"A true Konami classic."
Classics never go out of style, and Castlevania’s premiere installment is as stylish as ever. The moody musical score throughout the game sets the tone and pace for each stage you encounter, while the whip strikes, item collection and other miscellaneous effects sprinkled through the game serve their purposes admirably, even to this day. Each stage and each enemy holds a surprising amount of detail, although the lack of animation does make the flow look a bit jittery. About the only true hindrance you’ll come across is the inability to command the direction of your jumps. If you jump either left, right or straight up, you won’t be able to change your direction until your feet land firmly on the ground below you. Wit enough practice, you can command your jumps with enough success, though the lack of a mid air change in direction does add in a bit of artificial challenge to the mix, which Castlevania could have done without. Although it’s not devoid of challenge, you’ll find that the first installment of this legendary franchise is quite lenient compared to the sequels that followed throughout the years. You’ll still get caught up by the floating Medusa heads, and there a mass of schmuck dodging you’ll need to complete in order to get to the Grim Reaper, but for the majority of the experience, you won’t feel helpless or hopeless. With entertaining boss battles, a generally fair level of difficulty and some amazing music along the way, Castlevania remains one of more more iconic video games in the 8 bit era, and more than worth your time and money.