i finished castlevania 64 a couple of weeks ago but am just now getting around to collecting my thoughts (and links!). i’m quite familiar with the original NES castlevania, so i was interested in playing the 3D version despite reading people’s complaints about it. the game does have its faults, but i actually ended up rather liking it, definitely enough to play through as carrie and pick up the “sequel”, legacy of darkness (eventually).
most people will probably mostly agree with the reviews posted at vgmuseum.com and ign.com. i appreciated the storyline, such as it was, but my biggest complaint is that the gameplay gets a bit too repetitive. it may just be me, but endlessly jumping over pits and whipping medusa heads and candles gets old. in the center of the game are a villa and a castle that you get to explore which make the game much more interesting.
one thing that people consistenly complain about is the game’s camera. i’d recently read this feature at 1up.com about the differences between japanese and western approaches to game design, and so i was much more accepting about it. if you keep the mindset that the fixed camera is part of the challenge of the game, then you shouldn’t be too disappointed. it’s not too problematic anyway, and at times it even makes the game more effective. for example, at one point you’re being chased around by a baddie with a chainsaw, and if you had complete camera control you could always just turn around and see exactly where he was, which would be a much different experience than never quite knowing how far behind you he is.
not much more to say. i’d previously said that it was interesting how franchises reuse the same elements over and over (enemies, weapons, etc.), but in this case i found the reuse to be a bit stale; not quite sure why that was. anyway, i’ll have to see how the next castlevania game i play fares.
– vgmuseum.com: best cv64 site, with scans of the instruction book, all the dialogue transcribed, screenshots of all four endings, and more.
– nice guide from ign.com
– castlevania.classicgaming.gamespy.com also has some good info, including concept artwork and a comprehensive timeline
– about.com has some good bios on carrie and reinhardt.