Step Into The Darkness – Nintendo Entertainment System – Castlevania – 1986

castlevania

CASTLEVANIA
Nintendo Entertainment System
Konami
(c) 1986
Genre: Horror Platformer

Every so often, a game spawns an entire legacy, inspiring a number of works ranging over various systems and revamps to cement their role in video game history. A number of popular properties started on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Super Mario Brothers, Metroid, Final Fantasy– the list goes on. Among those titles, though, is a little horror game called Castlevania.

Given the amount of entries in the Castlevania series at this point, it very well rivals and surpasses most of the above titles by quantity alone.  Whatever the deviations or however many times a game may re-imagine its origins, every series has its humble beginning, and while Castlevania graced nearly every television set I grew up around, I could have never imagined how much this title would have spawned going forward and how addicted I would still be to those future titles.

Going to the beginning of the legacy of Castlevania, though, how does it hold up, and what groundwork did it lay for the rest of the series?

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It’s Hard Out There for a Turtle – Nintendo Entertainment System – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – 1989

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (U) [!]_005

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
Nintendo Enterainment System
Konami
1989
Genre: Action Platformer

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was one of those games growing up that I remember watching cousins play and struggle through, nearing the end and throwing their controllers as hard as they could when all of that work turned into a nice little Game Over screen. It is not known for being forgiving, and every child of the late 80s/early 90s probably fell prey to the popular brand slapping around their childhood dreams of giving the Shredder his just desserts.

The game has managed a cult status over the years, though, as being a ‘Nintendo Hard’ rite of passage. Having bought this game when I was but a wee innocent lad, I too watched in frustrated horror as one by one, my turtles shrunk into their shells until my continues were used up and I had to restart my agonizing trek. With my now decades old resolve, I decided to take down this ancient juggernaut once and for all.

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Aw, Shell-Shock – Game Boy – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan – 1990

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Fall of the Foot Clan (U) [!]_01

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan
Game Boy
Konami
1990
Genre: Action Platformer

Sometimes, we have fond memories of games from our past. I can tell you the first game I played on Playstation (Final Fantasy VII), Nintendo 64 (Wave Race 64) and plenty of other firsts, including the Game Boy.

To be fair, I can’t remember exactly which game I played first, but I remember the first three games I owned- Super Mario Land, Tetris, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan. It wasn’t the first game to star the Turtles, and it certainly wasn’t the last, but it held some fond memories for me. One bored night, I decided to sit down and play the game again to see if my memories would bring any warm nostalgic feelings up.

The journey did not go as expected.

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Something Old, Something New – Nintendo Entertainment System – Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse – 1990

Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
Nintendo Entertainment System
Konami
1990
Genre: Horror Platformer

Trilogies are not unheard of in the video game world nowadays. Good things come in threes, so it’s said, and the Castlevania series did their best to prove that adage right back when they were hot and heavy in the Nintendo days. Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse came along after the original creeped audiences out, and the second one probably confused the fans just as much so.  Figuring out how the third one would fare was probably an adventure when it came out, but how does it stand up to the rest of the series? Even more important, how does it stand up as a game in general with over twenty years under its belt?

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Something Just Prossessed Me – Nintendo Entertainment System – Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest – 1987


CASTLEVANIA II: SIMON’S QUEST
Nintendo Entertainment System
Konami
1987
Genre: Horror Role-Playing Platformer

Sometimes, too much of a good thing can be bad. It’s not always the case, but nowadays, when a sequel arrives on the scene merely a year after the original, people complain, arguing that not enough work had gone into it or that the company was just trying to cash in while they could. Heck, look at Left 4 Dead 2, and listen to some of the fanboys go off. However, this was par for the course in the days of the good ol’ NES. Such was the case with Simon’s Quest, the second in the Castlevania series for Nintendo. No one can deny, though, that good or bad, a lot of effort was shoved into this little game over the course of one year.

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