Quite frankly right from the title screen the music captivated me, and the imagery of the castle was epic and foreboding. The first level was very atmospheric, and the graphic quality while a step below Nintendo's ultimate masterpiece, was still about as good as console 3-D games got in the late 90's before the american arrival of the Dreamcast. I was immersed in the game from the get go. It was an eerie, satisfying adventure, full of mystery and in addition it featured a decent storyline for both protagonists Reinhardt and Carrie.
Those could have been my exact words! I agree 100% with this. really enjoyed this game back then and I also replayed it a couple of years ago. Still the same excitement! Sometimes, when I'm in the mood for some retro gaming, I pull out some cool N64 games and let the vibes flow. Castlevania 64 is definitely one of those games that take me back and lift me up. Of course it has some flaws, but it is still very enjoyable and I really like the atmosphere.
Also, there's vampires crawling across walls and ceilings. Nuff said.
Gameplay > Graphics
Substance > Style
Art Direction > Realism