As we reported last month, Konami planned to release the Japanese versions for the Castlevania Anniversary Collection with a post-launch update, which is now available to players. The collection was first announced in March as part of the celebrations of Konami’s 50th anniversary. Three collections were announced, and the first one, the Arcade Classics (Our Review) was released on April 18. The Castlevania Anniversary Collection was next, released on May 16. The collection includes the genre-defining platformers Castlevania (NES), Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (Game Boy), Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (NES), and Super Castlevania IV (SNES). The Contra Anniversary Collection was next, released on June 11, which includes ten Contra titles from multiple platforms.
As promised, Konami has now released the Japanese versions of all of these titles as a post-launch update. More importantly, the update also includes control remapping support, and even a fix to the notorious audio bug in the first Castlevania, as users on Resetera noted. The Japanese versions include several regional differences that have been cataloged by fans over the years. The best resource for seeing these differences and how they affect the experience can be found in The Cutting Room Floor wiki.
The regional differences for the original Castlevania, for instance, includes an easy mode, and different title screens, and also ending and loading screens. Castlevania II had a save feature, an entirely different soundtrack, and also a different title screen. Finally, Castlevania III had extensive regional differences, including graphics, music, and some censored imagery along with heavy reworking Grand DeNasty’s abilities. All of them also feature enhanced music in the Japanese version due to being on the Famicom Disk System for Castlevania I and II, while Castlevania III made use of Konami’s VRC6 chip in Japan and additional audio with that.
Have you tried the Japanese versions of these Castlevania and Contra classics? How do they stand up? Let us know in the comments below!