In honour of the collection’ thirty fifth anniversary — sure, it is 35 years since Castlevania first launched in Japan on the Famicom Disk System on twenty sixth September 1986 — we’re republishing our ranked record of each Castlevania recreation on Nintendo consoles. Enjoy!
The Castlevania collection has a wealthy historical past on Nintendo consoles ever for the reason that authentic recreation got here first to the Japanese Famicom Disk System manner again in 1986, after which to the NES a yr later. There could also be a major launch or two from Konami’s vampire-killing catalogue nonetheless lacking from Nintendo platforms (we’re taking a look at you, Symphony of the Night), however the overwhelming majority of the collection may be discovered on Nintendo consoles.
But the place do you have to begin for those who’re new to the Castlevania collection? Which Castlevania recreation is one of the best? Those are robust questions, however we have finished our greatest to whip up a ranked record of one of the best Castlevania video games (on Nintendo consoles) beneath. The collection has many excessive factors, plus a few very low ones, and is available in two distinct flavours: the extra simple right-to-left model of the unique video games or the extra expansive model of Koji Igarashi-produced video games — generally known as ‘IGAvanias’ — which mixed spiritually with Nintendo’s Metroid collection to delivery a complete style of ‘Metroidvania‘ video video games.
For Switch homeowners the Castlevania Anniversary Collection ought to clearly be your first port of name, with the more moderen Castlevania Advance Collection containing one of many absolute best video games within the collection, too. And there’s at all times Koji Igarashi’s non-affiliated Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night as soon as you’ve got exhausted all of the Belmonts beneath. The Switch model is not excellent, however it’s a lot improved since launch and is arguably the closest factor followers will get to Symphony of the Night on Switch till Konami decides to put Symphony of the Night on Switch.
We’ve included a few spin-offs and oddities, however that is sufficient discuss. Wipe away these bloody tears, and let’s go kill us some vampires.
We begin with a spin-off. Set within the Castlevania universe, this 2008 Wii recreation introduced all of your favorite characters and monsters collectively for a momentously garbage one-on-one 3D fighter with terrible controls and questionable character designs. Castlevania Judgment was panned by critics and followers alike on launch and time has finished nothing to heal the injuries this one inflicted. A depressing pile, certainly.
The first entry for the collection on the Game Boy, and one finest left forgotten, Castlevania: The Adventure is a turgid, terminally sluggish approximation of the collection’ traditional gameplay with repetitive, bland degree design. Given the host console’s limitations, you could be tempted to present it the advantage of the doubt, however the sequel would present what the platform was actually able to and expose this for the horror that it’s. Do your self a favour, skip this and begin your moveable Castlevania journey with Belmont’s Revenge.
Available on Switch as a part of Konami’s Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection, Haunted Castle is an odd duck. Made solely for arcades, it occupies an odd center floor someplace between homage, parody and port and sees Simon Belmont (with a sprite which stands 1 / 4 of the display screen tall) rescuing his new bride from the villainous clutches of the Count. The music is by far one of the best factor about it, however regardless of trying superficially ‘higher’ than the unique, it is an unfairly punishing arcade expertise designed to empty your pockets of shiny cash. As such, there’s not a lot enjoyable available and in the end it is not a patch on the unique.
If you are you possibly can try the variations between the unique NES recreation, its VS Castlevania arcade port and Haunted Castle in this video.
Publisher: Konami / Developer: Konami Computer Entertainment Nagoya
Without figuring out that this was the third Castlevania for Game Boy, you would be forgiven for pondering this was the second recreation earlier than Konami perfected issues with Belmont’s Revenge. But no, Castlevania Legends was a late launch for the ageing console (1997 in Japan, 1998 within the West) – the third and ultimate entry and a lower than auspicious farewell to Nintendo’s 8-bit handheld. Following the discharge of the towering Symphony of the Night on PlayStation would have been an unenviable job, to make sure, however even bearing in mind the platform’s inherent limitations that is an intense disappointment. With poor animation, lacklustre sprite work and equally unimpressive degree design, it is exhausting to consider that this got here a whopping seven years after its implausible predecessor.
Simply put, it wasn’t adequate on the time, and regardless of being a sought-after collectors merchandise today, it is solely obtained worse with age. Avoid.
Publisher: Konami / Developer: Konami
A flawed stab at a polygonal 3D Castlevania, this is not ‘unhealthy’ as a lot as ‘crushingly common’. Launching a number of years into the N64’s cycle in 1999, gamers anticipated higher from a 3D recreation on the dawning of the brand new millennium. Camera points had been a perennial downside for video games of the period, however one of the best Castlevania titles have at all times been characterised by tight controls and Castlevania (sure, it eschewed the ’64’ colloquially appended to its title) merely wasn’t as much as snuff. We respect it – from afar – however this one’s most likely finest left within the crypt.
Publisher: Konami / Developer: Konami
This second N64 entry launched lower than a yr after the primary and truly contains your entire first recreation as an unlockable bonus as soon as you’ve got accomplished the prequel journey. Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness is actually the sport its predecessor ought to have been and would little question be a DLC launch with umpteen patches today. It options quite a few gameplay tweaks and in addition makes use of the Expansion Pak for improved visuals, however paying full worth for this after placing down exhausting money for its predecessor firstly of the yr was painful, even for collection devotees. Those N64 carts had been expensive again within the day, and even in its polished kind Legacy of Darkness is a good distance from ‘traditional’ standing, regardless of our residual affection for it.
Publisher: Konami / Developer: Konami
Another recreation we’ve fond recollections of, regardless of itself. Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest is obtuse, infuriating and downright low cost at instances… however it’s obtained a killer soundtrack and admirably adjustments issues up by constructing on the unique recreation with new concepts, together with a day/evening cycle and an intriguing (if in the end irritating) non-linear method. Back within the day it will have been an absolute nightmare, and we completely perceive individuals who lose persistence with it, however for those who’re not against sitting down with a walkthrough and making use of save states, we might advocate giving Simon’s Quest one other probability. The soundtrack alone makes it price a playthrough.
This MSX2 model of Castlevania was developed in tandem with the NES recreation and options many similarities in addition to some fascinating variations from the sport you are most likely conversant in. For instance, it wasn’t doable to implement scrolling within the MSX2 model so every degree is split into single screens that you simply transfer between. If you are fascinated about a side-by-side comparability, try this overview video from Splash Wave.
So what’s this doing on an inventory of Castlevania video games for Nintendo consoles, you ask. Well, Vampire Killer launched on the Wii U Virtual Console in Japan, so whereas we could not have had the pleasure within the West, it has technically appeared on a Nintendo platform. Ergo, it is inclusion right here.
Known as Vampire’s Kiss within the EU, Castlevania: Dracula X is a Super NES remake of the PC Engine authentic Rondo of Blood, and it does not stand as much as comparability with the sport on which it’s primarily based, though it is actually not unhealthy taken in isolation. It affords stable, old-school Castlevania fare and is price investigating for those who’ve chewed your manner by means of higher video games within the collection (most notably the unique Rondo of Blood). If you are new to the collection, we would not begin right here, although.
Killer box art, thoughts.