Super Castlevania IV (1991)

Super Castlevania IV was an early release for the Super Nintendo, so I can understand that the game isn’t the pinnacle of graphics or gameplay, but it does show off some impressive technical things like Mode 7 which really does make the game stand out, even now, from the other games in the series.

I am finding out, after playing through the series in kinda a reverse order for whatever reason, that the Castlevania series has a lot of the “its the same game over and over again”. Most games contain a very similar amount of levels (courtyard, 1st castle floor, Clocktower stair case, Dracula’s Tower) and it’s really starting to wear thin. Same with the enemies, I understand that since this game revolves around Dracula and the various Universal Monsters and Horror tropes, you are going to have a lot of the same enemies in games, since you don’t have a lot to work with… but it’s getting quite old.

Skeletons, Red Skeletons, Medusa, Medusa Heads, Bats, Zombies, Axe Knights…. It’s the same enemies in the same levels, just with a different graphical style and some different music. The 16-Bit Castlevania series has been just downright lack luster for me. Way too many repeated elements from game to game for it to be considered an “amazing” series by most.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some cool parts to this game, much more so than Bloodlines. The two rotating levels that show off Mode 7 make it stand out from the others, but that’s two very small screens that you blaze through in a couple minutes. Out of 12 stages, that can be quite long, it does not really leave much of an impact.

What is in Super Castlevania is fine, and it does stand out as the second best of the 16-Bit Castlevania’s, but not much else is here to really make it worth talking about. I will say there are some weird moments, like the stage that features a area with sentient tables and waltzing ghosts that are too similar to The Haunted Mansion ride to be considered a coincidence. Super Castlevania is a fine game, but nothing extra special now-a-days, back then however, I can see this being something special.