Nintendo's Virtual Console is a wonderful portal for enjoying classic games from the past - or, at least, games that are deemed classics by nostalgia-drunk fans.
Some games have definitely aged far better than others. But for those seeking the comfort blanket of their youth, or just wishing to explore the wealth of history that consoles of yore have to offer, Nintendo's service is the best place to come.
Castlevania's arrival on Virtual Console gives us the perfect opportunity to revisit the game that started off Konami's long-running series.
At least, that would be the case for those who had fond memories of this NES outing. For anyone else, this is close to being a confusing romp through a depressingly linear castle.
Taking up the role of Simon Belmont in the year 1691, you head out into the rather baroque castle of Dracula in a bid to drive a stake through his heart.
It's not the most original storyline out there, but back when it was released on NES it was pretty much the first game to pit you against Nosferatu. In any case, the story simply entails working your way through the six levels of Dracula's castle, killing monsters as you go.
Whipping Up a Storm
You're armed with just a whip to crack in the faces of your enemies as they blunder towards you, which may sound a little dull, but the sheer number of assailant thrown your way makes platforming around them quite a test.
There's no way to manoeuvre while in the air, so you have to time your jumps almost perfectly if you want to get around without crashing into bats and flying heads.
Bosses are also impossibly hard when you have no real guidance on how to tackle them. My first encounter had me relying more on my equipped item - throwing axes - than on Simon's trusty whip.
Castlevania's visuals may have aged rather poorly, which is understandable for a NES title, but its rock-hard difficulty hasn't been tarnished with age. This means that it won't appeal to everyone - particularly newcomers - but if you're looking for a blast of nostalgia you'll find Castlevania is just as you remember it.