If you were squaring up against Count Dracula, personally i’d be wanting more than just a whip, but not the Belmont family!
Every hundred years the vampire would return with all kinds of ugly minions in tow, especially bats, little, irritating, deadly bats. The games then set about a linear or non linear adventure. The makers never did make up their minds on that subject.
It grew from the 8 bit systems onto the 16 bit, dominating both the technologies. CV3 had the best 8-bit graphics & CV4 smashed onto the SNES with mode 7 rotating rooms & all kinds of dramatic visual effects. The games were show pieces for their platforms.
One of the highlights of the Castle Vania series was always the bosses, epic bad guys from horror literature or legend. Each of the games culminated in an epic final battle against the big vampire himself.