The Castlevania Anniversary Collection Konami is celebrating the celebration of 50th anniversary of the studio and recalls the first entries in their series centered around the Belmont family, Dracula and his son Alucard. At the same time, Konami was to contribute in 1997 the next installment to the now-incredible Metroidvania genre, making the series immortal. In 1986, however it was the time that Castlevania the first installment in the series, was released on Nintendo’s Japanese Family Computer (Famicom, the Japanese version of the NES), and Nintendo’s debut Metroid series was an entire few years away the Castlevania was an action platformer with a side-scroller that is, a kind of jump and race – with added the horror genre, role-playing along with… staircases.
The Castlevania Anniversary Collection from Konami includes an assortment of eight titles on five different consoles:
The titles are games specifically made for the market in Europe and the United States, particularly regarding depictions of blood, nudity, and crosses. But, Konami is officially declared they are working on it is working to patch the Japanese versions are currently being patched, meaning that we’ll soon be able to enjoy games without censorship. The studio responsible for porting, emulating, and even converting games in the Castlevania Anniversary Collection is M2, which has been a leader for a long time by offering high-end emulation software. The collection also includes an eBook, “The History of Castlevania: Book of the Crescent Moon” It is not just an instruction manual for each title; it also has much interesting information regarding the cult vampire series. These can be chosen from a stylishly constructed main menu that includes a detailed background of each title available in tandem. The texts are generally extracted from the guides that came in the games.
Are you going into the world of vampires? Make sure you have the whip! (Frederick Belmont)
Before we get into the individual spin-offs from the Castlevania Anniversary Collection, we will briefly discuss the gameplay, which is not drastically different between the different titles, games, and settings options for the emulator. In a typical way for this genre of games, players play in a straight line from the left but then again and again left to right, and fight Dracula as well as his men using whips and later additionally using lances and different weapons, like throwing knives, holy water, or throwing stars. We can also cross the chasms that open before us with strategically placed jumps, jump over numerous obstacles, and switch between the many levels of various levels by climbing multiple steps. The principle behind it isn’t much more straightforward. Castlevania side-scrollers do not meet the criteria despite their centrality to play, for which I am incredibly thankful to M2 is clearly stated here.
The 21st century of carrots and sticks: comforts
The benefit is the possibility of creating more than one savestate, like the numerous mini-consoles with emulators released recently. A savestate is known as the ability to quickly save a game, allowing us to preserve the game at any moment and then reload it within the flash of an eye. This decreases the potential for the frustration of fun and allows for a generally easy walk down memory lane. There is one drawback: M2, in contrast to the usual usage of many emulators, one save state for each game that is implemented, and this can result in a negligent save operation that renders the game unplayable or as a result of keeping at an incorrect moment or was saved rather than loading (not that I’ve had this issue once, or more frequently… (screech*). However, one savestate is better than none! In addition, the emulation feature of M2 permits six different types of display. It is possible to choose between the actual output in the format 4:3 (which is, however, often not output in its desired form, but you can read more on that below) or the Pixel Perfect option, and a Perfect Pixel option that outputs the image in a smaller format with black bars appearing at high and low points of your screen (and not just on the sides as in 4:3). The third option is a very unattractive 16:9 distortion. Each of these types of display can be combined using a scanline filter that mimics the aesthetics and nostalgia of tubes; however, it also smooths out the hard 16bit, and 8bit looks slightly. Personally, it is a bit jarring when the scanline effect is overused and makes the picture more blurry and noticeable duller and darker than without. The Castlevania components can be played on the Gameboy, either with black or white or with a minimal color palette, which is like a plug-in (cartridge) was converted into a Game Boy Color. The output of images from that Game Boy’s original Game Boy can also be replicated, and scanlines can be added. To ensure completeness, it is essential to note that the emulator can also record brief replays of your game and fade into two frames instead of black lines in the four:3 or Pixel Perfect option. Technically speaking, the emulator makes more than just a good impression and provides an extremely smooth gaming experience, with precise controls, and visually, the emulation stays faithful to the original.
