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Super Castlevania IV

悪魔城ドラキュラ

Developer / Publisher: Konami
31 October 1991
Super Castlevania IV [悪魔城ドラキュラ] - cover art
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699 Ratings / 5 Reviews
#573 All-time
#3 for 1991
Simon Belmont returns, but this time with more action and various themed levels you have to face on your journey to destroy the demon lord, count dracula himself
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My excitement to try the first 16 bit Castlevania game was extremely high and I was not disappointed. I can't believe that a game like this was even made back then. It's beyond incredible in what it tries to achieve and I just can't get over how great it is compared to the other games in the series. What's kinda weird about it though is the the fact that it removes a lot of additions made in the past yet improves on all the fundamentals in an extraordinary way.

The controls in this game are insanely good and I think that it's the first game where I can do anything I want to do without some weird restrictions. The whip is no longer fixed in one direction, it can go everywhere: up down diagonally and you can even hold the attack button down and fling it around with some physics based movement which is seriously impressive for a SNES game. I never felt restrained in any way during combat. Gone are the days of attacks that come in weird angles cause there are no weird angles anymore. If something hits you it's your fault.

The same goes for jumping. You can finally direct your jumps mid air. YOU FEEL IN CONTROL. It gives the whole game this smooth fluid flow state which only gets dropped in very rare occasions. It's the first time where Simono feels powerful. I guess we're playing Simon... I have no Idea tbh as you can name your Character in the beginning, or maybe the name is just for saving purposes which you can finally do now. But I think no one ever did that as the game is doable in a few hours.

We're back to a linear structure and I think there are no split paths. At least the game doesn't let you make an obvious choice where to go like in the 3rd game. All stages are filled with wonderful little ideas that constantly make you say "Wow how did they do that?". In the first stage you can walk around in the back of the level, and then you end up in this stall with chopped off horse heads chasing you and a creepy horse-riding skeleton as the boss. His horse is a skeleton to. Like bro... didn't think I'd see that lol. Later on the game decides to flip an entire level on the side and then you jump on flying platforms through this clock tower and you're losing your orientation and you're wondering to yourself wtf am I even doing here... it's great I can't describe it haha.

The developers learned about the mode 7 chip and used it everywhere: scaling sprites a billion colours 3D objects everywhere, parallax scrolling that is out of control it's nuts. Half of the time it seems like you're playing a hardware demo for the SNES. You hit an enemy and it explodes into a billion sprites flying towards the screen. All of this fluff kinda distracts you from the fact that Castlevania 4 even though the controls are so impressive and the specs are pushed to their limits, doesn't really change things up throughout the game.

The atmosphere is incredible and the visuals are striking but the gameplay is kinda dull after a while. You're so overly powerful that nothing really feels like a challenge. All of the bosses even though they are visual spectacles go down by just spamming your whip at them. There's a boss gauntlet right before dracula yet I never felt like any of they bosses were a big threat. Dracula is probably the best boss in the game but even he goes down rather quickly and there's no 2nd phase this time around.

I'm surprised by myself tbh. The last few games were criticized by me because they were too hard, this game is a bit too easy. The fact that I never used any of the subweapons because your whip does all of it ten times better is another fact that this game is just too easy. There's a little conflict in the design that really hinders this game from being great-great. I adore the new perfected controls and insane presentation, heck the music is killer as well. When that Castlevania 2 song comes on in the gear level I freaked the fuck out. Shit slaps yo. But something is off here. None of it seems to be designed in a way that poses a threat for the players moveset and it really makes me appreciate the first game even more.

