Behold the eye-straining terror of Castlevania: Circle of the Moon

You're gonna need something brighter than moonlight for this one.

My pledge to you: I will churn out some sort of Castlevania-related video project every year for Halloween. This is a cliché, yes, and I doubt much of anyone is waiting on the edge of their seat to see me stick to this arbitrary self-imposed schedule. But by cracky, I want an excuse to talk about Castlevania, and we're just about out of ways to justify it on the podcast.

So, I will jump through no end of ridiculous hoops to make it happen. Including kicking off a long-running series on the Game Boy Advance, just so I could tackle GBA launch title Castlevania: Circle of the Moon in time for Halloween.

This is a challenging Castlevania for me, because I almost love it but constantly bump up against elements that suck the fun out of the game. It's extremely grind-oriented and highly reliant on random drops and luck, with critical design factors that are not explained or signposted anywhere within the game. On the other hand, it has great visual design, lovely music, and a really great (if random) skill augment system. But then again, the Dracula battle might be the worst in the series (as I lamented on this week's podcast). I dunno. It's what weary game reviewers who have run out of original things to say would call "a mixed bag."

Set aside 23 minutes of your life to watch this video and see if you agree with my take. 

And please look forward to whatever contrivance I come up with to get another Castlevania video posted a year from now.