Edges and corners of Emulation
In a way, it’s all too faithful to the original M2 from The Castlevania Anniversary Collection can be a bit true to the shortcomings in the performance of the individual titles. Particularly, Castlevania Adventur most prominently stands out because of annoying line shifting and jerks. It could have been used better to address this. Some annoying bugs have also gotten into platforms. For that, the PlayStation 4 version tested here mostly affects the images’ display. When the display mode original (4:3) selected, the display will be stretched to 4:3. chosen, there are black bars on the bottom and top, and bottom, meaning that the image will not be stretched to the entire vertical aspect of the screen. This is, however, only true for this model. Original mode. When the 4:3 scanline option is chosen (i.e., the original image with scanline filter), the image is stretched across the top, and lower edges of the TV/screen, and the ratio of 4:3 is kept as normal. But, as the scanline filter requires a long time to adjust, I’d rather change to a non-filtered 4:3 image, particularly since the Pixel Perfect sections of the NES titles are also tiny. Additionally, the control layout is only able to be altered in Castlevania III Dracula’s Curse for the SNES and Castlevania Bloodlines for the Sega Mega Drive, as it was possible to do so in the first titles through the menu in-game. In other games in the Castlevania Anniversary Collection, this leads to assigning the jump buttons,, which isn’t very clear to me. The fact that objects can be utilized by pressing the upward and downward buttons simultaneously instead of, as was the case with Super Castlevania IV using some of the shoulder buttons results in a guaranteed misfire and, in the end,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, most often, to an energy loss, especially during stressful times.
Castlevania (Nintendo Entertainment System 1987)
It was 1987 when Castlevania, due to its immense popularity in the Famicom Disk System, was transferred into the NES and released outside of Japan in 1988. The first installment of this series begins in 1691, which is a century following the time when Christopher Belmont put Count Dracula in his secluded spot using his sacred whip vampire killerDuring the celebrations for Easter in 1691 in Transylvania However; a cultist group prepares to revive Dracula in a dark mass. The demonic supporters of Dracula return along with the vampire. However, the hero of his past is gone. In his place , we portray the most well-known descendants: Simon Belmont. As per the old family tradition, it’s at 22 years old, armed with whips and other weapons, to take on vampire and monster hunts to bring peace back to the nation.
In all six levels, each with three levels, we slash our way through an array of mythical creatures within Dracula’s castle. We must take on a boss at end of each group and finally , compete with Dracula himself. Through this, we earn upgrades for our whips and hearts, which act as ammunition for the other weapons – as well as points to improve our score. After completing a certain amount of scores, we get an additional Proceed. In addition to fighting with the dead, we fight against time, like in all other series episodes. When the countdown is over, it’s over for the protagonist, and one of the sporadic distributions Keeps going.
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (Nintendo Entertainment System 1988)
After having allegedly destroyed Dracula by bringing him to Simon Belmont in 1691 to the point that his castle was destroyed, doubts regarding the actual effectiveness of this plan started to emerge in 1698. We awake in the serene Jova village Jova and are confronted by something totally unexpected villagers who aren’t looking to take advantage of us however, we may even have a chat. We get the mysterious suggestion to acquire a crystal of white in the shortest time possible. We also find out about other villages that allow us to find out more information concerning the mystery of Dracula. Because in the years of fighting Dracula, the vampire who was head of Simon was enslaved by a curse with a curse, which could mean the closure of the now 29-year-old Belmont. The only way out is for Simon to follow on the heels of Anubis and Isis and must find the body pieces of Dracula scattered throughout Transylvania and five mansions to revive the same in a different way his own. Why should we believe that a group of ignorant fanatics will gather every century to form an unimaginable black mass instead of doing it more deliberately?
