Drac heard you were talking smack

After watching the Castlevania Netflix series, I’ve been eager to revisit various games in the series. Two games on the top of my list were Super Castlevania IV and Circle of the Moon, both of which released at or near the launch of their respective consoles. Super CV IV and and CotM were well-received when they released, but don’t seem to get as much love these days.

In recent months I’ve heard Super CV IV referred to as “a tech demo” and “evolutionary dead-end.” Not the cruelest criticism I’ve heard of a game, but probably not the legacy its creators were hoping for. Time has been less kind to CotM, which has been characterized as “ugly,” “broken,” “too dark,” “uninspired,” and one of the most loaded phrases in gaming, “a launch title.” One-time series steward Koji Igarashi even went so far as to have the game erased from the Castlevania canon.

I have a fondness for both of these games, but I still approached revisiting them on the Wii U Virtual Console with an open mind. Check out the videos below to see my experiences with the games here in 2017.

Skate or Die!

This content originally appeared in issue #1 of the Nintendo Fun Factor zine, as part of a feature on Rad NES Games. The issue is available as a free download here; check it out!


(Developer: Electronic Arts/Konami, Publisher: Ultra Games, Released: 1988)

The popularity of both skateboarding and the NES peaked in late 1980’s America, andsod
Electronic Arts and Konami were there to capitalize on those cultural phonomena with Skate or Die. Originally developed by Electronic Arts for a handful of home platforms (including DOS, Apple II, and Commodore 64), the game was ported to the NES by Konami shortly thereafter. Its subject matter and iconic and antagonistic title ensured that every kid in America was ready to take on the challenge of competing in some of California’s most treacherous streets, pools, and vert ramps.

Continue reading