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Part III: The Pale Side Of Dracula

The Castlevania Adventure
(GB, 1989)

Portable players shouldn't be left out of Dracula's cruel plot for humanity! So Konami was friendly enough to grace the Game Boy with a completely new Castlevania game. Well, I say friendly in the general sense, because this game is far from what anyone would desire of the Castlevania name. It's sluggish -- Christopher Belmont moves like he's snowshoeing through English toffee, which would explain why your timer is often over 12 minutes long to complete a stage that should be finished in only a few. You must also be very precise in your timing, lest you want to fall into a pit by a poor jump. It looks decent for its year of release though, and it does deliver the classic whipping style. Just make sure you have a lot of free time saved up, because you'll need it to dredge through The Castlevania Molasses Adventure.

Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge
(GB, 1991)

So "The Castlevania Adventure" warranted a sequel, eh? Supposedly so. This game is a little more player-friendly, diminishing all the quirky cons of the previous Game Boy title. You now have the option of choosing the order which you complete stages, you now have the ability to brandish two of those classic Castlevania secondary weapons (including the beloved Holy Water), and you even get to move a little less like a snail! What a concept! The game also looks a LITTLE better -- not a whole lot, but the subtle differences may be just what the doctor ordered. If it's a sequel that improves upon the original that you seek, this shall quench your gaming thirst.

Castlevania Legends
(GB, 1998)

Castlevania showed another face as the series' very first female protagonist was given the spotlight. As Sonia Belmont, she took on the standard quest of defeating Dracula and saving the townsfolk from his proverbial grip. Even though this game was released seven years after "Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge", it would be difficult to tell, considering that the graphics have the same look pretty much. Sonia moves at a decent pace, however, so perhaps the Taffy Curse has been broken for good! Instead of acquiring special weapons, you get soul powers, which can be used for a variety of tasks, including self-healing and setting evil foes ablaze -- at the cost of collected hearts of course. This is unfortunate for lovers of giant tossable axes though. As a whole, there's nothing that stands out with this title, but at least it shows some consistency in the series.


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