It's a game and I'm reviewing it. That is all the introduction you need for this. As I think basics and mediocrity are the unofficial sponsors for today's program.
Graphically the game is impressive for being 8-bit as are most titles on the Master System. By that, I mean their overall smoothness and the animations of the characters. The backgrounds can get very repetitive/monotonous and I find that even compared to just the first three Castlevania's, aesthetically this game just isn't as good. Everything lacks detail and style. The look of the hero and the look of the first level also give me a strong " Dr. Jekyll
" vibe. One positive about this game's graphical presentation, is the ending credit sequence does this cool thing where they read the staff names out on a Ouija board. They put more effort into that, than they did the rest of this game. This is probably what I would do too if I was a programmer of this off-brand cola edition of Castlevania.
The music and general sound in this game are just completely standard for the era. The only thing that really stuck out to me in the extreme positive or negative was that I thought the final boss music was pretty bad.
After playing this game, I made a promise to myself. That promise was that I would never complain about stairs or controls in a Castlevania game, ever-a-fucking-gen. Stairs in general are a nightmare in this game and it actually gets worse the further into the game that you get. Stairs that are below you on the ground level are the worst thing the game has to offer. Sometimes I had to walk over them five to six times to go down them. Full disclosure. I played this game on an emulator and I wanted to make sure it wasn't just the controller I was using at first and tried three different controllers and switching between d-pad/sticks and nothing seemed to make a difference in regards to the stairs.
Aside from stairs being shit, the game doesn't really offer any challenge at all. Enemies are repeated a lot in this game. Almost all of them have the same back and forth pattern and they all move really slowly. In comparison to the infamous pathways of enemies in Castlevania like Medusas, dogs, and things jumping all over the place you can see how a back and forth walking pattern doesn't make for much challenge or tension.
They're also repeated in levels and places where they don't make a lot of sense thematically. There aren't many levels in this game, they try to pad things out a bit by making the small number of levels they do have really long and with "stages" of each one. The problem is only one of the levels is really memorable to me and that is the second one that was supposed to be a wax museum. I really like the idea of the stage but the execution was a pale wax facsimile of the real deal that you can get in other games.
This game or at least the rom I was playing. Had a lot of fucking glitches. I can only imagine how broken this game is in speed-runs assuming anyone even does that, because like every other fifth time or so that I would die. My character would just skip ahead whole sections of levels. Sometimes even entirely skipping a boss and going to their ending sequence. At first, I thought it was like death-scumming in a souls game, but no, it was just straight up a broken-ass faulty placement of my character to actual checkpoints.
As the name indicates. "The story." Is just a complete rip-off of Castlevania, but somehow it makes less sense. I do think the overall presentation of the bad story was good, but shitting in a gold toilet, doesn't make the shit any better.
This game is just a subpar Castlevania clone. Exactly what you expect it to be when you see the name and the box. I don't know why I expected anything different. I don't know why you read this expecting something different. I guess sometimes in life, you have to do stupid shit to remind yourself of the obvious.