8.5/10
244
2 user 2 critic

Super Castlevania 4 (1991)

Akumajô Dracula (original title)
A century after Christopher Belmont slew Dracula, the vampire lord indeed rises from his grave and Simon, the most famous of the Clan, steels himself for war against the forces of darkness to cleanse Transylvania of his curse.

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A century after Christopher Belmont slew Dracula, the vampire lord indeed rises from his grave and Simon, the most famous of the Clan, steels himself for war against the forces of darkness to cleanse Transylvania of his curse.

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Action | Fantasy | Horror

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December 1991 (USA)  »

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Super Castlevania 4  »

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The first game in the Castlevania series that allows the protagonist to whip in multiple directions, an option which has the potential to make game play significantly easier than previous installments. See more »

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Follows Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Simon once again takes on Dracula's castle in what is basically a remake of the first game.
4 June 2012 | by See all my reviews

This is my favorite Castlevania game, however, I have never played Symphony of the Night or any that came after. Nor did I play the N64 Castlevania games or Castlevania: Bloodlines for the Sega Genesis. I have seen all in videos and would like to play them all as Symphony of the Night looks very good and the music outstanding, Bloodlines has that Genesis look I enjoy and the N64 games...well with these I want to play them more out of a morbid curiosity. This Castlevania would be one of only two Castlevania games released on the Super Nintendo, which is a bit perplexing as this one really was great so I have to wonder why a trilogy for the Super Nintendo game was never made. The only other Castlevania game released for the Super Nintendo was Castlevania: Dracula X or something to that effect and from what I have seen it too looks incredibly fun. However, it received a poor reception in the U.S., therefore making it a rare game. This one is called Super Castlevania IV, but really should of been called simply Super Castlevania as it is more of a remake of the first Castlevania game rather than a sequel to the trilogy on the NES.

The story to this one is what one expects. Dracula has risen once again to spread his evil across the Transylvania countryside. Simon Belmont is the only one who can clash with Dracula and his evil forces. Armed with his trusty whip he goes to Dracula's estate, then his castle, and finally faces the fiend for a final showdown. Basic Castlevania stuff, but hey it works.

The game play in this one is a bit difficult, however, nothing like the first and third Castlevania games on the NES. The controls for Simon are much better than anything seen yet in a Castlevania game, and you have the ability to whip in nearly every direction. Something I do not remember happening in any other Castlevania game I have played or seen being played. Still, there are some annoyances as your whip can now latch on to certain things and Simon can swing across, Indiana Jones like. This sounds cool, but at times it causes a lot of cheap deaths. There are also a lot of one hit kill things going on as pits return and in some levels spikes and swinging spike things galore. However, with all that is going on and all that is annoying it is still much easier to control Simon. As difficult as a lot of the levels are to get through, one thing in them that is not all that difficult are the stage bosses. Usually a pattern emerges very quickly and you can take them out on your first encounter. The only curve ball they throw in with the bosses is the fact during some levels the boss appears in the middle, rather than the end of the stage, or there are sometimes two boss type characters. Dracula, himself, is not even all that bad...he was most certainly harder in the first and third games, but not the second. I would hate to see him easier than that incarnation.

The graphics and music are grand especially for the older system game. They did a really good job of making a very atmospheric environment for Simon to traverse as Dracula's castle has never looked better. Crazy environments, three dimensional spinning hallways and a very visual treasure room. The music too for the most part works. Synching up with the area you are in nicely and complementing it supremely. Though there was a stretch in the third level past the cave areas with the fishmen that sounded like it was straight from a Charlie Brown special. For the most part, the music though, is perfect for the situation you are in.

In conclusion, while I have not yet played many of the Castlevania games, I still seeing this ranking as one of the best. I do not really see many of them surpassing it in terms of control, levels and music. Granted, Symphony of the Night might, because what I have seen of that one makes it look and sound very epic. Still, I do not see this one dropping out of the top three no matter how many other of the current Castlevania games I play. The game is just you and your whip as you battle monsters galore and that is what a Castlevania game was about in the 80's and early 90's.


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