Super Castlevania IV
Original North American Release Date: December 4th, 1991
Like Mega Man X, Super Castlevania IV is already obtainable on modern consoles thanks to its inclusion as part of the Castlevania Anniversary Collection. But it still deserves a place within the Nintendo Switch Online SNES Library.
Essentially a pseudo-remake of the original NES Castlevania, Super Castlevania IV lets players once again take up the mantle of Simon Belmont as he battles his way to face Count Dracula. However, thanks to a significant key overall of the series controls, the stiff jumps and one-directional whipping from the NES games become a relic of the past. Simon is able to control his jumping momentum in midair, in addition to being able to whip in eight different directions. Konami also made adjustments to the series steep difficulty, which made this entry a more accessible “gateway” for players that might have otherwise passed on it due to the brutal difficulty of the series’ previous NES titles.
Super Castlevania IV features some incredibly detailed and beautiful graphics that showcases the graphical power of the SNES, especially when comparing it to the NES Castlevania entries. The game also includes some excellent use of the console’s “Mode 7” effects, including a rotating room and a boss that grows and shrinks in size.
It also contains an exceptionally creepy and memorable soundtrack that fully demonstrates the quality of the SNES sound chip, created by Sony’s Ken Kutaragi, who went on to create the Sony PlayStation. Super Castlevania IV still easily stands as one of the best action-platformers of all time, and it still holds up in every aspect today.