The first NES Castlevania was like a breath of fresh air when it was first released. Capcom's spooky, but cartoon-like Ghost 'n' Goblins was the closest thing on the market, but Konami's game was a little more mature and serious. The gothic feel for which the series has become famous for is all present and correct, and the excellent music sets the scene perfectly. Some of the tunes featured here are still being reused and remixed several years down the line.

Unfortunately, time has not been kind to the game in other respects. It's the first in the series so, as you might expect, it's pretty basic. There are annoying niggles, like not being able to jump off stairs, and only being able to whip in front of you also leads to problems. The game is incredibly difficult in places - the final boss will have you cursing and swearing, I can assure you of that! 

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 (Castlevania IV, which is basically a re-telling of the first NES game) as it's a much more enjoyable experience.

Conclusion

Castlevania is one of our all-time favourite franchises and regardless of the faults, the first NES title still proves something of a classic and a welcome addition to Virtual Console. However we'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.