The Castlevania Anniversary Collection is on sale this weekend so I picked it up as it includes the Japanese editions of some of the classic games.
I knew there was an array of differences between the US and Japanese versions, but it’s been neat seeing them directly. One of the most interesting is that in the original Famicom edition of Castlevania, there’s an easy mode that gives you more lives to start with and does away with knockback. I am disappointed they didn’t include the Japanese edition of Simon’s Quest. But they did include what I thought was the best Castlevania of the 8-bit era, Castlevania III.
The changes are immediately noticeable as the Famicom music is way better. This was due to Konami’s proprietary VRC6 audio mapper that added extra channels of music and makes it sound like I’m listening to remixes of the original tracks.
Toggling between the Japanese and American edition, there’s a significant drop in audio quality. I can’t play it any other way now. You can check out Chris Kohler’s full review here.