I'd probably end up playing this game more though over any other game in the series as it's just a braindead fun activity that constantly bombards you with eye and ear candy. But does that make it a good game? Probably... Is it a very deep game. Not on the surface.
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JoahannisBaerStrysl 2023-10-30T20:25:27Z
2023-10-30T20:25:27Z
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In my review of Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, I compared the timely experimentation pertaining to the franchises formula to Nintendo franchises that were doing the same thing. Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Castlevania all had very similar evolutions around the same time. The first game of each franchise cemented their grand status in the 8-bit world, the second entry was a radical departure from what solidified the first game’s future legacy, and the third entry (for Super Mario and Castlevania at least) was a last minute apologetic swansong on the NES that expanded on what made the first games mainstays in the 8-bit gaming landscape. Once the NES era that these franchises helped had come to a close around the turn of the decade, the upcoming SNES era and its point of progress promised that everyone’s favorite Nintendo franchises would be treated to new age progress with 16-bit hardware. Nintendo gave us Super Mario World and A Link to the Past, two early games for the SNES console that took the evolved foundation of the exemplary titles on the NES and used the formula from those games to make something superior to the previous titles and practically overshadow the impact of the previous titles as a result. Gamers were spoiled by the advent of graphical and mechanical progress that the 16-bit expanded upon the previous generation, leaving the initial impact of the previous titles on the NES in the then recent past. Of course, Super Mario World and A Link to the Past, while admittedly offering much more than Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, are discernable enough where they can be separated on their individual merits. Super Castlevania IV, Konami’s next generation entry to the franchise on the SNES, is not just an expansion to the series on an advanced piece of hardware. Despite the number four in the title, Super Castlevania IV is not a rejuvenated sequel to the NES games, but a totally revamped remake of the first Castlevania game. With the inherent advantages the SNES brought with Konami’s initiative to make a hard reboot, it would render the previous Castlevania titles as obsolete. Considering how I feel none of the NES Castlevania games hit the precise point I wanted for the series, maybe something like a next generation is needed to realize the potential of Castlevania.

As stated before, Super Castlevania IV takes many aspects of the series back to basics, so progression and mechanics are slightly more reminiscent of the first game. This means none of the frills introduced in the third game like branching paths and extra characters are available, and we’ll all be damned before the developers even consider adding any elements from Simon’s Quest. For being a next generation title, Super Castlevania returns to the roots of the series introduced by the first game. Simon Belmont returns as the prime vampire hunter ready to drive a stake through Dracula’s heart and (literally) whip all of his demonic minions into submission. Before Simon can duel the vampiric lord, he must trek all the way up to the base of his domain, a multifaceted climb with hundreds of stories to scale in the process of getting even the slightest bit close to Dracula’s peak. Super Castlevania IV is the same ol’ song and dance we’ve come to know from the series, but the age old story of man’s quest to conquer the beast is not the selling point of Super Castlevania IV.

The opening of the first Castlevania on the NES was arguably the most impressive feat of video game cinematics we had seen up to 1986 when it was released. Five years later, Super Castlevania IV graces gaming with the new cutting edge of gaming cinematics. A lone tombstone on a hazy night is struck by a bolt of lightning as Dracula in his bat form emerges from the remains. The looming fog starts to grow thicker as scrolling text gives the player a large hint of exposition about Dracula’s reign of terror and the Belmont family’s history of vanquishing him like the opening credits of a Star Wars movie. The towering presence of Dracula’s 8-bit estate as the opening scene of the first game may have inspired pangs of dread and intimidation in the player, but the opening scene here, with its refined sound and graphical capabilities, portrays something truly ominous. The player certainly gets the impression that Dracula’s return to power spells doom and despair for all of those in his vicinity.

The visuals during gameplay prove to be just as impressive. The enhanced 16-bit graphics do Castlevania and the sublime, gothic realm heavily associated with the series a world of favors. New lighting capabilities uphold the spooky atmosphere displayed in the opening cutscenes as opposed to the dark blue colors meant to merely simulate night time in the NES titles. The graphics can finally convey the intended effect of Castlevania’s aura without repressing the discernibility of the backgrounds. Pixelated textures of the background are refined to a glorious extent, even seen in the long morrows of dusk when the game is set. There is not a single cracked blemish in either the castle’s interior or exterior structure, both indicative of the building’s stark foundation and the SNES’s graphical superiority. Outside sections also detail green vegetation such as trees and vines, rock formations with some peculiar shapes, and the movement of shadowy clouds rolling along the sky. Foreground graphics are now crystal clear as the platforms and staircases no longer blend in with the structures and confuse the player. The color contrasts may not be as striking as they were with 8-bit graphics, but the overall palette has a wider range and the more depleted look of the colors is better fitting for the game’s intended atmosphere. The graphical enhancements of Super Castlevania IV aren’t only beautiful, but they are the first instance of a Castlevania’s game’s graphics being practical.

