Draconus is a 1988 release on the Atari 800 by British developer Zeppelin Games. It is a platform game with more than a hint of Metroidvania about it.
Castlevania: Bloodlines was released for the Sega Megadrive by Konami in 1993. It was the only Castlevania game ever released for the Megadrive.
This obscure 1987 arcade game from Data East was a big influence on many games that came after it, in particular Manfred Trenz‘s Turrican series. It is obviously itself influenced by Nintendo‘s 1986 game, Metroid.
It also displays some similarities to Karnov, another Data East arcade game released the same year.
And, while you may have never heard of this game, it’s safe to say that it’s a bit of a ‘hidden gem’ in terms of old arcade games still worth playing today.
Rex is a very enjoyable platform shooter, created by Neil Harris, John Anderson, and Richard Allen and published by Martech in 1988. Some describe it as a ‘Metroidvania‘ type game, although it reminds me more of another Spectrum classic – Starquake. Or maybe a Monty Mole game, crossed with Cybernoid.
The third and final Castlevania game on the Game Boy Advance, Aria of Sorrow was first published by Konami in 2003.
Development was again led by Producer Koji Igarashi (who had previously worked on Symphony of the Night), and the end result is another brilliant and varied mix of platforming and RPG, with challenging enemies and boss battles.
The second Castlevania game released for the Game Boy Advance, Harmony of Dissonance was published by Konami in 2002.
In this game you play as Juste Belmont, a direct descendant of Simon Belmont – the protagonist from the first Castlevania. And – for some reason – he has a blue glow around him, and a blue trail, that he leaves in his wake as he moves…
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon was the first Castlevania game released for the Game Boy Advance. It was developed by Konami‘s Kobe division and released in 2001.
Circle of the Moon was also a launch title for the GBA and went on to sell over one million physical units worldwide.
It was first released in 2004 and features modernised graphics and gameplay, but the same core gameplay as the 1986 original.
Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles is a 2007 remake of the 1993 PC Engine CD game, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, with 3D graphics, but used in a 2D, side-scrolling manner.
Gameplay is identical to most other Castlevania games – even though it uses 3D graphics – and Konami must be given credit for not mucking it up, even though they could easily have done that.
Released in 1991, Konami‘s Super Castlevania IV was one of the earliest releases for the Super Nintendo console – and one of the best.