Review By: DrJones | Posted: 25/06/2000
The Final Word
Very good game, but itíll really test how good you are at controlling your temper.
In this prequel to Castlevania, you return as Cornell, a.k.a. Blue Crescent Moon, a super powerful werewolf who must do battle with all kinds of evil incarnate to free your sister Ada from the clutches of evil. This warrior Ė constantly referred to as a man-beast Ė has obtained a physical power and body of near immortality that enables him to change his physical form to that of a werewolf. The man-beasts, choosing to live in harmony with all humans, sealed away their amazing magical gifts to prevent them from being used. But, thorough years of ascetic training, Cornell acquired the art of releasing the sealed man-wolf power held inside. Returning to his village after a year of ascetic training, Cornell finds his village totally engulfed in flames. His only living relative Ada, has been kidnapped by evil spirits. Using his man-wolfís acute sense of smell to track the scent of his sisterís blood, Cornell begins the long journey to rescue his sister.
I really do like this game Ė itís addictive. Be warned thoughÖ If while playing these kind of games you easily loose your rag Ė youíll most definitely need to relax after playing for a while. It will really test your self-control!
Castlevania Ė Legacy of darkness is a one player game. The first level in which you find yourself on is called Foggy Lake. The player must make his/her way off the ship and towards the final destination Ė Count Draculaís Castle! The ultimate aim of Castlevania is to is avoid all the traps and donít get killed so you can ultimately defeat Count Dracula, who has risen from the grave, once again. A HP bar indicates you characters health. When the player is damaged by enemies, traps, or falls from locations above a specific height, the HP bar will go down. If the bar reaches 0, alas, the Game is over. Be careful about how low you let your HP bar get. If it gets too low Cornell could just fall down dead in the middle of running through a level. This happened to me Ė I wasnít at all impressed. I take it you need to have above a specific amount of energy, otherwise Cornell dies due to over-exertion! Ödamn nuisance if you ask me! If you fall into deep or bottomless watercourses, or fall from a high place such as cliffs or fall onto certain kinds of surfaces, game is over.
By defeating all the enemies you come across and breaking certain inanimate objects ( I wonít say what though) you will get justly rewarded for you efforts. You can collect differently sized bags of gold, Red Jewels, And Weapons etc, amongst other things. There are loads of traps and obstacles in Draculaís castle. Itís best if you take a short while to check out the surrounding area for any clue on how to proceed carefully. On the other hand, you could just be an idiot like me Ė and dive right in head first, hoping for the best. Castlevania supports the N64 Expansion Pak. It enables you choose an increased resolution which is quite nice. But donít worry! I played nearly all the game before I even got my hands on a Pak. Games can be saved by using white jewels, found in various locations throughout the game. I usually do a 360 spin after entering a totally new level for the 1st time. Iíve found on quite a few occasions, the white jewel is stuck in a corner somewhere right by the door and if you decide to go charging off, you might just miss it.
At first, the control method might come across as slightly annoying. But donít worry, at first I also thought same! After a while And a bit a patience, I got used to the configuration. It is a slightly weird set up, but as far as I can tell It was done for a reason. When using an N64 Expansion Pak a message confirming use of the Expansion Pak, and a [LOW/HIGH] menu will appear. Select the desired resolution and then press the A Button to set. The LOW option is the normal display, and the HIGH option is the high resolution display using the Expansion Pak. After a short demo, the title screen will be displayed. Select either one of the following and press the A Button to confirm your choice. When a Controller Pak with no game data is inserted for the first time, the options [Proceed without saving] and [Create CASTLEVANIA Note Now] will appear. If you choose to start the game without creating a save file the game cannot be saved, even when you come across a white jewel in the game. Game Start Ė you can start playing the game, Option Ė You can change the game setting. Exit Ė this will quit the current game and take you to the main title screen. After your game ends, The Game over screen will appear. You need to select one of the following to continue playing the game. Previously saved Ė This will restart the game from your last game save position. Restart this stage Ė this will restart the current stage from the beginning. Be warned, of you select [Restart this stage], your items will be reset to those that you entered the stage with. The in-game menu system is easy enough to navigate your way around. Its just the case of highlighting you selection and pressing the A Button to continue (which is also the same for the main menu).
Graphically, I think Castlevania is an extremely nice looking game. I looked at it without the Expansion Pak and with it. If you look at it quickly, you could forgiven for thinking there isnít much of a difference. But after playing around with it for a few minutes you start to appreciate all the little subtle differences in the game. I admit, the graphics do look a lot crisper and clearer with the Pak in there, but itís not as great as Iíd thought it was going to be. Up until now I didnít even have an Expansion Pak, so I didnít know what I was really expecting. The sound fx are really spot on! I think theyíve really got it down to a tee. Iíd swear the guys behind Castlevaniaís music must of spent ages preparing it. The quality doesnít slip for one second throughout the entire game. I canít really describe it Ė but if you closed your eyes, at times you could swear you were there with Cornell. Itís got the kind of music/sound effects that get you so far on the edges of your seat; if something were to sneak out on you Ė you could easily jump! Itís really engrossing stuff. Whenever I start to play this, Iím usually on it for a good few hours. Letís just say, itís a feast for the eyes and the ears!
Iím not going to beat around the bush hear! This games is good, but one of the most damn annoying oneís Iíve played for quite some time. Some sections in this game really do test your patience. The fact is, in some cases there is absolutely no room for error. Iíve actually got so p****d off while playing this game, I broke one my padís when I got ripped off trying one of the levels(LOL). As far as I can remember, Iíve been sliced, diced, fried, squashed, spiked, melted, cookedÖ keep your wits about you. It may be annoying, but it wonít change the fact that itís a totally brilliant game that I canít begin to recommend enough.