(Review archived from November 2, 2014)
This is without a doubt the most unusual entry in the original NES trilogy, and in some ways this was the first Castlevania in the genre that would eventually take its namesake, the ‘metroidvania’ genre (Some would say that Symphony of the NIght is the first definitive entry, but all the necessary elements are here as well). I love the RPG elements and the day-night cycle present in this game. This was the first Castlevania that brought in elements of an ‘epic quest’ and the game really shines because of it. Despite these elements of excellence there are a few things that stand out as being odd in this game. First I would contend that the boss fights present in the game are watered down and tame compared to pretty much every other Castlevania game. Second most of the possible endings are a bit of a downer, and the game is rather notorious due to the fact that the ending that’s most likely is probably the worst of the available endings (i.e. the normal ending; the ‘bad’ ending is probably the second best, and the ‘best’ is still the best). All in all a great game though.