Best classic-style Castlevania, other than Rondo of Blood?

Best classic-style Castlevania, other than Rondo of Blood?

  • Castlevania (1986)

    Votes: 24 6.7%
  • Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse

    Votes: 108 30.1%
  • Super Castlevania 4

    Votes: 141 39.3%
  • Castlevania Chronicles

    Votes: 12 3.3%
  • Castlevania Bloodlines

    Votes: 53 14.8%
  • Castlevania: Dracula X

    Votes: 13 3.6%
  • Castlevania: Adventure Rebirth

    Votes: 8 2.2%

  • Total voters
    359

Krejlooc

Dreamcast Porno Party
Member
Oct 27, 2017
16,215
Super Castlevania IV doesn't play like classicvania. The correct answer is Castlevania 3.
 

Crackhead_Bob

Member
Nov 1, 2017
1,318
Dracula's Curse is not fun at all. So many cheap deaths with no means of recovery after you respawn. You might as well start over in a lot of cases.
 

skeezx

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,461
Dracula's Curse is not fun at all. So many cheap deaths with no means of recovery after you respawn. You might as well start over in a lot of cases.
i think it's the only "all time classic" i never particularly enjoyed as a kid. played the hell out of it though

interested to give it another go when i can get around to the collection
 

D.Lo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,566
Sydney
I just learned from the Retronauts TMNT podcast that TMNT games ended up selling so well they diverted resources and manpower from Konami's other NES projects, including Castlevania. I wonder if an otherwise planned NES Castlevania 4 would have ended up better than the SNES one.
Here's the source of that info. Don't know how much it holds up in terms of budget of the actual release, since Akumajou Densetsu was released with a special chip in the cart and no Turtles game got that.


Lots of other interesting things. the Castlevania creator was clearly a smart game designer in the Nintendo/Miyamoto/Yokoi mold.
 

kurt

Member
Oct 27, 2017
313
I'm glad to see that castlevania 4 is on top.
It's the castlevania game that provide the same atmosphere as super metroid does.
It reach some point that you are really connected with the world like no other castlevania game does.
It's the art/music that provide this which you will remember for years to come.

(And Yes i played every castlevania game.)
 

Seven Force

Member
Nov 30, 2017
7,009
Probably 1 or 3. Adventure Rebirth is pretty fantastic and paced somewhat similarly to CV1 as well.

I'd probably have to go with CV3. Super Castlevania IV bores the living shit out of me.
 

Peterc

Member
Oct 28, 2017
236
I'm glad to see that castlevania 4 is on top.
It's the castlevania game that provide the same atmosphere as super metroid does.
It reach some point that you are really connected with the world like no other castlevania game does.
It's the art/music that provide this which you will remember for years to come.

(And Yes i played every castlevania game.)
True follow up would be castlevania 2 and 1. The 3rd wasnt that great imo. After those i would say the Metroid vanias and thzn dracula x and so on.

The one on n64 also included some great songs.
 

D.Lo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,566
Sydney
I vote CV4 for it achieving something so new with a new generation. It doesn't play the same as the games before, and Drac X Rondo carried a lot of what it did over plus returned to the classic gameplay, which is why it's the best overall.

CV4 has many issues, but had so much detail, and a real spooky sense of place. Very naturalistic environments (eg the first sections at the start, the waterfall section with the low piano music, the entrance area to the castle). It was one of the first games to at times completely hide that the graphics were made of tiles. It’s very uneven overall though, later areas in the game feature many more blocky parts, and there are some weird colour choices.


It goes out of its way to create a grand sense of place graphically. Enemies are so integrated with the environments, and many of the screens look very natural and not like a bunch of blocks. It makes the game feel like a genuine journey through the cursed countryside and huge castle, rather than just a bunch of themed levels.

