KID DRACULA / Konami / Gameboy
Kid Dracula is to Castlevania sort of what Parodius was to Gradius for Konami, a cutesified self-parody that actually has similar (and pretty good) gameplay. The star is a pint-sized Dracula who looks more like Goemon trying to dress up like a vampire than anything, and the look and feel of the game is actually more reminiscent of the 2D Goemon/Mystical Ninja games than of any of the Castlevania games.
The game gets off to an adorable start with a boppy ragtimey remix of Bloody Tears playing in the background. The graphics are about as nice as you can manage on the GB, as well. Drac starts off with the ability to toss a small fireball, and to charge up in Mega Buster style to deliver a larger and more powerful shot. He also starts with the ability to change into a bat for 5 seconds at a time, and will gain more spells along the way as you complete each level.
The love affair ends around the end of the second level, however, when the difficulty gets really pissy. This is one of those "perfectionist" games typical of Japan, where you basically have to memorize a whole level and all the boss attack patterns to survive, since your movement is so slow and stiff. This, of course, means dying and replaying big stretches of the game over and over again. Some people of a masochistic sort of bent seem to love this sort of thing, but everyone else will likely get pissed off and give up on the game long before completing it. It does have pretty incredible production values for a Gameboy game, and some of the bosses are good for a laugh, but the gameplay just doesn't measure up in the long run.
* Gameplay Video