Graphical enrichment is a notable point of advancement, but gameplay is the far more important aspect. Throughout the NES era, the Castlevania series had been synonymous with rigid, stiff controls brought upon by the restrictions of the NES. However, the restraint proved to be somewhat of a positive to some because it provides a stark challenge to an already punishingly hard game. I am however not one of these people, and the improvements that Super Castlevania IV makes with Simon’s controls are like laying on a fluffy new mattress after sleeping on a hard, dirty one for years. Simon Belmont moves as fluid as a hydroelectric plant in Super Castlevania IV, and controlling him even for the first few minutes of the game is a substantial relief. Simon Belmont is as buoyant as a plate of gelatin, moving with such vigor and gaiety like he just finished his final physical therapy session he’s been taking for the past five years. Jumping with Simon is now responsive and the player can adjust the direction of the aerial movement in mid-air. Moving while crouching is also a new possibility as Simon shimmies on his knees ducking down past tight obstacles or keeping up with the trajectories of the Ax Knights. Simon can even walk backwards up staircases, a seemingly unfathomable feat considering how tense his movement was during the staircase sections in the previous games. The control in Super Castlevania IV is tight and refreshing, and a vampire hunter of Simon’s calibur needs to feel spry and capable considering what he’s up against.

By proxy, Simon’s signature whip has also been refined. The whip has always been at least competent, but winding back the whip and thrusting it in only one direction felt a tad debilitating for a game with so many enemies bombarding the screen at once in so many directions. Simon always had a plethora of items to assist him, but he could only use one of them at a time that may not have been useful for a certain situation. For the first time in the series, the whip can be swung in more than one direction. Simon can swing his whip horizontally like always, but also vertically upward, angled upward, and angled downward. The player can also execute a new trick with the whip by holding down the whip button which will grant them the ability to flail the whip around flaccidly. Most people see this as a novelty brought upon by the new freedoms of the controls, but using this move against enemies actually proved to be helpful at times. This range covers every conceivable base of direction, so Simon constantly feels capable of dispatching any enemy at every angle, and it is a blessing. Simon’s whipping capabilities are so fluid that the developers added whip swinging, a new mechanic utilized for platforming sections. Hooks found on ceilings and rotating pulleys can be latched on by the whip as Simon accelerates himself by swinging from two and fro from them. The whip can also be lengthened mid-swing for a longer jump range.

All of these more kinetic involvements make the player feel more confident about the obstacles that Castlevania games present, but some people claim that this comes at a cost. Many people see all of this fluidity in the controls as a detriment because it makes for a much easier, accessible Castlevania experience. Succeeding in the first three Castlevania games after gnashing one’s teeth and turning their faces beet red in anger was one of the most gratifying feelings ever on the NES, and the impact of this feeling is diminished by the enhanced agility and smoother controls. In my perspective, the refinement present in Super Castlevania IV compared to the rudimentary clunkiness of the first three games on the NES make Super Castlevania IV objectively superior, and it would be ludicrous to argue against that. Suffering immensely due to the vestigial structure of early 2D platforming as opposed to the comfortable advancements of progress seems to be a matter of preference, and I’d easily take the latter without question. Accessibility is a byproduct of any point of progress for the gaming medium, and it’s not always to a point of condescension. Castlevania was ahead of the curve of most NES titles, offering more lenient mechanics like the ability to continue from the beginning of the level after receiving a game over instead of having to start the entire game over again. Advanced hardware has granted this 16-bit iteration of Castlevania a save system, something desperately lacking in the first three games along with many other NES titles. The player will still have to start the level over when they’ve exhausted their lives, but at least they won’t have to ascend the tower and defeat Dracula in one sitting. Save features became more common after the NES era, and Castlevania was simply following suit. Whacking every single wall to find a whole roast as a health item is also no longer necessary, for smaller turkey legs are found along with hearts to replenish a smaller amount of health. Super Mario World and A Link to the Past were much easier than their NES counterparts, also utilizing some of these new features also present in Super Castlevania IV. Does Super Castlevania IV not get a break like the other SNES sequels because Castlevania is synonymous with being an exceptionally challenging experience?

