Parents' Guide to

Castlevania: Anniversary Collection

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Classic action games have lots of vampires, a bit of blood.

Castlevania: Anniversary Collection Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 11+

A surprisingly great package!

After the release of the latest Super Smash Bros, some might ask, "Who is this Simon character?" Now, they can experience the adventures of Simon Belmont and his family in this new collection. While the controls are simple, these games are known for their high difficulty. Luckily, there is a save feature that allows players to save at a hard part in the game and load it again if they mess up. I would recommend newcomers to start off with the fourth game, as it is much more balanced in terms of difficulty. As for inappropriate content, there are some blood and plenty of scary monsters, some being topless women, but nothing too graphic. I highly recommend this collection, as it contains some of the best games ever made!

This title has:

Great role models
age 12+

It includes Bloodlines? Awesomesauce!

All the core titles up until Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night (which are best experienced in the Dracula X Chronicles collection on PSP) makes this a good deal. Also, Simon's Quest is rather notorious for a number of quirks (as a certain Mr. Rolfe explained at length) and people might want to look up one of the rom-hacks that correct the issues for a more enjoyable experience. Being based on classic monster movies, there's plenty of horror elements that might disturb kids, even in pixelated form. And the often-overlooked Bloodlines includes actual historical references (World War I, Elizabeth Bathory) that might be awkward for parents to have to explain to kids.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Older games don't always maintain their appeal through the years, but most of these early entries in Konami's vampire hunting series have aged fairly well. That said, some of the games in Castlevania: Anniversary Collection stand apart from the rest, for good and ill. The original Castlevania remains an irrefutable classic thanks to its simple mechanics and moody atmosphere, and similar praise can be laid at the feet of both Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (though it has more of an action/role-playing game vibe) and the challenging Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. Controls may feel a little stiff compared to modern games, and the difficulty can be almost aggravating at times, but once a player gets used to them, these landmark games provide ample justification for the franchise's enduring popularity and iconic status within the video game community.

Other games in this assortment probably won't appeal as broadly, though they'll still find welcoming niche audiences. The two Game Boy games included -- Castlevania: The Adventure and the follow-up Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge -- are so rudimentary in look and feel that they'll likely find love only from those who remember playing the originals nearly 30 years ago. And the witty Kid Dracula, which switches things up by putting players in the role of Dracula's son, feels like the black sheep of the family. It has solid controls and combat, but projects a light comic book style that doesn't quite fit in with the atmosphere of the rest of the games. But even playing through just one or two of the entries included in Castlevania: Anniversary Collection will likely be enough for most players to justify its bargain price.

Game Details

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