Castelian Review

The NES gets an unfair rep for playing host to a lot of really shitty games, but for the open-minded gamer, some meager crumbs of enjoyment can usually be extracted from even the most notoriously bad game. Karate Champ, Deadly Towers, Gilligan’s Island – these games certainly aren’t going to win any awards (not positive ones, at least), but regardless of their reputations, I’ve found at least some passive enjoyment in each of them. These titles tend to always pop up in discussions of bad games, but only rarely will some foolhardy soul venture to utter the name of Castelian. This is nothing more than naked fear.

You see, Castelian is MUCH worse than any of these games, yet it possesses the addictive qualities of a good game. So you keep on playing, even though every single pixel is specifically designed and engineered to enrage, dishearten, and eventually break you. Within mere moments of hitting the power button, you’ll find yourself hating life, and hating yourself for being unable to hit that power button again.

The game has a hideous yet mesmerizing flow to it; A, You attempt to execute a simple task. B, You fail in a completely ridiculous and unfair way. C, You attempt the task again. D, You fail again, in a different, but equally absurd way. E, You attempt the task once more. F, You finally succeed and advance ever so slightly. G, Repeat steps A through F. A non-clairvoyant gamer attempting to play the game is akin to a person with a severe stuttering problem trying to battle rap.

Castelian simply wasn’t designed with enjoyment in mind. Every moment spent playing increases the unmistakable impression that your life is slipping away from you. To the best of my knowledge, the only conditions capable of replicating this chilling sensation are heroin addiction and being 14 years old.

That’s not to say that Castelian doesn’t have some positive things going for it. The graphics utilize a 3-D effect which is genuinely impressive for the NES. The little frog-type creature you control is rather cute and endearing. If you were watching a video of the world’s best Castelian player (this is hypothetical) playing the game flawlessly, you might even think it looks interesting. And it sort of is. And that’s a big part of why it’s so torturous.

There’s something to be said about a game just totally outright “sucking.” At least with a game like… oh, let’s say Bebe’s Kids – after about fifteen seconds of playing you realize that spending fifteen more seconds playing is a completely irrational concept, and your body instinctually responds by turning off either the game or your life (whichever can be done faster). Castelian’s greatest flaw is that it is just barely BARELY acceptable enough to keep you playing through some of the most unfair, punishing levels ever devised. The game’s not a twitch-fest by any means; it’s as slow as a corpse. But there are a thousand little insidious things that will just frustrate the shit out of you. Teeth will be gnashed. Dogs will be kicked. And then again. And again. And again…


~ by Krooze L-Roy on May 11, 2008.

7 Responses to “Castelian Review”

  1. I may try this because I don’t hate my life enough. Thanks Krooze. :|

  2. Ah, Castelian. This game gave me some headaches so bad at times that I would puke. I carried this feeling on throughout adulthood, giving it the name “alcoholism.”

  3. good review DUDE!

  4. Krroze. Where’s this quality writing on HealingTouch? Who am I going to have write good articles if you’re not there? :O

  5. Krooze, this game made me want to rape kittens. THATS RIGHT.

    this game makes me so mad that I want to rape kittens.


  6. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation :) Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Exurban.

  7. Thought I’d pass this along from last night.

    Born0fH3llfire: im playing Ghostbusters on the NES and its terrible D: theres like drunk drivers in it
    Bluesoul GL: could be worse
    Bluesoul GL: go rom-hunting and find castelian
    Born0fH3llfire: i have over 1000 NES roms
    Bluesoul GL: castelian
    Bluesoul GL: do it
    Born0fH3llfire: wtf
    Born0fH3llfire: this games terrible
    Born0fH3llfire: what am i supposed to do
    Bluesoul GL: climb the tower
    Born0fH3llfire: I cant even see what im doing D:
    Born0fH3llfire: its like a green frog
    Bluesoul GL: yeah
    Born0fH3llfire: wtf
    Bluesoul GL: see
    Bluesoul GL: you play this for 10 minutes
    Bluesoul GL: and ghostbusters is fucking awesome

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