Almost 50 years after Simon's encounter with Dracula, another vampire hunter comes along by the name of Juste Belmont. Juste was out and about when his childhood friend, Maxim, appears and is badly wounded. He tells Juste that Lydie, another childhood friend of both of them, was taken away to a mysterious castle. So they set out to look for her. Juste weilds a whip and along the way accquires spell books and relics (relics of Vlad), each having a different effect when combined with subweapons such as Holy Water, Crucifix, and Axe. This game is much like that of SOTN only less animation and no CD music. Some of the music (such as the underground caves) I didn' care much for but most of the others I liked. Many people don't like the music in this game because it sounds alot like 8-bit music but it's not that bad. Gameplay is very good and responsive. Juste's whip cannot go in 8 directions like that of CV:IV but while holding the attack button down, the whip will become like a chain and can be moved around in a circle using the D-pad. Different whips are also accquired throughout the game as are boots, cloaks, gloves, and armor. The only bad aspect of the game was having to backtrack so much. The castle is huge and there are 2 parts of the castle (both being the same structure, just different backgrounds and surroundings). The enemies are not very tough at all and neither are the bosses. Patterns are way easy and with the Encyclopedia, for every enemy monster Juste encounters, their stats will be in it. This game is very addicting even after finishing the game (with all 3 endings) and going through the "Boss Mode" where Juste fights all the bosses in the game. Not hard at all though considering your health will be at max after each boss and you'll get hearts after each one too. Depending on if you find all of Dracula's relics will you get to fight Dracula (which can be a bitch at times to search for). Just remember to search EVERY room for hidden walls or ceilings and if a wall looks out of place, try and break it with the "Crush Stone" whip by holding down the attack button and charging up to full then releasing. Also, when accquiring the "Summon Book", you can summon different monsters to work for you depending on which subweapon is equipped. There are also collectibles throughout the castle that Juste finds and can take to his room which is about the lower-middle of the castle. Nothing special happens after he's found all the hidden collectables throughout the game but it does make his room look cool afterwards. After finding all the relics and defeating Dracula, there will also be a "Sound Mode" under "Boss Mode" at the start screen of the game so you can listen to the music throughout the game and even a "Vampire Killer" remake track. This game is lengthy and very fun but can be frustating at times especially when backtracking and getting lost and not knowing where to go next. The shopkeeper is also in the game so you can save money and buy things from him to help out on HP and MP. Money is all over the castle so it's not a problem. You may find yourself playing this game for quite awhile (around 12 hours if you plan on finding EVERYTHING in the game and maybe 6 hours just to finish without everything). Depending on how well you know where things are in the game and how to get them, you'll do fine. Dracula isn't even that hard to fight, he just takes time.
Replay Value: 9