In the N64 and PS1 era, as many 2D games made the transition to 3D, this often meant rewriting the rules and designing entirely new gameplay systems. Some series made the transition very well, while others struggled.
takes elements from the previous 2D Castlevanias
, such as elements of the open world of 2
, along with its day/night system and inventory, the multiple playable characters of 3
, while being divided into levels. It uses a monetary system. It even brings back multiple endings, a staple of the second game.
The ideas feel a bit mishmashed, however. The game is divided into 10 levels per character (each character has 3 unique levels separately), and most of the levels are straightforward for the most part, being about defeating enemies and reaching the goal, with little puzzle-solving or exploration. However, the third and fifth levels are a totally different experience. Those levels are much more open and explorable, have characters you can talk to, some puzzles to solve, and some unique sequences such as a chase through a hedge maze. For example, in the third level, a certain character is required to be met at 3 AM, and that character provides you with an item that you need. There are hints letting you know what you need to do. The fifth level is very large and full of puzzles, including the infamous one involving a powerful explosive that frustrated many players.
The rest of the game, however, is largely action-platforming, despite the existence of the two more open-exploration levels. The day/night system (with changing weather in the form of rainfall every two nights in certain levels) plays a very minor role in the game, largely only being important in the third level. The inventory system is limited, as very few items exist in the game. Ultimately, some of the more adventure-oriented ideas were underutilized.
To help the action to work in 3D, your attacks are homing. It works really well. The game plays at a more relaxed pace than the 2D Castlevanias
, and the music is more atmospheric rather than catchy like the previous entries.
It's a very different experience than the 2D Castlevanias
, and very polarizing, but as its own unique experience, I think it works well.