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Top 10 Castlevania Games You May Never Have Played

Top 10 Castlevania Games You May Never Have Played

7.  Legacy of Darkness – N64

Be sure to read my Legacy of Darkness review if you’d like to know more!

Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness

Castlevania would see 2 releases for the Nintendo 64 and by many accounts, enter its darkest period.  No, not darkest as in an ultimate amplification of the subject matter, but darkest as in a low point for the series.  With the release of what would be named simply Castlevania (though colloquially referred to as “Castlevania 64“) Konami attempted to take the series into a 3D direction.  Most long-standing franchises saw a successful transition – Mario and The Legend of Zelda being the most notable – but “Castlevania 64″ was poorly received with most criticizing changes to gameplay and the style of artwork.  Some critics and newcomers were more forgiving, though it’s fair to say that many older fans were alienated after what most saw as a step (or three) backwards from the vaunted Symphony of the Night.

N64 Expansion PakWhat does all this have to do with Legacy of Darkness?  Legacy of Darkness is the strict sequel to “Castlevania 64” and continued to build on the concepts introduced with the N64 debut.  Clearly the designers attempted to improve the release, even utilizing the under-utilized N64 Expansion Pak for higher resolution graphics.  A multitude of other features were thrown in such as the original NES title with improvements and additions, but it wasn’t enough to save Legacy of Darkness from obscurity.  A disillusioned fanbase coupled with a buggy, rushed release (it came out a mere 9 months after its predecessor) marred its reputation forever.  Even those who were kind to the prequel regarded Castlevania’s 2nd outing on the N64 as little more than a retread.

Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness

Castlevania: Legacy of DarknessAppropriately enough, Konami would go back to the 2D style for the trilogy released on the GBA, leaving both N64 releases in the shadows.  With “Castlevania 64” often seen as the stronger of the 2 and the relatively strong reception to a slew of new games over the next 10 years, Legacy of Darkness remains “the one where you can change into a werewolf” at best.  Yet collectors and fans have swooped down hard on this blemish to the series and it still manages to command a reasonably strong price on the secondary market.

How can you play it today?

Castlevania: Legacy of DarknessThe Nintendo 64 is enjoying its heyday of nostalgia-induced popularity right now.  Kids who grew up on it are finally coming of age, squarely placing the 3rd and 4th generations in the territory of the collectors and the curious.  Items like Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Metroid are falling out of conversation, giving way to Mario Kart 64 and Ocarina of Time.  Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness clearly isn’t standing up to classics like these, but it does gain its own measure of increased value along with its kin, and its own unpopularity has led to a modicum of scarcity.  You may or may not find these in your neighborhood pile of N64 games; like every other Castlevania game it tends to be quickly snatched up by fervent fans.  A steady supply is, for the time being, readily available over the web.

Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness

As usual, you can certainly take the emulation route if raw experience (sans the 3-handed controller) is your only prerogative.

Cube’s Recommendation:  BUY IT.

Written by The Cubist

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