Forget Ninja Gaiden, Castlevania is so far the toughest game I've played on the NES. This surprised me because you always hear how games like Contra and Ninja Gaiden are so tough but you never really hear anyone say the same about the original Castlevania. Perhaps it's because the game begins with quite an easy opening stage and ramps up the difficulty steadily for the next three stages. However once you hit that fourth stage the difficulty becomes murderous. Stage four starts with a very tricky cave section filled with bats that love nothing better than to knock you off platforms into bottomless pits. The Frankenstein boss is real pain unless you kept the holy water sub item handy. Stage five is infamous for its difficulty and ends with a gauntlet of two axe throwing armoured foes that have to be defeated while infuriating medusa heads harass you. To make matters worse this section ends in a boss fight with Death, one of the hardest bosses I've ever faced in a game. After that you've still got the final stage and a tough confrontation with Dracula to deal with.
|You'll learn to hate this guy with a passion|
I'm really glad I decided to play this game to completion. I did really like the game, now I absolutely adore it. It's given me a new found appreciation for just how well designed this game is. It's up there with the likes of Megaman 2 or Super Mario Bros as having some of the best game and level design of any game. The game may be tough, tougher than even Ninja Gaiden, however the difference is that while Ninja Gaiden exploits its bad code to make the game as frustrating as possible for the player, Castlevania never resorts to such cheap tricks. Castlevania is an example of NES gaming at its absolute finest. Superb.