Plucky member of the beleaguered Belmont clan: check. Large whip: check. Marauding bloodsuckers a go-go: check. Yup, Castlevania's back, with all of the vital ingredients that fans have come to expect from the superlative series present and correct. Acting as a prequel to the existing chronology, with forefather Leon Belmont seizing the whip as the first in a long line of the vampire slaying dynasty, Castlevania treads a largely familiar 3D path (much in the same, um, vein as goth-horrors Devil May Cry and Soul Reaver), but with a spattering of originality that sets this arterial action adventure apart from the current brood of blood-lusting titles.
The epic quest begins with a similarly epic opening sequence which provides the background to the game's proceedings, with the foppish Leon Belmont heading out in search of his abducted girlfriend, thought to have been snatched by a vampire. After being tipped-off by a friendly local alchemist, Leon strides into the castle of his enemy, newly armed with a magic whip which has the power to see off evil in a suitably impressive fashion.
Encountering five different entrance points when you arrive in the castle, you can select whichever one you fancy to begin with, before setting out on a mission to eradicate the undead residents within. There are literally hundreds of rooms to explore within the fanged-one's fortress, with unique foes lurking around every corner, waiting to dismember you in a variety of unpleasant ways. Lucky then that Leon can acquire a collection of weapons suitable for dispensing with persistent monsters. See off bloodsuckers in style with holy water, a dagger, a cross, an axe and a magic crystal. There are also seven orbs to gather on your travels which will imbue Leon with the power to deliver spectacular attacks and whip-up visually stunning spells that wipe out all comers.
- The unique world of Castlevania makes the move to glorious 3D, but retains all its original characteristics
- Play as Leon Belmont; first in a long line of long-suffering vamp vanquishers
- Wield everything from a whip and dagger to devastating spells and attacks
- Explore five huge environments within the castle, namely a Cathedral, an alchemist laboratory, the garden, a theatre and a dungeon