Is the New Netflix ‘Castlevania’ Show the Amazing Video Game Adaptation We’ve All Been Waiting For?

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: Netflix)

Thus far, there’s one big gripe that audiences have with the new Netflix Castlevania animated series.

One big complaint that fans are shouting from on high; the biggest problem that the show needs to overcome in order to be truly spectacular.

It’s too short. There’s not enough of it.

Just four episodes is not enough when the show is this good. Only a couple of hours after starting the series, fans have found themselves desperately awaiting more.

But aside from this, and the fact that the show’s level of gore and blood has surprised some people (presumably those who grew up during the best era of Castlevania games, when simulating blood just wasn’t possible on a tiny 8-bit screen), the response to the show on Twitter at least is pretty positive.

So, in essence, this show is pretty good.

Pretty darn good.

The question, though, is whether it’s good enough – will the show manage to break the stigma of video game adaptations that surrounds pretty much everything from Super Mario Bros to Assassin’s Creed or World of Warcraft?

Castlevania has one really useful arrow in its quiver, though – its’ an animation. For the most part, cartoons based on comics tend to be better received than live action adaptations. Something about animation seems to lend itself to converting game stories in a way that real, human actors have never quite managed to achieve.

In fact, this might be part of the appeal of the Castlevania series to begin with – instead of being a cheesy show with ropey special effects and bad wigs, the cartoon series plays on nostalgia that many gamers have grown up with.

We all had our special show as kids, whether it was Pokémon, or Earthworm Jim, or Sonic the Hedgehog (the Saturday morning cartoon with Sally Acorn still has avid fans to this day), or heck, even Street Fighter!

At a time when video games were an emerging art form aimed at a very young demographic, kids were often presented with cartoon versions of their favorite heroes, albeit in shows with varying quality.

Castlevania, much like a lot of Netflix’s original offerings, taps into that nostalgia, while assuming that the kids who watched the adventures of Captain N as a kid are now perfectly happy with a show that references the brutal, gory destruction of testicles (yes, that’s an actual reference in the new show).

This new show is pretty darn good, and while it’s not going to fix the problem with big budget Hollywood adaptations of video games, it does show that these stories can work in other media, as long as they come with a healthy dose of nostalgia for previous gaming tie-ins.

Now maybe, if we’re lucky, Netflix will commission a few more episodes of this show. Thus far the TV series is simulating the experience of a young 80s kid with a short attention span, who gives up on a game after two hours and doesn’t touch it again.

That’s not what anybody wants!

Share on Twitter