Super Castlevania IV (SNES)

Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Brad Shead (6)
Written on  :  Jul 24, 2007
Platform  :  SNES
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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An atmospheric masterpiece

The Good

As one of the first SNES games, Castlevania 4 is also considered one of the finest. Even though it was released fresh into the SNES's life, CV4 is undeniably one of the best-looking games on the system. Some of the game's detail reaches the level of PS1 classic Symphony of the Night, and quite frankly blows away the muddy look of fellow SNES 'Vania Dracula X.

And the sound... in terms of music, CV4 is the most atmospheric of the entire series. The music for each respective level fits the environment like a glove. From a slow piano and flute accompanying a drippy cave to dense bongos and a low-toned piano for a intimidating dungeon, the music was made for the level's look and feel extremely well, and vice-versa.

The controls are a HUGE improvement over the NES Castlevania's scheme. Simon can swing his whip in any direction you wish- up, down, left, right, and diagonally. While jumping, you can move Simon freely through the air, and a new crouch-walk maneuver makes it easy to dodge enemy attacks while creeping up for multiple attacks.

Almost TOO easy, in fact. In terms of challenge, CV4 is considerably easier compared to the NES installments. This is undoubtedly due to the big control improvement. If CV4 didn't have the improved controls it has, it would be just as difficult as Castlevania 3 for NES, if not much harder. The game's more forgiving difficulty may be considered a good thing.

The Bad

The one thing I didn't like about CV4 was how it lacked the multiple path option of CV3, but being a retelling of sorts for the first Castlevania, this minor complaint is understandable.

The Bottom Line

All-in-all, Castlevania 4 is simply one of the best games in the series, and for the SNES. You shouldn't have much problem tracking this game down, since it only runs for about $10 on eBay, and is also available for download on the Wii's Virtual Console service for $8. So go out and experience this masterpiece in game design, and thank Treasure (the same company responsible for Gunstar Heroes and Wario World) for making this beautiful land-mark in the Castlevania series.