The Castlevania Adventure (1989)
All throughout the Gameboy's lifespan, a popular trend was to take a NES title, redo it for the portable system, and sell it. Konami's first forays were delivering Gradius and Castlevania titles for the Gatorade-colored-screen. Unfortunately, this early effort results in one of the weakest Castlevania games out there.
Coming out a little while after Castlevania 2 had been unleashed, The Castlevania Adventure puts you in the role of Christopher Belmont, who is either the grandfather or grandson of Simon, depending on which timeline you believe (Konami didn't pay much attention to this back then.) Through four stages, you must slog through the usual assortment of forests, graveyards, caves, castles and the like. And by slog, I do mean slog. Christopher walks extremely slowly and controls with the grace of a sumo wrestler. When there's more than one enemy on the screen, even more slowdown occurs, as if playing through molasses. But this is only the first strike.
Platforming has always been at least a partial element in Castlevania games, but it plays an even bigger role here. What this means is that you'll have to make several pixel perfect jumps unless you wish to plummet to your death. And though you have three lives, the stages are rather long and replaying them after you've missed the same jump several times is hardly a pleasurable experience. This isn't even taking into account the third level, wherein you are chased by spikes throughout nearly the entire stage. An interesting concept, but one mistimed jump and poor Christopher will end up tragically skewered.
Even more annoying are the weapon upgrades. Much like the other games, you can obtain a chain and even a flame throwing whip. Unfortunately, one hit from any bad guy will automatically downgrade your attack a level. Why this was implemented is beyond me, but that means most of time, you'll be fighting with your pathetic level one weapon.
Graphically, the game is fairly competant, though nothing special. At least the music is well composed - there are a surprisingly amount of memorable tunes throughout the game's meager number of stages.
And on a whole, The Castlevania Adventure just doesn't feel a whole lot like a Castlevania game. There are no stairs, just ropes to climb. You don't need to obtain hearts, because there are absolutely no special weapons. And the game, as a whole, just isn't fun. Pack along a Game Genie if you really want to take this Adventure, but even then, that won't save you from the perils of several bottomless bits.
Castlevania Adventure Artwork
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Castlevania Games - The Castlevania Adventure