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Castlevania Anniversary Collection |OT| The Classic Bloodline Returns

Oct 25, 2017
5,038
#1


Platform(s): Switch, Xbox One, PS4, PC
Release Date: May 16th, 2019
Genre: Action Platformer
Price: $19.99 USD, £15.99, €19.99
Player(s): 1
Format: Digital Only
Publisher: Konami
Size: 595 MB





Castlevania
The NES original that kicked off Castlevania for the North American audience. It’s a straightforward action game where you platform yourself, while whipping everything that moves, through Dracula’s Castle on a quest to kill the vampire master himself. Pick up equipment from candles and use hearts to activate them to get a leg up on all the monsters that stand in your way.





Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
The black sheep of the series that transitioned away from a level-based structured to something more open. It gets a lot of hate for the way townsfolk lie and mislead you but with a guidebook or other walkthrough you’ll be able to better appreciate the impressive scale of this NES game.





Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
The king of the NES trilogy. Dracula’s Curse returns to the level-based stylings of the first game but heavily expands on it with multiple paths, additional characters and more interesting environments. Replay the game and take different paths to have characters like Alucard join your party and let you exploit their unique abilities. This is the game Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon was a spiritual successor to so if you enjoyed that title you should absolutely give Castlevania III a spin.





Super Castlevania IV
A remake of the original game (or a sequel if you read the North American manual) Super Castlevania IV drops some of the features of Dracula’s Curse (no multiple characters, single path) but greatly expands Simon’s capabilities allowing him to whip in 8 directions, spin the whip and use it to latch onto and swing from grapple point in the world. The game world also takes advantage of the SNES to provide some pretty impressive mode7 moments.





Castlevania: The Adventure
As the first handheld game in the series (and one of the first Game Boy games), The Adventure is...not really good. It’s mostly here in this collection as a curiosity and to remind you that the far better remake, The Adventure Rebirth, is excluded from this set.

The game is exceeding slow and has poor jumping (even by Castlevania standards) but is designed as if you were as “nimble” as you were in the NES trilogy. Rather than finding tools like axes and daggers in the previous game you are limited to whip extensions (that downgrade when you are hit) as you move through a series of very limited screens.

Also: hearts heal you in this game...eww.





Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge
One of the better “jumps” in quality you can find on the Game Boy between sequels. Belmont's Revenge is a faster, tighter controlling, better looking game. It doesn’t live up to the console installments but, especially when compared to its predecessor, the game is a solid Game Boy release.




Kid Dracula
While the Game Boy version did receive an English release this is the first time the original NES game is being made available in other territories. It’s a charming platformer where you play as a young Alucard as you make your way through a parody of the Castlevania series.





Castlevania Bloodlines
Re-released for the very first time, Castlevania Bloodlines is the only title in the series to appear on SEGA platforms (the cancelled dreamcast/32x titles aside) and is one of the best games in the series. Featuring two playable characters, “too hot for Nintendo” levels of violence, a great Genesis soundtrack and some killer level design Bloodlines is worth buying the collection for in and of itself, especially if you’ve never gotten to play it before now.





I’m new to the series. What game should I start with?
You can jump in wherever you want as the games in this collection aren’t dependent on each other, but I personally recommend the original Castlevania on NES. It’s a short and simple introduction to the series’ traditional action style.

Where is Symphony of the Night and the other “Igavania” titles?
This collection (described as the “first” one for the series) is focused on the “Classicvania” games which are the earlier incarnation of the franchise focused on challenging, level based, action rather than exploring an open environment.

Where is Rondo of Blood or Dracula X?
Not here! But if you own a PS4 or PSP/Vita you can play Rondo of Blood in either Castlevania Requiem or the Dracula X Collection respectively.

How is the quality of the emulation?
Specific analysis is TBA, but it’s M2 handling the collection so you should expect things to run great.

Note: audio issues have been discovered.
A friend has noticed some audio errors, at least in the Xbox One version.


"I'm also hearing a really unusual high-pitched "beep" sound while playing. You can hear it twice at the start of the video and twice as I enter the room with the crushers"
Save states? Rewind options??
This collection only features save states.

Which regional versions of the games are included in the collection? Can you switch between them?
It appears the NTSC version of the game are what's in the collection for all English territories but we haven't gotten 100% confirmation on that yet.

There are no region options in this collection at launch but the Japanese releases are coming to the collection in a future, free, update. Note: the Japan release of this collection includes Simon’s Quest rather than the JPN version of Castlevania II so that's likely to be excluded from that update as well.

Display options?
For the console games you can choose between three aspect ratios: 4:3, pixel perfect and a 16:9 stretched display. You can also toggle on different background frames and scanlines.

The two Game Boy titles have different display options. You can display a 4:3 image and a pixel perfect one as before but you can also choose to have the game run with a filter that simulates the dot matrix display of an original Game Boy. There is the option to use a color filter and scanline overlay as well.

Other bonuses?
The game comes with the “The History Castlevania: Book of the Crescent Moon” eBook which includes “Box Art Gallery, Featured Titles, Key Person Interviews, Castlevania Research Reports and Design Archives”. This is accessed from within the main menu of the collection.

The collection also features replays for (at least some) of the games so you can get tips on how to beat harder encounters.

