who's parents were killed while banishing Dracula. He is now back and has your master Morris Baldwin held captive. So you and his son Hugh Baldwin decide to combat the all-mighty Dracula and get back Morris. In the start of the game Hugh and you split apart, for Hugh is bitter that his father chose you as the successor over him. And so the Hunter Whip is passed on from Morris to you (Nathan) instead. It's a good thing too, for you have a long ride ahead of you and the whip will help--TRUST ME!

First Glance

First Glance..."Hey these graphics are kinda cool," and I saw the whip on the game's box cover and thought "Oooo...Whip + Controls under my possesion = MAYHEM! He he he, I get to whip things!" Anyway...Before playing the game I thought it might be like those Zelda games but it isn't, it does have potions, magic and stuff but no mind twisting gimmicks. Other than what types of weapons and magical powers are best fit in each stage (sorta like MegaMan).

Graphics

You have to remember, this is a handheld console... and given that, I think the graphics are awesome. The color in the game is great and pinpoint. The advanced LCD screen gameplay helps out with this a lot. Though when you play the game your character doesnít seem to have a face unless talking to someone else and a separate screen appears then you can see his face because the image is bigger. But still... I wish I had a face.

Rating: 9.5/10
Sound

There are a lot of soundtracks in this game and they sound great. Itís not like one of those shitty games only have one soundtrack that repeats itself throughout the entire game. Castlevania has at least one or more soundtracks per stage area. Though because it is a handheld and not a console the sound gets hard to hear and is not as sharp as it could be. But just pop in a pair of your favorite headphones and sit back. Once you put emí in youíll be blown away like I was, the sound is at least 5x better. Once you try it with the headphones youíll never want to go back again!

Rating: 9.5/10
Gameplay

Good but not great. You just about always have a clear view and the enemies are fun to kill (And watch die). In the beginning of the game are only able to walk, later on you will have to earn dashing boots that will allow you to run. Even then, in order to run you have to tap forward twice and that sometimes is a real pain. Other than that itís great gameplay!

Rating: 7.5/10
Controls

As you know the controller size is small...I find it that it makes it easier to perform stunts, attacks and moves that involve combos of rapid pressing of the buttons. The game allows you to customize your controls also, which is awesome. Though I found that the original default style was already good for me.

Rating: 10/10
Overview/Recap

Like I said, it's not like many other games, and that's what makes so fun to play, the fact that it sometimes gets hard to see the screen is a downer but the sound quality and gameplay really make up for it. Does take a little bit of getting used to in order to us the DSS cards or (spell and power combinations) but the rest is pretty easy to figure out. The controls make it easier also, no weird combinations of buttons to screw you up.

The Good, The Bad, The Confusing
  • + The gameplay is truely unique!
  • + You gotta love the sound quality with the earphones on!
  • - It's a very big map, sometimes running back and forth across it gets annoying.
  • - The GBA originally has a dark screen to begin with, the castle background makes it darker sometimes.
  • ? Why does the earth whip stretch?
  • Let Me Repeat that One More Time

    Graphics: 9.5/10
    This is a handheld game?!

    Sound: 9.5/10
    Great music

    Gameplay: 7.5/10
    Stupid dashing boots.

    Control: 10/10
    Customizable controls are a plus!

    Overall (not an average): 9/10
    In case you haven't noticed, I like MAYHEM!