Review by ice beam

"Four cheers for Konami!"

Wow. This game was a pleasant surprise. I didn't think I would like it at all, but I was wrong. For the longest time, I have been interested in classic gaming. I bought a NES last summer with a few games, One of them was the original Castlevania. I found it to be a very fun game, despite the fact that I died countless times and could never reach Death. Later that summer, my brother bought three games to play on my SNES. He bought Secret of Mana, Street Fighter 2, and, of course, Super Castlevania 4. He returned the games the next day and I couldn't get the chance to ask him to keep it. That Christmas, he bought the game for me. I was excited, but not as much, since the same day I had gotten a Wii and a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. I started playing Twilight Princess and just through SCIV (what Super Castlevania 4 will be called) to the side. About a month later, I finished Twilight Princess and decided to pop SCIV into my SNES. I must say I was very impressed and I had more fun with this game than I did Twilight Princess!

The story is basically the same as all the other Castlevania. Dracula's castle has risen and he and all of his undead buddies are walking around terrorizing people. This is the exact same story as the original Castlevania, so Konami says that this game is a remake of the original.

The games graphics impress me even today! All of the graphics are very good and we also have 3-D character models. Simon looks better than ever, but he looks like he is constipated when he stands, even more when he walks. The game also utilizes Mode 7 scrolling, which makes the game look very good. Perhaps the greatest graphical achievement is the background for level 4-3. The stage itself is very simple, but the background rotates like a cylinder. It makes me dizzy every time I see it.

The music in this game is some of the best I have heard on the SNES (or any console for that matter). The first theme is very good, yet out of place (when is entering Dracula's castle filled with evil monsters and tortured souls happy?). The second level also has a very good theme that emanates darkness and suspense. Levels three through eight have decent music, but not as good as the first two levels. But all of that is totally made up for the heroic theme for the treasury and the epic remix of Bloody Tears for the Clock Tower. The final level boast four excellent tracks, the first one being by favorite classical piece, Vampire Killer!

Controls have improved over its NES counterparts. Simon can now whip in eight different directions eliminating anything that might pose a threat to him. When Simon jumps, you can actually (GASP!) control him! The special weapon has also been given its own button for convenience.

This game has great graphics, music, and controls, but is it fun? Definitely! This was a very fun game. Each level is well designed and has a new challenge and unique boss for the gamer to master. The game really gets better once you get into Dracula's castle though, hosting some pretty tough levels. For example, one level is filled with instant death hazards that you constantly have to avoid while another one is a climb through crumbling staircases which leads to four different boss fights. Each level offers something new to the player. The best level in the game is definitely the treasury hall. It is filled with things that would make other adventurers swoon. Treasure chest springboards, collapsing bridges of gold, tons of grappling hooks, a secret area, and a crazy boss make this a level to remember. Plus add the heroic theme to the background and it is even better.

This game is pretty hard the first time around. Don't expect to get pass every level on your first try. Some of the jumps are very tricky and enemies won't pass up one second to knock you to your doom. Those bosses can also be pretty tough, but thankfully this game isn't as hard as the previous games. That may sound bad, but it is a good thing. The older Castlevania's were extremely difficult, to the point of "causing a controller sized dent in the wall and throwing NES out your window." The game is tough, yet fair. That is the kind of difficulty I like.

Final Score - 9.2/10 Rounded to 9/10

Great graphics, music, controls, and gameplay. What more could a gamer want in a game?

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/29/07

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