Does the PS4 Pro and XB1X support scaling the games properly to 4k?
It doesn’t appear so, it’s likely the games will be displayed in 1080p and then scaled to 4k by your console.

Achievement/Trophy list?
https://psnprofiles.com/trophies/9095-castlevania-anniversary-collection.
Note: the game does not feature a platinum trophy on PS4.

Can you remap controls (outside of the custom mapping available in the XB1/PS4 settings)?
Apparently not.
Unfortunately, unless the game supports it (Bloodlines & SCIV), there isn't an option to change buttons.

Worse, whip is mapped to the B & X buttons and jump is mapped to A & Y. (Switch version of course)

If you have an 8bitdo M30 (The Sega Genesis controller), whip is the "A" button and jump is the "B" button, which is pretty nice. It'll take a little finagling to get the right control scheme for SCIV/Bloodlines, but for me this is the ideal way to play.


German review that features a good amount of gameplay and a walkthrough of the options. Pretty much the only footage of the game pre-release.

Some import gameplay from Seafoam Gaming



Metacritic (PS4) - TBA
Opencritic - 78%

Destructoid - Unscored
https://www.destructoid.com/castlev...s-a-retro-compilation-done-right-553914.phtml
Castlevania Anniversary Collection always looked on-point when the full game list was announced, but I'm surprised at how great the extras are and how functional it is. More of this please, Konami.
Metro UK - 8/10
https://metro.co.uk/2019/05/16/castlevania-anniversary-collection-review-vampire-history-9572291/
Video game publishers have a terrible track record when it comes to retro compilations, always leaving out important games and often failing to provide any context or historical information. After the low-effort Arcade Classic Anniversary Collection we’re shocked this avoids most of those problems and is actually a reasonably priced, mostly definitive, celebration of early era Castlevania and the genesis of the Metroidvania genre.

Official Site
Nintendo Switch
Xbox One
Steam
PS4
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Dancrane212
Oct 25, 2017
5,038
#18
Has it been confirmed that M2 is doing the emulation? First that I have seen of this....
https://www.konami.com/games/us/en/topics/1250/

The Castlevania Anniversary Collection is part of KONAMI’s 50th anniversary celebration and compiles titles from its beloved franchises and retro games. To bring the Castlevania Anniversary Collection to life, KONAMI partnered with game developer M2 to expertly adapt these classics for modern gaming systems. Packaged together with Bonus Book extras including an interview with Adi Shankar, one of the producers of the animated series, this digital exclusive collection provides an entertaining and comprehensive history of Castlevania’s beginnings.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,729
#21
Time for some of that The new Generation Bloodlines at last, outside of my 10 minutes with a mega drive cart I've been waiting far too long to finally get my hands on this, time for it to not meet my lofty expectations.

Also don't sleep on the original game, it still stands strong alongside the other big hitters in this package.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,789
#22
Excited to dive in. I got interested in the series through the Netflix show, but haven't gotten around to playing much other than a little bit of SotN and LoS. I hope the input lag on Switch isn't bad.
 
Oct 30, 2017
904
#25
I'm actually looking forward to Kid Dracula the most, amusingly. I've played CV1-4 and Bloodlines a ton already. So I'll go for Kid and Adventure 2 first.

That being said, CV3 and Bloodlines are both games I replay a bunch, so I'll get to them at some point.

(I think I got Bloodlines on clearance for like $15 back in the late 90s, quite the deal in retrospect)
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,563
#26
Where is Rondo of Blood or Dracula X?
Not here! But if you own a PS4 or PSP/Vita you can play Rondo of Blood in either Castlevania Requiem or the Dracula X Collection respectively.
Boooooo, that's lame. I wanna play it with save states.

Save states? Rewind options??
This collection only features save states.
Neat that's good.

Which regional versions of the games are included in the collection? Can you switch between them?
It appears the NTSC version of the game are what's in the collection for all English territories but we haven't gotten 100% confirmation on that yet.

There are no region options in this collection at launch but the Japanese releases are coming to the collection in a future, free, update. Note: the Japan release of this collection includes Simon’s Quest rather than the JPN version of Castlevania II so that's likely to be excluded from that update as well.
Oooh that's really good, as it means that I can finally play the superior version of Castlevania 3.
 
Jan 30, 2018
3,184
#27
Very good colllection thjoughi would have traded Kid Dracula for Rondo. Also noting Vampire killer for MSX will remain obscure to me for a long time. I wonder how this game is.
While I'm happy about Kid Dracula, I agree on Vampire Killer. The idea of a single screen, exploration based pre-metroidvania Castlevania has me curious.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,511
Somewhere.
#33
Time to hunt the night yet again!



I am pretty excited for this, as I still haven't gone deep into the realm of Classicvania (only played DXC/RoB). Particularly interested in Super, Bloodlines, Kid Dracula, and Belmont's Revenge. CV3 and Bloodlines are probably the titles in particular that I will wait for the JP release.
 
Oct 30, 2017
904
#40
I wanted Dracula X. This pack makes no sense without it.

Such a disappointment.
Available on PSN with Symphony for $20. :/ I know it's lame, but Konami wasn't going to sell it in a 2-pack for $20 and then turn around and sell it in an 8-pack for $20.

(unless you mean the SNES Dracula X...in which case, I do wish it was here, though it's far from a deal breaker)