Sure, Flash might have been a bug-ridden bit of software that was packed with security holes, but there was a period where it was a great platform for games. Many of the $5-$15 indie dingleberries that end up on Steam would have been free titles available on sites like Kongregate and Nitrome; turns out that “$0 but you have to look at ads or link your Facebook account” tended to be a superior price for this kind of experience.
With the advent of Unity as the go-to engine of choice and the opening of Steam’s walled garden to anyone who wanted to publish anything, those days rapidly ended, and now you’re paying $10 for the three Citadale games collected in the Citadale: The Legends Trilogy on Steam.
If you’ve played the classic Castlevania games on the NES you’ve got a pretty good idea of what you’re in for here. You’ll control a monster hunter, a different one depending on the game you’re playing, as they head from left to right and beat up whatever forces of the night show up. Sometimes, instead, they’ll head from right to left, which is a nice change of pace. Monster-smashing involves beating up foes with a basic sword or a set of subweapons, most of which are kind of terrible thinks to awkward firing arcs and your character’s tendency to launch themselves fifty feet in the air every time you jump. These people have mad hops.
It’s a pretty basic concept that’s done…well, questionably here. In particular, Citadale really, really wants you to clear out areas of baddies before you move on. it’s entirely possible to trap yourself in such a way that you can’t proceed with the game if you go the traditional Castlevania route of only fighting what you have to. That’s not a good sign, and indeed the rest of the Citadale games were less than impressive; they’re particularly harmed by the aforementioned tendency of our heroes to jump like they’re on the moon. They appropriate so much of the classic Castlevania games that they end up coming off as questionable store brand games attempting to ape those series.
That includes the presentation, which is in the typical indie 8-bit style, and the music, which are typical chiptunes. It’s not a hideous game, but smaller would certainly be better in this case. You’d want the game to be in a tiny window on, say, some website somewhere instead of gobbling up any significant screen real estate, as that allows you to see how iffy the sprite work and backgrounds are.
I could see myself putting a few hours into games like Citadale: The Legends Trilogy if they were free and available over a web browser. $10 on Steam is a bit dear, meanwhile, and it’s difficult to recommend. If you’d like a classic Castlevania-style game on PC, you might be better served with something like 2015’s excellent Odallus: The Dark Call or the recently-revamped Slain: Back From Hell.