It's back and better than ever.
Super Castlevania IV is when the height of Castlevania was reached. This takes the first Castlevania game and multiplies it many times. The music, the graphics, the game play....everything is better. But this game also gave me a fear. Yes, an irrational fear that makes me shiver when I see that.....that thing, or those things in a game. I'll tell you that later. But for now, the graphics. The style of the game is of a smoother design than the nes games. They are more eerie then the nes games. The animation is more fluid than the nes games. See a pattern? The backgrounds have so much detail in them. In the first level, there is a skull in the background. If you look closely, two bats will come out of the eye-sockets and fly off. Now that is attention to detail if I ever saw any. The cut-scenes where Dracula is resurrected (yet again) was just incredible. Simple but effective.
The story is much the same like how Dr. Wily escapes, builds eight more robot masters and tried to take over the world, or how Browser kidnaps Princess Peach again. Dracula and his castle has come back to enslave humanity, and it is your job....Simon, is it? No, that was from the first and second game, and the third was Trever, was it? And that was a prequel....I'm almost certain. And there's a song called Simons Theme, so it could be Simon Belmont....you know what? Names arn't important. I'm going to call him Simon Belmont. You are Simon, taking the legendary Vampire Kill (whip) to kill Dracula, hopefully once and for all (we all know he'll be back again in the next game, but don't tell Simon that *puts finger on lips*).
You start outside Casltevania, and work your way up to the castle, then work your way though the castle up the tower, meet by a boss-a-thon then finally you get to Dracula. The entrance to the Count is 95% always the same. you go up a stairway that is normally at a 30-45 degrees angel. Then there is a small drop down (very small), then you walk for a little while to the left often with candles there for you to whip, then you fight Dracular in a room, in which he always teleports into. Compare them with the next Castlevania game you play (not Simons Quest, that cameo doesn't appear there).
Now onto the game play. The controls were always a little stiff in the Castlevania games. When you jumped, you had no controll over that jump expect forward. You were thrown back quite some distance when you were hit. And you couldn't walk when crouching. Well, let me make your day, becuase in this game, they ironed out all those pesky little cresses and gave you more controll than ever! You can walk when crouching, you have complete control over your jumps, you can even jump backwards. you can whip in eight different directions, even straight down (even when jumping!). You can even do the Moonwalk up and down the stairs (which really isn't possible, but your Simon Belmont, you can do anything! The MoonWalk is a little tricky to do. You need to go to some stairs, go up them, then quickly press down. If done correctly, you'll still go up the stairs, only your facing the other way. Might not happen the first time). Being able to whip diangonally relly helps killing enermys in tricky places. Normally the ones that you need to jump to kill. This makes you get more into the game. Instead of you playing a character that follows a set of rules you must follow, you play someone who can follow thoses rules, but and bend them to your advantage. That is what makes this game so great. You are Simon Belmont.As before, you can destroy candles to get items such as hearts, sub-weapons, and whip upgrades. These whip upgrades come in parts. First, it makes your whip stronger, then longer. There are secrets in this game aswell.
Secrets? Secrets as in you break some blocks and something's in them, or you jump somewhere and you get bonus points?
No, no, sadly, there's a lot less of that in this game. Haven't found so many breakable walls with bonus points and stuff in. It's still there, just harder to find. But you want to focus on finding the three secret rooms. Yes, these rooms are fill with the best sub-weapons, lots of hearts, and chicken to eat for health. FInding these is like the gold mine for Castlevania. These might be found....well, there are only three. If you find anything suspiscous, check it out. You might fight that secret room. It's always worth looking for secrets in Draculas Castle!
Now last but not as nearly least, the music. The music. Ah, the music of Super Castlevania IV! The music just breaks the other music from Castlevania away. The music from the first level - Simons Theme - tells you that msuic from games can also be beautyful. Some of the best soundtracks are on this game. Some of which appear in other games. This is also true for the first game, which all of it's music was set as a bonus for another Castlevania game for the DS. Simons Theme also makes an appearence when fighting Dracula in Super Castlevania IV. Bloody tears was great in 8-bit music, but sometimes music can be better when updated. When you finish the game, you get the credits. You are also shown short clips of you playing though this game. At firs, I though the game accuratly recorded you playing to show you what you did, but then I found out that it did something I was sure I didn't Whip straight down. I didn't know you could do that when jumping until I saw it. But still, with the music in the background, it makes a very graceful effect.
This might sound like the perfect game if you like side-scrolling, but there is one flaw, one that gave me a fear that would never go away. I'm not talking about bugs or glitches or anything like that. it started with the first Castlevania game, second level, the room before the corridor that lead to the big Medusa Head. You had you get though these smashing spiked things that would kill you if you got crushed under them. That freaked me out. It freaked me out more when I found out if you just touched the side of them, you'll also die stiaight away. I hated this part, but they did crush you, so I didn't expect to just lose health. Now, this game takes everything from the first game and multiplys it many times. And I mean everything
. This includes the spikes from that level and created a hell in its own castle. Level 8. This level is full of spikes that can kill you in one hit. Even if you touch the sides of the spike - which in real life if you touched the side of a spike, you wouldn't die stright away - you would die stright away. This created a fear for spikes, in games, it's instant death. When ever I see spikes, I take a deep breathe, and exhale when the threat is gone.
A little silly, really. But then came that part in level 8 that had those spikes coming out of the celling, and it looked like you couldn't crouch under them. You must realise that at this point, the slightest touch to spikes killed me instantly, I wasn't going to take the risk of dying again by crouching, besides, I didn't think I could crouch low enough. So I walked though, hoping hey woundn't touch me, and I got through after a couple of deaths. I was so thankful for getting past that level. The golfen level afterwards was a breathe of fresh air. but let me tell you something important. Very very important. When you get to that poin in level 8, you can
crouch under those spikes. Don't suffer like I did.
This game is eaier than the firsr Castlevania game, but is still a good challenge. This game offers a hell of a lot, and is worth playing over and over. I even played the game with only the leather whip by my side. Yes, I did it. ^^
Overall, I give this game 9.3/10 Dispite that level 8 hell hole, it's a good hell hole that tells you not to mess with Dracula. It is inface perfect for its design (it's a toucher chamber), and I wouldn't change it for the world. The game is one of the best Konami have to offer. This game offers great music, a great gameplay, and almost perfect controll over Simon. Don't worry abou Death, he's hard, but easier than the nes one. That makes him even more epic as a boss. this is truely an epic game if there ever was one.