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CastleVania: Symphony of the Night


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#1 Smegaman

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 05:18 PM

Havn't really been playing it much, just done the introductory bits thus far. Not really alot to say other than it's CastleVania SOTN on your 360 for 7 rather than 50 odd the PS1 ver sets you back.

Main thing I thought I'd post about is the standard of the port. It's definately Symphony of the Night, it looks like it and sounds like it.

Those after a HD remake will be sorely dissapointed, the much trumpted "enhanced" visuals, are mearly a filter to try make it all look less pixelated, but that just makes it look blurry imo, so "original" graphics 4tw! (at least you can turn it off). Widescreen? Nah, again, same as before, 4:3 screen with some borders slapped around the edge to make the picture fill the screen. You can adjust the size of the game window though, it's basically like all Digital Eclipse's other ports.

There are 12 Achievements in the game which are:

Rampage: Defeat 10 consecutive enemies using standard weapons without getting hit. 5gp
Apprentice: Defeat 10 consecutive enemies using ony magic without getting hit. 5gp
Weapon Master: Defeat 10 consecutive enemies using special weapons without getting hit. 10gp
Changeling: Obtain the Bat, Wolf and Mist transformations. 10gp
Familiar: Collect all five familiars in the game. 10gp
Demon Slayer: Defeat Gaibon and Slogra. 10gp
Bloodlines: Defeat Dracula in the Bloodlines stage without getting hit. 10gp
Warlock: Unlock/Cast all eight of Alucard's spells. 15gp
Topsy Turvy: Unlock the Inverted Castle. 20gp
Money Bags: Collect a bank of $100,000. 25gp
Seeker: explore 200.6% of the game. 35gp
Belmont's Revenge: Finish the game, including the inverted casle, as Richter. 45gp

Some tough acheivements for people to crack on with. I'm gonna try and actually 200.6% complete this game for the first time ever smile.gif

So yeah, if you love symphony of the night and fancy playing it again without downloading a "backup", forking out 50 or rigging up your PS1 or 2 go for it. The one nice thing is that for the first time, PAL gamers don't have the rediculous borders the original SOTN had, I mean it was exactly 16:9 ratio there was that big a border on the screen.

Edit: on further playing, I'm noticing a few sound effects appear to be missing, such as the clatter of bones sound when you collapse the red skeletons, monsters names aren't appearing like they used to do on the PS1 version and I can't find a setting to turn it on. Other particularly curious part was that default sound setting in the game options is Mono. I've changed it to stereo but not really sure if' it's made any difference atm. I don't know if it was just an option left in the game itself by accident or not.

#2 E. Randy Dupre

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 08:15 PM

Just posted this to the 'Live Arcade updates' thread, before noticing that this one was here:

Oh God. Somehow, Digital Eclipse have managed to port SotN so that it crashes. I just had the game die on me at a completely random moment, simply because I pressed Select to go into the equipment menu. Game screen goes black, borders remain visible, main (360) game menu - the one where you can look at the game's achievements and so on - is still acceesible.

And yep, it was a while since I'd visited a save point.

Digital fucking Eclipse.


You need to stretch the screen vertically, but leave the horizontal alone to get the correct aspect ratio. It remains bordered - it always was, which was why the PAL version was uber-bordered. You know when you've got it right - circles become circles, Alucard looks like a 6ft+ vampire instead of a 4ft plumpire.

Some sound effects are missing, you're right. The enemy names, though, I'm not so sure about - I seem to remember having to colelct a certain Relic that enables that effect. That's definitely the case in the GBA games, so maybe I'm confusing episodes - it's a while since I played the original of this.

Enhanced visuals are atrocious. The pixelated, orignal flavour mode is by far and away the best way to play it - the filter on the enhanced mode seems to make half of the detail on the sprites disappear.

Stereo sound only becomes really noticable when things happen at the furthest edges of the screen - doors opening or closing, that kind of thing. I agree that it's stupid that mono is the default, but as I remember it this was the way it was originally.

Even with the usual DE crapola, this is still an amazing game. The animation - most noticable on Alucard - is so fluid. The way his cape swishes about is fantastic. The music's wonderful, the map's a lot more enjoyable to explore than that in any of the portable games and the detail level is way above what even the DS games have reached.

I love it, but I'll never forgive Konami for letting this bunch of useless bastards do the conversion. Lazy twots.

#3 Smegaman

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 08:21 PM

apparantly the enhanced visuals look lovely if you're playing on a Standard Definition CRT set. I'm just struggling to see just where all that "special enhancements" dev time went.

#4 E. Randy Dupre

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 08:25 PM

Doesn't that defeat the purpose of owning a high-def console?