The game’s structure differs quite significantly from the original game. Even though Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest is an action-platformer side-scroller with the influence of a role-playing game and for the first time, we’re through the early version of an open-world 2D format that includes a dynamic daytime and night transition. This game plays with the elements of adventure in Metroidvania to the extent that it is the first such game. This is different from the game world in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, which is divided into various instances and accessible through an interactive map of the world that is walked through a bird’s-eye view. The game explores this area of Transylvania in the second chapter of Castlevania in a consistent structure for the level. If we exit Jova’s primary village to our left, we’ll be able to enter the forest, which is populated by purple creatures that are quick to take us out. If, however you try your luck towards the left of Jova, We find ourselves in a forest populated by blue and purple werewolves. We are now, with the help of properly-directed whip lashes, swiftly sweeping the floor of the woods. It’s not until it’s night. Since in the dark, enemies reward us but with a whole heart, but in the best meaning of the term – but also in a halfhearted way in the sense of only having half guts (these are used as an exchange for the most varied weapon upgrades, secondary weapons , and quest items, in addition to the growth of the constitution of Simon) However, they can take many punches. Somewhere along the open waters and cave passages to the manor that is first discovered. This way, we can access more extensive and more expansive areas of the wide world in the direction of Jova in a way and this is beautifully depicted.
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (Nintendo Entertainment System 1990)
The third entry in the series examines the origins of the Belmont family and takes our readers back to the year 1476. This is 215 years before the events in the initial installment in the Castlevania series. Christopher’s great-grandfather is the protagonist, Trevor C. Belmont – Castlevania III Dracula’s Curse is also the model for Castlevania, the Netflix Castlevania series. Castlevania that debuted in the year 2017. Despite the gap of 215 years, it is like a familiar tale: In the opening, we are introduced to the existence of a certain Dracula who, using black magic, tries to alter the world and turn it into a refuge for evil. Amid their grief, the victims of Europe are drawn towards those of the Belmont family, who were already well-known in 1476, but most of all, they are known for their skill in fighting dark forces that had previously led to their exile from Europe. Trevor Belmont takes pity on people needing help and is determined to stop Dracula.
The less-than-innovative backstory, however, serves as a hook for introducing new gameplay elements that shape the show in the present. The details of adventure games from the previous installment are swiftly eliminated, leading to the reality that we’re moving within delimited areas and not anymore in an open world. However, the third installment cannot bring back the linearity of the previous installment of the series. The game is comprised of 15 levels. However, none of them can be completed in one session. Like those in the Rouge-lite Metroidvania Dead Cells from 2017 in Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, we’re spoilt to choose between two different routes that take us to other areas. The choices don’t just boost your replay potential of the final installment in the series; they also determine the game. The most significant innovation in Castlevania III is sure to be the fact that throughout the game, we’ll meet players who, if we would like to, join us in our battle against Dracula and not just accompany us, but will even be controlled and managed by us. What we encounter will depend on which branch we pick. The comrades-in-arms include the criminal Grant Dynasty – id Software’s Dr. Malcom Betruger sends his wishes to the mage and later , Trevor’s wife Sypha Belnades, and Adrian Fahrenheit Tepes or Alucard for short, Dracula’s son. When Simon Belmont is once again equipped with a whip and a variety of throw projectiles remaining three members are distinguished by their unique skills: Grant has a faster walking speed that lets us climb up walls and change direction while jumping. Sypha has various magical spells that enable us to freeze or burn enemies. Alucard is the opposite. He can change into a bat as his father did – and then, without the need for hearts, he can take off to fly through levels. A particular tactical opportunity can be triggered because we can only carry the max of one companion to each group, and we’re not able to take on the three during one game. Additionally, a few small physics tricks are present Seesaws are present at different points of the levels, and you must align by shifting our weights so that they allow us access to higher levels.
Super Castlevania IV (Super Nintendo Entertainment System 1991)
As a remake Castlevania to SNES, Super Castlevania IV is essentially a remake of the original. SNES, Super Castlevania IV isn’t a game with significant surprises for the story. The protagonist is Simon Belmont, who, instead of searching for eggs, is a fugitive from Easter 1691 who has to chase the newly resurrected Dracula back to his grave. The most memorable aspect of the original Castlevania to be released for SNES, however, is, in any case, the revised technology.
In an 11-stage linear progression of various level sections, we fight our way through Dracula’s castle to stop his evil handiwork. For weapons used, we primarily use Vampire Killer, our beloved vampire-much whip, as well as the standard secondary armaments. But Simon has become a little more adept in using the vampire and demon in this new version of his original adventure. Simon can no longer hit left and right in all directions, including up/down and diagonally. In addition, he can move his whip in a way that lets us effectively fight against projectiles from enemies. But, Vampire Killer is used for the first time, not just as an instrument but also as a dynamic abyss bridge. There are cast iron rings on certain levels to which we could attach our whips so we can traverse abysses that can’t be overcome with targeted leaps. As a result, the jumps are more intuitive, not the least since we can change how we leap while still jumping, and therefore take action in a more corrective way. First time, it’s also possible to leap onto steps, even though we cannot jump from them.
Visually, Super Castlevania IV is also a pretty big splash due to the innovative technical capabilities available on this SNES hardware. The animated sprites are much larger and more appealing due to the 16-bit graphics. As the very first game in the series, we also get to enjoy stunning parallax scrolling that takes place on several levels. The background in the 2-dimensional playfield isn’t just moving at the same rate as the foreground. It creates the illusion of two levels since the location is moved slower than the background. Stage 4 makes it appear that we’re moving inside a cylinder that revolves around us. This is a result of this mode 7. texture mapping feature was initially implemented in the SNES.
Castlevania: The Adventure (Game Boy 1989)
We are now at the weakest version of the Castlevania Anniversary Collection, which is the first pocket-sized Castlevania adventure. In the 1576 century, after Trevor could oust Dracula and his tyrannical count – which is unbelievable but true is returned to his realm as a living. In four lengthy stages, we battle Dracula’s supporters in the form of Christopher Belmont and climb ropes to get closer to the vampire’s head. Unfortunately, the game is slowed by a slow speed, and the consequent heavy-hearted feeling of movement like Christopher was drenched in syrup. It’s a pity Konami didn’t bother even introducing an additional Game Boy Color version of the game, which was released in 2000, to serve as an enhancement because it would have added a significant amount of visual appeal. Performance-wise, with less faithfulness, the original emulation could have done this game quite well.
Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (Game Boy 1991)
Although it isn’t a story in the traditional sense, the sequel to the Game Boy spin-off, Castlevania, offers more depth than its predecessor. When Christopher Belmont followed in his great-grandfather’s footsteps and defeated Dracula in 1576, The Prince of Darkness (I’m running out of synonyms) was able to use his final magical power to transform into mist and escape destruction by Belmont, the Belmont Revenant. Incredibly weak and incapable of changing back into a human being, the prince decides to take revenge on his tyrant. Just 15 years is the perfect time to carry out his plan. Because in 1591, a solemn ceremony is held in which the entry of 15-year-old Soleil Belmont, the son of Christopher, into adulthood is celebrated. The title of a vampire hunter will be conferred upon the young man. After the ceremony, however, Dracula uses the sacred power of the ritual against the person who received it, Soleil, transforming him in this manner into a terrifying monster. With the help of Soleil, Dracula can once become human again and continue to oppress the people of Transylvania. Christopher cannot watch the events in silence and decides to finish the work his great-grandfather started in 1476 and was able to continue in 1576.
The action’s setting comprises five castles, which are accessible via the map overview. The four castles may be entered without a predetermined order in the initial stages. However, after the four bosses are eliminated and their castles burned to the ground, do five courts, Dracula’s home base and Dracula’s headquarters, appear at their center? Dracula’s residence is split into various game segments. Overall, more solid than its predecessor Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge and will keep you entertained for a long time. However, once again, it could not incorporate it in the Game Boy Color version of the game, which was released in 2000.
Castlevania: Bloodlines (Sega Mega Drive/ Sega Genesis 1994)
With the Sega Mega Drive, Castlevania leaps back to the 19th century and into the early century. We learn that in 1897 , one particular Qunicy Morris from Belmont’s House of Belmont successfully defeated Dracula. Unfortunately, he paid for his victory by taking his own life. Witnesses to this include John, his son John and Eric Lecarde, who was his friend from childhood. This is why they have dedicated their entire lives to cleansing the earth of all evil vermin. In 1917, two decades later, this plan was put to the first test. Elizabeth Bartley, a vampire of royal blood, was condemned to be executed and put to death in 1421. She is returned to life after death via the witch, a novice, Drolta Fuentes. Bartley is not only any vampire but also Dracula’s niece and has plans to bring back the legend of her uncle. Through the struggles and trials that accompanied World War I, John and Eric embarked on a hunt for vampires.
