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The Castlevania Adventure (Game Boy) artwork

The Castlevania Adventure (Game Boy) review

"Christopher must have been cursed by Dracula to have the stamina of an 80 year old man."

Castlevania was released to huge success on the NES, it was one of Konamiís most popular games of all time and spawned a myriad of sequels that continue to be made to this day so it only made sense to create a Castlevania game for Nintendoís widely popular Game Boy handheld.

Konami was smart in the sense that they made an original adventure featuring Christopher Belmont instead of Simon this time around. The game has four stages and then a showdown with Dracula of course. So how does the game turn out on the pocket sized portable? To be honest, some good but mostly bad, read on to see what makes the game suffer such a mortal blow as the first Castlevania game on the system.

There are several differences here from the NES counterpart. To start, your whip is upgradeable but can be downgraded each time youíre hit by an enemy and there arenít any stairways in the game, instead Christopher climbs ropes to reach high up platforms or floors.

The game would actually work and be a great game if not for one flaw, you move like an 80 year old man, heís so sluggish, canít jump well and constantly misses jumps and dies cheap deaths because of that. On top of that he canít whip or climb ropes fast so you canít hit enemies unless youíre far away from them or avoid them if you need to jump off of a rope in a hurry. To make it even worse, itís like the programmers knew this was a problem and designed a whole stage to take advantage of the cheapness. Dtage 3 is nothing but an endurance run while your chased by non stop spike walls and ceilings that will crush you and the level is far too long and you constantly have to over compensate for the slow control. Aside from the sluggish controls, the rest of the levels are laid out pretty well and feel like they are from a Castlevania game thankfully.

Konami obviously tried to make the game dark but the graphics come out dull because of it; there isnít as much detail as there should be and while it isnít a major problem, it is still noticeable and even bosses are rather underwhelming to look at visually.

Iíve heard many complain about the music in the game but I think it actually is pretty good. Stage 1 and 3 have extremely catchy music and stage 4 isnít bad either but stage 2 is probably where the gripe comes from as itís pretty dull. I would love to have a midi file on my laptop with some of the tunes because they are enjoyable. The sound effects are also very well done, they sound just like the NES version but with the obvious limits of the Game Boyís sound in effect.

Castlevania Adventure is extremely frustrating, easily the most frustrating Iíve played in a long time and the most frustrating Castlevania game overall. I just wanted to see the ending and finish the game so I used a Game Genie and believe me when I say I still had problems finishing the game. Several other Konami releases moved slow on the Game Boy but they worked fine, here it is just plain bad and intolerable to play. I canít recommend the game to anyone but die hard Castlevania games but they probably already know that itís one of the seriesí clunkers.

Project Horror 2020

vgc2000's avatar
Community review by vgc2000 (October 04, 2020)

vgc2000's more extensive backlog of reviews can be found on GameFaqs. But some now live here.

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dagoss posted February 18, 2021:

I was playing this yesterday and wondering about why it is slow. My theory is that programmers were concerned about not being about to see the character clearly due to ghosting and the lack of screen light, so the game was designed to favor better visibility for the character sprite over better movement. This was an early gameboy game, so there wasn't actually a lot of resources out there on how to use gameboy hardware.

I've never found evidence to support this. For some reason, when people get a chance to talk to Masato Maegawa, they never ask about Castlevania Adventure for some reason /s

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