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Retro Monday – Super Castlevania IV

Super Castlevania IV is the fourth entry in the mainline Castlevania series, though it’s a pseudo-remake of the original Castlevania. It was released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991 in Japan and the US, but around a full year later in Europe. Super Castlevania IV was made and published by Konami.

SCIV is an action platformer, and follows in the style of previous Castlevania games, though more like 1 than 2 and 3, as 3 has branching paths and 2 is more metroid-esque. The game sees you in the role of Simon Belmont, the protagonist from Castlevania’s 1 and 2 trying to take down the dark lord Dracula in his castle. The thing with the older Castlevania games, unlike the newer more Metroid style games, is you aren’t in the castle for the whole game, you go from level to level making your way to it, which adds a lot more variety to it in its locations that aren’t really in the later games. The best addition to the game though is the 8-way directional whip, it makes it much better being able to aim your whip in these directions instead of trying to jump and get the perfect hit on an enemy. It’s simply easier, more user-friendly, and also makes for a more fun experience. The actual gameplay itself is generally fun, though it can be tough especially when having to start so far back in the level when you lose all your lives it is somewhat of a massive frustration, the knockback you get when getting hit by enemies is also a right pain, but when you do finish a level and then beat the boss, you feel like you’ve really earned the win.

Visually the game looks great, I like the sprite works and the enemies look really rather interesting, some are a bit generic, but they all fit into the game well and suits its feel and theme. The music is also great and sets the atmosphere for each level well, there’s also variety in the music. I also like that while there is original music in the game, so great tracks, like Vampire Killer and Bloody Tears make an appearance in the game.

Overall I’d say this is one of the best traditional CCastlevaniagames, I find it hard to decide between this and Rondo of Blood, but this does have the benefit of the 8-way whip. Either way, you must play this game if you’re a fan of games, that’s right games in general. It holds up well to this day and should at least be played by anyone with a passing interest in retro games.

Verdict: Highly Recommended.

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