There is one popular point of criticism that I must agree with, and that’s the fact that the whip is all too powerful. As much as I enjoy the whip’s newfound versatility, it outshines all of the other tools we’ve come to know from the series. The ax, holy water, dagger, and all of the other pieces of Simon’s vampire-slaying arsenal make a return in Super Castlevania IV. These tools are also even easier to use thanks to being moved to a specific button trigger on the more complex SNES controller. Alas, the weapons are made obsolete by the range of utility of the whip. The purpose of these weapons in the NES games was to cover all bases of enemies, albeit with only one of these weapons in possession. Because the whip satisfies all angles of possible enemy placements, there is little to no incentive to use any of the other weapons, even if they are easier to use. The player will end up hoarding heart ammunition and not pay any attention to which item they have as a result. It’s a shame, really.

More accessibility and a better sense of fluidity does not make Super Castlevania IV a facile experience, even if it is dramatically easier than its predecessors. Super Castlevania IV has one of the smoothest difficulty curves in the series thus far. The earlier stages in the game serve well to acclimate the player to the fluency of the controls, and there are an appropriate number of levels to do so. After a certain point, the game starts to experiment with a touch of surrealism, something that could not have been conveyed in the NES titles. A highlight level that marks the progression into the more difficult sections in the game titled “Spinning Tales” is the point where the game lets go of the grip on the player’s hand. Simon will find himself in a room with an abstract decor with one swing hook in the middle. Upon grappling to this hook, the entire room will spin and set Simon onto a lone platform where a series of Medusa Heads will ambush him. If the player is familiar with the roles of these notorious enemies, they’ll think that they serve as moving obstacles moving forward. However, if the player attempts to progress while the Medusa Heads are present, they will fall to their deaths. It is not until Simon defeats every Medusa Head that they will be able to progress and the room will rotate once more to a point of clear, rational structure to traverse through. This section genuinely had me confused for quite a bit, but I came to admire its unique ingenuity as I had never seen anything like this in a Castlevania game. The following room is a tubular space that spirals like a kaleidoscope, with Simon sparsely being supported by fragile, falling wooden platforms. This section isn’t as disjointing as the previous one, but I really enjoy its dizzying effect. I’d like to think that at a certain point of progression, Simon spirals further into madness as he gets closer to the Count sitting at the top of the castle, as if some evil, supernatural force is manipulating his mind. After that, the game gets increasingly more difficult and offers some naturally challenging obstacles. The clocktower level before fighting Dracula has some especially punishing segments that involve the grappling hook on a pulley. Enemies are situated on the edges of platforms that could knock the player off into the abyss, and the projectiles of Ax Knights can kill the player instantly if they are hit mid-flight.

