INTRODUCTION / OPENING PARAGRAPH
First releasing on the Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1986, Castlevania has proven to be one of Nintendo’s most popular and successful franchises to date. Spawning nearly every platform of Nintendo’s console line and branching out to various others such as PlayStation, Castlevania has created a legacy of killing baddies all while going around a giant castle. As per any gaming legacy being born other companies wish to mirror that success by making games that take direct inspiration from said legacy. We here at Honey’s Anime know that finding a game like Castlevania requires a lot of time and sometimes a lot of money. That’s why we decided to help you folks out by making another great article. That’s right we’re bringing you 6 games like Castlevania.
Castlevania has always been an impressive 2D side scrolling platforming game with action elements and RPG elements in some of the newer titles. While the series has split off at times into 3D games, the original formula has always stood the best received and is our focus on this list. Our 6 games like Castlevania have a lot in common with the Castlevania series in not just formula but in execution of the gameplay mechanics. Our list of games brings players to explore alien worlds while wearing powerful suits and dealing out justice as sci-fi ninjas in futuristic cityscapes just to name a few. The end results of our list aim to bring players the familiarity of the Castlevania games all while making sure to not just be clones. Now then, let this 2D tribute begin without any more delay.
Similar Games to Castlevania
1. Strider (2014)
- System/Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Double Helix Games, Capcom Osaka Studio
- Release Date: Feb 18, 2014
Way back in 1989, an arcade game released called Strider. It didn’t take long for Strider to be ported to consoles such as the Genesis and Master system before sequels were released and eventually a newly released game in 2014. Players once again take the role of Strider Hiryu tasked to defeat the evil Grandmaster Meio before he can rise too powerful. The path to Hiryu’s target will take him through futuristic locals such as Russia to do battle against Meio’s minions and Hiryu will have to prove he’s capable thanks to his quick ninja skills and his sword the Cypher. Strider Hiryu may have been out of commission for a battle, but as Meio and his evil forces will learn, that doesn’t mean his skills have rusted.
Strider has definitely been a good example of Castlevania-like styles being implemented in a game. Strider the 2014 new conception of the series continues that trend having players run around on a 2D plane facing down low grade enemies and eventually big bosses such as giant robots or armored warriors. Similar to Castlevania, players can run around the various maps and find new items and upgrades as Strider levels up with new abilities that allow access to areas that maybe were once inaccessible. Graphically Strider 2014 looks incredible showing that Double Helix was a great choice for the rebirth of this franchise. Overall, if you’re a fan of the 2D elements that made Castlevania so great, let us recommend Strider 2014.
Strider- Launch Trailer (Official Trailer)
- System/Platform: PS3, PC
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Developer: Housemarque
- Release Date: Apr 27. 2011
When a man begins having troubling dreams that plague him he seeks a shaman for help after all else has failed. The man learns from the Shaman that his path links to an ancient story that revolves around the sun and the moon sisters and an ancient hero that stopped a war but died shortly after. Apparently the man is actually the reincarnation of a great hero and he must stop the sisters as they have somehow broken free of their imprisonment. Feeling as if this will free his mind from the dreams, the man sets forward towards his destiny. If he is to have a chance of winning he will have to gain the powers that made the hero able to stand a chance against the two sisters.
Outland is a very interesting game made by legendary developers Housemarque. Players have to explore a deep and rich world on a 2D plane gaining powers that allow the man to fight against the various forces summoned from the sister. What’s cool is that the man is able to use the power of the sun and moon which allows the game to create some interesting bosses and puzzles using that mechanic. Like Castlevania, the player will need to gain powers to reach certain areas before they can be tackled which means some back tracking is involved. However, thanks to fun gameplay mechanics and a very unique art style, Outland is an amazing game that harbors the soul of Castlevania.
Outland Launch Trailer (Official Trailer)
3. RockMan (Mega Man)
- System/Platform: NES, PlayStation, iOS
- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Capcom
- Release Date: Dec 17, 1987
In 1987 Capcom decided to make an interesting game staring a little blue robot saving the world against the forces of evil. This game would be titled RockMan or better known to the world as Mega Man. The story of Mega Man goes that in the year 200X Dr. Light has created robots that have changed the world for the better. Making robots like Cut Man, Fire Man and such his robotic creations have helped make the world an easier place. However, one day Dr. Willy takes control of those robots and causes them to attack the world. The only one left to help save the world is Rock, Dr. Light’s helper robot. The little blue warrior will become a hero and soon a legend but his story begins proper here.