I believe the special enhancements were replacing the PS1 pad's symbols in the menu with images of the 360's B and X buttons wink.gif

#5 Smegaman

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 09:20 PM

definately a huge improvement tongue.gif

#6 E. Randy Dupre

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 12:13 AM

QUOTE(E. Randy Dupre @ Mar 21 2007, 08:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The enemy names, though, I'm not so sure about - I seem to remember having to colelct a certain Relic that enables that effect. That's definitely the case in the GBA games, so maybe I'm confusing episodes - it's a while since I played the original of this.


It is the same here - just found the necessary item.

#7 Moodmon

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 11:07 PM

This isn't fair. So don't expect a reasoned response. Hell, this is based on the 15 mind trial.

It is EXACTLY the same game as Harmony of Dissonance (the non-soul one on the GBA double pack).

Yes, I know full well it is gonna have new areas, and those familiars/transformations. It even handles better, in that you can easily move mid-jump. And it doesn't have a whip at first. But the opening section in the castle is a carbon copy. It is probably intetional, but it also means I have precisely zero interest in owning the full game.

I wouldn't mind people's opinions on how SOTN compares to HoD, which I didn't like. Main point is the lack of health without potions - I prefer the way Metroid does it with the drops from enemies.

#8 E. Randy Dupre

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 11:24 PM

Bear in mind, Mood. that HoD came out a long time after this. You'll see lots of things in here that Konami would simply repeat over and over again for every subsequent 2D game in the series.

The opening section is the same in most Castlevanias - it's an in-joke, that you're back yet again, entering exactly the same building as you have over the course of hundeds of years with different members of the same family, only to discover as soon as you leave it and begin to explore more fully that Dracula's somehow managed to alter the rest of his home's layout.

This is a vastly superior game to HoD when you dig into it a little more. The exploration never gets boring, the different areas are far more imaginative and good-looking, the positioning of teleports and save rooms is more intelligent, the abilities are better integrated into the adventure, the RPG elements are more satisfying here than they'd ever be again - including the way that equiping different items in this one actually has a visible effect on the main sprite, which is the kind of attention to detail that has been ignored ever since.

If you're coming to this for the first time, having played *any* of the subsequent sequels, you're going to have had a lot of the fun ruined for you to begin with. If you stick with it, you'll find title of real richness and vision. Again, unlike any of the sequels.

Oh, and enemies do provide equipment and item drops, but they're rare until you find a certain piece of kit that ups the percentage chance of getting goodies from them.

#9 Smegaman

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 12:51 AM

QUOTE(Moodmon @ Mar 22 2007, 11:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wouldn't mind people's opinions on how SOTN compares to HoD, which I didn't like. Main point is the lack of health without potions - I prefer the way Metroid does it with the drops from enemies.


Potions are your health really, but it replenishes everytime you enter a save point too and/or pick up a max health increase item.

I personally thought HoD was by far the weakest GBA CastleVania game, infact weakest "2D metroidvania" title fullstop, it's still alright, but not as good as the others. Symphony of the Night once you get stuck in is by far the finest example of the genre ever created. The first time I went into the church area and the music kicked in, was a proper wow moment in gaming. It's all just so epic.

Oh and aye, it's worth remembering that this game saw it's 10th anniversary this last tuesday (20th of March) since it's Japanese debut.

#10 Le Spank

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 09:10 AM

I'm really interested in this and would definitely have given it a shot if it wasn't out the same week as VT3.

Someone needs to remind me to get this next time there is a drought!

#11 PirateKitten

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 06:39 AM

I've bought this and I'm loving it at the moment - I haven't played any of the previous Castlevanias (maybe a quick go at IV on the SNES and that's it) and this is good fun. The non-linearity is a bit off-putting at first, as the game throws you right in at the deep end without any clue but to explore.

It's great, so far I'm about 48% in and it feels like I've barely discovered anything, I know that equates to 24% really though, mind.

My main beef with the game is the up + fire special move is FAR to easy to do on the 360 pad. Don't know what it was like on the original but I'm always doing it accidentally and it pisses me off as I keep losing hearts because of it.

And yes, you do need to pick up a relic to see the names of monsters. Likewise with seeing the damage you do to them.

#12 PirateKitten

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 08:22 AM

Well, 5.5 hours in and I've defeated the castle:

» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «


#13 E. Randy Dupre

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 05:26 PM

» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «


Only reason I've not put more time into this is because I've played it a few times before, so feel my time's better spent on new games atm.

#14 E. Randy Dupre

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 11:35 PM

QUOTE(Smegaman @ Mar 21 2007, 06:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Edit: on further playing, I'm noticing a few sound effects appear to be missing, such as the clatter of bones sound when you collapse the red skeletons


Bizarrely, that sound effect is present and correct when you come to attack the red skeletons hidden in coffins in the catacombs.

#15 PirateKitten

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 11:37 AM

Fair enough, I've done a bit more of it and it's good but not holding my attention as much as before. Must try not to waver at this point as if I do then - like with all games I play - I'll never return to it to finish it!




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