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Akumajō Dracula [Super Famicom]
悪魔城ドラキュラ [スーパーファミコン版]

31 Oct 1991





 
 
Expectations were high for the first 16-Bit Akumajō Dracula, and to many extents it didn't disappoint.
The SFC Akumajō Dracula looks and sounds amazing. The backgrounds are meticulous in their detail, and the controls are smooth and perfectly responsive. Combined with what might well be the finest soundtrack the series has ever conjured, the game delivers one of the most memorable environments ever seen on a console of this calibre.
Presented as a 'remix' of the first Akumajo Dracula (1986) Simon can now whip up, diagonally, down (in mid-jump) and in some places latch onto hooks and swing over voids, à la Indiana Jones.
He can also move while crouching, jump on & off stairs, and hold out his whip by keeping the button pressed. Moving the pad around while holding the button flings the whip around - a useful (but weak) way of disposing of airborne foes or blocking enemy fire.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

But once all of these gameplay tweaks are out of the way (and a few years have slipped by) it is hard not to notice that besides the atmosphere and zany whip trickery, there's not much else going on. No twists, no alternate routes, no extra characters... Coming to think of it, there are no surprises at all. Everything is very straightforward, slow-paced, and irritatingly empty. The game is just a quiet walk through creepy backgrounds, with the odd enemy thrown in here and there. If ever more than 3 characters appear on screen the hardware struggles and the game slows down.
The SFC Akumajō Dracula is a slick game, yes, but it relies way too much on its setting and atmosphere - which to its credit are both superb. In the action stakes it fails miserably, and suffers from the same misconceptions as another high profile SFC action game of the period, Chohmakaimura (1991). Over-drawn levels and wacky rotating backgrounds do NOT create an exciting experience, far from it. The whole thing rapidly becomes laborious and a chore to play.
In all the SFC Akumajō Dracula is just a souped-up remake; the series' first nervous steps into the 16-bit era. In direct comparison with the pace and structure of its predecessor Akumajō Densetsu (1989) and its two immediate sequels Akumajo Dracula X68000 (1993) and Akumajo Dracula X (1993), this is nothing but a slow cruise through familiar territory.
But an enjoyable one nonetheless.


Rating:
 
 
 
 
 


 
Akumajō Dracula
悪魔城ドラキュラ
SUPER FAMICOM
DETAILS
Format Super Famicom
Released 31 Oct 1991
Publisher Konami
Product ID SHVC-AD
Size (cm) 19 x 10.5 x 3
Weight (kg) 0.16
PRICE
STATUS
The good news is that the SFC Akumajō Dracula was a top-seller - so it's still relatively easy to find in good condition. For now.

Standard SFC cardboard packaging, 8Mbit cartridge, 32p colour booklet.

Akumajō Dracula no Subete Ga Wakaru Hon
悪魔城ドラキュラのすべてがわかる本

GUIDE BOOK
DETAILS
Format Guide Book
Released 30 Nov 1991
Publisher ASCII
Product ID n/a
Size (cm) 18.2 x 12.8 x 0.6 (B6)
Weight (kg) 0.14
PRICE
STATUS
Famicom Tsushin 'All About Akumajō Dracula Understanding Book' features complete level layouts, enemy galleries and more.
Yet another super-sought after Akumajō Dracula book. (view back)

98 pages, full colour, Japanese.

Akumajō Dracula no Subete
悪魔城ドラキュラのすべて

GUIDE BOOK
DETAILS
Format Guide Book
Released 25 Dec 1991
Publisher JICC
Product ID ISBN4-7966-0246-1
Size (cm) 21 x 14.8 x 0.8 (A5)
Weight (kg) 0.22
PRICE
STATUS
The second 'All About' guide book for the SFC Akumajō Dracula comes from Hippon Super - it features an extensive bestiary section with original illustrations, in-depth gameplay analysis, stage-by-stage walkthrough.
Again, a very rare item.

96 pages, 32 in colour, Japanese.

Akumajō Dracula Best 2
悪魔城ドラキュラ ベスト2

SOUNDTRACK
DETAILS
Format Audio CD
Released 5 Dec 1991
Publisher King Records
Product ID KICA-7506~7
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1.7
Weight (kg) 0.17
PRICE
STATUS
Second Dracula compilation, a double CD soundtrack set featuring the BGM collections for:
- Akumajō Dracula [SFC] (1991)
- Dracula Densetsu [GB] (1989)
- Dracula Densetsu II [GB] (1991)
This original 1991 print is very hard to find - the 1998 re-issue (listed below) is still widely available.
View [back] for track listing.

Double CD case, 2 x audio CD (CD1 28 tracks, CD2 35 tracks), 8-page booklet, spine card.

Akumajō Dracula Best 2
悪魔城ドラキュラ ベスト2

SOUNDTRACK (RE-ISSUE)
DETAILS
Format Audio CD
Released 23 Sep 1998
Publisher King Records
Product ID KICA-7902~03
Size (cm) 14.2 x 13 x 1.7
Weight (kg) 0.18
PRICE
STATUS
Re-issue edition of the second 'Akumajō Dracula Best' compilation, a double CD soundtrack set featuring the BGM collections for:
- Akumajō Dracula [SFC] (1991)
- Dracula Densetsu [GB] (1989)
- Dracula Densetsu II [GB] (1991)

Twin CD case, 2 x audio CD (CD1 28 tracks, CD2 35 tracks), 4-page booklet with notes & track listing, spine card.

 



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