Date Completed: 4/11/2013
Shortly after complaining that Castlevania wasn’t available in the 3DS eShop it suddenly appeared. Either Nintendo is reading my blog, or their marketing wienies determined that the best way to drive sales was to release Castlevania games in order of their desirability. Probably the latter. Marketing wienies can be devious.
I never owned the original Castlevania but I had a friend who had a copy and we would play it regularly. I remember thinking I was getting pretty good at the game and after one lengthy gaming session I thought I was close to the end. Using the state save system of the 3DS I finally cheated my way to the finish and I found that young me couldn’t have made it much farther than level 3 of 6.
Castlevania is HARD. Enemies do progressively more damage to you as you progress through the game and they are difficult to avoid because of the slow, realistic physics. Enemies (dang Medusa heads!) fly out of nowhere as you are making difficult jumps often knocking you into a bottomless pit of death, or knocking you into another enemy. Making any mistakes is a quick recipe for disaster. The early bosses aren’t too bad but later bosses (especially the last two) are extremely difficult, even with state saves. After finishing the game you unlock ‘hard mode’ and progress through the game again with MORE enemies that do MORE damage. Like many old NES games the trick to success is memorizing movement patterns and locations.
Some old NES games translate well to portable consoles but this is one game where I don’t think the smaller form factor works well. The 3DS game pad is too small and I often felt that I was making mistakes I wouldn’t have if I had a larger controller. I think a larger screen would have enabled me to see the play area better and respond quicker.
Castlevania on the 3DS is fun and worth the time. The controls and size of the console weren’t ideal but the state save system makes up for any issues with the console form factor itself. I’m very happy to finally have completed the game.
- Good old-fashioned classic console gaming.
- Medusa Heads.
- Not ideal on the small screen.
Genre: Action / Adventure