Should We Still Be Excited For Castlevania Anniversary Collection?

There’s so much potential video game news that has me excited lately. The new games announced for the official Sega Genesis Mini aren’t garbage and promise to run decently. Sony teased the PlayStation 5 for 2020. And Nintendo’s upcoming miniaturized Switch will still dock. But we don’t know all of Sega’s games that will be included. We haven’t seen any new specs for the PS5. And there is another Switch yet to be announced. Until we learn more about all of these things, as the resident fan here at Culture of Gaming, there’s still Castlevania.

A Castlevania Fan’s Dream

A while back, I, and many other fans were hotly anticipating what other four games would be included in the Castlevania Anniversary Collection. The collection is promised to have eight games. Things were looking incredibly fortunate. But as a previous article I wrote concluded, it could very well go south. After all, fans received the first four games announced incredibly well. The original Castlevania, Castlevania 3, Super Castlevania 4, and Castlevania 2: Belmont’s Revenge.

This meant that for better or worse (it was better), some of Castlevania’s lesser games might not be included in the collection. After all, we didn’t have the obtuse AVGN rage inducing game Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest for the NES. But we did have the awesome first and third ones from the same system. We didn’t have the first Game Boy Castlevania game, Castlevania Adventure, but we did have its awesome sequel in Belmont’s Revenge.

But Then… The Second Half

But as the previous article I wrote on the topic suggested, Konami could undo all of this with the announcement of the last four games. And not-so-surprise surprise… Konami announced them as the last four games included. That’s right. With so many better options to choose from, Konami made a less than stellar choice. They announced NES Castlevania 2 and Castlevania Adventure for the Game Boy.

Now, the inclusion of Simon’s Quest for the NES is completely understandable. While still being obtuse without a guide, it is still playable and enjoyed by certain fans. The collection might have felt incomplete without it.

So What Could They Have Done?

But the inclusion of Castlevania Adventure is not as forgivable. In fact, I figure most people who know Castlevania Adventure wouldn’t miss it on the collection if it weren’t there. And once people who haven’t played it feel the lackluster controls and absence of subweapons, you may never play it again.

And if you are asking “What should’ve gone there instead? Do you really want an incomplete collection?” No. I don’t. But there is a wonderful alternative: the far superior (and unavailable for purchase anymore) remake for the now dead Wii eShop, Castlevania Rebirth. That’s what stings the most. This was Konami’s chance to revive a game that is not available to anyone new.

I don’t even think I’d mind if they kept both versions. What if instead chose to drop the third game of four of the announcement. A lot of people consider Kid Dracula a spinoff of the Castlevania series. Granted, I have never played this one, but from what I hear, the Game Boy version of the game is actually superior to the NES version. But unfortunately, we will be getting the NES version.

Am I Still Excited For The Collection?

Honestly, even though this kind of bums me out a little, I won’t be missing out. It’s not like I’ve played either one. And getting either one is not a bad thing. What has me most excited, is instead the second 16 bit entry in the collection. Castlevania Bloodlines is finally available for anyone who grew up with a SNES and not a Sega Genesis.

I, myself, have not experienced the game starring the son of the man who killed Bram Stoker’s Dracula in his novel. But I have been aching to, ever since IGA made the characters canon in the Metroidvania entry Portrait of Ruin.

As lackluster as two of the games on the list are, they are still only two out of eight games. I still look forward to three fourths of the entries. As a Castlevania fan, it’s going to be a great year.

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Mike Nigrelli

I’ve been writing almost as long as I’ve been playing video games. I also do standup and improv. The game that made me realize that video games could be more than just a toy, was Metal Gear Solid 2.

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