User Reviews

Just leave it to Simon Belmont, vampire hunter! NES Adzuken (861)
Hurts So Good NES TheoryOfChaos (55)
An okay, if a somewhat shoddy conversion Commodore 64 Wurtzly (1072)
Whip it, baby! NES Katakis | カタキス (39520)
The whip-wielding franchise-starter NES Multimedia Mike (19808)
its you versus the count in a thrilling duel to the death! NES benjamin grimes (10)
Whip it good, this is an excellent action/adventure(?) game for the NES! NES OlSkool_Gamer (102)
Not scary, not original, not fun, not good, very bad. DOS Jim Fun (252)
This port could have been much better... Amiga powerstone05 (332)

Our Users Say

Platform Votes Score
Amiga 11 3.9
Arcade Awaiting 5 votes...
Commodore 64 12 3.7
DOS 19 3.6
Game Boy Advance 17 3.9
J2ME 6 3.5
NES 118 4.1
Nintendo 3DS Awaiting 5 votes...
Wii 10 3.7
Wii U Awaiting 5 votes...
Combined User Score 193 3.9

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
100 (Jun, 2011)
Beautiful atmospheric graphics, mostly tight controls, and some of the best music found in gaming, then and now, provide an all-around excellent experience. Complaints? When enemies hit you, they send you flying backward. Since there are a lot of flying enemies and a lot of precarious jumps to make, simple hits can lead to many instant deaths. If you’re a fan, you know all of this already. If you’re not a fan, why are you still reading? Go play Castelian or something.
NESThe DOS Spirit (Dec 03, 2013)
Sleng deg foran skjermen, kobl i en gamepad og fyr opp en god, gammel klassiker som fortsatt biter fra seg. Dette er plattforming som de som setter pris på en utfordring, dog svært urettferdig til tider. Men man, følelsen av mestring blir nesten ikke bedre enn dette. Vi legger vår «Golden DOS Spirit»-utmerkelse sammen med hvitløken og korsene i sekken til Herr Belmont, det fortjener han.
NESRetro Game Reviews (Jan 02, 2015)
Castlevania is an early NES classic and it nailed a number of elements that define the series to this day. There's probably too much reliance on special weapons to proceed but the game is so much fun that you'll keep playing until you come up with the best strategy to get you just that little bit further.
90 (Aug, 2003)
Abschließend kann ich sagen, dass man auf jeden Fall zum Castlevania-NES-Modul greifen sollte, denn damit habt ihr einen zeitlosen Klassiker in der Hand, der auch noch nach so vielen Jahren seit dem Erscheinen immer wieder zum Spielen einlädt und für eine lange Zeit motivieren kann. Die C-64-Version ist dagegen wohl nur was für echte Hard-Core-Castlevania-Fans, die alle Teile und Versionen dieser Serie unbedingt durchspielen wollen. Alle anderen sollten lieber die Finger davon lassen.
Game Boy (Aug, 2003)
Abschließend kann ich sagen, dass man auf jeden Fall zum Castlevania-NES-Modul greifen sollte, denn damit habt ihr einen zeitlosen Klassiker in der Hand, der auch noch nach so vielen Jahren seit dem Erscheinen immer wieder zum Spielen einlädt und für eine lange Zeit motivieren kann. Die C-64-Version ist dagegen wohl nur was für echte Hard-Core-Castlevania-Fans, die alle Teile und Versionen dieser Serie unbedingt durchspielen wollen. Alle anderen sollten lieber die Finger davon lassen.
NESGame Freaks 365 (Nov 01, 2007)
The most common complaint about Castlevania is the difficulty. Bear in mind this game was released back before there was voice acting, cut scenes, item collecting, and anything else aside from the stages to entertain the player. Castlevania is difficult because that's the only way it knows to get you to pick up the controller again. I've always been a fan of what I call, "games that hate you" and Castlevania is fairly close to the top of my list there. The game is not impossible, however, and killing the Count has to be one of my all time greatest gaming moments. If you are an easily frustrated gamer, well, you have been warned. If you have yet to play the grandfather of all Castlevanias, I really would suggest a purchase, as it is available for the NES, Game Boy Advance and now the Wii Virtual Console.