While the bosses in Super Castlevania IV also fit the less taxing appeal of the game, this also doesn’t mean that they don’t pose as formidable foes. Players of the first three games will be readily familiar with the imposing, haunting forces of the night inspired by the Universal monster movies of the 1930’s. Frankenstein’s monster, Medusa, the mummy, etc. repappear to halt Simon on his journey. Other bosses like the ghost couple, the crumbling golden bat, and the persistent Slogra are also stand out fights that offer a sizable challenge. The obligatory Grim Reaper fight is also present here, but is much less arduous than his Castlevania debut. These bosses are however not the focal point of any Castlevania game, while they are certainly welcome additions. How does the big cheese of nocturnal baddies fare in a less strenuous Castlevania game? As everything else is in Super Castlevania IV, the final fight against Dracula fares reasonably. A checkpoint is offered before entering his lair, a relieving return from its absence in Castlevania III. Dracula will scurry around the stage in wide flashes of purple light and reappear for only a few seconds before disappearing once more. He’ll launch a fat bolt of purple energy that will divide into three smaller bolts if the player jumps over it, guaranteeing the player is hit as punishment. The final boss here is why it is recommended to diversify Simon’s combat tactics and not rely solely on the whip because using the cross weapon is incredibly useful against Dracula as the player can double task offensive and defensive measures simultaneously in a brief window of opportunity. Hitting the spiraling energy balls that fly around the room like an insect will drop a turkey leg health item after sputtering small flickers of energy, a helpful inclusion never before seen during a Dracula encounter. Dracula does not have a following phase, but he does change up his attacks to include summoning flames from the floor with fiery skulls that follow the player and four large bolts of symmetrically placed lightning. Defeating Dracula here will cap off what is clearly the most manageable final boss in Castlevania history thus far.

There’s an old adage that states technology and progress should make life easier for humans, not harder. I can’t help but make parallels between this aphorism and the general design model of every game on the SNES, especially those from pre existing franchises from the preceding NES era. While one of the biggest appeals of the SNES was the higher graphical fidelity, the main aspect that I highly appreciate was more refinement in controls and features. Super Mario World gave the series a save feature and tighter platforming controls and A Link to the Past did away with all of the cryptic progression found in the first Legend of Zelda. As for the particularly demanding Castlevania franchise, the fourth entry in the franchise, serving as a spiritual remake of the first game, refined the Castlevania formula to such a staggering degree that everything seemed too perfect. The stilted platforming controls now feel smooth and responsive, the player can competently manage any enemy thanks to the impressive range of the whip, and the additional save feature should’ve been implemented a long time ago. I’m not sure why all of these wonderful features seem to be a point of contention with many Castlevania fans. Are they suggesting that they’d rather endure the measures of toleration that come with many of the crude, debilitating frameworks found in the NES Castlevania games? No thank you. I’d be singing a different song if Super Castlevania IV was a walk in the park, but the developers still understood what makes for an engaging Castlevania experience with all of the advancements, still making for a stiff challenge that takes practice to master. As it stands, the cultivated, visually arresting, smooth as silk Super Castlevania IV stands as my favorite entry among the Castlevania games with the traditional 2D platformer formula.
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Erockthestrange 2018-05-24T05:17:17Z
2018-05-24T05:17:17Z
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Não sou tão fá do estilão clássico de Castlevania - isto é, um plataforma de ação lento, metódico e sempre ameaçador. Ainda assim, não posso negar o quão bom é Super Castlevania IV.

Esse jogo realizou conceitos de fase bastante únicos pra época e tem um dos gameplays mais sólidos do gênero da era 16 bits.
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gabrielctps 2022-03-10T01:52:01Z
2022-03-10T01:52:01Z
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It was clear that by the time the SNES rolled out, developers largely had a better understanding of game design fundamentals in many ways, often with games featuring far less artificial difficulty, along with a much smoother learning curve combined with an often more streamlined gaming experience. Super Castlevania IV is one of those games that really demonstrates this, especially when looking back at the NES titles of the series. This game is overall far easier for the most part, but is also even more interesting in atmosphere and world design, playing to the strengths of the series while also complementing it with mostly improved gameplay.

When starting the game, the thing that immediately became apparent was how the player’s basic capabilities were expanded upon, with jumps that were no longer completely committal, now giving the player the ability to move in midair, albeit just enough for extremely minor alterations to trajectory, allowing the more rigid feeling movement to exist to some degree. That said, the biggest change to the basic moveset of Simon Belmont is the ability to now whip in 8 directions, opposed to just directly in front, allowing for it to be easier to find yourself in a favourable position against more obstacle, while also being conducive to more varied level design without sacrificing playability in the process. This more player-friendly control strikes an excellent balance between the constant fast paced planning of the original trilogy with much more lenient design and care required to be able to proceed past each obstacle, with a great deal of trial and error that could sometimes rear its head being nowhere to be found here. What this does is make the game considerably easier when combined with far less artificial difficulty making for a game that’s still very difficult yet feels far fairer.

