Akumajou Densetsu

Akumajou Densetsu

released on Dec 22, 1989
by Konami

Akumajou Densetsu

released on Dec 22, 1989
by Konami

Akumajou Densetsu is the Japanese version of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. This version has many differences in gameplay and level layout, making the overall experience easier than its western counterpart.


Also in series

Super Castlevania IV
Super Castlevania IV
Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge
Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge
Kid Dracula
Kid Dracula
Castlevania: The Adventure
Castlevania: The Adventure
Haunted Castle
Haunted Castle

Released on

Genres


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Reviews View More

I still don't know what they were cooking with the western version changes like "yeah dude let's add randomly spawning enemies to precise platforming sections and increase the amount of damage you take and gimp character abilities and overall just make it play worse". This is the definitive version, no ifs or buts - it just sounds and plays better.

Difícil pra caralho. Recomendo a todos!!!!

When I first played this version, I was so burnt out by the American one that I just used save-states, so I couldn’t notice any of the difficulty changes. On replay, I beat this game legit and GODDAMN is it better.

The American Castlevania 3 was so hard that it became a slog to play, while this game is a lot more fair. It’s still the hardest of the trilogy, but it’s never really hard (except stage 9). It’s an absolute delight to go through. The final boss is a bit too easy though.

Man, I hate localisation changes.

It's been a few years since I've last played this game.
I would play it again for this review, but... considering how difficult this game can get... yeah, I'm working with my memory for this one, folks.

So, when I played Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse back in 2019, via the Castlevania Anniversary Collection, I specifically remember playing the Japanese version, because it's easier.
There's no bullshit enemy damage outputs in later stages, Grant has a better default weapon and while the HELP ME code doesn't work anymore, the checkpoints in the final stages compensate for it.

In spite of that, Castlevania III (or Akumajou Densetsu, as it's known in Japan) is still a really hard game. So hard that I remember just not having much fun by the end of it, even with the difficulty being easier in the Japanese version.

There are a good amount of things I do like about this game though.
One of which is that you get multiple playable characters that you recruit as you go along. While it's unfortunate that I can only select one partner at a time, all three rock in their own ways.

Grant (in the Japanese version, at least) has a throwing dagger as his default weapon, and that's awesome for taking down threats at a distance! He also can cling onto walls, even upside down! And he has fluid mid-air control, unlike Trevor. I don't understand why they'd limit that to just him, but I digress.

I only played as Grant in my playthrough, but from what I've seen, Sypha and Alucard looked to be fun in their own right, especially since Sypha has a lot of magic at her disposal and Alucard can temporarily fly in his bat form.

There's multiple pathways you can choose after you beat a stage, as you can go to either one stage or another, giving the game more replay value.
And the stages are just very varied in general, with great background and an awesome soundtrack, especially in the Japanese Version, with the VRC6 sound chip that it had, adding more instruments to the mix!

But even with all of that stuff going for it, Castlevania III just became too hard by the end, and in a way that Castlevania I, I don't think ever reached.

Approach with caution.

So I instead decided to play the Japanese version of Castlevania 3 instead of the original for this marathon and yeah man this ost is fucking baller. Definitely recommend playing this version for that alone, but it also just balances the difficulty to that it's not as frustrating as the North American release. The partner system is the main gimmick of this game and it's great, I love the characters we have (except Alucard) on display here, Grant is a great projectile based fighter, and Sypha nukes enemies with magic, and Alucard is... well he doesn't do much until Symphony of the Night. Just give him a few years to get his beauty sleep and he'll be peak.