castlevania review

Bloodlines

Trevor’s best moment comes near the end of the criminally short series, when he descends into some Catacombs to reveal Alucard, who’s easily the most interesting character in the show. Voiced by James Callis (Gaius friggin’ Baltar himself!) the son of Dracula and Lisa is a refined yet tortured soul, and his conversation with Trevor finally makes him drop all of his pretense and actually discuss the issues facing them. It’s amusing that Castlevania is at its best when it takes itself seriously, rather than just showing heaps of corpses and people getting hit in the balls.

Of course, they end up butting heads immediately, which culminates in an incredible and stylized duel, one that’s more thrilling than any of the others in the series. Alucard gets to show off his sword skills and teleporting ability here as well, although he doesn’t take the form of a bat or wolf (yet) as he can in the games. Of course, most people know Alucard from his star-making turn in Symphony of the Night, which has the distinction of not only being inarguably the best Castlevania game ever made, but one of the finest games of all time, period. It’s a lot for a character to live up to, but if they wanted to continue this series far into the future, there’s no better way than with the immortal half-breed.

castlevania review 2

Legacy of Darkness

Alucard, Sypha, Trevor. Those are three of the four playable characters from Castlevania III, but hardcore fans may be wondering where the most fun little guy is? Sadly, Grant has not made it to Wallachia, and that’s entirely writer Warren Ellis’ fault.

“Yes. I cut Grant DaNasty out of the film,” he said in a blog written a decade ago that was recently unearthed by Bleeding Cool. “What use is a pirate in a landlocked country anyway?”

Ellis went on to state the many (justifiable!) reasons why Grant didn’t make it into the film or eventual TV show, including his stupid name (Grant. DaNasty.) and the running time of the project, which made him struggle to create backstories for everyone else as well. And also, once again, he hates the idea of a pirate on dry land.

Ellis seems to have gotten most of the rest of his ideas out easily, though. Netflix has been good with handing money over to creators and letting them do their own thing. When that’s combined with producer Adi Shankar, a man famous for taking known properties and making them into ultraviolent, “adult” extravaganzas, you’ve got an absurdly bloody take on a video game. He recently wrote in a Facebook post that he is “personally guaranteeing that this is going to be the best f*cking video game adaptation ever made to date” and you know what? He may have pulled it off. Low bars and all that, but it’s an achievement nonetheless.

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Dawn of Sorrow

Fortunately, a second season of Castlevania has already been ordered, with twice the number of episodes. Eight episodes is something this first season could have definitely used, as it feels rushed and incomplete as it is.

The script is very good, but the show is undermined by its very format. Each episode basically acts as an origin story for one of the main characters – Dracula, Trevor, Sypha, and Alucard – and then it’s over.

“We three,” states Alucard after he meets his new companion,. “We can destroy him.” And they walk off to a credits sequence. For now, we once again wait for Dracula’s castle to return to get that proper Castlevania feeling once again. At least in the meantime, we have Dead Cells.

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