(Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

Super Castlevania IV (Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

Game Review

Super Castlevania IV Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

Castlevania goes super

Every now and then you play a game that simply changes your life. To me, Super Castlevania IV is that game. I recall playing it at a friend's house and regardless of the slow pace of the first few levels, it had a real impact on me. The game was quickly purchased and hasn't left my collection since.

If your Castlevania experience is primarily from Symphony of the Night (1997) onwards, you're going to notice a stark contrast in the design of Super Castlevania IV versus today's outings. For starters, Super Castlevania IV is very linear. Aside from a few hidden areas, there are no real alternate routes to take here. The other major difference is that Super Castlevania IV requires more platforming skills than many recent Castlevania games.

Jumping deaths may occur more frequently than you'd like, especially if your timing is off and you forget about incoming Medusa Heads or that pesky enemy that hits you just as you land. Learning these enemy patterns and getting your timing down was a vital strategy in beating games like this, and Super Castlevania IV is an excellent example.

You're also not going to see any RPG elements, either. You won't be able to stock up on potions or level Simon up to ridiculous proportions. The player can only obtain items like hearts or health power-ups by whipping candles or hollow walls. Additionally, aside from subweapons like the axe and cross, you can't carry any items. That means that if your life bar is running low, you'll need to find a pork chop or backtrack to one, or you're worm food.

Visually, Super Castlevania IV still holds up well, despite its age and a few bouts with slowdown. Some of the monster designs from this game would carry over to Symphony of the Night, such as the boss tag team of Slogra and Gaibon. You'll also see appearances by several now-familiar mainstays of the Castlevania series, including the aforementioned Medusa Heads, Bone Dragons, Skeletons, Ghouls, and bosses like Death and The Mummy.

One of the most amazing aspects of this game is the music. Up to this point I'd been used to the rather primitive sonics of the Mega Drive. CVIV made it sound like there was a full orchestra hidden inside the SNES! I recently purchased the soundtrack on CD and it is still listened to on a regular basis.

Conclusion

Although Konami eventually bettered this with the stunning Playstation release Symphony of the Night, this is still the best traditional Castlevania game, and one of the finest action platform titles on the machine. Consider this an essential purchase.

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User Comments (10)

Rawk_Hawk

#1

Rawk_Hawk said:

Other than Zelda: LTTP, this may be my favorite SNES game. It feels truly worthy of a 9/10. I might even say a 10/10. Great graphics, control, and an amazing soundtrack.

Digiki

#2

Digiki said:

This game is too good, excellent level-design and music made for a great experience.

starcrunch061

#3

starcrunch061 said:

Bloodlines? Bloodlines is crap compared to this game.

This is the best Castlevania title ever made. "Symphony of the Night" doesn't really count, since it was really a Metroid game posing as a Castlevania game.

vio

#4

vio said:

I'm tempted to say he's just trolling star, but I don't know. His arguments are absurd. "It's all brown?" This game is full of color through out and has some great Mode-7 effects to boot. I can't believe he's mocking the whip design. That's one of the best things about the game. In real life you aren't limited to just a straight forward whip. Bloodlines is a good game and I hope it's released on VC soon, but it's nothing compared to this masterpiece. Bloodlines music, graphics and gameplay are all inferior, not to mention it's substantially shorter. SC 4 has 11 levels and is very epic.

ogo79

#6

ogo79 said:

on my personal opinion this game was lack-luster.
i dont think it compares with Bloodlines or Rondo Of Blood...sorry
i was left un-inspired with "super" castlevania 4

Dr_Salvador

#7

Dr_Salvador said:

Best Classic Castlevania imo!
I played Rondo of Blood afterwards and it was so disappointing! Yeah maybe it looked a little better but going back to just whip straight forward, not using R-button for sub-weapons... Why?
I like classic Castlevania games but nothing compares 2 SCIV!

kyuubikid213

#9

kyuubikid213 said:

I love this game. All of my deaths are MY FAULT. The controls are tight, the game is fun to play, the music ROCKS!!!, and I want to keep playing even after I get stuck. Great game, everyone should purchase it at some time in their lives.

Nintenjoe64

#10

Nintenjoe64 said:

I am almost certain to use my first £5 Nintendo Network Premium Voucher for this game to celebrate Halloween. Hope this lives up to the hype, I only played it briefly when it was new.

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