No.29 - Castlevania ~ A Spectral Interlude (ZX Spectrum 128k) :
For all the conversions, both good and bad, that the ZX Spectrum received, it never got its own Castlevania....so the guys over at Rewind decided to remedy this and got to work on a homebrew conversion of Castlevania 2!
Once they got started on that though, they decided to just give the Speccy its very own game in the series, and also give a reason for why the Belmonts disappeared for so many years!
Although it tries to stick to the canon of the other games, Spectral Interlude isn't official and doesn't take itself very seriously at all where the script is concerned...the rest of the game though, is a brilliant take on the series staples, and with 150 screens to play through, a very sizable one too!
There's 10 different enemy types, some unique bosses and 12 groovy tunes, some of which will be instantly familiar if you've played the other Castlevania games! They really have done amazing work all round with the presentation!
The gameplay itself is also pretty much how you'd expect it to be from a Metroidvania-style game, with hidden secrets, a fair bit of backtracking and exploration and upgrades to help you on your way. I found it a bit tricky at first, as you only get one life...but there are checkpoints to be found where you'll restart once you snuff it!
It's probably a whole lot better than it would have been if Konami themselves had released a conversion back-in-the-day, and if you're a fan of the series you really have to play this even if the Spectrum isn't usually a machine you'd go near! You will need to find a 128k Speccy or emulator though, as due to the size of the game it won't run on a 48k machine!
But yes, a very commendable and highly recommended release indeed, that means that the Speccy can stand with it's head held high among the other computers and consoles, as it too now has it's very own chapter in Castlevania's massive storybook! Go download it immediately from http://spectralinterlude.com/ where you can also listen to the awesome soundtrack on Soundcloud and find social media links and more info about the game in general!