This game… This game (luckily for me) was the first Castlevania game i ever played seriously. And i think that’s why I came to love the Castlevania series. Being used to games that had amazing controls like Super Mario, Sonic and games like Alex Kidd, the first Castlevanias never managed to grab me when I was little. The inability to throw that whip in every direction always put me off as it was something I could not conceive.
Super Castlevania IV for the SNES changed all that. The controls were spot on for the first time ever. It’s basically a remake of the first game on the NES with better graphics and controls. You can whip in 8 directions, make the whip go limp and control it with your D-Pad and you can also change your direction slightly whilst in mid-jump.
Many purists never liked these changes and blamed the game for being too easy. Others regard SCIV to be the best Castlevania game ever! I’m closer to the latter description if you really need to ask.
The game, I must admit, is somewhat easier than it’s predecessors. I mean just being able to whip in 8 directions would make any Castlevania game easier right? Nonetheless it’s still quite challenging. You WILL die often trying to learn enemy patterns and boss phases just like in the old games. You will have infinite continues and even a Password save system though (oh and just on this note, it’s the best password system i’ve seen in a videogame. Quick and easy to jot down and insert).
The graphics are amazing considering SCIV was one of the first games out for the SNES (1991). There are subtle things like glowing eyes, or bats flying out of somewhere in the background and this adds to the great atmosphere the game creates for the player.
The sound… OH THE SOUND! I’ve never heard a SNES game sound so good. The music is amazing (they are all close to original remixes of classic Castlevania songs), and I really hope there’s a soundtrack to download/buy so I can listen to it everywhere I go. It’s simply SUPERB! You can hear the music to the first level (and see some gameplay) here:
I’m actually listening to this music right now for inspiration ahah!
Konami actually cut some stuff from the US/EU version of the game. Some blood was changed to green instead of red and a cross was taken out of the title screen. The whip apparently sounds different too. Not lifechanging anyway.
One of my favourite parts of the game was right at the end when you’re fighting Dracula (i’m guessing it’s impossible for this to be a spoiler). When you finally get him to 1/4 of his lifebar the music changes (to the first stage music) and it truly brought shivers of excitement onto me like crazy. Felt on top of the world.
The whole game took me around 6-7 hours total (guesstimate and took it easy), with moments of frustration and also moments of wtf. I have to agree…it wasn’t the most challenging Castlevania game but it’s still VERY satisfying to finish it.
Highly reccommended. Do pick it up, it doesn’t go for much on ebay these days.