Trading in Castlevania's trademark 2D action for 3D is a fool's bargain. At least, it is if Curse of Darkness is any indication; the body is willing, but the heart is all but missing.
The story, a tale of competing vengeances between two of Dracula's henchmen, is serviceable in that it motivates the new hero-in-puffy-shirt, Hector, to hack and slash his fashionably gothic way from one ghoul-filled area to another. But it's the collectible materials dropped by slain monsters, and the items
When you first fire up your copy of Castlevania: Judgment – if you’ve been perverse enough to buy it after reading all we’re about to say about this ill-advised brawler – you’ll find there’s hardly anything to do. Only two fighters will be available – Simon Belmont and Alucard. All of the other 12 must be unlocked.
If you read nothing else in this review, just know this: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of the greatest games ever made, and its yours for 10 bucks. Now go buy it.
It was originally released on the PlayStation in 1997 and was the first of the “Metroidvania” games in the series, the one that set the stage for all of the handheld installments to follow. Rather than simply running left to right, whipping one undead baddie after another, Symphony charges you - as Draculas
Every year we're inundated with derivative sequels that look and play just like the earlier version. Yet Castlevania never seems to lose its bloodthirsty, explorative spirit. Dawn of Sorrow crucifies all three Game Boy Advance vamp hunts by offering a longer quest studded with gruesome, fleshy bosses and enough customization to make even the most obsessive gamers arch an appreciative eyebrow.
As with many entries before it, Dawn drops you into Dracula's enchanted castle virtually powerless.
Reviewing Harmony of Despair has been quite a challenging experience. As fans of the 2D Castlevania games, the idea of a gorgeously high-def sequel packed with the coolest heroes and villains from the past several games sounded like a dream come true. But when it was revealed to be a six-player grindfest that tasks you with entering the same levels over and over again in a near-futile attempt to beat a boss a billion times stronger than you, the interest level understandably dipped.
But after several hours spent in co-op play, it’s fair to say that Despair is actually quite enjoyable in groups, and a concept that once seemed so contrary to the essence of Castlevania turns out to be a welcome shake-up of a series that’s been treading water for years.
What creature lies in the deepest dungeon? The long spiral stairway leading to a blood-splattered arena may well be the first area you investigate, but it's likely to be the last you'll unlock. The cloying atmosphere and dingy moss-clad walls suggest this is a killing ground for a diabolical monster of ancient origin. To the left is an enormous door, enchanted with a lock to keep the creature at bay. And this being Castlevania, you just know it's just one of the secret chambers too tempting to
We were just having a conversation about reboots the other day, and how it’s possible that Joel Schumacher is single-handedly responsible for the reboot phenomenon that has taken hold of both Hollywood and the games industry. It started with Schumacher making Batman “more colorful” with Batman Forever and Batman and Robin – leading to Batman Begins, the success of which led to Casino Royale, and trickling down to a million other film reboots. Videogames, always wanting to be interactive movies, jumped on the bandwagon. And now we have Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Is it a reboot? Yeah, we think so...
Is the 3DS follow-up to Lords of Shadow everything it's cracked up to be? Find out in our full review...
Like the excellent Dawn of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin before it, Order of Ecclesia drops you into a gothic realm on the brink of disaster. Lord Dracula is about to make a not-so-surprising return from the dead and it’s up to you to put him back in his grave by collecting new magical powers and slaying his blood-guzzling henchmonsters.
As one of the last bastions of classic, side-scrolling gaming, the Castlevania series has to accomplish two things with every new release. First, it has to strike a perfect balance of old and new, offering fans just enough of the recycled, explorative gameplay they crave while also giving them fresh reasons to send Dracula back to the grave. Second, and perhaps more importantly, each 2D entry in the series has to prove that old fashioned sprites and animation are better, in some instances, than