Castlevania (1986) vs Contra (1987) which game was more popular during the 80’s?


When it comes down to big games from the 80’s many people instantly think about what appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment System during that time period. Along with popular games such as the Super Mario Bros and the Legend of Zelda series there were also a couple of games developed by Konami which also captured the attention of many people who owned a NES console during the mid to late 80’s. Two of the most popular titles that Konami had developed for the NES were the original Castlevania & Contra games. The first Castlevania game appeared on the NES the same year Nintendo releases the original Legend of Zelda title and was considered to be one of the top action-platformers for the NES during 1986. Playing as Simon Belmont throughout eighteen different stages was a worthwhile experience for those who enjoyed in-depth platformers.


Contra on the other hand was a run and gun title which was very creative in relation to level design. While some stages were side scrolling 2D levels there where others that had pseudo 3D view like in Stage 2. Also, despite having a multiplayer mode the different for the original Contra game was insane. As far as 2D side scrolling run and gun titles are concerned some would probably put Contra above the likes of the original Mega Man game which was also released back in 1987. The NES Mega Man titles never had co-op multiplayer gameplay which is feature that made Contra special following its release during the mid 80’s. Also, unlike the original Castlevania title Contra had arcade release before it arrived on the NES and was a game arguably contributed to the rise in popularity of the run & gun genre during the 8-16 bit era of gaming. In terms of which game was more popular during the mid 80’s following their respective releases is debatable. While the original NES Castlevania title was fun for many people Konami’s best work within the series did not come until 90’s with the likes of Dracula X and Symphony of the Night. In this case there are more people who would most likely give the Contra game of ’87 the edge over Castlevania from ’86 in terms of popularity back in the 80’s.

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