Castlevania: The Adventure is a game I picked up almost 10 years ago and have played very little since. I saw this sitting in the little case at a Half Price Books store for $1 and figured I couldn’t go wrong. The label is very reminiscent of the NES Konami games, so I figured that alone should tell me all I needed to know about this gem. I felt like I had really scored here. A Castlevania game for a $1? I had to have gotten one over on old Half Price Books. I was ready to set off on a grand adventure, THE adventure as the game’s title assured me, but things weren’t as smooth as I had hoped they would be.
Castlevania: The Adventure isn’t exactly the same as the other Castlevania games of its era, especially considering it’s a portable version. The game consists of four fairly short stages filled with monsters to defeat throughout, each ending with a stage boss battle. The player starts off with three lives, consisting of ten hit points each, but this time around hearts are actually used to restore health. Along the way the player can also collect 1UPs as well as golden crosses that will grant the player temporary immunity to enemy attacks.
What would Castlevania be without a robust weapon system? It would be this game, that’s what. This time around there are no sub-weapons, but your whip can be upgraded by collecting crystals along the way. The whip can be upgraded twice, the final form being a flame whip, but any enemy damage will cause the whip to be downgraded.
Each stage has, what feels like, an erroneous time limit in which to complete the level. Even with this game being as slow as it is, which can sometimes be painfully slow, it doesn’t take anywhere near as much time as you’re given to complete each stage. And that’s where things fall apart for me, the speed of this game. Every Castlevania I’ve played has felt smooth, but this game is so slow. Was this a limit of the hardware? Maybe, but I feel it was done more to stretch the gameplay out since this is such a really short game.
For what Castlevania: The Adventure is it’s not terrible, I mean it’s slow but the graphics are actually really good. Considering the Nintendo Game Boy was released merely months before this game was released shows Konami took their time making it look good, but didn’t seem to worry about it being as smooth as its NES siblings. The game is extremely short and replay value is kind of there, I guess. Again, this game isn’t terrible it’s just different to the point that I feel one time around is enough.