I't something I found very disappointing about Vampire Killer/Bloodlines. Almost all levels in Bloodlines look very much like they are made out of graphical tiles. Look at the abrupt edges on the platforms here:

The levels have a setting (eg Greece) but then it just has a bunch of NES-style video game level platforms dropped in that setting. You're just fighting skeletons on video game stairs and platforms floating in the middle of the air above Athens for some reason. It's a completely abstract video game construct, like one of those later Bubble Bobble games with scenery in the background. Also almost every sprite is poorly animated, so many jerky animations, especially the main characters which are very poorly done. John ascending the stairs is one of the worst animations ever put in a major game.

Compare that to a similar 'ascending a waterfall' scene in CV4:

https://youtu.be/HdfAPZre5IU?t=961

Very natural looking, you don't even think of the graphics as being made of tiles at all. And the enemies are mostly plant based to fit in with the environment naturally. It really feels like you are ascending the side of a damp cave.
 

Crackhead_Bob

Member
Nov 1, 2017
1,318
i think it's the only "all time classic" i never particularly enjoyed as a kid. played the hell out of it though

interested to give it another go when i can get around to the collection
I normally don't complain about difficulty in games, but I think Konami could have pared it down to a more humane level. There's little to no breathing room in that game. It reminded me how ridiculously difficult Ninja Gaiden was on the NES. If you die towards the end of a level, you're screwed because you lose all your special weapons and upgrades. Just not a fun game, which is infuriating because of how slick the visuals were for 1990. It's also worth mentioning that Super Contra was released for the NES that year and you didn't have the cheap bullshit going on in that game. It was a fun sequel to Contra.

With Castlevania 1, it was a difficult and challenging game, but it wasn't cheap like Dracula's Curse was.
 
Jun 2, 2019
576
I vote CV4 for it achieving something so new with a new generation. It doesn't play the same as the games before, and Drac X Rondo carried a lot of what it did over plus returned to the classic gameplay, which is why it's the best overall.

CV4 has many issues, but had so much detail, and a real spooky sense of place. Very naturalistic environments (eg the first sections at the start, the waterfall section with the low piano music, the entrance area to the castle). It was one of the first games to at times completely hide that the graphics were made of tiles. It’s very uneven overall though, later areas in the game feature many more blocky parts, and there are some weird colour choices.


It goes out of its way to create a grand sense of place graphically. Enemies are so integrated with the environments, and many of the screens look very natural and not like a bunch of blocks. It makes the game feel like a genuine journey through the cursed countryside and huge castle, rather than just a bunch of themed levels.

I't something I found very disappointing about Vampire Killer/Bloodlines. Almost all levels in Bloodlines look very much like they are made out of graphical tiles. Look at the abrupt edges on the platforms here:

The levels have a setting (eg Greece) but then it just has a bunch of NES-style video game level platforms dropped in that setting. You're just fighting skeletons on video game stairs and platforms floating in the middle of the air above Athens for some reason. It's a completely abstract video game construct, like one of those later Bubble Bobble games with scenery in the background. Also almost every sprite is poorly animated, so many jerky animations, especially the main characters which are very poorly done. John ascending the stairs is one of the worst animations ever put in a major game.

Compare that to a similar 'ascending a waterfall' scene in CV4:

https://youtu.be/HdfAPZre5IU?t=961

Very natural looking, you don't even think of the graphics as being made of tiles at all. And the enemies are mostly plant based to fit in with the environment naturally. It really feels like you are ascending the side of a damp cave.
Are you my lost brother or something, we usually agree pretty much on everything Castlevania related.

And yeah, my vote goes to Super Castlevania IV too. Pretty underrated 'Vania if you ask me.
 

thepenguin55

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,019
Honestly that’s a list of bangers. Every single one of those is at least worth checking out if you haven’t played them before.
 

XuandeXun

Member
May 16, 2019
180
I suspect this is going to go down the line of console preferences, SNES>NES>Genesis.

