RELEASED: November 1999
AVAILABLE ON: N64
Less than 11 months after the release of Castlevania on the Nintendo 64, another Castlevania game exclusive to the system came along, named Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness. It was revealed to be both a prequel and a remake of the previous game. What originally sounded like milking a dead cow to me is exactly that. But, it could've been better without a girly werewolf for a lead character.
The corny legacy of Cornell
John Nuzzo : Cornell
Scott McCulloch : Narrator
The man-beast Cornell's village is burned down by cultists, who are preparing to sacrifice his sister Ada to resurrect Dracula. Using his wolf-like instincts, Cornell follows Ada's trail to Dracula's castle.
I have often called Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness one of the worst Castlevania games there is. The truth is that Legacy of Darkness is a decent game - but it is a poor Castlevania game, not only because of the gameplay that is still suffering from some serious problems, but because it never had a place in this fine series of games. Also, because it's basically the same game as the previous one, only played from the perspective of another character and driven by an even weaker plot, I perceive the game as nothing more than DLC, before DLC even existed. It's so God damn off in every way. According to some old interviews, Konami made this game to show what their true intentions with the previous game were. Maybe they should've just taken a few years off, seriously.
|Now that IS cool.|
Did Konami really think consumers would be that interested in buying the same game to begin with, and having to clash through not one, but two crappy quests in those familiar settings in order to get their hands on a true updated version of the previous game? Besides, all of the content in this game borders on identical; you'll have lost all interest after, if not even before finishing Henry's game.
As for the graphics, they haven't REALLY upgraded all that much - the game just features flashy stuff the developers didn't dare to try before, even if it would've been perfectly possible, such as the impressive boss fight against the Hydra in the beginning of the game. The music... well. There are supposedly cool remixes of classic Castlevania tunes such as "Beginning", "Bloody Tears" (don't get too excited) and "Dwelling of Doom" to, I don't know, probably to remind people that this is still a Castlevania game with that man-beast roaming about. In my mind, these remixes fall into the same category as most of Michiru Yamane's later day compositions - too experimental and too "hip". The background music's still alright, most of the remixes play in cutscenes. There's even less voice acting this time around, in just a couple of scenes. Richter Belmont from Symphony of the Night, AND Chris Redfield from the original Resident Evil, a.k.a. Scott McCulloch, returns to ruin a perfectly decent piece of script once again, as the narrator. I'd recognize that voice anywhere.
|Taste my man-beast... lightning... slash... or... |
To me, having four characters, with the exact same quests tweaked with some minor changes, is not a sign of lifespan - it's a sign of laziness. If they had been honest about this game and released it as the intended Castlevania - Special Edition instead of disguising it as a sequel, and made an updated version of the original game the main quest, and Cornell (and Henry)'s game the bonus quest, AND given us the freedom to choose which game to play, I think my take on the game would've been a little different. Not too much better, but better nevertheless. They ripped off certain elements of Resident Evil to a noticeable point already, it wouldn't have hurt to take notes of how well Resident Evil - Director's Cut worked for those who didn't own the original game. Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness is a good game to play, but storywise, it's mockery towards the franchise, and as a commercial product, it's a consumer's nightmare.
GRAPHICS : 8.0
SOUND : 7.0
PLAYABILITY : 7.0
LIFESPAN : 5.0
CONCLUSION : 6.5
a.k.a. Akumajō Dracula Mokushiroku Gaiden: Legend of Cornell (JAP), Castlevania - Special Edition (working title)
Cornell, Lord of the Lycans, one of the main villains in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, was named after the protagonist of the game.
Cornell was originally supposed to be the lead character in the previous version of the game, that is why he was made the protagonist in this one.