Super Metroid

When Castlevania: Symphony of the Night came out, many comparisons were made to Nintendo's Super Metroid, and with due reason - the structures of the game are remarkably similar - both require some exploration and many items to be found in order to unlock new areas to search. Super Metroid is a bit more linear than Symphony, which mostly let you choose you own way through the castle, but the basic idea is the same. Even the map system was eeriely copied.

Simply put, if you love SoTN, you're going to love Super Metroid. It's like a written law.


Vagrant Story

Though the actual gameplay isn't similar, Vagrant Story's most common link with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is its structure. Though it's linear at first, Vagrant Story soon leads into a fairly large world ripe for exploration, with keys to be found and doors to be unlocked. However, the weaponry system is even more complicated, with a huge variety of methods to create and modify your own arsenal.

Unfortunately, this is where the game not only falls flat on its face, but goes straight through the floor as well. The weapon system is simply far too complicated for its own good, relying on so many statistics you have to wonder if the developers were sadists - far too often, you find that none of your weapons don't do any damage, even if you actually TRY to study the affiliations and blade types and whatever else affects damage. And don't get me started on the whole equipment interface, which is a humoungous step backward in the way of user friendliness. That's why I really hate this game - the atmosphere and storyline of the game carries tremendous potential but the flaws in the battle system simply suck any FUN to be had. The battle system, relying mostly on timed button presses, isn't much fun either.

Just don't say that too loud, because there are a lot of fans that, for some reason or another, love this game to death and will insult everything from your intelligence level to your mother's dog if you badmouth it, so beware!


8 Eyes

A rather old NES game, 8 Eyes essentially screams Castlevania-clone. Heck, even by looking at the pictures, it looks like it could be another game in the series. In reality, Taxan's game is a pale imitation - though it tries to add a couple new twists to the formula (such as your bird who can attack for you, a stage select and "puzzles" involving you to hit a switch and run to a door before it closes), the gameplay is mostly rotten. Why? Because you've essentially been given a foot-long pointy stick with which to do battle with. Yeah, there are some special weapons dropped by enemies (which are inexplicably powered by crosses - how'd THAT one get by Nintendo?) but you can't use them very often, and you'll get injured A LOT otherwise.

As might one might guess, 8 Eyes is another Nintendo game that's best left forgotten, except as an example if how NOT to clone a game.

Download the ROM
Download the Emulator (FWNES)



Released for the PC98 (a Japanese home computer - I have no idea how old it is), Rusty goes far beyond the bounds of "inspired" by Castlevania that most of the other games here have been. The game is a plain old rip off - not that that's a bad thing.

Playing as some green haired, scantily glad, whip-wielding babe, it's up to you to stop some other vampire chick. There are some anime style cutscenes as well, but they show up as gibberish. While the graphics are very dithered, it looks OK, considering the number of colors barely goes over 16. The music, however, is pretty decent.

In any case, there's at least a few interesting things of note here - much like the MSX Vampire Killer game, you must search down keys in order to progress. There are special weapons to be found as well, and pits you must swing across with your whip. The ropes are very reminiscent of the Gameboy titles. You can even find an owl familiar to help.

There's a lot of nifty ideas here, and the game itself actually isn't too bad. Unfortunately, the controls are a bit awkward (especially when jumping on ropes) and the crappiness of my computer means the game runs at a less than desirable frame rate. The instruction to play the game are included in the zip file. Thanks to VAMP.HUNTER X21 and Jorge Fuentes for finding and providing this game!

Download the emulator, ANEX86, and disk files


Devil May Cry

This 2001 Capcom PS2 game is largely considered to be very reminiscent of the Castlevania series and, in many ways, it is - the architecture sends you exploring through a decrepit (yet gorgeously detailed) castle and all of the underground caverns that lie therein. The obvious difference is that it's a lot more modern - though the hero Dante wields a sword, he also attacks with a variety of guns.

Though the game is still broken up into "missions", the levels usually require a bit of exploration and some missions have you backtracking through familiar territory. Additionally, much like Symphony of the Night, you can spend time defeating enemies to earn red jewels which can, in turn, upgrade your weapons, give you new techniques or buy items.

Devil May Cry has also been widely lauded for its ability to bring old-school 2D style gaming to the third dimension. It succeeds very well - despite the awkward camera angle changes, the game controls like a dream.

Koji Igarashi, producer of Castlevania Chronicles and Harmony of Dissonance has said Devil May Cry is much closer to the spirit of the CV games than the N64 titles - so if that doesn't earn this game a spot in this page, I don't know what does.

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Castlevania Games - Castlevania-like Games