Level design and variety is really where this game excels once again with the game seeming as if it’s trying to push the limits of the SNES hardware constantly with some very ambitious ideas employed throughout, with far more attention to detail of the environment than ever before. Each level feels considerably longer, but somewhat sparser as well, with a far greater distance between each core obstacle of the stage, which gives a much larger sense of scope that could sometimes be lost in the often relentless, sometimes cramped feel of the NES games. Given how one of the strengths of the series has always been the ability to immerse the player in the gothic atmosphere of the settings explored, this game really succeeds, with each area feeling unique yet very unified and cohesive, some based around making your way through a gauntlet of dangerous traps and enemies, while some others could be more focused around a dramatic vertical climb. This allows the game to be even more complex and varied in its level design than ever before, with some incredibly memorable set pieces providing a spectacle as well as an often-entertaining gameplay challenge, such as jumping across giant chandeliers or grappling your way up a waterfall.

The game’s biggest accomplishment in my eyes however, was largely making a much more enjoyable, fair end game than anything before this point, with the first time in the series where the final stages of the game had a truly climactic feel to it, with the standard clock tower stage being followed by one of the most intense sections in the game as the player has to frantically climb up falling stairs and jump from rising platform to rising platform on their way up Dracula’s tower, giving a grand sense of scale that goes unmatched. To further fortify this absolutely powerful feeling as the player then continues climbing, they’re met with a set of bosses one after the other as they’re making the final little bit of the way to the final boss. What makes it even better is how good of a final boss Dracula manages to be in this game, being a 3 phase fight and having ludicrous HP compared to anything else here, initially intimidating the player with seemingly unbeatable odds, but being a fight that can be learned comfortably, with no attacks that feel outright unfair, allowing this endurance battle to be one of epic proportions. The final nail in the coffin is as Dracula enters his 3rd and final phase, the music from the opening level of the game plays, bringing an extremely triumphant tone to the battle as it comes to a close that truly feels like a final boss done right and leaves an incredibly good impression as the game closes off.

That said, there are obviously some flaws to this game that do bring it down slightly. For one, the overall better design of the stages makes those moments of unfairness stick out like a sore thumb, with instakill pits becoming far more frustrating because of this. Furthermore, the much longer nature of the stages is a bit of a double-edged sword, even if it’s largely a strong positive, with sections that focus on avoiding these one hit kill spike traps and pits becoming far less enjoyable due to the fact that a single wrong movement will send you back way further than in past games, forcing the player to repeat large sections of the stage to give it another crack, with many obstacles in the way increasing the chances of potentially messing up in another critical moment. The level that this is most apparent in is the dungeons of stage 8, which revolve around carefully manoeuvring through spike traps with questionable hitboxes and constant pits, making it a gruelling stage with man moments of utter garbage thrown in. The biggest example of this is right at the very end of it right before the boss fight, when the player is expected to jump across a bridge of disappearing platforms that lack literally any pattern on when they appear or disappear, while spikes fall from the ceiling, leading to the player being forced to just hope that RNG is in their favour as they jump across, the punishment being getting sent back a long way away and having to get through the instakill traps all over again, but this sort of stuff is fortunately contained to a very small portion of the game.

Overall, this is an extremely well-crafted platformer that took the best elements of the previous entries and ran with them, elevating them to greater heights and taking full advantage of the more powerful hardware it was built on, leading to the best entry in the series up to that point. The journey that the player takes through the rich, immersive gothic world here feels grander and more exciting than ever before, with an even greater variety of potential obstacles leading to a truly impressive game. Even with its flaws, there’s no doubt in my mind that this is a great game that I’d happily return to in the future, and it’s clear to see why this is regarded as a classic.

