Super Castlevania IV (Super Nintendo) Review

By Adam Riley 13.03.2007 7

Review for Super Castlevania IV on Super Nintendo

The Castlevania series may have reached new heights after the release of the PSone's Symphony of the Night, but many still class the fourth game, which appeared on the SNES, to be the pinnacle of the series thanks to Konami basically taking the original NES outing and completely revamping it for the powerful 16-bit hardware. But now it has been re-released on the Virtual Console, how well has it stood the test of time and does it deserve 800 of your Wii Points? Time to take a look...

The setting of the game is none other than the old tale of good versus evil, with protagonist Simon Belmont readying his trusty whip to head off on a journey to despatch the villainous Dracula. And that is about it; ‘simply’ work your way through the hordes of minions along the way and break into Dracula’s castle to meet him in a tête-à-tête. Hurray for short, concise and easy-to-follow stories…

You may be surprised to know that for an early 16-bit game, Super Castlevania IV looks very impressive indeed, with detailed characters and enemies, full of rich colours and smooth animation. And the levels you work your way through are equally easy on the eye, showing that Konami really did pour its heart into making this one of the more attractive first generation SNES games. And the same goes for the soundtrack, with all the usual favourites from today still present and correct, along with many haunting tunes that sadly seem to have been left in the past. Everything on the presentation side really smacks of high quality and there are definitely no complaints!

Screenshot for Super Castlevania IV on Super Nintendo

As for the way it actually plays, the game is more of a linear platform romp than the Metroid-esque adventure game you may be used to from recent outings on the GBA and Nintendo DS. But that is not to say things are for the worse in this old edition – far from it. The majority of the elements from the Castlevania world are still featured, with the exception of the adventure taking place on a large-scale map. Instead the game plays out across various stages with a timer counting down and a final boss at the end of each level.

For those thinking this may lead to a decreased challenge overall, that is certainly not the case as if anything things are rather more difficult thanks to the game being a lot less forgiving (purposely and for good reason) than in new editions. Not only do enemies have a habit of randomly popping up out of nowhere (like water-spurting beasts from underwater or Medusa heads that come flying at you from off-screen), but if you drop down from a platform you die, simple as that. The screen does the old trick of following your character and then freezing, meaning there is no possibility for back-tracking. Head back off the screen and you lose a life and when that happens you are transported all the way back to the beginning of the level (each one is split into different sub-stages and wherever you die the game takes you all the way back…harsh, but it hones your skills!).

Screenshot for Super Castlevania IV on Super Nintendo

Your character (none other than Simon Belmont himself) comes equipped with the standard whip that can be lashed out forwards, backwards, upwards and even diagonally and holding the attack button results in it falling limp, ready to be spun around by rotating the D-pad with your thumb to reach awkwardly placed enemies. But in addition to this, there are various sub-weapons (holy water bottles, spinning crosses, daggers and so on and so forth...) that can be used against the evil in your path. However, you need to be careful as these particular weapons can only be used in short supply, being restocked by slashing at candles strewn throughout levels and collecting the hearts that are dropped (either that or new weapons are actually dropped).

Screenshot for Super Castlevania IV on Super Nintendo

And going back to the whip for a moment, it can be used to navigate your way round the cleverly structured levels (that include 3D rotating sections later on as well!). For example, there are instances where you simply cannot make the required jump from platform to the next. However, look around and you will likely see a hook that your whip can latch onto in order to swing Belmont across the void to safety. Aspects such as this help to make the adventure rip-roaringly fun and ensure the game retains its classic status well over a decade after its original release.

Screenshot for Super Castlevania IV on Super Nintendo

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Super Castlevania IV manages to hold its head high and although not quite at the same level as the DS and GBA games, it proves how solid the core gameplay was even back then. Keen for a thrilling platform adventure and willing to cope with the tough challenge? Then get this one downloaded for your Wii...

Developer

Konami

Publisher

Konami

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Nice.

yeah definatly scores which judge the game correctly. :Smilie
It's one of the two VC games which I can sit down and play any time.
Super Probotector is the other Smilie

awsome review!

I see all these people insulting the Nintendo corporation because of the lack of mature content. Yet there is something about Nintendo (at least their games) that strikes a certain unadulterated feeling of joy!!!  Pokemon Y - 1048-9263-5562

Nice review ^_^. Might pick it up, never experianced the CV series even after such hype.

Wo33eR ::: Wo33eR.CoM Website :: Cubed-3 :: [ General Writer :: Reveiwer ]

34,723/1,119,437 - World :: 6,399/137,860 - UK

One of the best games on SNES. Rare to find one better. Never new u could get it on DS or GB. Wish i'd got it. :Smilie

You can't - this is the only place you can get it, other than the original SNES game. There were three GBA titles: Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance and Aria of Sorrow. More recently there have been two DS games: Dawn of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin (the latter of which sadly never made the UK chart this week :roll:Smilie.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

This is one of the best in the series and its gameplay is really awsome as well. This should be a must for CV fans and if anyone has Wireless internet then they should buy this game from the shop channel. This should always get a good review no matter who has played it. Great game and must buy for the SNES.



SuperYoshi6 PSN name
3DS friend code 2878-9581-8999

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