NES1UP! (Apr 07, 2006)
Vous voudriez lui dire que ce fouet n'est pas ridicule, vous aimeriez même lui en faire tâter, lui montrer que toutes ces heures passées en compagnie de Simon vous ont appris comment manier l'arme avec une précision mortelle. Et puis qu'il y a aussi les bonus pour en améliorer la force et les autres armes, le boomerang, la hache, le sabre, l'eau bénite, ou même la montre, pour arrêter le temps.
86 (Feb 04, 2006)
If you have a NES or a GBA, pick up the original Castlevania. It'll piss you off to no end, but in the end, it feels totally rewarding. Also, if you could kick a couple of those Medusa head's asses for me, I'd appreciate it... I hate those things.
A neat platform collecting game that keeps you coming back for more, Castlevania has all the touches that make a good arcade game. Sensibly, when you die the game allows you to start again at the beginning of the current level rather than forcing you to hack all the way through again. Plenty of puzzling routes to learn - and there's a small strategic element involved in the collection of the extra weapons: you can only carry one, and it's important to have the appropriate add-on at the right time.
NESPower Play (Mar, 1989)
Die sehr detaillierte Grafik und das Riesenangebot an Extrawaffen machen Castlevania zu einem "Muß". Viele Extras sind versteckt; auch wenn man öfters spielt, entdeckt man immer wieder etwas Neues. Dank "Continue" bekommen auch weniger gute Spieler viel zu sehen.
Zusammenfassend kann man also sagen, daß man mit diesem Spiel eine Menge Unterhaltung bekommt. Hitverdächtig!
Recommended for those who enjoy a good arcade adventure.
NESVideo Game Den (May 30, 2017)
But if you put Akumajō Dracula back in its original context, you get a true classic filled with the same spirit that was poured onto its numerous sequels. A piece of video game history that will bring genuine tears of nostalgic joy to the old school players among us, and tears of equally suffering pain to the others.
The graphics are only above average, but the music shines with complex, spooky, and memorable tracks in every level. It’s a very satisfying game to play, but the extreme level of difficulty is a detriment that may turn off a good amount of players.
Nintendo 3DSFNintendo (Mar 01, 2013)
Castlevania é um pedaço de história que não deve ser esquecido e continua tão bom como na época que o viu nascer. Há que ter em conta a opção de poder gravar em qualquer altura, se por um lado isso facilita em muito a vida aos jogadores "mal habituados" que hoje em dia são a maioria quando se fala em jogos retro, por outro torna esta experiência curta demais. Provavelmente terminam a aventura num par de horas e se calhar para alguns o preço pode não justificar, apesar da duração de um jogo não reflectir necessariamente a sua qualidade. Neste caso, trata-se de um título que já foi relançado inúmeras vezes e com tanta novidade no mercado, o valor pode pesar na hora de fazer as contas. Mas Castlevania nunca será um mau investimento, é desafio e boa música num clássico que merece ser jogado e re-jogado.
NESRetro4Ever (Apr 22, 2013)
If you are a fan of the contemporary Castlevania titles, don’t sleep on the original adventure. It might just take you to school if you’re expecting a stroll through the castle. I often end a review by recommending a better sequel. Well, there are plenty that are better in this case but you kind of have to play this one to find out for yourself how they took these original ideas and improved upon them, otherwise it doesn’t have the same effect. If difficult games aren’t your thing, you can skip this one. It’s pretty intense and has historically caused me to rage out while playing.