*votes*

Yep. I spent the most time with Bloodlines, getting 0-death clears with both characters on the unlockable hardest difficulty. But I would also take most of the poll options over SCIV, including the NES trilogy.

I bought Rebirth and never got around to playing it. Oops.
 

Kromeo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,232
People complain about IV being too easy but it's just the one I enjoy playing most for a variety of reasons
 

spman2099

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,086
I think Super Castlevania IV is given a huge boost because of its difficulty. It is essentially one of the few power fantasy Castlevania games. It doesn't hurt that it sounds great and has those giant sprites. It leaves an impact, for sure. I think the reason people who are big into Castlevania are far more critical of it has to do with how loose it feels in comparison to the other games. It also isn't nearly as enjoyable on the second time around (while other games in the series have excellent replayability).

Just to be clear, I am not saying that if you love Super Castlevania IV then you aren't a big fan. It certainly has its fans among the hardcore. However, it is certainly more criticized among the hardcore Castlevania fans, while it seems to be beloved by the people who are more passing fans. There is most certainly a reason for that.
 

OrbitalBeard

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,319
It's a toss up between the first game and Dracula's Curse.

I'll go with the first one, because it's essentially a perfect video game. I love its short length. All killer, no filler.
 

MaitreWakou

Avenger
May 15, 2018
4,269
Toulouse, France
Castlevania 3 for me.
I find Super Castlevania 4 to be awful gameplay wise, I can't stand how it plays, I don't understand the love for it.
Because of that I never went really far, maybe the level design and ennemies encounter is excellent in that game.
I think people just love how it plays, which I can't.

Gotta give the recognition it deserves to the first one tho, gameplay wise and even in its aesthetic it was so unique. Even today when I play it, I'm impressed by how unique and good this game is when replaced to the context of its release.
It's still a fun game, but when you replace it in context ? Holy shit, this game is a monument.
 

lazygecko

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,767
I think Super Castlevania IV is given a huge boost because of its difficulty. It is essentially one of the few power fantasy Castlevania games. It doesn't hurt that it sounds great and has those giant sprites. It leaves an impact, for sure. I think the reason people who are big into Castlevania are far more critical of it has to do with how loose it feels in comparison to the other games. It also isn't nearly as enjoyable on the second time around (while other games in the series have excellent replayability).

Just to be clear, I am not saying that if you love Super Castlevania IV then you aren't a big fan. It certainly has its fans among the hardcore. However, it is certainly more criticized among the hardcore Castlevania fans, while it seems to be beloved by the people who are more passing fans. There is most certainly a reason for that.
The appeal of 4 essentially mirrors that of Symphony of the Night in how you compare it to its peers (Igavanias and Classicvanias respectively). In terms of pure game design and challenge/balance it has been outdone by other entries, but just taken as an experience where you just romp around casually with satisfying controls and soaking in the audiovisual atmosphere it is unparalleled.
 

D.Lo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,566
Sydney
CV3, but Curse of the Moon is so goddamn good.
It's very good and an indie throwback but it's not as great as the originals. So obviously a knockoff with the enemies that are knockoff versions of classic Castlevania ones.

The appeal of 4 essentially mirrors that of Symphony of the Night in how you compare it to its peers (Igavanias and Classicvanias respectively). In terms of pure game design and challenge/balance it has been outdone by other entries, but just taken as an experience where you just romp around casually with satisfying controls and soaking in the audiovisual atmosphere it is unparalleled.
Yeah that's pretty much it. Both of those games are broken on an action level but have lots of great stuff to see and hear on a journey.
 

OrbitalBeard

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,319
Castlevania IV has an incredible atmosphere and overall sense of place as the player progresses to and through Dracula's castle. I completely understand why people love it.
 

steviestar3

Member
Jul 3, 2018
1,020
Gonna go with Bloodlines or CV1. The pacing in those games is excellent and they're both satisfyingly challenging without being obnoxious.

