Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness (N64)
Pros: Nice graphics, easy control system, very cool game
Cons: the camera system is awful and it locked up on me
Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness is the quasi sequel to Castlevania for the N64. You see originally Konami (the makers of this fine game) wanted to release Castlevania giving players the option of 4 different characters to choose from. But, because of tons of delays, Konami decides to release Castlevania with only 2 characters. But, now Legacy of Darkness has been released as Castlevania as it was meant to be: with all 4 characters included, enhanced graphics, and various other improvements.
So enough with the background, on with the review. The game revolves around Cornell, a werewolf out to save his sister from Dracula. In a (very long actually) cut scene we see her taken and the village being burned to the ground. This cut scene actually makes it feel like the beginning of a movie with credits running in between various parts of the scene. These cut scenes are actually very nice, but no where near the level of Zelda or Perfect Dark.
The control is very smooth. It almost seems patterned after Super Mario 64 in the way the controller is setup. Even going so far as to set some functions to the same buttons that they are used for in Mario 64. And the enemy targeting system seems lifted right from Zelda. But it's a little frustrating that you can't choose who you target. And hey, if you're gonna steal stuff from a game, why not steal from the best?
The graphics are great. Even in low resolution everything looks very detailed. I mean just look at the dragon boss at the end of the first level and try not to be impressed. And the rain and lightning effects, very cool. But in high resolution, I mean, wow. Even in the high-res mode, the graphics get a little more detailed and the framerate just keeps on plugging. No jumpiness like you'll find in Turok 2, just smooth play. And the look of this game almost reminds me of what "Ghosts n' Goblins," a classic NES game, would look like in full 3D (and it's truly sad that we won't ever get to see that, because Ghosts n' Goblins 64 was canned a long time ago). Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the sounds. They're decent and all, but nothing special.
This game is a blast to play, but I have a few little quirks to mention. The camera stinks. The camera angle jumps around all the time, and some times just sticks it facing you, so that you can't see where you're going. Now why couldn't they steal that from Mario 64? And also, it's not always clear what you're supposed to do next. They just pop you in a room and say go crazy. A little guidance would have been nice. And finally this game froze up on me twice. And then wouldn't start up when I hit the reset button. Now I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt because it was a rental copy.
Now, I'll bet you're wondering, after piling on all this praise and giving it four stars, why did I say it "Bites and Stinks!" in the title. Well that's a little vampire humor, get it, bites and sucks. I know, it's lame and If I was a comedian I'd get booed off the stage. In fact, I'm voting myself off this review (stop me).
Best Played With/Intended For: Single Player
Learning Curve: A matter of minutes and I was good to go
Replay Value: Many day's worth of value
Sound: Sounds about right; nothing extraordinary
Recommendation to other potential buyers? Yes