Game Reviews for PC, PS2, X-Box, Playstation, CCGs, Pen and Paper Role Playing and Table Top Games, plus Movies, DVDs, and Anime!


     " Whereís my 64-bit remake of the classic Castlevania theme? Iíve been whipping skeletons and medusa heads since boyhood to that song, and ITíS NOT IN HERE?!? "

   Title: Castlevania

   Format: N64- 3rd person action

   Reviewing Monkey: Monkeymus Prime

   The Hype: 1st fully 3D Castlevania. 2 characters with different routes through the game, different boss encounters and different endings! Amazing graphic effects! Transparency, dynamic lighting and awesome special effects! Huge bosses! Over 10 stages ranging from the Transylvanian forest to the soaring turrets of Castlevania. Atmospheric music and sound. This game is a fun one, easy to pick up and put down, then come back later to without forgetting where you are. It does however, succumb to one great failing. It pisses you off.

      What This Monkey Thought...

   Graphics: Tthis game is average. Horribly, horribly average. Evokes a solid creepy mood with the backgrounds and character designs, though. 3 out of 5

   Sound: The opening theme is great, a very moody and Slavic-sounding violin piece. However, thatís about the only music youíll hear for the rest of the game. None of the levels have background music, and that stinks. Whereís my 64-bit remake of the classic Castlevania theme? Iíve been whipping skeletons and medusa heads since boyhood to that song, and ITíS NOT IN HERE?!? 2 out of 5

   Game Play: Llet it first be known that this game wouldíve gotten a three if not for itís aforementioned glaring weakness. The controls are easy to use, and tight enough to make it almost feel like you can move your character as fast as you could move your own body. But let us speak of the downfall. The damn camera angles!!! The game has an automatic camera angle system that seems to change at random times. On all levels but one this really doesnít matter. Most levels are all about fighting the monsters and the lock-on for aiming your attacks keeps you always hitting the target. But one level, and only one level, is all about jumping from place to place, or else you fall and die. On this ONE level you leap with a majestic and well-timed jump to the next platform, pushing the analog stick forward to get maximum length, and thenÖ THE CAMERA ANGLE SHIFTS!!!!! Suddenly your forward push translates into a sideways turn in midair, and you go screaming into the abyss. Konami adds insult to injury here by making the save points few and far between, making you complete multiples of these risky leaps in order to get back to the big leap you just died on. Naturally, high-volume swearing ensues. 2 out of 5

   Level and Environment Designs: The levels are unimaginative on the whole, pretty standard fare for a 3D-adventure game. Lots of stuff to jump up to, crawl around on, look around at, etc. Nothing special, but nothing really to complain about either. But one thing it does very well is make you feel like youíre in a 3D version of a 2D Castlevania game. The wall textures, the traps, the outdoors, all these things are lifted almost directly from the old games and given new life. 3 out of 5

   Multiplayer: None

   Replayability: With two selectable characters, there is some replay value, but not much. The main difference to the characters is the different attack styles. Belmont is the typical whip-wielder, where Carrie shoots bursts of energy that home in on attackers. Other than that, the game is the same for the either character, they fight the same bosses, go through the same levels, just in a different order. Where Belmont goes left to a sub-level, then right, Carrie goes right then left. Big whoop. 2 out of 5

   Story/Dramatics: Boy/girl finds out about vampire rising, boy/girl fights through vampireís castle, boy/girl slays vampire. Some other minor characters are introduced, but really arenít noteworthy. What else do you need to know? 1 out of 5

   The Verdict:

       Varying + or Ė depending on the time of day, and whether or not youíre on the level with THOSE DAMN CAMERA ANGLES!!!!!!

   The Good: Solid gameplay, not especially thought-provoking or requiring

   The Bad: Lack of sound & music, not especially thought-provoking or requiring, and oh yes, THOSE DAMN CAMERA ANGLES!!!!!!

   The Overall Ugly: Wanna pick up a game you can just as easily not pick up again for weeks without losing any nuances of story? Have that game playing itch at 3 in the morning when you donít have enough brainpower to outwit the scriptwriter for "Battlefield Earth?" This is your game. Seriously, this game is fun to play when you just want to beat on the undead without any puzzle solving or button combinations

   What it's Worth: $19.99

Buy it now from Amazon.com

Copyright © Game Monkey Press, Game Monkeys Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
Game Monkeys(tm) 1999 Game Monkey Press

http://www.gmpress.com