Super Castlevania IV
for SNES

Alternate Titles: 悪魔城ドラキュラ (Akumajo Dracula)
Company: Konami
Year: 1991
Genre: Action
Theme: Horror
Language: English
Licence: Commercial
Views: 8549
Review by Wandrell (2012-11-03)

I recall this one receiving lots of attention, after all this is one of those games made to show what the SNES was capable of. And really it tries to show off a lot, while at the same time tries to keep being a Castlevania game.

Everybody knows how this goes. A deeply established tradition says that Dracula should always resurrect from his tomb after his last death. Then the latest Belmont takes the family’s trademark weapon and whips Dracula back to his place.

That is done each hundred years, and of course now Dracula is asking again for a taste of the whip. The usual, as it’s the plot of nearly all Castlevania games, and just like it promises, this is like nearly all Castlevania games.

Here you have an arcade game, which this time reminds me more than usual to Ghost & Goblins, where your weapon is a whip, bonuses drop from candles and gothic monsters lurk in scenarios that seem to be taken from a Universal horror film.

Nothing new yet.

Still, saying what is actually new on this game is hard. They added some nice mechanics to the whip, which is not part of the animation, but a “chain” composed of smaller graphics. You can even swing it around you if you want, not that it’s usually useful, but still a nice feature.

Also, they try to use the new graphic tricks the SNES allowed. But these end being just showcases, things like moving bridges, background grates that grow from the ground (and which you can cross to move to the background), giant swinging lamps, rotating levels, background using a tubular projection… There are lots of these things, but they most of the time end feeling like gimmicks which are used in a single level, and then forgotten.

Because in the end the game changes little, it’s just another Castlevania, no matter how pretty this can be. And not even a hard one, it’s quite easy to beat really. I don’t need an arcade game to hate me for finding it fun, but one this easy? Hell, it’s like they are not even trying, even the bosses are generally fast to kill and even faster to forget.

So this ends being a mediocre game. Pretty, a showcase of what the SNES could manage with its graphics, a typical game to use in adverts to try to sell the console, but not much else.

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