There are few retro experiences more satisfying than grabbing a whip and heading into Dracula’s Castle to smite the Lord of Darkness and hundreds of his minions, And next month Konami will be reprinting eight memorable outings for the Belmonts and their associates in the Castlevania Anniversary Collection.
Last month when the collection was announced, Konami revealed half its lineup: Castlevania (NES), Castlevania 2: Belmont’s Revenge (Game Boy), Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse (NES), and Super Castlevania 4 (Super NES). The back half was revealed today, and is somewhat less spectacular: Castlevania The Adventure (Game Boy), Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest (NES), Castlevania Bloodlines (Sega Genesis), and Kid Dracula (Famicom).
That last one has actually never been released outside of Japan. This will be the first time the US and Europe get this goofy NES spinoff starring a chibi Dracula, though a Game Boy version did cross the Pacific.
You might be asking, “Where’s Symphony of the Night? Where’s Rondo of Blood?” Those two games were released last year in an earlier collection. You might now be asking, “Where’s Aria of Sorrow? Where’s Order of Ecclesia?” Good question.
Despite the title, the anniversary isn’t Castlevania’s, unless it’s meant to celebrate its 21st-and-a-half birthday. The anniversary being celebrated is the existence of Konami itself, which turns 50 in 2019. The Castlevania Collection is just one release in a series of retro repackages honoring Konami’s history — the first of these, Konami Arcade Classics, was released today and contains A-Jax (aka Typhoon), Gradius, Gradius 2, Life Force, Thunder Cross, Scramble, TwinBee and Haunted Castle (the arcade Castlevania).
The Castlevania Anniversary Collection will be followed by the Contra Anniversary Collection, the latter of which still has no release date. We’ll get Castlevania May 16, on Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC.