One of the earliest releases for the SNES, Castlevania IV set the bar very high not only for platforming games, but for the 16-bit "system wars" as a whole.

Graphically and sonically, this was one of the most stunning games to date, and still holds up well today. Some parts of the game do come off like a tech demo for the SNES's "Mode 7" scaling and rotation, but overall, Castlevania IV is really a treat.

As for the gameplay, it was a bit of a step foward and a step back at the same time. The "analog whip" mechanic was inventive and certainly a welcome addition to Simon Belmont's aresenal.

But the fact that you only had one character to pick from and only one path to take through the levels, versus the multiple characters and paths Castlevania III gave the player was a bit disappointing to say the least.

Also, this is probably the easiest of the "normal" Castlevania games. That might be a plus for some, but this ends up being a game that you can get through in a few sittings if you're determined enough.

Despite these flaws, Castlevania IV is still undeniably a classic that's well worth your time and money.

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