I’m a big fan of Castlevania. The classic 2D action in the gothic setting always excited me, and always offered up a pretty big challenge. It’s hard to come by these types of games nowadays, but every once in a while one in the same style will pop up. While Blood of the Werewolf is in the same vein as old school Castlevania, it misses one important thing, the challenge.
Players take control of Selena, a werewolf looking for her son who was taken by humans. When out of the moonlight, she is in human form using a crossbow, and when outside, she turns into a powerful lycanthrope that can slash and bite foes as well as double jump.
Price I’d pay: $5
The game is a 2D action platfomer where players will move Selena in both forms left, right, up and down. The levels will twist and deviate, but never too much. For the most part, players are going from point A to point B. Finding a certain amount of collectables will eventually raise Selena’s max health, and hidden items will allow players to upgrade her abilities, but these are very well hidden and aren’t really required to complete the game.
The game tries to give off the horror movie feel like the classic Universal monster movies, but aside from seeing them as bosses and retro title cards for the levels, it doesn’t really show off too much. On top of that, the game takes itself very seriously. In between levels, dialog cut scenes with Selena constantly talking about revenge and the love of her child will occur, and it feels out of place for such a colorful game. Sure the voice acting is well done, but it feels off.
The controls are fine and work well with the platforming, but with a few exceptions, the levels feel bare and uneventful. Still, there were a few moments that would change up what I had to do, like trying not to get crushed by colliding walls, but for the most part, the platforming and combat were a cinch, and since the stages feature both inside and outside locations, Selena’s transformations into a werewolf feel too scripted. While it looks like a Castlevania game in many aspects, the challenge is absent. The boss fights were far too simple to recognize a pattern and in many cases, not even get hit during the fight. Even the standard stages were rather simple to complete.
Blood of the Werewolf is a rather short experience, and a rather forgettable one. It had the makings of a great classic 2D platformer, but in the end, didn’t offer up enough of a challenge to satisfy my cravings for a new 2D Castlevania game. The platforming works and the visuals are decent, but there’s just not enough substance here. It’s not a bad game by any means, just not really one that stands out from the crowd.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.