Whenasking fans what their favorite classic Castlevania game is, rarely will they give the same answer. While many do flock to Super Castlevania 4, some prefer the classicCastlevania 1, the brutally hard Castlevania 3: Draculas Curse, or the Genesis exclusiveCastlevania: Bloodlines. However, therewas one entry many fansweren't even aware of until recently,its only versions on the PC Engine CD (which was exclusive to Japan) and the Playstation Portable under a different name that game being Castlevania: Rondo of Blood.
NEXT:10 Best Classic Castlevania Ranked From Worst To Best
Fortunately, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood was recently brought to the PlayStation 4 alongside its sequel,Castlevania: Symphony of the Night,in Castlevania: Requiem. So, to show just how much this mostly unknown Castlevania stacks up to the fan-favorite Super Castlevania 4,here are 5 qualities from each game to help compare and contrast the two.
The anime art style now associated with Castlevania started with Castlevania: Rondo of Blood,which had a story that was told through cutscenes throughout the game. This game marks the start of the series using anime imagery in their concept art and character designs.
The opening cutscene is filled with a dark atmosphere ascultists sacrifice a young girl in order to resurrect a sleeping Dracula. As Dracula bursts out of his coffin, it cuts to his castle in the distance players press start to begin the game and a door slowly creeps open, invitingthem in.
AcrosstheNintendo Entertainment System trilogy (and all of the ports on Japanese exclusive home computers,) every Belmonts jump is stiff once you jump, youare dedicated to that jump and cannot alter it mid-air likeone would be able to in a Mario game.
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In Super Castlevania 4, they decided to scrap the old controls and made Simon Belmont much more fluid. As you jump in the air, you can alter your direction mid-air in case an enemy appears or you have accidentally jumped towards a pit, which is also one of the reasons Super Castlevania 4 is one of the easiest in series.
As you unlock levels in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, you can return to the menu and replay old levels. This is especially helpful due to their being multiple paths to explore. Being able to go back and see if there are any sections you may have missed out on is a great way to ensure replay value.
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Another good reason to backtrack is to save Richers girlfriend and all of the other women that Dracula has kidnapped, including Maria who becomes playableonce saved.
Mode 7 is a graphical mode on the Super Nintendo that allows backgrounds to be layered and scaled. A good example of this is the pseudo-3D effect created by the rotating and scaling of the track in Super Mario Kart.
Super Castlevania 4 uses this effect during a stage to rotate the entirelevel behindplayers asSimon hangs from his whip.Mode 7 is also used on the same level to warp the background by rotating it so it looks like Simon Belmont is in the middle of a kaleidoscope which creates a really interesting effect that was also used inTerranigma.
As you go through Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, Richtersaves different women Dracula has kidnapped, including his girlfriend. Whileplayers can save these women just for completions sake, you can actually play as one of them, a young lady named Maria.
Maria is essentially the easy mode in the game. Her dash is incredibly quick and her base attack, which is a pair of doves, keeps you at a distance to ensure you never get hit. She also has powerful magic spells that summon animals and are much more effective than Ritchers magic.
In Super Castlevania 4, Simon Belmont has the ability to swing from certain spots throughout the game. These can just be placed randomly, like in the first level so you can get the hang of using them, or they can be part of the level design and must be used in order to bypass certain sections.
RELATED: Castlevania: 10 Strongest Belmonts, Ranked
Though you dont have the freedom to swing from any surface as you can in Castlevania: Bloodlines,it is still a welcome addition and makes for some interesting obstacles to overcome throughout the game.
In Super Castlevania 4, Simon Belmont has been given the ability to whip up, at an angle, and in all 8 directions when jumping. This almost make sub-weapons useless as the whip can take out enemies at all angles. This is another reason Super Castlevania 4 is considered one of the easiest games in the franchise. This sort of whip control is exclusive to this game and was never used again to this extent. The total control of Simon's whip is a quality of life change, but also leaves the game feeling a little less Castlevania.
Like in every Castlevania,you find many different sub-weapons. The ax, knife, holy water, clock, cross, and more are used by collecting hearts hidden throughout levels. However, in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, playershave to option to use a large amount of hearts at once to unleash a massive attack called the Item Crash with each different sub-weapon having a different effect. When used with holy water, holy water rains from the sky, hitting all enemies on screen. When used with the knife, Richter shoots out 10-15 knives in quick succession, concentratinghis damageon one foe.
Aside from the better controls, controllable jumps, and the ability to swing, Simonalsohas the ability to usehis whip as a shield. By holding the attack button, Simon's whip will go limp. This can be useful for blocking enemy projectiles, butit can also be swungaroundto hit nearby enemies. That said, this ability was given to Richter in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
The defining feature that makes Castlevania: Rondo of Blood so great is the branching paths. In other classic Castlevania games,falling into a pit spells certain death. In Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, falling into ap it will often leadto a different part of the level complete with a new boss fight.
Many levels have branching paths that open the game up massively and inspiredCastlevania: Symphony of the Night'smassive interconnected open world.
NEXT:5 Classic Castlevania Games That Deserve A Remake (& 5 That Don't)
Next 10 Ground-Type Pokmon That Most Fans Forgot Exist
Ian is a writer with a strong interest in video game history. He has a small collection of games going back to the '70s with the Atari 2600 all the way up to the most current generation; so when you need a random fact about video game history to show off with at a party, he's your guy!
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