BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA
Abraham Lincoln may very well have been a vampire hunter but it’s unlikely he’d be a match for Dracula. Especially not Bram Stoker’s Dracula, you don’t want to get on Gary Oldman’s bad side: crazy things happen.
Yes today we’re looking at a vampiric entry: Bram Stoker’s Dracula on the Sega Master System, a console I knew all too well growing up. Francis Ford Coppola’s film too “scary” for me to really watch all the way through, this game was my only shot at getting a taste of Bram Stoker’s vision… except for the book, which I would have read as a kid if it had been made of candy or had controllers attached to it.
The game was a side-scroller, one in which you’d be going around Transylvanian forests, Dracula’s castle etc. punching Super Mario Bros.-style question marked blocks and fighting off a weird range of monsters and animals you just couldn’t remember from the movie.
The game sure had its share of stock Halloween villains: bats, skeletons, spiders, zombies, werewolves… you name it.
Joking aside, this was a good game. Really fun to play through. The controls were smooth, the graphics were very decent, the stages weren’t exactly impossible (selecting a higher difficulty would unlock more of the game) but getting through them, regardless of how easy or hard they got, was never dull. The music I think was going for suspenseful but instead came off as distracting more than anything so that wasn’t so great. Also, this game was about as scary as a baby bat wearing glasses and smiling.
I mean, look at that skeleton above, isn’t he adorable? And look at this strangely plump Dracula bride here:
Doesn’t she just resonate with terror?
And how about naked Alan Rickman from Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves?
Please tell us if this review gets too unsettling.
So yeah, Bram Stoker’s Dracula on the Sega Master System: good game but disappointingly cute.
Now lets talk about the Genesis version because there were a few different takes on the game in different consoles and some of them were also quite decent. And this was one of them.
I really like the Genesis version, it feels much more epic. I don’t know if it’s the intense music or the fact that bosses are all 12 feet tall but going through this game is a heart-stopping race of survival: Jonathan Harker doesn’t f*** around.
Not in the games anyway…
The Genesis version boasts great graphics, great music, great villains, it’s really easy to maneuver and playing through the game is a pleasure. A LOT of fun. Which is why I wish it had been longer and more challenging. You only get a few stages and it’s all a bit rushed, you can finish this game in like half an hour. I mean, look at these bosses:
A dragon! A freakin’ dragon!
HOLY SHHHHHH… !!!
Yeah they’re all ridiculously easy to beat. Vlad The Impaler? This red, intimidating giant who could crush you with his pee? Just stand there and hit him. He won’t bother you.
He’s just having a jog!
Maybe that’s why the Sega CD version is near unplayable, maybe this was Sega’s way of giving us the challenging Dracula game we always wanted! Thanks for that. I’ll punch a bat to celebrate.
And don’t think Nintendo did any better. Sure the SNES version of the game had moodier music and smoother graphics but essentially it was exactly the same as the Genesis one minus most of the charm. And don’t get me started on the glitch-fest that is the Game Boy version with it’s ungodly mess of a score…
Definitely one to play on mute. Or not at all.
And yes, there is an NES version also which basically presents about the same thing as the Master System but worse and with that stupidly unpleasant music again. The best way to enjoy this one is by pretending you’re playing a Street Fighter II/Dracula crossover: