From the ubiquitous Konami intro to the polished Super Castlevania IV title sliding down, I absolutely felt transported back to high school. Released on Halloween, 1991, Super Castlevania IV for the SNES was the first Castlevania for the 16-bit system. Once I had old consoles looking good again, I knew this was one of the first games I had to find: box, manual, and that little cardboard insert not excluded.
It’s a leap from the original NES release in every way, with better control of Simon and his whips — even allowing you to dangle it about like a sausage — as well as refining the jump mechanics, which really loosens up the game from its roots. The levels and bosses are, for the most part, unique and well balanced, and the Mode 7 effects are memorable. But for me, standing atop all its merits is the incredible score composed by Masanori Adachi and Taro Kudo. When Simon’s Theme starts in Stage 1 the tingly goosebumps strike every time, and while the entire game has stunning music, it’s that first track that’s proven timeless.
I inched my way to finishing it a few days ago, let the credits roll, and started it again. But there’s too many other games waiting their turn, so I’ll let Simon live in his little plastic-encased PCB until next time.