Monday, October 17, 2016

Halloween '16: Castlevania III - Dracula's Curse

For this year's special run of Halloween posts, Shangrila Towers is spotlighting those infamous creatures of the night - vampires. Keep your crucifix handy, and pray for dawn...

"During 15th Century Europe, there lived a person named Dracula. He practiced sorcery in order to create a bad world filled with evil." 

That cheesy prose began one of the original Nintendo's greatest titles, "Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse." The game ditched the adventure trappings of "Simon's Quest" and returned to the straightforward action-platforming of the first Castlevania. It expanded on the formula, though, by adding multiple branching stages and four characters with wildly different abilities: standard-issue 'Vania protagonist Trevor Belmont, agile pirate Grant Danasty, magical witch Sypha Belnades, and Dracula's vampiric son, Alucard.

I will admit that I have never beaten Castlevania III, mostly because it's hard as a rock. Now, the game is not as patently unfair as something like "Ghosts 'n Goblins," but you still need a lot of trial-and-error and split-second timing to navigate the perilous stages. In doing so, you'll face off against grotesque monsters, dangerous traps, and, of course, Castlevania's deadliest enemy: staircases. However, despite the cheap deaths caused by castle architecture, "Dracula's Curse" is easily one of the best three Castlevanias (along with "Rondo of Blood" and "Symphony of the Night") and well worth tracking down.


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