The Definitive 50 SNES Games: #25 Super Castlevania IV

Click here to view our list of the Definitive 50 SNES games. Links to each video and write-up are included.

Super Castlevania IV introduced the classic Castlevania gameplay of the NES to the technical power of the Super Nintendo. It was released for that system in December 1991. It is now available on Wii’s Virtual Console service.

Super Castlevania IV takes 25th place on the list of Definitive 50 SNES games.

The story goes that every 100 years, good’s powers fade, and Dracula is resurrected. Well, he’s back, and it’s up to you, as vampire slayer Simon Belmont, to take down the blood-sucker. Do you really need any more motivation?

This action platformer features eleven grueling stages which require you to navigate with utmost skill. Belmont’s moves are a complex combination of multi-directional whipping, jumping, and throwing. You’ll need to master them all to take on nothing short of the darkest of evil’s forces. Exploring is also vital in this title, as staying alive means finding every bit of health-recovering food you can scrounge.

This game’s appeal lay not only in the intense action of its gameplay, but also in the intriguing atmosphere its aesthetics build. Eery organ music will haunt your steps here. Enemies come in a wide array of classical-horror inspired styles, as well as more modern movies. You’ll face everything from shambling skeletons and fluttering bats to hydra-like monsters on your journey to defeat Dracula himself.

Later Castlevania games break from the hack-and-slash formula perfected in this title. If you’re looking for Metroid or “Metroidvania”-like exploration and open-ended gameplay, avoid this title and look into later Castlevania games. If you just want to whip baddies instead of worrying about where you’re going, then Castlevania IV is exactly what you need.

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