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Dracula X on SNES: What Did Critics Say Back in 1995?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on October 09, 2014   |   Episode 105 (Show Archive)  

   

Castlevania: Dracula X (Super NES)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

After wowing critics with both Super Castlevania IV and Castlevania: Bloodlines , the Belmont clan had one last 16-bit adventure. Unfortunately, that game Castlevania: Dracula X, a stripped down version of the import-only Rondo of Blood. Did critics love this final 16-bit Castlevania, or was it too different from the PC Engine version to be taken seriously? We dig through old issues of Die Hard Game Fan, Super Play, Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro, Game Players, Next Generation and Nintendo Power for the answers.

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the reviews. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. For more details and answers to common questions, we encourage you to read the Review Crew FAQ. There you'll find information on review guidelines, how we convert scores, magazine covers and more.)

Castlevania: Dracula X
[ Company: Konami | Console: Super NES ]

DIE HARD GAME FAN (October 1995)
93% out of 100%

"Once I got over my initial disappointment with the lack of the multi-directional whip and swinging from CV IV, and the deletion of multiple characters from the PC Engine, I took a look at Drac X for what it is... still purely INCREDIBLE. With an award-deserving music score rich and full background, and the game play I love, this stands as the second best SNES game of the year." -S. Quan

SUPER PLAY #35
80% out of 100%

"It's not a particularly fast-moving game, it doesn't delight within mere minutes of play, and in many ways it's a regressive step, considering Castlevania IV appeared in 1991, yet it holds more surprises than the 1995 installment. But it has plenty of stuff I look for in a good game. Not what Castlevania fans will necessarily expect -- or even feel they deserve -- but a solid addition to a very fine series of games nonetheless." -Tony Mott

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #75
6.5 out of 10

"I'm a big fan of this series, and I was really looking forward to Drac X. This cart really disappointed me. While the backgrounds were nice and the levels were changed, it pales in comparison to levels were changed, it pales in comparison to the PC CD-ROM game. You cannot play as the little girl and the enemies are cheap rather than challenging. The audio was okay, but gone is the roaring of the enemies. It's not better than the others." -Andrew

GAME PLAYERS (October 1995)
64% out of 100%

"Dracula X is the sort of game where bumping into any enemy sends you hurling into the bottomless pit that always happens to be nearby. On the plus side it's a relatively big game, it looks nice and there are a couple of different you can wind up taking through, so you're not always playing the same stage every time. However, this game is more frustrating than it is challenging." -Jeff Lundrigan

NINTENDO POWER #76
3.2 out of 5

"Don't expect great surprises in Dracula X. Konami kept the classic look and feel of the early games while making small innovations here and there. Some of the graphic effects, especially in the backgrounds, add a glitzy veneer to the basic action. The artists also managed to add a sense of depth through skillful shading and use of perspective. The action leads you through seven stages of danger with lots of vertical as well as horizontal areas and great variety of enemies."

GAMEPRO (October 1995)
2.5 out of 5

"It's a shame the 16-bit Castlevania games had to end this way. Where the 8-bit editions gracefully exited with the excellent Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, this last hurrah is a muted one. For an awesome alternative version of this title, you may want to check out the import-only PC Engine game. Other than that, it's back to the grave for Castlevania." -Major Mike

NEXT GENERATION #10
1 out of 5

"Konami, a company generally reliable for at least interesting fare, must simply be hoping to make a quick buck in an otherwise dry Super NES season. There's eight levels of no-frills side-scrolling action here, without an original or interesting thought in its wolfsbane-stuffed head. Whip fetishists might get a kick out of it, but everybody else should simply steer clear."
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 67% - Critics were disappointed with Castlevania: Dracula X. And who can blame them? It shares the same name as one of the greatest 16-bit action games of all time, yet comes across as a watered-down afterthought on the Super NES. Worst of all, it felt like a significant step back from Super Castlevania IV, a game critics loved.

There were a few critics that could overlook their initial disappointment and discover a fun game. Die Hard Game Fan's S. Quan called the game "INCREDIBLE" (his emphasis, not mine). Super Play's Tony Mott said that Dracula X "has plenty of stuff I look for in a good game," but failed to list any of that "stuff." Instead he complained that Castlevania IV was a better game. He's not wrong.

Some critics HATED (my emphasis, not theirs) Dracula X on the Super NES. Next Generation said the game didn't have a single "original or interesting thought in its wolfsbane-stuffed head." They recommended that most people steer clear of this 16-bit swan song. While nobody else was as harsh, that sentiment was shared amongst most of the critics in 1995. Their average is 67%, extremely low for a Castlevania game.

CASTLEVANIA ARCHIVE: Want to see how this Castlevania game stacks up against the rest? Below you will find every Castlevania game currently in the Review Crew archive. Read the original reviews and see if you agree with the old school critics.

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
What Did Critics Say Back in 1990?
Konami NES 88%
Castlevania Bloodlines
What Did Critics Say Back in 1994?
Konami Genesis 87%
Super Castlevania IV
What Did Critics Say Back in 1992?
Konami Super NES 86%
Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge
What Did Critics Say Back in 1991?
Konami Game Boy 83%
Castlevania: Dracula X
What Did Critics Say Back in 1995?
Konami Super NES 67%

ON THE NEXT REVIEW CREW: Now that we've covered every 16-bit entry in the Castlevania franchise, it's time to move on to the Game Boy. On Friday, Review Crew will tackle Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge, the side-scrolling sequel from 1991. Did critics feel this was an adequate sequel to one of the Game Boy's earliest hits? Find out on Friday when we see what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and Nintendo Power thought of Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge. Make sure and check out the Review Crew archive for more old school reviews, and don't forget to tweet me @DefunctGames to let me know what games you want to see next!

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