Super Castlevania IV – SNES
Platform: Super NES
Release Date (NA): December 4th, 1991
Nerd Rating: 7.5 out of 10
When it comes to my favorite Castlevania games, I have 3, and IV is my 2. That sentence made me laugh. The title is one of the many SNES games that just stuck the word “super” in front. I’m guessing that if this was only to come out on the NES, it wouldn’t have been bandwagoned (don’t think that’s a real word) into using this ridiculous naming scheme. Ending irrelevant rant now.
So here we are, playing as Simon Belmont…yet again. To go and kill Dracula…yet again. Let me take back my sarcastic annoyed person tone. It is supposed to be a new version of the original Castlevania. Story still takes place in 1691 Transylvania, and you still have plans of killing Dracula, just like in the first one. Except they named it Super Castlevania IV and didn’t forewarn you that the plot was exactly the same as the first one. But, to be fair, this is like a completely new game with extremely enhanced controls (when compared to the 1st three), a dedicated button for your secondary weapon (no more accidental whipping mistakes!), and an overall better experience for newcomers to the series.
Now that the controls have been completely…revamped (see what I did there?), you start off the game by yourself for the first area where you can try out a set of stairs and whip around in 8 different directions for a while, before you cross the gate into monster mayhem. Being able to control the direction in which you whip is fantastic. Fan…tastic. The only flaw (which I don’t really think is a flaw, just a concern, maybe?) is that this ability to whip on these angles makes it to easy to kill guys that are on a platform above you. Not really a problem for newcomers, just makes it that much easier for the seasoned vampire genociders (man, I make up great words).
Overall, the difficulty seems to have been decreased enough for basically anybody to be able to get through this game, although, it gets progressively harder as you make your way further into it.
The creativity of the designers really surprised me, even as the series progresses. They always put such detail into their creations. While some monsters are wildly odd and don’t seem to belong in a game such as this, they ensure that they never become monotonous. They do such a brilliant job at detailing, not only the characters, but the environment, as well. In nearly every level of the game, there is some sort of fancy surroundings. The waterfalls throughout some levels, the gates that separate the back from the foreground in the first level, the ridiculous amount of treasure in stage 9, I mean, I could go on, but I think you get the point; the game is pretty.
The music is damn great in this one, like all of them. Any of the tunes that aren’t worth putting on my iPod are still eerie and fit the situation nicely. The opening sequence that plays at the title screen should prove my point. There is a creepy tone that goes on throughout the game with adventurous and upbeat melodies that play during the appropriate situations. The sound effects are some of the best out of any of the older video games before they started making stuff sound real in modern games (actual recording of sounds for the most part I think??). Whatever, it sounds cool.
When looking at the game as a whole, I can’t help but love it. I know it has its flaws, like most every game out there, but it was such a joy to play as a child, and even now as an older fart, I still have oodles of fun playing it. Super Castlevania IV is definitely one of my favorite SNES games, even though it’s a simple and short one.
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