The Castlevania Adventure is the first handheld Castlevania title. In the early days of the Game Boy’s release, developers were in a rush to make a GB title for their franchises. Many of these early games 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. But, 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. In fact, the only saving grace for this game is the soundtrack. I have to give Konami credit here, the things these guys could accomplish with the Game Boy’s soundchip was astounding.
As far as story goes, this title hearkens back to the original Japanese manual for Castlevania 1. There was a passage in that instruction booklet that read; “Simon Belmont, ancestor of the fabled vampire hunter Christopher Belmont…” Well, The Castlevania Adventure is the legendary story of Christopher. It takes place in 1576, generations before Simon ever 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 thirty minutes to play through it, but it will likely take much longer than that seeing as the game is so difficult. Seriously. These games keep getting harder. This title is DAMN NEAR IMPOSSIBLE unless you were an obsessive/narcissistic child like me and somehow managed to remember all the tricks years later as an adult.
The playcontrol in this game 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… Does that even make any sense? I suppose I can chalk my affection up to good memories with the title, but even then, I wouldn’t give up my copy for anything.
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 Game Boy was, sound-wise (at least compared to 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.
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