CV3 is great at points but it's a bit too long and the difficulty is outright cheap at times (first level of Dracula's Castle coming from the lower path is like a sick joke). Boss fights are almost all lame too and it doesn't help that several of them are used for more than one level.

SC4 used to be my favorite but all the flaws that people criticize it for really stuck out to me on my recent replay of it on the Castlevania collection. It's way, way too long, the boss fights are completely uninteresting, and the platforming gets annoying with how much they love to spam traps that arbitrarily kill you in one hit later on in the game. The game actually feels really unpolished compared to the other classic Castlevania games.
 

spman2099

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,086
The appeal of 4 essentially mirrors that of Symphony of the Night in how you compare it to its peers (Igavanias and Classicvanias respectively). In terms of pure game design and challenge/balance it has been outdone by other entries, but just taken as an experience where you just romp around casually with satisfying controls and soaking in the audiovisual atmosphere it is unparalleled.
I think you nailed it. Well said. Personally, I would say that Rondo and Bloodlines are a bit more appealing to me on those fronts (audio and visual), but I can see why people would be into Super Castlevania IV. I know I was a huge fan of it when it first came out on the SNES.
 
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Host Samurai

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,182
Super Castlevania, even without nostalgia is the best classic non Rondo vania. I really wish we got a sequel to this with the branching paths and an actually epic Drac boss fight. I am still confused on why Dracula didn’t turn into his devil form in SC. I think it would have looked awesome.
 

Hieroph

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,562
Super Castlevania 4 is great and it's weird that we never really got another Castlevania game like it.

Would be fun if Igarashi goes for a Castlevania 4 style for a new Bloodstained retro title, like the next step from Curse Of The Moon.
 

P-Bo

Member
Jun 17, 2019
123
Can't go wrong with Super IV and 3 (Japanese ver.)

On a slightly unrelated, but very weird note, regarding the Rondo Pachinko--anyone here played it? I tried finding some info on it, but everything I want to know has been scrubbed from YouTube.
 

Nanomage

Member
Dec 21, 2017
18
Bloodlines,two distinct characters that can go into different areas and some of the very best music in the entire series.
 

PlayerC90

Member
Oct 25, 2017
689
Germany
It's probably 3. Chronicles is super underrated (presumable because not a lot of people played it? But yeah, I really like that one)

4 doesn't do much for me, of the good classic Castlevania games it might be my least favorite. So behind 1, 3, Chronicles, Bloodlines, Belmont's Revenge and Rondo. Also Simon is kinda ugly in it :P
 

Tain

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,652
I hop between X68000/Chronicles and Akumajou Densetsu/CV3 depending on my mood.

it's so obviously not IV
 

Storminormin

Member
Jan 14, 2018
70
Dracula's Curse is not fun at all. So many cheap deaths with no means of recovery after you respawn. You might as well start over in a lot of cases.
Agreed, Dracula's Curse plays better, and has some interesting mechanics. But it's got too much platforming, and that one level with the falling blocks is just awful.

I'm split between Castlevania 1 and 4. I voted for the original since it felt like the more rewarding experience to me.
 

Crackhead_Bob

Member
Nov 1, 2017
1,318
Agreed, Dracula's Curse plays better, and has some interesting mechanics. But it's got too much platforming, and that one level with the falling blocks is just awful.

I'm split between Castlevania 1 and 4. I voted for the original since it felt like the more rewarding experience to me.
It's unfortunate because this game had all the tools it needed to be what Simon's Quest wasn't. A return to form, but with better visuals and level design. Where they fucked up on was the placement of powerups, in addition to the unforgiving level of difficulty in the game. Maybe they shouldn't have tried innovating the series with the optional characters. It really threw the balance off in terms of where upgrades spawned.

Even though Castlevania IV was a remake of the first game in everything but name, I liked that it balanced the difficulty more fairly. Perhaps it had a lot to do with how unsatisfied I was with Castlevania III, or maybe it was the thrill of playing the first 16-bit Castlevania.