NESGaming since 198x (Nov 17, 2010)
Malgré une jouabilité que l'on qualifiera volontiers de "crispante", Castlevania offre toujours ce cocktail d'action efficace des grands jours et saura convaincre les plus hardcore des joueurs. Son bestiaire varié, ses pièges retors, sa réalisation de qualité et ses musiques mythiques promettent de longues heures de plaisir masochiste. Évidemment, je ne peux qu'avoir envie d'y retourner.
NESNES Times (Aug 05, 2010)
So while Castlevania I may seem primitive to the other titles (especially Castlevanias III and IV), it still proves to be a great entry from Konami, and a worthy first chapter to the series. The game is just flat out exciting and easy to get into and has that quality that makes you want to try again and again to get to the end. You may be frustrated by the unforgiving difficulty near the end and the stiff control issues, but these gripes aside, Castlevania is still a true classic, one that should definelty not be missed.
WiiNintendo Life (Mar 24, 2007)
Castlevania is one of my all time favourite franchises and regardless of the faults, the first NES title is still something of a classic and is a welcome addition to the VC. However I'd recommend that you download the superior SNES version (Super Castlevania IV, which is basically a re-telling of the first NES game) as it's a much more enjoyable experience.
NESLens of Truth (Apr 26, 2009)
Castlevania brought some great action to the platforming genre. Konami went with a more battle heavy than jumping style platformer here. This was a great idea in two ways: 1) We got the framework for a great franchise, 2) Simon jumps like a lead weight. Simon’s jumping ability is the only real downfall to the game, he really has none. As I mentioned earlier though, the score is what really sets this game aside. I’m glad Konami stuck with this, always paying serious attention to the music in this series.Castlevania is a good game which transformed into great games years later. A solid start to what was to become gaming royalty.
NESNES Fanz (Jan 03, 2005)
Castlevania will always be one of the greatest games of all time. With non-stop horrified action and having the age-old battle against the prince of darkness himself, so what are you waiting for? If you already haven't, pick up this game and start slaying some Undead!
NESHonestGamers (Dec 31, 2003)
Dracula's inaugural NES Castlevania is very hard, and looks very basic. Unfortunately, those factors might be stressed to a fault. The tunes though, are remarkable, and that certainly elevates the experience, and makes the trip seem that much more legendary. Castlevania's Simon manages to stand up well to his much younger, much better-looking children. He’s mostly forgotten, but when nostalgia, curiosity, or boredom find the original, brown-clad vampire killer on his feet, he defies you to forget him again.
Game Boy AdvanceNintendojo (2004)
Out of all four of the Classic NES Series titles released, Castlevania is certainly the most recommended. If you have to pick up one of these titles, make it Castlevania.
Game Boy AdvanceIGN (Oct 26, 2004)
Even with the limited save feature, Castlevania on the GBA is still a great retro throwback. It would have better fit as an unlockable in an original Castlevania, but as it stands it's the only official way you can have the original game in portable form. It's the best game of the second batch, by far.
NESJust Games Retro (Oct 22, 2006)
Going by the cheeky credits at the end, where all the boss characters are listed as "performed" by one-letter-off versions of classic horror movie actors, Konami had absolutely no idea of what Castlevania would become. It represented a rare move for them - starting on the Famicom first instead of porting over a proven arcade title - but I think it's fair to say that this turned out to be a smart gamble. Konami may have just been making a fun, one-shot home game based on classic creature features, but they unintentionally found one of their flagship titles.
Game Boy Advance64 Power / big.N / N Games (Mar, 2005)
Die Grafik ist zwar nicht wirklich die Bombe, aber dafür kann das Spielprinzip den Retro-Fan mal wieder restlos begeistern. Monster verkloppen, Endgegner in die Hölle peitschen und Punkte sammeln ohne Ende. Yay! Neulinge, die das Originalabenteuer noch nie zuvor gespielt haben, sollten sich trotzdem nicht abwenden, denn Castlevania ist und bleibt ein gutes Spiel.
