Castlevania Dracula X (Super Nintendo) Review
Towards the end of the Super Nintendo lifecycle, there was one more Castlevania game Konami had up their sleeve. Castlevania Dracula X is a bit of a black sheep in the series.
This one was released four years after its predecessor Super Castlevania IV. When this game first came out back in 1995, I remember seeing it for the first time at a friends house thinking how great the graphics were and how amped I was to see this new Castlevania release on the Super Nintendo.
Castlevania Dracula X shares similar art style and gameplay to the PC Engine-TurboGrafx-16 classic Castlevania: Rondo of Blood rather than a sequel to Super Castlevania 4.
If anything, Dracula X almost feels like a 16 bit version of Castlevania 1 or 3. If you’re into either of the 8 bit NES titles, You’ll definitely enjoy this.
When I heard the 16 bit versions of vampire hunter or bloody tears I could do nothing but think, Komami really did know how to get the best out of the super Nintendo sound chip.
Some of the backgrounds look great, especially the first stage. Others were very bland, almost to the point where it looked unfinished at times.
There are some hidden stage exits, which is definitely nice to see. Richter definitely has some improvements on his controls over the NES counterparts.
He can control his jump mid air. I couldn’t tell you how many times I would be committed to a jump in one of the 8-bit games, just to get knock back by an enemy and fall to my death.
He has the ability to jump onto a staircase. This can be useful to dodge the medusa heads that spawn. There’s three lives, before unlimited continues. There’s also a password system in case you want to pick up where you left off.
I really like fact that if you pick up a sub weapon by accident, your previous one will fall on the ground allowing you to pick it up again. Richter also has an item crash ability that enhances your sub weapon attack.
One really unfortunate part of the mechanics is Richter can only whip in two directions. This mechanic is definitely a step backwards considering you could whip in multiple directions in Super Castlevania IV.
This game is also very difficult. Almost to the point where it feels unfair. You’re constantly punished from the medusa heads and are often forced to deal with tough enemy placement. You still get knocked back when taking a hit. The final boss Dracula is very tough in this one. It’s got these platforms that you have to jump between. Most of the time Dracula spawns off screen, forcing me to be overly aggressive and eventually getting knocked off and dying.
Another major downside of Dracula X is that it’s extremely short for a Super Nintendo game. It’s only got seven stages and the stages are fairly short. It feels like the difficulty of the game was ramped up to make the game feel longer to finish.
Maria – The playable character in the PC engine title Rondo of Blood has also been excluded from this game.
The pricing of this game here in North America has gone parabolic. You do have a few options to pick up a copy on the Wii U or 3ds virtual consoles.
So, Should you play it? I would only recommend Castlevania Dracula X if you’re sick of Super Castlevania 4 or enjoy the earlier NES titles.