Seething Cauldron of Pop Culture Talk

Irascible Analysis of Popular Culture

SNES vs. Genesis: Part 1 – Dueling Castlevanias

If you’ve ever played any of the Castlevania series then you have a good idea of what to expect from more or less any iteration of the franchise. The games involve you, the player, as a vampire-killer roaming through the halls and rooms of ancient castles looking for the dreaded vampire Dracula, whilst fighting his minions and looking for new weapons and other items along the way. The gameplay is on a 2D plane with platforms, ladders, and such scattered around to give vertical height to the levels. The main weapons is usually a whip, although sometimes the character might have some other weapon like a long spear, and there are lots of secondary weapons such as knives, axes, and potions that can be thrown. Each level is punctuated by a boss battle of some kind.

Overall, there’s not much difference in the fundamentals of the Castlevania: Bloodlines on the Genesis and Super Castlevania IV on the SNES. However, if you scratch at the surface a bit, some underlying differences do come to light. For one thing, the music in the SNES game is slightly better and the character sprites are slightly larger, although the Genesis version has slightly more detailed graphics. One minor issue with the Genesis game is that you can only attack left, right, up to the left at an angle, or up to the right at an angle, while the SNES version allows attacks in all eight directions.  Also, the SNES version seems to have a better variety of monsters, that attack both on land and from the air. SCIV is a better experience overall, but Bloodlines isn’t a slouch by any means.

The SNES also had another Castlevania game called Dracula X. It had a much faster pace than the others and felt much more like an arcade game. Overall, it’s not really all that good compared to the other two titles and, thus, doesn’t have much impact here.

Slight edge to the SNES in this mini-challenge, but SCIV and Bloodlines are both excellent entries in the series and worth playing for fans of these types of games.


April 18, 2010 - Posted by | Console Wars, Games | , , , , , , ,

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