Scattershot statements:

The music in general is a bit more average in this game, but Simon’s Theme is absolutely incredible, and the reprises of the most iconic themes from the first 3 games during the final stretch of the game is an absolutely golden moment that makes it an even more exciting end section to the game.

Subweapons are mostly pretty useless in this due to how much more powerful your whip and mobility are, but the massive damage of the cross makes it the only truly worthwhile one here.

The fact that there’s a secret staircase before the Dracula fight that maxes out your hearts, fully upgrades your whip and gives you a triple cross, yet Dracula is still a tough fight, really makes him feel like a truly powerful force, really elevates the encounter.

Other than the final rush of bosses, bosses here tend to be pretty lame and easy unfortunately, but at least it’s better than being broken and frustrating.

The entirety of stage 4 with its rotating level and spinning background feel like a display of what the SNES can do, and I think it makes for a very cool area.

That said, the game REEEAALLY needed to show some restraint in parts, because seriously, the amount of lag that some of these places would have got a bit ridiculous at times.
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Kempokid 2021-06-26T09:26:22Z
2021-06-26T09:26:22Z
4.0
1
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Its weird to think this game is already the 4th game in the franchise and it came out a few months before I was born, Castlevania just doesn't feel like it should be that old to me, but IV is often cited as the best of the classic games, and some even consider it the best Castlevania game of all time, it made giant improvements on the series and was the first Castlevania to release on SNES. The first major improvement are the graphics, this game looks a lot better than the previous games, and the animations are a lot smoother. The gameplay isn't too different, but now you can hit your whip in all directions instead of just forward and the game is a bit more streamlined where you don't have to heavily rely on the items and can use your whip to get through most of the game.

I think what makes Castlevania IV a bit better than the previous 3 games is that is sticks to the classic formula, but it isn't as frustrating or difficult. However, that doesn't mean this game doesn't have annoyances or frustration. There are often times you have to platform and there are moments you have to use your whip to latch on to rings and sometimes the platforming can be inconsistent. On top of that there are still some frustrating bosses and if you fall like 10 feet once the screen moves up you die, even if there was a platform below you. Castlevania IV is still a solid game and considering the time it came out, its one of the best games of its era, but its formula was greatly improved on future Castlevania games like Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night and the game is a bit short for its own good.
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jweber14 2018-10-20T06:28:50Z
2018-10-20T06:28:50Z
3.5
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This game is really good. The graphics and sound are improved tremendously from the NES games, which would obviously be the case anyway given the technical improvements made in hardware over the years, but they really went all out in making this game look and sound as good as possible. The backgrounds are always full of detail, relishing in spooky atmosphere. The music is both catchy and atmospheric, and sometimes pushes out into some interesting new directions for the series' music; the jazz influences in particular are very cool, as is the surprisingly somber music in the cave and waterfall levels.

The gameplay has been improved as well. Some people (i.e. purists of the old school games) don't dig the improvements, though; they say that being able to control your jump arc and whip in any direction hurts the overall design and removes what was unique about Castlevania. However, I don't see the faster paced, smoother gameplay as any kind of detriment. Being able to control your jumps in mid-air is honestly something any platformer should have. In my view, stiff jumping is not a "feature", it's a relic, and while I think the old jumping did add something to the trickiness of Castlevania I and III, more merciful jumping controls is an objective improvement. As for the whip, it's really fun to use here, and the game does make plenty of use of it, with flying enemies to be dispatched with an upper/diagonal hit, and neat sections where you have use your whip like a grappling hook to overcome platforming obstacles.

I will admit that the game is easier than the NES titles on average, especially in the first five stages which are mostly a breeze to a seasoned player. The increased ease of jumping and attacking helps, but there are also more health pickups as a whole. But for me, that's an improvement. Super Castlevania IV is easier to pick up and play, and the increase in accessibility makes the game more enjoyable for me. I quite like Castlevania III, but it's a fucking hard game, which means I can really only play it if I'm ready to be fully invested. That's not the case with Super Castlevania IV, but even then, the game is not without challenge. Once you enter Dracula's castle around stage 6, the difficulty ramps up more and more, with some classic Castlevania dickery in the last few stages leading up to Dracula.

