Review by videogamer1030

"Time to kick some vampire ass."

Super Castlevania IV is perhaps one of the best of Castlevania games in the series. It may have been the first SNES game to truly push the limitations of the system. It's a title that still looks good and plays reasonably, even after all these years have passed.

Story (3/10): The story of Super Castlevania IV is as barebones as it gets, but considering the era of its release- it doesn't require much more. Dracula needs to be stopped once again.

Audio (10/10): The audio is impeccable; the music arranged in this title is absolutely magnificent. Each tune is thrilling to listen to, yet evokes the feeling of a true Castlevania game- hauntingly catchy and ominously groovy. As far as sound effects, one has to love the crackling sound Simon's whip creates, so much props to that.

Gameplay (8/10): Our protagonist is Simon, a Vampire Killer. Simon can access a variety of different weapons but his trademark and primary weapon is the whip. New to Super Castlevania IV, Simon can swing his whip in all eight directions, in order to strike enemies and impede their attacks. The sub-weapons include the Cross Boomerang, the Axe, the Holy Water, and the Knife. The Cross Boomerang is by far the most useful of the bunch, and since you can only equip one sub-weapon, there is often little reason to pick up the other ones, because they replace the weapon slot.

I may be exaggerating here, but controlling Simon can sometimes feel like dragging a pile of rocks. It often feels that more than half the player deaths in the game involve Simon's clunkiness. Sometimes, Simon's jump doesn't quite make it, because Simon jumps through stairs, or moves too clunky.

Aside from that though, the game is extraordinarily well made –having ominous atmosphere to accompany solid level design. Enemy and pitfall placement is quite reasonable. Super Castlevania IV features eleven varied stages, each noticeably different from the last (except for the fact that candles are in literally all of them...even in a forest).

Visuals (9/10); Super Castlevania IV pushes the SNES to its full capacity. Some visuals in this game are especially dynamic, specifically the spinning room with falling blocks, the drawbridge into Dracula's abode, the spinning gears of the clock tower, and the room where Dracula is encountered, with lightning that is a piercing blood red. Simon's animation is a bit wonky, but the visuals in this game are still pleasant to look at almost the entirety of the time. This game has a large attention to background detail and really plays with some neat ‘Mode 7' effects.

Bosses are also ambitious in their execution, with the knight inside the glass case merely being the tip of the iceberg.

Replay Value (6/10) The replayability of Super Castlevania IV is highly dependent on how much you enjoy platformers. The game is fantastic to return to- it truly is fun. However, there is no added content or extra areas to explore. The only extra is a slight boost in difficulty after you beat the game.

Overall (9/10). I never mentioned prior that Super Castlevania IV is an enhanced remake of the original Castlevania title- largely because I didn't need to. Super Castlevania IV is infinitely superior to the original outing in practically every regard. For only 300 additional Wii points, you are getting an increased amount levels, superior music, more finely tuned gameplay. It is pretty much an improvement in every single facet except for nostalgia and perhaps difficulty level for those who like their games challenging. But Super Castlevania IV features a more difficult quest after the game is completed. Or, if you wish to start with it, skipping Quest 1, simply look up the password for level 1 on hard mode. And yes, that brings me to another point- this game utilizes a primitive password system. But fear not, you can use the Wii's save feature for Virtual Console games.

The main flaw with Super Castlevania IV is that it has an absolutely flawless presentation but offers only fairly reasonable gameplay. The game would be practically perfect if Simon didn't move like a turtle at times. But as it stands, despite these flaws, Super Castlevania IV is an excellent SNES game that should absolutely be experienced for anyone who likes old school gaming.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/28/08, Updated 02/04/16

Game Release: Super Castlevania IV (US, 12/25/06)

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