Admit it, you can hear the music right now.

Few franchises will spark as much conversation and debate as Konami’s Castlevania. The series has been around for over three decades and continues to evolve and change. With this latest compilation of classic games Konami has focused on the earlier titles before the Metroidvania phenomenon occurred. Spanning consoles such as the NES, SNES, Genesis, and even GBA this first collection of Castlevania titles showcases the origins of the series. Some of the most classic titles are present, while a couple rough entries also make the cut. Toss in an unreleased (at least in the states) title and we have a compilation that hits all the right notes.

Let’s start with what is included. From the NES we get Castlevania, Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest, and Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse, and from the Super Nintendo we obviously get Super Castlevania 4. The Genesis offering is the lone Bloodlines while the Game Boy titles include Castlevania The Adventure and Castlevania 2: Belmont’s Revenge. The final piece of the collection is the Famicon title Kid Dracula (aka Akumajō Special: Boku Dracula-kun) which was originally only released in Japan. Knowing there are more collections coming, this is a solid first offering.

MSRP: $19.99
Platforms: XB1 (reviewed), PS4, Switch
Price I’d Pay: $19.99

Starting up the NES titles flooded nostalgia into my veins. The first game with its classic music and stages I have played umpteen amount of times at this point are comforting. Simon’s Quest is still a mess of confusion and I recommend using a walkthrough for 90% of that game. Castlevania 3 gets back to basics and all around the NES offerings are severe comfort food. Of course the cream of the crop is Super Castlevania 4. This is the last game everyone should play (or perhaps Bloodlines) because it ruins all the other games entirely.

The two Game Boy offerings are the roughest of the bunch. The slow-paced movement and awkward controls make them tough to go back to. Also the downsized visuals on my giant 4K TV hurt my eyes at times. Bloodlines sits at the top with Super Castlevania 4 as the best of the bunch. The two playable characters and streamlined controls really make this game stand out. Also it is awesome. Finally we have Kid Dracula, which feels like the weirdest offering, but also the most surprising. This game is fun. Sure it isn’t a standard Castlevania game, but it makes up for it with some clever combat and platforming mechanics.

Each game is packaged with several options including save states and screen filters. There is a book of Castlevania history and artwork that is simply a joy to dig through. Controls are awkward at first because they are backwards to what I had come accustomed to, well for almost every title. No option to remap controls is also super disappointing. I like that Konami is patching in the Japanese versions of these games down the line, and with the promise of more collections coming, I can’t help but be excited for more Castlevania.

This collection is a solid offering with a few setbacks. These can be patched in for sure – please let us remap buttons on all collections going forward. Still for those with nostalgia for the Belmont’s this collection is a must own for the price. It offers up a little of everything in the early history of the series. Now about that GBA collection of titles…

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Great collection of games
  • Saving anywhere makes these games so much easier
  • The Game Boy games are rough
  • No button mapping
Written by
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.