Super Castlevania IV (1991)
Back when the Super Nintendo came out, most people were looking forward to seeing their favorite games, but with the improved graphics and sound that the 16-bit systems promised. One of the first titles to receive such treatment was Super Castlevania IV.
More of a remake than a new game with a new plot, you once again take on the role of Simon Belmont to destroy the count. Instead of starting on the front door of the castle, you good a good several levels making your way through stables, caves, smaller mansions and forests before you finally reach the inner levels of Castlevania, which includes a haunted library, dungeon and treasury.
The first thing you'll notice is how much bigger everything is. Simon has grown quite a bit thanks to the graphical enhancements, and looks quite a bit different too. Similarly, the backgrounds are very well detailed, and suitably dark. There are also several instances where the game shows off the SNES' Mode 7 capabilities, with a room that rotates and a rock monster that grows steadily as you attack it. The music too, is very dark, but utilizes the SNES synth to its best and creates sound filled with organs, drums and pianos.
Despite the obvious advancement in graphics and sound, Super Castlevania IV actually took a step backward in gameplay. There were no multiple paths or characters like in Castlevania 3 - you were confined to one character, on one path, though you were given a password option. However, the controls were fixed quite a bit. While Simon is still a little stiff, he can whip in any of the eight directions - one of the only Castlevania games in which you can do so. You can also use the whip to latch onto certain hooks and swing across them, Indiana Jones-style. By holding down the button, you can even twirl your whip around, though this is very weak and is only really useful for blocking projectiles.
Super Castlevania IV is also a bit easier than its NES predecessors, though it's certainly no walk in the park. Some may consider this a relief.
While it's one of the earlier SNES game, Super Castlevania IV still stands as one of the best, and oddly enough, beats out the Dracula X game for the system in most every aspect.
Super Castlevania IV Artwork
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Castlevania Games - Super Castlevania IV