Castlevania Anniversary Collection Preview
Konami is celebrating its 50th anniversary by releasing three collections of games from its past. The Castlevania Anniversary Collection is one of these releases (with Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection and Contra Anniversary Collection being the other two). The company has unveiled which games are included in the Castlevania collection. Castlevania Anniversary Collection features Castlevania, Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge, Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, Super Castlevania IV, Castlevania: Bloodlines, Kid Dracula, Castlevania: The Adventure, and Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. It’s a great pack of titles in one package. We only wish they would have included Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (future DLC?) Here’s a a closer look at the included games:
This is the first game in the series and the one that started it all. It’s fun for players to go back and see the first game in such a huge and successful series. You begin the history of the Belmont family’s quests to bring down Dracula. This game was originally released on the NES in 1987.
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest is one of the most controversial titles in the entire Castlevania series. You either love it or you hate it (we love it). It made some big changes from the debut game in the series, but we enjoyed the game more than the original. The game focuses more on the storyline of the series instead of just being a straight platformer. The nonlinear, RPG-inspired gameplay of Simon’s Quest wouldn’t return to the Castlevania series until Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was released decades later. The game also features an excellent soundtrack, as well. Simon’s Quest was released on the NES in 1988.
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
This game undoes most of what part two did to the original game. The game is way more linear than Simon’s Quest (like the original game), but it does retain some of the branching paths throughout the game. Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse was released on the NES in 1990.
Super Castlevania IV
Definitely the overall best game in this package, Super Castlevania IV was a beast back in its day. It has some of the best graphics and music in the entire Castlevania series, and arguably, some of the best gameplay and action. This is a very solid game overall and a great addition to the Castlevania Anniversary Collection. Super Castlevania IV originally launched on the Super NES in 1991.
Castlevania: The Adventure
Castlevania: The Adventure was the first game in the Castlevania series made for handheld devices – in this case, the original Game Boy handheld. Castlevania: The Adventure simplified the core mechanics of the series (the game doesn’t even have any stairs located within it!). However, the music remained surprisingly awesome for the Game Boy hardware. The game was released on Game Boy in 1989.
Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge
Castlevania 2: Belmont’s Revenge is the sequel to Castlevania: The Adventure on the Game Boy. It’s pretty similar to its predecessor. It is not, however, a different version of Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest (it just has a similar name). Castlevania 2: Belmont’s Revenge was released on the Game Boy in 1991.
Kid Dracula is a unique Castlevania game you may have never played before. It was never released in North America in its original form. It was formerly a Japan-exclusive game called “Boku Dracula-kun” overseas. Now North American gamers are getting the first official English version of the game. Kid Dracula launched on the NES in Japan in 1990. There was also a Game Boy remake that is also called Kid Dracula that came out in 1990.
The Castlevania: Anniversary Collection also includes an in-game Bonus Book that includes developer notes, conceptual sketches, and an interview with Adi Shankar, a producer from the Castlevania Netflix animated series.
While the collection looks great, we do secretly wish that Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night were also included in this set. Other great titles in the Castlevania series that are also missing from this collection include Curse of Darkness, Lords of Shadow, Order of Ecclesia, and Aria of Sorrow.
Castlevania Anniversary Collection releases digitally on May 16, 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. It retails for $19.99.