How Metroidvania is it? Not a Metroidvania. It's a Classic-vania from before the Symphony of the Night team changed the direction of the series.
Primary Challenge: Melee Combat
Time to beat: ~3 hours
Review Info: This review is part of a broader review of the Castlevania Anniversary Collection on Steam. See the link at the beginning of the review for the main thread.
Buy Kid Dracula if you like…
- Humorous Japanese Satire
- Mega Man Style games
- Quirky 90s Japanese Humor
- Playing as the Villain
▼ Review continues below ▼
What a weird game to end this collection on. My only assumption about the game’s plot is that Dracula met Mega Man, killed him, used the power of dominance, and then things went completely awry. (I told my wife I was going to make this joke and she said “Don’t you mean things went “WRRYYYYY”??”) In actuality you’re playing as Dracula’s (other?) son, and he doesn’t take kindly to Gamoroth putting on a cutsey face after being defeated by Alucard with a cheesy Shield Rod combo and then claiming he’s the best evil king of all. So Kid Dracula sets out to firmly establish that he’s the true king of evil. This obvious spin-off game revels in the ridiculousness of its setup, but doesn’t necessarily make a really awesome game out of it.
Kid Dracula is equipped with a fireball spell right from the beginning, which fires horizontal shots and can be charged up for an even bigger shot – hence the Mega Man reference. You even get new powers after each boss that you get to use in the subsequent levels. You’re only occasionally required to use these power-ups however, and since all applications are directly in the linear path it doesn’t really seem clever when you do use them. Continuing with the comparisons to Mega Man, in that series if you got the ability to fly you USUALLY had a buster-only way to get through the challenge as well with the new weapon being something of a cheat rather than just a key to the door. I think if Kid Dracula were more like Mega Man, complete with an 8 level select screen, there could have been a lot more interesting level design. As is it just feels like something that was slapped together because the programmers thought it would be funny – like an online parody flash game. It’s not bad, there’s just so much better out there.
Some of the weirdness is pretty funny though, if absurdity is something you’re prone to laugh at. When you kill enemies with charge shots you get coins which you can use in mini games after each level to get lives (which, as a side note, do this as much as you can because the later levels will kill you to pieces.) All of these mini games are some form of gambling game, but perhaps the strangest of all is the Can-Can game where, as you might have guessed, involves three women dancing the Can-Can, and what do you do have to do to earn your extra lives? You gotta guess what color of Underwear they’re going to tease you with next of course! This was a Japanese kids game?
There are a few other quirky things here and there that I won’t spoil for you, but I think that part of the humor is based on Japanese culture that anyone who hasn’t dabbled in Anime or actually studied Japanese anthropology might not pick up on. In fact there’s one part of the game where you have to know a Japanese word to succeed (admittedly it’s a pretty common one.) If you do have an interest in Japanese pop culture though (aka, if you understood my wife’s Jojoke at the beginning of this mini-review) you may still enjoy this game for what it is.
So while the gameplay itself is very much surpassed by other games of the era, there’s still a little amusement to be had with Kid Dracula. Considering it’s never been localized before, it’s nice to see it included here just as a history piece if nothing else (I know I’ve used “history” to justify the games on this list a lot in these reviews – but that’s also part of what these collections are about.) Kid Dracula is a fun little self-jab made by some probably really bored Konami employees.
Want a second opinion? See what other reviews say:
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All Time: Very Positive
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