In six linearly-constructed stages, we battle ourselves as John or Eric through, across Europe, scattered the demon hunts Dracula. John Morris is now the owner of his whip Vampire Killer that can be strengthened as much as four times and transforms into a blue-burning fire whip. Eric Lecarde, on the contrary, is armed by an Alucard Spear. Although the Spear has a higher reach than the whip John has, it does less damage to enemies. As a result, Eric has faster legs and more range. The character we choose at the start of the adventure will also determine the level of sections we can explore. Because John can leap from the ceiling with his whip to cross more abyssal chasms, Eric can propel himself into the sky with his spear, allowing him to climb higher platforms.
Kid Dracula (Family Computer 1990)
The parody of the Castlevania series was released only within Japan on Famicom in the year 1990 but was never released to the American as well as European markets. The game was released in 1993. a remake for the game came out outside Japan to Game Boy. Game Boy. However, with the Castlevania Anniversary Collection, the original 1990 version can now be played to players in Europe and America, and for the first time, in an entirely localized format. This is not just for historical reasons. It is a positive move by Konami.
The story is told quickly after a brief nap of only 1000 years. Kid Dracula treats himself to a bottle of tomato juice and then watches a TV show. Then the demon Garamoth is shown on the television screen and tells Kid Dracula that he has taken advantage of the nap of Dracula’s child to take over the realm of demons and is now the demon king. Of obviously, Kid Dracula can’t put aside such a sexy attitude. Clad in his father’s cloak, The son of Dracula embarks on an adventure to prove his claim to Garamoth as the sole demon King.
Its humorous nature is the main selling point unique to Kid Dracula for the Famicom in Konami’s Castlevania collection. We were armed with fireballs , which can be converted into more powerful projectiles. In addition, we meet humorous enemies like female Frankenstein monsters with bows in their hair who are giddy with joy at us the moment they spot us. In defeating bosses, we acquire new abilities, for instance, different fire projectiles or the ability to transform into bats and make our life as vampires much simpler in the future.
In addition, the music from the beautifully designed menu in the Castlevania Anniversary Collection and, in particular, the score for Super Castlevania IV for the SNES and Castlevania Bloodlines for Sega’s Mega Drive trigger nostalgic feelings within me, even though I’ve always avoided the Castlevania series up until now, principally due to the difficulty level and possibility of frustration. In the M2 emulation Savestates, this is not the case. Even though there is only one save state per game, which is the reason I’m now able to be awed by the gameplay. The emulation of fun in their versions is efficient by M2; however, it’s close to being too similar to the originals in some places, such as the unsatisfactory performance of the Game Boy titles has been expressly incorporated. Konami’s selection of games is well-thought-out, even if I am disappointed by certain among the games’ best classics, including the game that defined genres, Symphony of the Night (1997). But, it will at least give me hope for future anthologies.
The choice to allow Kid Dracula to celebrate its debut out of Japan to the Famicom over thirty years since its initial release This is what makes this Castlevania Anniversary Collection fascinating for collectors too. In addition, the ebook “The The Story of Castlevania: Book of the Crescent Moon” isn’t an uninspiring gimmick that can be quiet. For my part, I accept that the settings and options within the emulator are decreased. More troubling is the absence of a 4:3 actual format with scanlines. This is because the display option that was initially available, along with its Perfect Pixel Mode, both reduce the image by a significant amount. However, Konami’s Castlevania Anniversary Collection is an excellent collection worth checking out for players who have played the series before and anyone who wants to become one.
What’s the HTML0 Castlevania Anniversary Collection ?A collection of early entries from the Castlevania series from 1987 to 1994, for Famicom, NES, SNES, Game Boy and Sega Mega Drive.
Links: Official website