Halloween is a fun time of year for me. I’m not big on horror, but I do enjoy the atmosphere. That’s why I like Castlevania: lots of cheesy horror elements wrapped up in a solid platformer. I rank the series as one of my all-time favorites, but for some reason all this time I’ve somehow managed to avoid Super Castlevania IV on the Super Nintendo. I figured this Halloween was finally time to take it on.
My first impression was how easy the game was. Castlevania III is one of my favorite games and is quite challenging. This one doesn’t quite live up to that level of difficulty. Not that it’s super easy, it’s just not as hard as I expected. Part of this is due to the ability to swing the whip in 8 directions. A near ability, but it takes some skill out of the formula.
Graphically, the game is quite a nice example of some good 16-bit technical prowess. The sprites are large and well-animated. The levels are nicely crafted, and the scrolling backgrounds are a nice touch. The game’s visuals hold up quite well even today.
Let’s talk about that music. These are some of the best tunes to grace the SNES. Each piece sets the mood for the area. The music is of course hampered by technology, but it does really well with what it has to offer.
So, is Super Castlevania IV a Snag or a Gag? Well, a used, loose cart seems to go for around $35-40, and to be honest, I’d say it’s absolutely worth it. This is a solid platformer, one of the best I’ve played on the SNES. I never thought anything would come close to this game’s 16-bit brother, Castlevania Bloodlines. It doesn’t quite top that, but it’s incredibly close. Alternatively, the game is on the Wii U Eshop for $7.99, which is a steal. I would rank this game an absolute Snag.