Luckily this one might have received a different approach to development than the Arcade Classics Collection. According to Konami Europe’s press release the emulation is being handled by M2:
The Castlevania Anniversary Collection is part of KONAMI’s 50th anniversary celebration and compiles titles from its beloved franchises and retro games. To bring the Castlevania Anniversary Collection to life, KONAMI partnered with game developer M2 to expertly adapt these classics for modern gaming systems.
But it’s still hard to tell what to expect other than good emulation - I get the impression that’s all M2 were contracted for, and the front-end may be similar to the Arcade Classics Collection given the passing mention of a Bonus Books section in the press release. Did anyone have the Arcade Classics Collection? I’m curious as to whether the front-end is some Unity engine overlay - the Switch’s home menu’s intellectual property notices feature should reveal that.
The list of games has been given as follows:
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
Super Castlevania IV
Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge
Castlevania The Adventure
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
But there’s no mention of whether all possible variations of those games are being included in the package. For instance, the FDS version of Castlevania III alongside its NES adaptation, and GB Kid Dracula to join its Famicom counterpart. From what I recall the two GB Castlevania games also received colour makeovers for the GB collections later on.
You mean FDS Castlevania and II, III was on a cart in Japan (but used a Konami mapper chip so had extra sound channels). Dracula 2 does have nicer instruments on FDS, but is annoying to play due to bad loading design.
The colour makeovers of the GB games were only on a PAL release, the Japanese releases of the GB Collections were still in Black and White. While the colorisation is okay, they’re not perfect, and Adventure has sound slowdown issues on it unfortunately, as it was badly coded (but runs fine in black and white). It’s extremely unlikely they’ll ever be seen again.
I’ll wait for a physical release. If it never comes, oh well, I have them all original and on multiple systems already.
Gosh, I did, not sure why I was thinking FDS for III, when I was posting about being indecisive about which version to play a few weeks ago!
Cheers for the heads-up on the GB Collections. I’m glad I went for the originals now.
For the GB games at the very least I can’t see this collection topping playing on the original hardware. Even M2’s cool GB pixel filter in Seiken Densetsu Collection isn’t up to the job. There’s something about the soft edges of the pixels, and the way light reflects off the GB screen, which gives it a unique yet variable appearance that just can’t be replicated on a flat panel display.
I still mantain that CV2 needs a full retranslation nowadays, and that Castlevania Adventure wasn’t a good game even when it launched in 1989, but if the intention is rereleasing ALL the Castlevania games in full chronological order, I can forgive those inclusions, instead of Castlevania Rebirth or Castlevania Chronicles. The first can’t be bought anywhere, the second is available only on PS3/PSP digitally.
I did end up picking this up after it received (mostly) John’s seal of approval on Digital Foundry.
It isn’t perfect but it’s a pretty good effort, and more importantly, the front end is slick and everything just feels speedy and optimised.
Just a shame the scanlines filters introduce a lot of dimming, otherwise it would be great. Makes it harder to play on Switch while travelling because the games become harder with scanlines - surprised M2 didn’t put their “vintage” setting from the Sega AGES Switch game starts on this. The dot matrix filter from Seiken Densetsu Collection made it in.
As John points out on the DF video, the background layers which rely on the GB screen’s flickering don’t show up correctly because the flickering is absent - so they appear darker:
I’ve been thinking about returning to this. After recently playing Zelda II, I want to play Simon’s Quest.
And I didn’t get round to FDS Castlevania III, which got added later in an update.
But - last year I never did finish Belmont’s Revenge. I got to the final level (I remember where being grand painted glass in the background) in the castle but couldn’t beat it all with the lives I was handed out. Might resort to some save state scummery to extend my lives per credit… The beauty of the password save system will let me skip straight to the level.
I’m also intrigued by Castlevania: The Adventure after reading this. I unfairly dismissed it after starting it last year and finding it rudimentary, distracted by the more polished and expansive GB sequel.
Edit: Just played the first three stages of Castlevania The Adventure. It definitely doesn’t deserve the reception it gets, the level design really surprised me. The first level does indeed highlight the immense slowdown the game is always stressed by, but it’s also there to familiarise yourself with the game’s rules. The second and third levels really do feel ahead of their time as far as Castlevania goes, I had a lot of fun trying to beat them on the three lives the game gives you.