You might think that headline will make it seem that I don’t like Super Castlevania IV, but don’t get me wrong, I love this game. It’s quite honestly one of the biggest games that I have sadly undervalued in my gaming collection, primarily due to my inability to cope with the absence of a dash button.
But childish grievances aside, going back and playing this SNES title has been a pleasure. It has the tightest and most responsive controls I’ve encountered in a Castlevania game; I was hopping over skeletons and delivering well-placed axes to passing flying Medusa heads with ease. The eight-way multi-directional whip was also something that I really loved, as I was never one to use sub-weapons in my gaming experiences. Even if I had the all-consuming-fireball-of-doom spell, I would always prefer to power up my sword arm and whale on an enemy until I emerged the victor.
In terms of atmosphere, Super Castlevania IV setx the mood almost immediately with it’s superb soundtrack and thematic setup. An ominous tone precedes your entrance to Dracula’s castle, where a drawbridge closes on you with no way back out. Then “Simon’s Theme” plays, and all doubts and fears are dispelled as you realize that you are the scion of the legendary Belmont family, and that no wraith or vampire can stand in your way. At least that’s how I felt.
With more than it’s fair share of challenges, completing this game leaves you feeling nothing less than a hero.