I think Super Castlevania IV is the highlight of the series up until Symphony of the Night. It's fun as hell, looks so damn cool, and has a great soundtrack. It seems like the general consensus on this game is a little more critical lately thanks to its decreased difficulty, but I don't think a decrease in difficulty is a big deal when you're going from "balls-to-the-wall hard" to "pretty tough sometimes". Not much else to say, this game kicks ass. Absolutely play it if you're interested in Castlevania, but maybe play 1 and/or 3 first so you're not too spoiled by the fancy controls.
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SemtexRevolution 2017-07-24T07:56:30Z
2017-07-24T07:56:30Z
4.5
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Rondo of Blood is overrated, this is better.
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Tumpp1zon3 悪魔城ドラキュラ 2024-04-12T19:46:10Z
2024-04-12T19:46:10Z
3.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
XterminatoR666 悪魔城ドラキュラ 2024-04-10T12:15:05Z
2024-04-10T12:15:05Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MasterOfShaft 悪魔城ドラキュラ 2024-04-09T20:30:59Z
2024-04-09T20:30:59Z
Good
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
kafeis 悪魔城ドラキュラ 2024-04-09T18:51:22Z
2024-04-09T18:51:22Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Selvmoord Super Castlevania IV 2024-04-06T20:22:39Z
SNES • US
2024-04-06T20:22:39Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
diction 悪魔城ドラキュラ 2024-04-04T23:17:52Z
2024-04-04T23:17:52Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
FaustHoffman_ 悪魔城ドラキュラ 2024-04-04T02:17:24Z
2024-04-04T02:17:24Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
plan9mastermind 悪魔城ドラキュラ 2024-03-31T19:14:14Z
2024-03-31T19:14:14Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
themusicofghost Super Castlevania IV 2024-03-31T14:46:20Z
SNES • US
2024-03-31T14:46:20Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jcselement 悪魔城ドラキュラ 2024-03-31T06:24:27Z
2024-03-31T06:24:27Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
FirstMate 悪魔城ドラキュラ 2024-03-29T18:08:22Z
2024-03-29T18:08:22Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
rokcman 悪魔城ドラキュラ 2024-03-29T09:57:54Z
2024-03-29T09:57:54Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Super Castlevania IV
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  • Previous comments (8) Loading...
  • ruth1120 2022-10-01 12:21:56.628346+00
    sequilitus on this game holds up, some of the earliest critical thinking in the space of video games.
    reply
    • babyclav 2022-11-05 02:15:43.034891+00
      sequelitis sucks and arin is a hack
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  • KesiMiao 2023-01-26 21:22:22.882987+00
    This game is kinda as if you had a Contra gun with shorter range you use to bully standard slow arse Castlevania enemies. First half mainly.
    reply
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  • houdinidash 2023-03-17 21:14:34.58389+00
    Better than Rondo, the whip mechanics in IV > the old way
    reply
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  • MoeHartman 2023-03-21 05:39:25.875562+00
    Definitely count me in the this is way better than Rondo club. Although it's not quite as feature packed, it's just a more enjoyable experience.
    reply
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  • JoahannisBaerStrysl 2023-10-30 21:23:26.294532+00
    Don't gimme wrong this game is amazing but all the flashy goodness distracts you from the fact that there's no real challenge here.
    reply
    • chaonovem 2023-12-03 11:27:04.081845+00
      don't see that as a bad thing
    • SlappyButternuts 2024-02-20 03:43:38.379408+00
      its crazy that updating the game with better controls made it easier
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  • Coldplaz 2024-02-21 02:18:42.569301+00
    Yeah this is definitely the easiest classic Castlevania but there is a real difficulty spike at the last stage, especially the Slogra fight.
    reply
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  • renegadexavier06 2024-03-06 10:45:29.359656+00
    Crazy how they skipped the first three games and went straight to the fourth game!!
    reply
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  • MasterOfShaft 2024-04-09 22:32:56.660951+00
    why is his sprite so goddamn big
    reply
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