After that Frankenshit game, I don’t wanna do this review at all. And I even remember this game being particularly unbearable. I guess I’ll procrastinate by starting with the instruction manual. First of all, it warns us not to bend, crush or submerge our copy of Dracula in liquids. This is kind of unnecessary, though, since anyone doing that is probably intentionally trying to destroy it. By reading the “controls” page, I can already predict my hatred for the gameplay. I’m not sure why both of these games had to include shitty fighting controls, but maybe they should just be shooters like every other Sega CD game. “In five of the seven levels you must escape or destroy Dracula…” At least in Castelvania, Dracula waits a couple centuries before reviving; he doesn’t do it every five minutes. “Beware! Dracula can assume the form of everything from a bat to a young Bohemian.” I can hear the villagers now: “Run for your lives, it’s a fucking Bohemian! AND HE’S YOUNG!!!!!!” “TRAVEL TO CASTLE DRACULA: This is the longest walk you’ll ever make.” Woo-fuckin’-hoo. It goes on like this for way too long, all the while making aggressively terrible puns like “Dracula goes completely batty” and “this isn’t a pun, I just made it up.” Then it says the most horrifying, blood-freezing, bone-chilling thing I will ever read: “Use your skills to duck low branches and jump boulders, play polo with rabid wolves and heavily-armed gypsies, and hog-tie Dracula before he gets to the castle. (Text-formatting mine. -Treegnome)” . . . For the sake of any fucking sanity I have left after reading that statement, I want nothing to do with this game ever again for the rest of my life and beyond. Have you ever seen a man so shocked that that his jaw falls off of his face and on to the floor where he stabs himself in the brain and unconsciously bleeds to death? No? THEN I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN SOME FUCKING POLAROIDS!!!!! I mean there’s only one theory that makes sense about how this could happen: clowns. Fucking unholy, child-molesting clown demons have taken over the video game industry- and they want my SOUL!!! I think playing this game will now officially be the most ungodly thing I’ve ever done. Furthermore, I don’t think there’s anything I’d rather do than play this game. Unless one of my options is “c) puke and die.” The answer is c) puke and die. If you guessed c, please kill me NOW. The intro shows a red substance trickling down a badly digitized something while the title, “Dracula” forms from the same red substance. I guess it was kind of like blood, if you shot yourself up with Neon and started bleeding words, but I think it was supposed to be red crayon wax. And there’s only one way to describe the music. You know how when you’re watching a really old VHS tape you recorded off TV in the 70s and the already shitty background music is muffled and scratchy? And then it goes drunk and the pitch starts going up and down? Welcome to the soundtrack of this game. I really wish I was joking about any of this.
In Dracula, the makers attempted to digitize actual movie scenes into the game. But I must say, the scenes in this game had to have been taken from a reel of film that was stolen from the movie theater garbage bin after the snack-boy went ballistic and started eating it. There is music, but no speech or sound effects in the movie scenes. And it’s blurry. And there’s a strange, inescapable red tint to the film. I recall mentioning something about ketchup earlier… After the three-second movie-scene intro, it shows a man sitting in front of a fire and reading Dracula out loud with a Scottish accent. Oh, and if you try to skip the intro, the Sega conjures up it’s demons to scream at you. Then finally, I begin my "long and perilous journey." Sorry, I stole that from the Scottish guy. You start in a creepy forest controlling Keanu Reeves played by Marlon Brando. Seriously, the character looks a lot more like the Godfather after liposuction than anyone Keanu Reeves has ever played. So far my favorite part of the game is dying. Not just because of vengeance and hatred, either. It’s because when you die, a short scene shows Keanu looking into the camera for five seconds, rocking lightly back and forth, and then awkwardly shouting, “Urrgh!” like he’s just really annoyed that you killed him. It’s almost as funny as the Golden Axe death sound. The game claims to give you two continues, but I haven’t yet noticed ever getting a chance to use them. I guess they’re for display only. Now that I’ve mastered all of the complex moves in the game like punch, crouch, kick, and the fucking Can-Can, it’s time to kill me some undead minions…or maybe just some birds and bats. And bear traps, and Swamp Thing.
What pisses me off the most about this game so far, other than having to play it, are the controls. You can’t change direction in midair like in a normal physics-defying video game. And with the weird way the screen moves even after you stop moving, your jumps are pretty unreliable as it is. If you jump over a gap in a bridge and land perfectly on the other side, the screen shifts and you fall off anyway. If you try to jump over a bear trap, you usually hit a bat, fall into the bear trap and get hit by three more bats. I find it safer just to walk right though them. The first boss you have to face is, well, lightning. Yeah… Lightning. Scientists are baffled as lightning strikes the same spot 20 consecutive times in less than a minute. And nobody knows why they make pinball noises instead of thunder, either. Come to think of it, that lightning isn’t natural at all. It’s a straight line. Normal lightning is all squiggly. This is like holy lightning or something. Like this whole thing is so stupid, God wants to keep it from going any further. Sorry, God, but the reviews must go on!*
*Dear God, I think allowing me to finish the review is punishment enough anyway.
