You might've noticed that the castles in the various Castlevania games, while different in every game, often feature similar areas and architectural ideas from game to game. You probably haven't gone to the trouble to catalogue these common components and their recurrences in the sprawling Castlevania series, but this is the internet, which means that somebody has
Super Mario Bros. Crossover 2.0
is out! An expansion on the original game, which let you play as various NES characters transplanted into Super Mario Bros., but using the rules and abilities of those characters from their original games, version 2 offers more special abilities, more characters, and your choice of audiovisual "skins" based on four Mario games from the NES, SNES, and Gameboy, along with one based on Demon Returns
. There's even instructions for playing with a gamepad!
For more information, see the Super Mario Bros. Crossover Wiki
or watch the exciting Super Mario Bros. Crossover trailer!
In 1987 the first Castlevania was released. It was followed by Simon's Quest in 1988. The difference between the two games is stark. Although they both have the same basic plot lines (kill Dracula) and setting, Simon's Quest introduced an open world and RPG elements, giving eventual rise to the genre known as "Metroidvania". Sequelitis
looks at the difference between these design decisions and shows that maybe Metroidvanias aren't quite as much fun as you might remember.
is a Japanese homebrew game, with English translation available, for Windows that exhaustively replicates the experience of playing on an MSX home computer
, a machine not sold in the U.S. but was contemporary with the likes of the Commodore 64 and Amiga in other markets. (Fun fact: the "MS" in MSX stands for Microsoft!) Although it looks very much like retro warez, La-Mulana is freeware. It is also notoriously long and difficult, with a character who controls like old-school Castlevania, enemies that will frequently knock you around like a rag doll, puzzles of amazing deviousness, and traps that think nothing of walling up a player without escape, or forever restricting access to certain powerups.
That said, the game does have charm, and is basically a love letter to the MSX hardware. Those who want to see it without beating their hands bloody against the keyboard can watch a guy play through the whole game in 85 installments
, cursing at it all along the way.