(Review archived from January 20, 2016)
You know what? For this one I’m just going to paste in the notes that I took over the course of playing the game with only slight editing:
Love the callback to the original Castlevania in which the character walks across the screen before the beginning of each level. Stylistically this game seems to tie in much better with the series that birthed it.
The return of sub weapons! Yay!
The music is awesome!
Much better use of dithering in the graphical presentation. This game also looks more like Castlevania as we know it
The “Castlevania meets Mega Man” vibe is back. The music is awesome but faster paced and frenetic like Mega Man music. Rope climbing traversal, and spike pattern puzzles are all very reminiscent of Mega Man. Even going through the initial levels in order to make the final castle suddenly “spring from the earth” has a very Mega Man vibe to it
Jumping off ropes is a bit strange. Whereas the previous game would punish you for misjudging a jump from a rope, this game won’t actually let you jump at all if you are slightly out of alignment. While this might seem more forgiving of the surface, in reality it makes the controls seem clunky and unresponsive in these spots.
I have to admit I felt a bit robbed at the end of each level when, after defeating the boss the crystal ball flies up and away rather than falling down to the ground (where the player can grab it). Come back Crystal Ball! I need you!
When mention was made of resurrecting all the four spirits, I almost expected a Mega Man style boss rush, but no it was just a hard as balls Dracula fight (in true Castlevania tradition).
If you’re looking to get a toehold on Castlevania GameBoy releases, this is the one to start with.