Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Posts Tagged ‘simon belmont

Review: Super Castlevania IV (SNES)

leave a comment »

Console: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
Released: 1991
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Super Famicom? Yes (as Akumajo Dracula – English Translation: Dracula’s Castle)
Instruction Manual: Not necessary – Link
Difficulty: Mild
Played it as a child? No
Value: $22.79 (used) $189.95 (new) (
Price: $20-$30 (used) $150.00 (new) and $500 for first edition (v-seam) on eBay
Digital Release? Yes – Virtual Console – $8.00

It’s pretty much understood that Super Castlevania IV is merely a remake of the original Castlevania, however for many reasons it is a significant game in its own right.  In Japan the game held almost the same name as the original (Akumajo Dracula) and in the lore and instruction manual in Japan it literally has the same plot.  For the US release, Konami attached the “IV” as well as giving a slightly different story that suggests the events of this game take place immediately following the second game, Simon’s Quest.  Even though both the developers and the fans agree it’s not a sequel, the two games have little in common with one another.  While it’s a cool experiment with many gameplay characteristics, some that would never return and others became series staples, Super Castlevania IV was also a flagship title for the SNES to show off all the things the various modes (including the overhyped Mode 7) could do to a game.  Think of it as a fleshed out action platformer tech demo that was far more interesting in retrospect than Pilotwings.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fred Rojas

July 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Review: Castlevania (NES)

leave a comment »

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Released: 1987
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Famicom? Yes (as Akumajo Dorakyura)
Instruction Manual: Not necessary – Link
Difficulty: Hard
Played it as a child? Yes
Value: $12.87 (used) $55,000.00 (new) (
Price (eBay): $15-$20 (used) $1125.00 (new) NOTE: This copy is revision A and thus has a lower value.
Digital Release? Yes – Virtual Console (NES version) – $5.00

What Are You Supposed To Do?

This is a linear action platformer.  Many attribute the Castlevania series as an RPG or action RPG, whereas aside from the second title in the series, it has never really been.  With no real inventory to maintain and no story elements to speak of, this original title is all about jumping and killing enemies.


Castlevania released early in the NES life cycle and for that time seemed to be the culmination of everything you would want in a video game.  Hitting store shelves early summer of 1987, most NES gamers had either just gotten or were hoping to get the console in the near future and word was getting around that this was one of the pivotal titles to play.  You control a hero, Simon Belmont, who has vowed to hunt Dracula in his own castle.  In the game you encounter all types of horror staples such as bats, zombies, and Medusa heads all while tackling large scale boss battles with famous monsters like Frankenstein, the Mummy, and even Death himself (aka: the Grim Reaper).  As a young boy, this sounded like the most amazing game in the world and I was even happier to find out it delivered on all fronts.  Castlevania is a difficult and wild ride through a haunted castle of horrors that holds up even today, albeit at the cost of your sanity with the Dracula battle.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fred Rojas

July 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm