The Games of the Castlevania Collection.

So I have to admit, I’ve never been a big Castlevania fan.  So why did I get this collection?  Well, one, it was on sale.  Can’t resist a sale.  Plus I wouldn’t have bought it full price being digital only.  And two, I also love classic game collections period.  And three, it has one game in the series that I do really like, and it’s my favorite Castlevania game ever.  It’s also never been released in the US until now.  Can you guess what it is?  Well you’ll just have to read on to find out!  So let’s take a look at every game on this collection!  And let me know in the comments section what your favorite Castlevania game is.

But before we get started, I’ll mention some of the features in this collection.  You can play both the US and Japanese versions of some of the games.  That’s very important for a couple of the titles, and you’ll see why shortly.  There is also a digital booklet with art and history of the games.  I’m surprised it doesn’t include sheet music like the Konami Anniversary Collection: Arcade Classics booklet did, especially since Castlevania music is so beloved.  And with that out of the way, let’s take a look at each game in the collection.  If it seems like I dust over a few of the games in the lineup, just remember that I’m not a fan.


The game that started it all on the NES.  I remember it being very popular back then, and nearly every kid I knew had it.  A lot of people say it was the horror themes that drew them in, but it just didn’t grab me for some reason.  Part of the reason why I didn’t like it was that Simon Belmont controlled heavy and fell like a rock.  “But Cary,” you might ask, “you like Mega Man games and Mega Man falls like a rock, too.”  Well, yeah, but Mega Man games also don’t expect you to avoid speedy bats and erratic medusa heads without a long range weapon either.  Plus, it makes sense for Mega Man to control heavy, since he’s a robot.  Simon Belmont just feels like he ate a big breakfast before storming Dracula’s castle.  The Japanese version of this game lets you pick an easy mode, but I don’t know what button on the PS4 controller is the NES select button, so I couldn’t figure out how to pick it.  But yeah, this game was so popular that Simon Belmont was included as a character in the Captain N Saturday morning cartoon.  Wouldn’t it be funny if Konami included THAT version of Simon Belmont in an upcoming Castlevania game?

Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest

They added some adventure elements to this sequel, like a slightly maze-like Metroid styled world, towns you could visit and people to talk to, and a day and night cycle.  All of which were fairly innovative for the time.  Unfortunately they weren’t executed very well and cheap hits, knockbacks, and overall difficulty turned me off of this one.  My friend and I rented this as kids and beat it, but I don’t know how we did!  I certainly don’t have the patience for it now!

Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse

This is the game you want to play the Japanese version of, because it added some extra sound chips and the music (especially the percussion) sounds amazing for a NES game.  I’ve also always been impressed with the graphics.  They’re so colorful and some visual effects almost look 16-bit!  It’s still a Castlevania game, though, so that’s as much praise as I can give it.  Simon Belmont, aka “Big Breakfast” is supposedly joined by a couple of other playable characters, but I can never get that far to see them.  I hear one of them you can play as is Dracula’s son, Alucard.  I don’t know why Alucard would be fighting his own father, but I think it may have something to do with the fact that he just named him the same, except spelled his name backwards.  But we’ll talk more about Alucard later on.

Super Castlevania 4

I liked the Super Nintendo so much that I was willing to rent games I normally wouldn’t, just to see what they were like. Such was the case with this one. I really was impressed with the graphics and sound on this one when I rented it.  I also liked that Simon could now use his whip to swing from hooks, and can also wave it around like crazy.  Made it a little easier to defeat all those skeletons jumping all over the place.

Castlevania: The Adventure

Hey they even added a couple of Game Boy titles on here!  While I guess it’s good for fans and it seems impressive for such an early near launch title, boy it sure does play slow!

Castlevania 2: Belmont’s Revenge

Another Game Boy title.  I wonder if calling it a sequel caused any confusion with the other Castlevania 2?  Anyway, it plays a little better and you can select stages, but it’s not that much of an improvement.

Castlevania: Bloodlines

This is the only Castlevania game on the Genesis, and you can also play it on the Genesis Mini.  I imagine SEGA fans were thrilled to get a Castlevania game of their own.  But aside from being slightly gorier, it’s still the same old Castlevania.  I like the graphics and sounds on the SNES game better, but I will say the visuals here are still clean and colorful, and there are some neat effects like the water in the second level.  You can choose from two playable characters.  One plays just like Simon Belmont, whip and all.  The other is a guy with a more versatile spear that you can thrust up as well as side to side.  Only cool thing about the whip dude is the game says he’s from Texas!  People from Texas are cool, don’t you think?  You just MIGHT be reading an article written by someone from Texas right now!

Kid Dracula

And now for my favorite Castlevania game!  Did you guess it?  Once you play it, you’ll say, “Yeah, this is definitely a ‘Cary’ game.”  But this Famicom game never came out to the US, for various reasons.  But the US did get the Game Boy sequel/remake.  Technically the Game Boy game is a sequel, but they use a lot of the same levels, but mix things up a bit.  For instance, in the NES game, the first boss you fight a baby ghost, and then it runs away and you fight the bigger daddy ghost.  But in the Game Boy game, you fight the baby, daddy, and then a grandpa ghost!

So basically, Kid Dracula is a silly Castlevania game.  It’s the Parodius of the Castlevania series.  You play as young Alucard, who was woken up from a 1,000 year nap to protect his castle from aliens.  I wonder how the Symphony of the Night fanboys and Alucard swooners feel about this game?  I knew about the Game Boy title back then, but I didn’t realize it was a silly Castlevania game.  Konami didn’t do too much to market it that way, and it looked like a juvenile title that teen Cary wouldn’t have been interested in.  But once I was in college and dabbled a bit in emulation, I tried the NES version that never came out over here and realized it was a Castlevania parody after seeing the first level.  They even have a silly remix of the stage one theme from Castlevania 3!  And really, Kid Dracula plays more like Mega Man, but maybe that’s why I like it so much.

So I imagine there are lots of reasons why Konami didn’t bring this over to the US back then.  It was late in the NES life and the SNES was about to come out, Nintendo limited how many games third parties could release, etc.  But one main thing that probably kept it from coning here was content.  Remember those baby and daddy ghosts I talked about earlier?  In the Japanese game, they look more like they’re wearing KKK hoods with a swastika on top.  That wouldn’t have gone well here.  For the version on this collection, they took out the swastikas.  You can play the Japanese version of this game on the collection as well, but they took those out of that as well.  I’m a bit disappointed that the Game Boy version isn’t on here.  It DID come out in the US after all, and this collection already has two other Game Boy titles on it.  Oh well.

Kid Dracula made some cameos in other Konami games.  He’s playable in a Japan only SNES Parodius game, and they even play his level one theme song in the intro parts of the stages.  He’s also a balloon in New International Track and Field on the DS.  Too bad he’s not playable in that game, but a lot of other weird Konami characters are unlockable in that, like Sparkster, Simon Belmont, Frogger, and even a character from Rumble Roses!  And billboards on the sides say stuff like “Gyruss.”  Only problem is that is one game that can tear up your DS with all the screen tapping and button mashing!  I don’t know why Kid Dracula wasn’t in Konami Krazy Racers on the GBA!  He seems like a perfect fit for that one!  But that’s all I have to say about Kid Dracula.  Definitely my favorite Castlevania game and I’m glad it’s on this collection.  I wish Konami would make another Kid Dracula game.

And that’s all for this collection!  In the comments section, let me know your favorite Castlevania games and which ones you would’ve liked to have seen on this collection.  I think they should’ve put Rondo of Blood/Dracula X and Symphony of the Night on here for fans, and I wouldn’t mind taking a stab at some of the GBA ones as well.  Later!  -Cary

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment

Tired of typing this out each time? Register as a subscriber!