If you made a list of franchises that have had a profound impact on modern game development, Castlevania would definitely be on it. The Vampire Hunt series has undergone many iterations, some more successful than others, and has come to help define two different eras of action platformers: the classic action game based on the original Castlevania games and the more exploratory subgenre that has gained the nickname “metroidvania”. The two eras of Castlevania are very separate from each other, one focused more on straightforward platforming, and the other is defined by a wide open environment with progressive capabilities that unlock new gameplay options and areas to solder. Both of these have had an incredible impact on the modern gaming landscape.
It was 35 years ago today, May 1, that Simon Belmont first swung his faithful whip on the Nintendo Entertainment System. From its humble beginnings, the series has had dozens of contributions, spin-offs, and reinventions. Let’s take a look back at some of the many games that have been inspired by Castlevania, from the early days of NES imitators to the modern advent of several metro vans.