Akumajō Dracula [Arcade]
悪魔城ドラキュラ [アーケード版]
Feb 1988

Konami went on a bit of a tangent for their 4th release in the Akumajo Dracula series. Named 'Haunted Castle' outside of Japan, this one-off arcade production takes the same basic setup of the previous games in the series, and tries to blend them into an arcade-style action slasher in the same vein as Rastan Saga (1987).
The result is a disaster of the first order. Hot damn this is bad. There are some good ideas in there, like impressive end-of-level bosses and different primary weapons, but the design is an eyesore and the collision detection a joke.
What went wrong? The soundtrack is decent enough, but the rest is laughable... The main character is deformed, slow and unresponsive; most of the levels are bland and unimaginative, and the hearts and items that fling from downed enemies are way too tricky to collect, for no good reason at all. In most instances they disappear before your sluggish character can get anywhere near them.
This game was haphazardly made, and poorly tested. The entire framework just wasn't well thought out, and more often than not, everything falls apart. Take the 'Clock' sub-weapon for example: it not only freezes enemies, but also paralyses bosses - for a measly two hearts a pop. So all you have to do is hold onto it throughout the entire game for an easy and somewhat depressing victory. Immobilise Dracula himself, and lash away to your heart's content.
Pah. As hard as it is to believe, the game does have its fan base - but it is mostly composed of die-hard Castlevania aficionados, hell-bent on mastering one of the more miscellaneous chapters of the saga.



Akumajō Dracula
Format VHS
Released 21 Feb 1989
Publisher Konami / Pony
Product ID V38X9639
Size (cm) 20 x 12 x 3
Weight (kg) 0.30
'Game Simulation Video' from Konami and Pony Canyon, featuring approx. 30 minutes of in-game footage and play information.
As you'd expect, this is now an exceptionally rare item.

Standard video case, 30min NTSC video tape.

Oretachi Gasen Zoku Akumajō Dracula
オレたちゲーセン族 悪魔城ドラキュラ

Format PlayStation 2
Released 25 May 2006
Publisher Hamster
Product ID SLPM-62729
Size (cm) 19 x 13.5 x 1.4
Weight (kg) 0.16
The 1988 Akumajō Dracula arcade game remained arcade-only for close to 18 years, until this celebratory PS2 port of it appeared courtesy of the Oretachi Gasen Zoku series.

PS2 case includes PlayStation 2 DVD-ROM, replica instructions card holding audio mini-CD & mini-DVD-ROM, 8-page colour booklet, 4-page mini guide book, trading card.


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