Mega Man shouldn’t need much introduction but there are those few who still haven’t played this amazing title. Players take control of Mega Man and go to various stages to fight the now turned robots. Using Mega Man players fight on different 2D stages filled with dangers and environmental hazards to eventually defeat that stage’s boss and gain his power. Like Castlevania these powers allow players to gain the ability to take down specific enemies as well as find new secret areas. Mega Man has been released as Legacy Collection which features the first 6 games, but there are several issues with that game so we recommend sticking with the tried and true classic.
Any Games Like Castlevania ?
4. Dead Cells
- System/Platform: PC
- Publisher: N/A
- Developer: Motion Twin
- Release Date: May 10, 2017
Dead Cells made by Motion Twins aims to pay homage to games like Castlevania, Metroid and other roguelike games. While there is no story implemented into Dead Cells we here at Honey’s Anime can at least explain the concepts of the game. Players take control of a character who must fight against various forces with a wide assortment of weapons and powers. Similar to games like Castlevania the player gaining new powers allows them to further access more areas and challenge harder enemies. However, Dead Cells does have a roguelike element that death means the end of a full game run. If you wanted a tough game that makes Castlevania gameplay look like a beginner’s course, then we recommend Dead Cells.
First let’s just say that Dead Cells is awesome-- we needed to get that out of the way first. While it’s still in early access, as we said there is no story mode at the moment, the game still shows a lot of what will make it a truly impressive full release eventually. Clever gameplay mechanics that make use of the player’s smart thinking and impressive animations for the game, make Dead Cells a treat not only in gameplay but in art. We said it before but seriously why not give Dead Cells a try? Just remember that we understand if you rage quit once or twice, it’s a tough game.
Dead Cells- Early Access Launch Trailer (Official Trailer)
5. Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment
- System/Platform: Switch, 3DS, PC, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Wii U, Xbox One
- Publisher: Yacht Club Games, Nintendo (JPN)
- Developer: Yacht Club Games
- Release Date: Mar 3, 2017
You’ve heard the tale of the Shovel Knight and how he conquered the Order of No Quarter, but don’t you wonder how it all started? Taking place in the past, we look at Specter Knight the trusted servant to the Enchantress. Specter Knight has been assigned to look for capable warriors to create the Order of No Quarter. Why would this great warrior work for evil though? Find out in Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment.
Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment we here at Honey’s Anime would be out of our minds not to have on the list. Acting as the prequel to the already well received Shovel Knight, Shovel Knight: Specter aims to tell a story that was left untouched in the previous title. Specter Knight has a lot of different moves than Shovel Knight so players won’t feel as if this is just a rehashing of the previous Shovel Knight’s gameplay mechanics. Obviously we included Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment because like Castlevania, players will do a lot of side scrolling gameplay. If you were a huge fan of Shovel Knight then you will undoubtedly love Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment.
Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment- Nintendo Switch Trailer (Official Trailer)
6. Super Metroid
- System/Platform: Super NES, Wii U, Wii, New Nintendo 3DS
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Developer: Nintendo R&D1, Intelligent Systems
- Release Date: Mar 19, 1994
Samus Aran has just survived the Metroid infestation but her involvement with these creatures wouldn’t end just yet. A baby Metroid is born and sees Samus as its mother. Regardless Samus takes the baby Metroid to the Ceres Space Colony to have scientists see about using the Metroid power for future enhancements. After having just left the station, Samus gets an urgent call to return as something has happened. When Samus arrives she learns that Ridley has killed most of the scientist and has taken the baby Metroid. Samus now must once again don her power suit and go on her next mission.
Our list ends properly with the best example of what a fusion of two games can make. Games similar Metroid and Castlevania have always been fused together by the name of Metroidvania because both titles have such a similar gaming structure. Super Metroid though is probably one of the best of the franchise thanks to improving on the gameplay of the original almost tenfold. If you have never played Super Metroid before you can find it available on most of the modern download services for Nintendo consoles. Super Metroid is the perfect example of taking what made Castlevania work so well all while making sure Metroid’s original concepts weren’t compromised.
Nintendo eShop- Super Metroid Trailer (Official Trailer)
Castlevania has proven over almost 30 years how a franchise can become loved by all. Even when the games had slight mishaps and some boasting low sales, Castlevania has never faltered and continued to be a series that lasts even today. We here at Honey’s Anime have hopefully done Castlevania some justice and would love to hear your comments down below. As always be sure to tell us some of your favorite games from this list or a game you would have wanted to see on this list, cause trust us there are a lot of games like Castlevania out there. Hopefully, you continue to make our great website even greater by keeping your eyes peeled for more great articles like this one.