Contra + Castlevania + King of Dragons = a retro game that fans of Run ‘n Gun 2D will like. “Appearances are deceiving most of the time”, Molière
Medieval settings. A protagonist warrior. Pure and simple 2D gameplay. Pixelated graphic set between epochs 8 and 16 Bit. And a title that alludes to Dracula. What is the name of the game? No, it’s not called Castlevania. “But is he at least a clone, a (grateful) bastard like Bloodstained?” That is the first impression, that is the comparison, the direct reference that your gamer brain will try to establish. But you would also be wrong, because Wallachia: Reign of Dracula is not a Castlevania as we thought, but something else: a great mix between Contra, King of Dragons and a Shinobi dressing.
Forged in the free territories of the ‘Fan-games’, the French studio Migami Games knows what to do when it comes to classic 2D games. Their are the wonderful The Lecarde Chronicles 1 and 2, one of the best unofficial Castlevania ‘bastards’ that can be found on the Internet. Therefore, when they thought of launching their own game, they did not move away from what they know: 2D gameplay, platforms, Final Bosses, pixelated scenes, etc. The result is Wallachia, a title that looks like a classic Castlevania and plays like a Contra.
And it is that, as a ruse in the plot, Reign of Dracula resorts precisely to the greatest icon of the horror genre, but not to the character created by Bram Stoker, but to the real historical figure who inspired him – and who is more terrifying for that very reason . Wallachia tells us about a family revenge plot of a warrior who returns home to Central Europe in the 15th century, to settle accounts with who burned her house, kidnapped her brother and killed her parents.
The story, given the shortness of the game, is hardly developed, and represents the weakest although it has interesting and dramatic moments given the fact that there are dialogues in the middle of the levels – confrontations with bosses. But Wallachia shows its retro side in this detail, giving much more importance to the gameplay. Of course, there are a series of cutscenes in animated comic format that are not bad – we will talk about the voices in the sound section, but there are a couple of surprises.
In itself, the game has 7 levels that can be passed in 5 minutes or less with the sack – the game challenges you to do them at timestamps like 4:14 min. Of course … it does not mean that in 35 minutes you will have ventilated Wallachia, because you will need a minimum of 1 – 3 hours depending on the level of difficulty in the first round. And then you can do it in for example 41 minutes skipping dialogues.