Pictured: Marlon Brando vs. Lightning (and maybe God). Literally as little to do with the movie as possible. Or any movie.
After the lightning, you meet Dracula. Then demons take over the Scottish guy who proceeds to open and close his book continually until you press the start button. I’m not sure if this is the way the game is supposed to work, but I really don’t care anymore. I just wanna get out of this alive and never look back. You’ve gotta hold on. You can’t give up now, we’ve come too far- wait, where was I? Oh yeah. Next, there’s a short scene with the evil Emperor from Star Wars and then level 2 starts. At the end of level 2, the game freezes because your Sega CD is fucked up and retarded. Then you fume your way back through level 1, and once again start level 2. If you did this correctly, level 2 is now completely different for some reason. Don’t ask questions, it just makes things worse. After Keanu kicks Dracula’s ass, he decides to shave and then go back to where he was standing to fight evil some more. Beat Dracula again and the game takes another random scene out of context to invent it’s own plot.
Level 3 has it’s own unique outlook on biology. What I mean is spiders are now as big as rats. Scorpions are about the size of three rats combined, and they shoot fireballs out of their stingers. Bouncing fireballs. It’s a Super Mario Scorpion. This level is the same as the rest of them. The enemies get faster, a new enemy is introduced and you fight stupid mini-bosses like spastic Aztec warriors. Hehe… Spaztec… Nothing too interesting in level 4. Leaping snakes, cartoony suits of armor, killer doves, that sort of thing. Oh, and then there’s the monk that THROWS FUCKING HEADS AT YOU. And not in a humorous, Total Recall sort of way. And, naturally, the heads bounce like a motherfucking Superball. The funny thing is that this level is not even Dracula’s castle anymore, it’s your hometown. I guess Keanu went to the castle as a vacation from the more dangerous monsters he already fights everyday.
The fifth level says I’m supposed to be fighting escaped mental patients and an undead slut. What they give me are a bunch of ugly zombies and the Emperor from Star Wars again. When I meet the slut, she malfunctions and keeps repeating, “So you still pursue me, foolhardy mortal.” It doesn’t help to pause it, she’s still doing it right now. “So you still pursue me, foolhardy mortal.” Over and over and over and over again!!! “So you still pursue me, foolhardy mortal.” I’m not kidding you. I’m begging, FOR THE LOVE OF GODDAMN, PLEASE SHOOT ME!!!!! Actually, aside from the annoying death chant, this is the coolest battle in the game. One kick from you and she spews about ten gallons of Mortal Kombat blood. Then after a few more hits, her head flies off. Neat. Level 7 is about thirty seconds long and has two parts. In the first part you ride a horse while dodging stalactites. In the second part, you press the A and C buttons rapidly until the level decides to end. I’ve told you before, the Sega CD chooses to let you win or lose; you better stay on its good side. Then Scottish Guy starts talking and keeps fading in and out. I tell ya, Satan gets pretty creative when he’s messing with your Sega. Level 8 is pretty much level 2 again. Only this time, it has a different collection of the game’s weakest enemies. When you wander around the castle long enough you see another Dracula scene. I personally would have used a scene where Dracula is inside the castle, but I guess that’s why I don’t make video games. As expected, there is nothing difficult about the final battle. Once you beat him, you get to watch him die for three seconds. That’s it. No epilogue, no anything. Just three seconds, then the credits. God I hate this game.
If you were to take the worst Castlevania game ever, give it the most useless controls a fighting game has to offer and replace all the enemies with rubber bands, it would still kick the shit out of this game. This is without a doubt, the worst videogame I’ve ever played. Nothing I could experience will ever suck more than this game. If given the choice, I would rather be set on fire and have dogs piss on my face than play this game again. I would welcome it with pride, even if I had to play Sewer Shark at the same time!!
I’ve gotta be quick with this conclusion, my fury is making me nauseous. At least this game has advanced my studies of the Sega creature. It seems that the more satanic a game is, the more it gets possessed. This is why it fucking froze every ten minutes so I had to use the level select just to beat it. Actually, I was going to use the level select anyway because I never wanted to play the game in the goddamn first place. You know, games like this have always made me wonder why any creature brought back from the dead only takes a couple hits before it dies again. I mean can’t they just keep coming back? And usually in the movies, not even a hundred rifle rounds can stop them. A shotgun might work, but usually it takes a spell of some kind. In this game, you just sort of kick him to death. Well that was off topic. By the way, friends, after playing these two games, it’s gonna take a hell of a lot of motivation for me to go anywhere near that Sega in the future. I think I’m gonna start sleeping on the stairs so I don’t have to share a room with it. I’ll tell you what, I’m gonna go barf now and you can go read something else.