Ever since I played Castlevania 2 on the NES, I was an instant fan of the series. Castlevania 2's mind warping puzzles had me playing for months until I finally defeated Dracula. After that, I played the original Castlevania. It was a very different game, but was equally as good as part 2. Now, cut to the present. The other day, I had 20 dollars burning a hole in my pocket, so I decided to buy a game. After not finding anything I wanted, I was about to walk out when I took one last, good look through the pile of SNES games, when I found Super Castlevania 4 for just 15 dollars. Remembering how great the others were, I picked it up, and I'm glad I did.
Ten minutes into Castlevania 4 I could not pull myself away from the screen. The bright, rich yet gothic graphics were the perfect touch to this series. The bosses are some of the coolest I've seen in any game, some are as tall as your TV screen. The greatest improvement to Castlevania 4 is that it is the only Castlevania game in which you can whip in all 8 directions. "YIPEE" was my reaction when I found this out. Aside from that, you can also swing the whip around after you've cracked it, which can be useful, and you can even swing from hooks like in Earthworm Jim.
The graphics are nice and detailed, especially considering it came out in 1991, and is a first generation Super Nintendo game. You can tell that the designers had a vision and it was brought to life well on the SNES. Also notable is that it has some awesome scrolling affects. In level 4, in particular, there is a room where the background rotates around you, and another where the room flips upside down (Like in Super Ghouls and Ghosts). Its also nice to see that Simon has gotten some fashion sense, and dropped the red shirt and white boots for a sleeker looking black outfit.
Graphics rating- 91
This is what makes the Castlevania series stand out. The gameplay is highly addictive. It is improved from the earlier Castlevania games, like I mentioned, the 8 way whip makes a tremendous difference. It has enough fast-paced action, dangerous deathtraps and collapsing stairs to last a lifetime. After playing Castlevania 4, its hard for me to try to play the original Castlevania, although, I think a person who has never played a Castlevania will not see just how great this game is.
Gameplay rating- 95
This is where the game falls short, but if you're like me, the storyline doesn't matter much unless it's a role-playing game. The game stars Simon Belmont, and the book reads "It has been 100 years since Dracula has arisen". This leaves many Castlevania fans to wonder, is Castlevania 4 a retelling of the first Castlevania?? Was Simon ressurected or something when Drac was? Is this another Simon Belmont? Did Simon live to be 130 years old? Konami should have thought out the storyline before releasing this game.
Storyline rating- 42
This game is considerably easier than the first 2 in the series. Its not the easiest Castlevania I've played (That would be Castlevania 64), but it did go by pretty quick. It took me all of 2 and a half days to beat this game, but that's playing most of the day. Of course, it could just be my superior gaming skills (Self beligerance), because a lot of other reviews for this game say its pretty tough. You can breeze through the first 7 levels without much trouble, but at level 8, the game does get pretty hairy. In level B, the game makes another jump in difficulty, it becomes impeccibly hard, but since its short, it still isn't that bad.
Difficulty rating- 69
Ever since I beat the game, I've still been playing it. I've perfected my Dracula beating skills, and have gone back to fight some bosses over, like the grim reaper. One main reason that this game has sky-high replay value, is because on the poster that came in the box, the caption underneath the Castlvania 4 ad mentions "3 hidden stages" and one of the pictures shows a pure black demon looking thing that you are controlling, clearly not Simon. I don't know if they took the 3 hidden stages out, or what, but I'm going to keep looking.
Replay value- 94
Castlevania 4 is a solid game, I would reccomend that anyone that likes Castlevania to run to the store and buy it right now. People who aren't Castlevania fans, I think you will like it too, its not nearly as tough as the first 2 installments. This game will leave me with lasting memories, just as the first 2 did.