Castlevania: Vampire’s Kiss (Switch): COMPLETED!

Vampire’s Kiss is A Bad Game. I’ve no idea why Konami decided to dump this poor Super Castlevania IV followup on the Castlevania Advance Collection because it’s neither a GBA game nor is it a “metroidvania” style game. And it’s rubbish.

I’m trying not to represent it badly because it isn’t the same genre as the other three games on the collection, and it’s several years older, but no – it’s just no fun to play. It’s short, it has about three near impossible sections but the rest is pretty easy, and it plays really, really slowly. It does, however, look incredible, especially early on in the game, and the fact it’s a Super NES game makes that all the more impressive. It’s just a shame it’s way too clunky to go with it.

I mentioned Super Castlevania IV partly because that game is so much better than this, although it doesn’t look as good. It’s also linear, and also slow, but it’s much more fun to play. Vampire’s Kiss is just bobbins,

Super Double Dragon (Evercade): COMPLETED!

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Or, in some parts of the game, “Return of Double Dragon”.

The thing is, I picked my Evercade up and the Technōs cartridge was still in it from when I played River City Ransom recently and the shelf with all my Evercade games on was easily six feet away and therefore too far to bother with, so I picked something from the cart already inserted and that was Super Double Dragon, which I’d never played before.

It’s very much What if Double Dragon was Final Fight, but it’s not as good as Final Fight. It’s not a bad game, but it was pretty easy and much less impressive both visually and sonically than Final Fight. Or Streets of Rage.

Super Mario Bros 3 (Switch): COMPLETED!

This too was the All-Stars version of the game, and like the All-Stars version of the original Super Mario Bros, it still looks fantastic today.

I used some warp pipes, but did play through more levels than just the bare minimum. I got lost a lot on World 8 and seemed to go round in circles on the map, so I obviously don’t remember it as well as I thought I did.

Bowser was a lot easier than I remember as well. I was sure there was more to him after you make him fall through the floor but apparently not. It makes him one of the easiest bosses in the game! Except Boom-Boom but then that’s because you have to fight him over a million times.

Super Mario Bros (Switch): COMPLETED!

Yes, I’ve completed Super Mario Bros yet again. But this time it was, at least, different in that I played the Super Mario All-Stars version rather than the original as it appeared on the Switch Online service this week. It’s still excellent, and the 25-year-old “new” graphics still look amazing even now.

And yes, I used warps. Because why would you not when they’re part of the game, eh?

Ranma 1/2 (SNES): COMPLETED!

Another retro game chosen pretty much at random today, but Ranma 1/2 is leagues ahead of Running Battle, despite not being all that fantastic itself.

It’s a one-on-one fighting game, and clearly doesn’t have the depth of anything like Street Fighter II, or even Fatal Fury. You’ve four buttons, light and heavy attacks, jump, and block. Pressing both attack buttons together performs a special move, which for Ranma himself (who I played as) is some sort of whirlwind thing which rarely did anything useful.


Since I know a little of the original Ranma 1/2 story, having characters I knew elevated it a bit higher than other similar games from the same era. Each foe required different tactics to beat as well, which made it more interesting but looking at it now it seems this was to replace proper reactive AI. I can see it being a lot more fun in two player mode.

In single player though, it was far too easy (I didn’t lose a single round) and so over too quickly. A lack of moves is a minus as well, although since I had no instructions it’s possible there were a load I just didn’t figure out, despite trying Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat style control acrobatics.

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Perhaps the most amazing thing about the game is that it came out in the west, as it’s just about the most Japanese thing ever. Mind you, Goeman did too, so who knows.