Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Nerdicus NES Review #98 : Bram Stoker's Dracula

Title : Bram Stoker's Dracula

Publisher : Sony Imagesoft

Genre : Platform

Players : 1 Player

Release Date : 1993

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $15-$20

If you're looking for another Castlevania, you're looking the completely wrong way. This may have the Dracula name in it, but this is based off that bizarrely addictive movie starring Keanu Reeves, Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder. Something about that movie...I don't know what it is. I can't pull away when it's on TV. It must be Dracula's curse or something reeling me in and possessing me. So badly good lol.

Meh, it must be Gary Oldman.

Taking a gander at the back of the box, you may say to yourself, "Well, this doesn't look so bad. Looks like a Castlevania rip off." If it's a rip off, could they have at least TRIED to get some of the things Castlevania did right and throw it into this game?

I wont' warn you anymore. I'll just say it outright. You might as well stake yourself, for this is one of the worst games I have ever played on the NES.

You take on the role of Jonathan Harker on the quest to put an end to Dracula's reign of terror. I'd much rather play as Simon Belmont, but it doesn't look like I have much of a choice. You start off in Transylvania, and end up chasing Dracula around until you eventually meet up with him in London in a duel to the death. 

Of course, Dracula is throwing everything he has at you. Werewolves, Bats, Zombies, Skeletons, fire spitting statues. All the horror classics that you'll find in Castlevania, but done much, much better. Mind you, this game out in 1993 so they had plenty of time to work on making this game a success. But after playing this, you can tell they just didn't a rats arse. It's a movie game after all. It's all about the quick buck.

Just to prove how lazy they were with the deigns, you'll also need to collect diamonds and treasures from Mario blocks throughout your travels! That's right folks....Mario blocks.......there are Mario blocks, in a Dracula game.

It's a me.....Dracula.....

This game is one sad excuse for a platformer. In fact, I don't even think the game knows what it is supposed to be. One second it wants to be an adventure game, the next it wants to be a platformer, then the next it wants to be some lame attempt at a puzzle game. All with a time limit of course. What bad game isn't complete without a time limit.

Sometimes I think time limits were put into crappy games so players wouldn't discover how many things are wrong with particular levels, and instead are forced to die. It makes them rush through the level as quickly as possible so they can't stop and appreciate how truly terrible the game is.

Such as this one.

You'll go around collecting various items from these Mario blocks that don't really help you with your cause unless its a weapon. The only thing diamonds and the time limit do for you is at the end of each stage, it gets added to your score for some extra lives. Which you'll probably need because you'll end up dying from sheer irritation of playing this.

Most of the time you just drive yourself mad by jumping so much in this game. Who would have thought there could be too much platforming in a platforming game. Well this is a perfect example of it. You know in Mario games, they know how to spread it out and vary the platforming so it remains challenging and entertaining. It's like this game just had some random level generator thrown in and they just clicked "ok" and slapped it onto a cartridge. There's no cohesion to the design.

Now the one good thing this game had going for it were the entertaining boss fights. I felt like this was the closest thing you got to a Castlevania clone. The boss fights were actually pretty damn challenging and left your hands clammy. Only because you didn't want to die and have to start over and deal with all the platforming again.

There was one thing though, one thing, that made me want to break this monstrosity. The atrocious music. Dear God, I didn't know it was possible to make chip tune music sound as horrible as it does in this game. Someone just gave a baby a keyboard, and let them slap their hands on it. Boom, game soundtrack.

That's Bram Stoker's Dracula in a casket for you. One piece of trash that came way too late in the NES lifespan. By 1993 you should have moved on to the SNES, and if you were lucky you never had to experience. But we have man to thank that made this game stand out in infamy for all time. The Angry Video Game Nerd for pointing out one of this games brilliant creators with the most epic name of all time.

Yes, that's right.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until next time. Keep on gaming!



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