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Castlevania review
by ItsAHobby

Play this if you hate your life and want to suffer. In this game you're Simon, a guy that's very angry with Dracula 'cause he's too edgy for him. Naturally.
Well holy crap this game is difficult, it feels like most of the difficulty is artificial as it comes from you being so clunky and slow, but most enemies have a pattern and are unique which makes the fights interesting. Most enemies with the exception of that goddamned monkey. 
The true difficulty, however, lies in the bosses. Some are fun to fight, others are Frankenstein, Death and Dracula (which, spoilers alert, has TWO phases).
You also lose your weapon upgrades and sub-weapons when you die. Which will happen a lot. How do you get them? Hah, simple, you break candles of course! And the shot multipliers are random, which sucks because they're important.
Also, your whip is very slow and if you whip while you're in the air you cannot change directions, sounds specific but it gets annoying trust me.

The levels are great and unique from each other and using the subweapons is also pretty fun, and really most bosses are okay to fight with the exception of Death and Dracula (TM).
All in all, never want to play this again. It's interesting to see where so many games got their inspiration from, and it's a good game. I'm also not saying difficulty = bad but it has to be done right and to be rewarding, once I killed the difficult bosses I couldn't think of anything else other than "wow this cost me 30 years of my life, do I need to do it again?".

Overall, rating out of 100:
Story: 10
There's a story there, I think.

Gameplay: 10
Already explained why, but basically: whip, monkey and the DnD (Death and Dracula, bros in crime).

Graphics: 40
They're REALLY good for a NES game.

Sound/Music: 30
Unique and recognizable. Classic.

This leaves Castlevania with a whippin' 90 out of 400! Holy water! 

Other reviews2

I remembered this as my favourite game for awhile. Returning to it revealed a problem - many of the bosses are go from hard to nearly impossible without
1) gathering the right weapon from the level 
2) upgrading it a time or two (upgrades drop randomly)
3) avoiding other weapon drops until you reach the boss (you can only carry 1 weapon at a time - a new weapon drop replaces your previous weapon)

use the right weapon, and you can either stunlock or generally gimp most bosses. without this, some of the bosses make this game feel like an arcade game designed to suck up quarters from kids...which is actually kind of what it was

the platforming is damning, but great

music is good too