Super Castlevania IV
Castlevania was a huge hit on the original NES and was one of Konami’s biggest game series. The Game Boy, home computers and even the Sega Mega Drive would get their own Castlevania games in the early 90’s. Super Castlevania IV was seen by many as the best in the “original” style of Castlevania games.
Super Castlevania game along with Castlevania Dracula X would be the only two Castlevania games to appear on the Super Nintendo. These days Konami has had good success with the Castlevania series thanks to their handheld games and the reimagining of the Castlevania series, Lords Of Shadow.
This was one of the early games that really did show what the Super Nintendo could do. I actually think that it is more than fair to say that, Konami were one of the very best at making incredible looking games on both the NES and Super Nintendo. The leap here from Castlevania III on the NES is just staggering. Each level has its own style and design and most of the game takes place outside of the castle which was really cool as it meant that the level design was much more varied than in any other Castlevania game. Each level also has a ton of little background details going on which just adds to the amazing, high production value quality of the game.
Super Castlevania IV features some pretty cool rotating and Mode 7 effects during certain stages in the game. Simon Belmont and the monsters whose asses he kicks are all animated incredibly well and there is no jerkiness or any kind of problems with the visuals at all. Some stages do have a little slow down here and there, but it never spoils the game. As amazing as Super Castlevania IV looks it sounds even better. The soundtrack in this game is just phenomenal! It has some original tracks as well as some new takes on classic Castlevania tunes.
Great graphics and amazing sound are complimented by what I consider to be the best game play in the entire Castlevania series. Super Castlevania IV would be instantly familiar to players who played the earlier games in the series. It is kind of a remake or reimagining if you will of the first Castlevania game. Controlling Simon Belmont, you progress through a level killing any monster that is dumb enough to get in your way. You can upgrade your whip to make it stronger and pick up plenty of sub weapons which are granted ammo by collecting hearts. The biggest game play change that Super Castlevania had (which for some reason was not in Dracula X!) was that now, Simon could whip in any direction you wanted! You no longer just had to whip straight in front of you. Such a small game play change made the biggest difference you could imagine!
There are plenty of levels to play through with the majority of them having some kind of awesome boss trying to stand in your way. Super Castlevania IV, I feel has the fairest challenge of all the Castlevania games. There are still a few cheap deaths (but not many) and when you get hit you can fall off a platform and die, but for the most part when you die in Super Castlevania IV it is because you screwed up! Game play is perhaps the best thing going for this game and when you consider just how good it looks and sounds is quite the compliment.
Super Castlevania IV is one of the best games on the Super Nintendo and I would go as far to say that this is the best Castlevania game ever made! Games like Symphony Of The Night took the series in a new direction which was cool, but I prefer these old school more straight forward type Castlevania games. This is a game that I cannot recommend highly enough and is something that should be in your game room!