NESThe Video Game Critic (Dec 06, 2004)
Castlevania's simple, arcade-style gameplay is compelling but slightly tainted by its preponderance of cheap hits. Being touched by a little bat can send you plunging into the nearest abyss, and many traps spell instant death. Castlevania's graphics are better than you might expect, with meticulously detailed walls that look properly aged. On the downside, some of the creatures are not well defined, and smaller creatures can be hard to discern. But despite its rough edges, Castlevania is a fun game that stands the test of time.
WiiIGN (Apr 30, 2007)
500 Wii points is an excellent price of admission for this NES classic. The game blazed the trail for its hugely successful successors, and exemplified challenging and rewarding gameplay. It gets a little tricky from here on out, though. Super Castlevania IV, for only 300 Wii points more, seems like a smarter purchase, as it improves on almost every facet of the NES original, including mechanical and graphical upgrades. If you've already (smartly) downloaded Super Castlevania IV, are looking for an even greater challenge, and want to see where the series gets its roots, then give this one a download. For newcomers, however, frustrations may be more efficiently inhibited by downloading the SNES version first.
Game Boy AdvanceGameSpot (Oct 28, 2004)
Ultimately, this all leads to a single question: Should you buy this version of Castlevania? Surprisingly, the answer is yes, provided, of course, that you're into side-scrolling adventure games, the Castlevania license, or anything old-school gaming. This is a well-produced port of an excellent game, and even though it probably would have been better served as part of a collection than as a stand-alone product, you could certainly find a number of worse ways to spend $20 for your GBA.
NESThe Games Machine (UK) (Mar, 1989)
Castlevania is more arcade orientated than the MSX version, keys are no longer needed and there are short-term objectives to reaching the next level. Unfortunately, infinite continue-plays are too generous, making progressing easier than it should be. Graphically, Castlevania is among the best Nintendo games, featuring constantly changing backdrops and many highly detailed sprites. Sonically, it is a real treat: music captures the mood of each level, getting ever more spooky as you near the tomb of Dracula.
WiiGameSpot (May 09, 2007)
In the era of the Nintendo Entertainment System, publisher Konami was known for making maddeningly difficult but remarkably enjoyable games. Fortunately, games like Gradius and Contra at least had cheat codes to make the difficulty slightly more reasonable. Castlevania, on the other hand, had no such crutch. In fact, the game had an unlockable "hard" mode instead. But somehow, as frustrating as Castlevania could be, it was still an entertaining game because of its solid action and dark, appealing atmosphere. Castlevania is now available on the Wii Virtual Console for 500 points ($5), and it's every bit as challenging and playable as it was when it was originally released 20 years ago.
NESRetroGame Man (Feb 20, 2017)
In summary, this action platform game is fun and challenging but feels a bit dated with its archaic jumping mechanics. It’s certainly not the best Castlevania game on the NES (I’m looking at you Castlevania 3), but still charms with its awesome music and cool bosses. Overall, I give this game a 7/10, with the caveat that it receive the historic videogame tag for initiating such an awesome franchise.
NESFamily Friendly Gaming (Jan, 2017)
The music in Castlevania is fantastic. The level layout is has an intelligent design. The graphics look horrible today. Back in that era there were some neat things done like background graphics. There is violence in Castlevania. If you want a challenging dracula hunting retro game then check out Castlevania.
NESRetro Game Age (May 30, 2011)
Age hasn’t been kind to the Castlevania’s blemishes. It was released at a unique period in gaming where most developers were still finding their legs, so to speak. We were willing to overlook the flaws to get to the creamy filling underneath. If you were to release a game like this now it would get savaged, and rightfully so. Play this with that mindset and you’ll be able to enjoy it for what it gets right.
70 (UK) (Jun 15, 2007)
So, Castlevania. Taken on its own merits, it's a fine platform adventure with six linear stages of candle-whipping fun. Taken as part of the overall VC buffet, you should probably pile your plate high with the gourmet SNES version first, and come back for NES pudding if you like the taste.
