A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The focus of the game is the classic good versus evil story. The stories also touch on themes of legacy and destiny, with characters fighting to live up to or to defy their perceived roles in their world, as well as friendship.
Positive Role Models
The protagonists in each game are presented as generally heroic characters, willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of others. They are fighting back against dark forces, trying to save their friends, their loved ones, and the world as a whole.
The fictional gothic European setting of the earlier Castlevania games never presented the audience with much diversity in terms of ethnicity, with characters facing off against supernatural monsters.
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Ease of Play
The games' controls are relatively easy to learn. The difficulty comes in the gameplay, both in fighting against increasingly powerful creatures and in navigating the winding paths and platforms of Dracula's castles.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is constant, with players using whips, axes, and other medieval weapons in combination with magical items and special abilities, to defeat Dracula's armies of creatures. There's some blood and gore, but the games' pixelated style reduces a lot of the detail.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some female creatures and some statues are topless, though lacking definition due to the games' retro, pixelated presentation.
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Products & Purchases
This is a collection of games in Konami's popular, long-running Castlevania franchise. The series has a library of different game releases, as well as toys, an anime series, and other appearances in other titles.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the Castlevania Advance Collection is a side-scrolling action/adventure game available for download on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows based PCs. The game collects four Castlevania titles previous released on Nintendo's Game Boy Advances and Virtual Console platforms. The games require a lot of exploration and platforming, as well as constant combat. Violence is a core focus in these titles, with players fighting against armies of monsters. While there's some blood and gore shown onscreen, the retro and pixelated art style of the original games cuts down on the detail and impact. This same pixelation reduces the impact of the inclusion of topless statues and some female creatures.
Is It Any Good?
For nearly a decade back in the early 2000s, Konami's hit vampire hunting franchise on the Game Boy Advance dominated with three games that quickly became favorites of fans and critics alike. The Castlevania Advance Collection brings those classics, as well as a fourth game from the Super Nintendo days, to a new generation of consoles and gamers. Each of these titles plays just as good as ever in their original forms, faithfully presented in all their original, pixelated glory. This is great for purists, but it's also the one slight knock against the game. Making the leap to larger, higher resolution displays causes the titles to look every bit of their age. It's a little more jarring when informative pop-ups appear onscreen in higher definition. But overall, this is a minor gripe that's far outweighed by the other additions.
The Castlevania Advance Collection brings with it a few gameplay features that make the playing these classics much more user friendly. The Rewind option is great for those times you miscalculate a jump or are wrapped up in a particularly difficult boss fight. While you can only rewind and replay a few seconds at a time, those few seconds can make all the difference. Also, the ability to save your game on the fly is huge, taking away much of the frustration of having to backtrack to a specific save point every time you make and significant progress. While it could be argued that these features take some of the difficulty out of the experience, they're also optional features that can be ignored. But for newcomers to the franchise, these extra can keep the games form feeling more frustrating than entertaining. And ultimately, it's all about having fun and resurrecting the Castlevania legacy for an even wider range of wannabe vampire hunters.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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