User Reviews

Just leave it to Simon Belmont, vampire hunter! Adzuken (861) 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars
Hurts So Good TheoryOfChaos (55) 4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars
Whip it, baby! Katakis | カタキス (39490) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
The whip-wielding franchise-starter Multimedia Mike (19762) 4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars
its you versus the count in a thrilling duel to the death! benjamin grimes (10) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Whip it good, this is an excellent action/adventure(?) game for the NES! OlSkool_Gamer (102) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 3.9
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 4.1
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 4.0
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 4.3
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed 3.0
Overall User Score (95 votes) 4.1

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.
The 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.
Retro 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 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.
1UP! (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.
Power 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.
Video 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.
Retro4Ever (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.
Gaming 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.
NES 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.
Lens 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.
NES 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!
HonestGamers (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.
Just 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.
The 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.
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.
RetroGame 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.
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.
Retro 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.