WiiThunderbolt Games (Jul 07, 2010)
It may be a little on the short side, but it’s satisfying throughout. The clever level design and excellent music make for an impressive presentation. It’s not perfect, though. The controls are occasionally misread, jumps are awkward, the whip attacks are terribly rigid, and the enemies are far too overpowered. It’s not unplayable by any means. It just gives you more of a reason to look forward to the next game. It paid off, too. Considering how many sequels Castlevania has spawned, it’s amazing how it could have started from this one, humble platformer about a guy killing Dracula. Godspeed, Simon.
The fact that Nintendo would release the original Castlevania on Virtual Console after the superior Castlevania IV almost proves that they're going after the hardcore "Vania" fans. Even so, Castlevania has managed to age a little more gracefully than most other NES games thanks to its top-tier visuals and audio. If anything, your 500 Wii Points will get you a challenging gothic platformer that'll keep you busy for a day or so (even if half of that day is spent trying to get past the Grim Reaper).
WiiMag'64 (Sep 02, 2009)
Dennoch sind die 500 Punkte für Fans der Serie sehr gut investiert. Die breite Masse der Spieler wird wohl bei diesem Liebhaberstück schnell frustriert sein. Zumal es heute auch wesentlich angenehmer zu spielende Fortsetzungen der Serie gibt, sollte ein Castlevania-Neuling lieber mit einem der neueren (DS-)Teile vorlieb nehmen. Wenn man aber gewillt ist, über die Mankos der Spielmechanik hinwegzusehen, dann erhält man ein atmosphärisch dichtes und abwechslungsreiches Game, mit dem man sich gerne die Zeit vertreibt und wenn sich dann doch mal (wieder) Frust einstellt, kann man getrost die Speicherfunktion der Wii in Anspruch nehmen und sich etwas vom anstrengenden Monsterjägerdasein erholen.
Game Boy (Jan 13, 2005)
Jeu old-school par excellence, Castlevania constitue l'un des pionniers du jeu d'action et il permet de redécouvrir un genre héroïque où la moindre action doit être calculée, millimétrée et anticipée pour pallier le manque de mouvements du personnage principal. Cruellement difficile, le titre de Konami compte parmi les indémodables de la NES.
Game Boy Advance1UP (Nov 03, 2004)
Castlevania was a great game in its time. It's still pretty good today, and it represents a whole lot of gaming history. It's a short quest, but while it lasts it's a genuine challenge that promises to kick you in the pants and make you like it. It's nothing to excite devotees of the latest and greatest, but for Castlevania fiends and classic gaming nuts alike it's definitely worth a look.
Game Boy AdvanceRetro Gamer (Feb, 2005)
Simon Belmont’s first adventure makes a great transition to the GBA, and although it’s over 10 years old, you can clearly see where the slew of sequels got their inspiration from. The gameplay is tough has old boots, and more than a little frustrating. But it’s all handled so well that you can’t help yourself coming back for just one more go.
Commodore (Aug, 2003)
Die bekannteste und beste Version des Castlevania-Erstlings ist für das NES erschienen, aber auch für den C-64 gibt es eine passable Umsetzung dieses Klassikers, die von Unlimited Software Inc. programmiert wurde. Während die NES-Version grafisch alles rausholt, was die Konsole hergibt, wirkt die C-64-Umsetzung in dieser Hinsicht eher klobig und unausgereift. Gleiches gilt für die Spielbarkeit. Auf dem NES gehorcht Simon einwandfrei und ohne zu zögern eurem Kontroller, auf dem C-64 sind die Aktionen von Simon (vor allem der Angriff mit der Peitsche) immer etwas verzögert, was träge wirkt und sich negativ auf den Spielfluss auswirkt. Nur die Musik ist bei beiden Versionen gleichermaßen gut gelungen.
Game Boy AdvanceArmchair Empire, The (Jan 09, 2005)
It’s unfortunate that the simple gameplay hasn’t held up well over the years, because most of the fun here is had through shear nostalgia (whipping candles, etc).