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#1 bowser123

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 12:59 PM

Another blog type thread. Sorry!

 

Anyway in my NES thread I was speaking about finishing the original NES Castlevania for the first time. I was recommended the third by Shadowman, where I said I wanted to try the second though had reservations. He said:

 

Castlevania 2 is a really weird one. Gameplay wise I don't actually have that much against it bar the incredibly crap boss battles. Its a solid platformer with the beginnings of the Metroidvania template that worked so well for the game later on. It has an absolutely killer soundtrack as well. My main complaint with the game as you mentioned was it being insanely obtuse at times. At one point to progress you need to have a certain item and crouch on a certain spot in an area to be wisked through a wall by a tornado. How the fuck are you supposed to pick that one up without a guide (Its so good the indie Metroidvania game Dust had the exact same puzzle in the game and an achievement referencing it!).

 

Which pretty much, along with the necessity to edge forward due to the invisible holes in the floor, was the problems I'd heard about from the Angry Nintendo Nerd ages ago. Who subsequently became Angry Videogame Nerd:

 

 

What I didn't realise until I watched the video again yesterday was the guy actually quite liked the game, that the exaggeration was his act. I learnt this when I watched the subsequent Castlevania videos he made:

 

 

I like the Holy Water glitch at 2 minutes :)

That video make CV3 look incredible, makes me want to try the second game albeit with a guide at hand. I mean I was already told the third was brilliant but that video really made me want to play it.

 

So I watch the second video and think why not go for part 3?


 

OK, at this point I'm now really interested in playing more Castlevania. SNES CV4 looks absolutely amazing. Which isn't exactly news as it's held in high regard. That said despite owing it (before selling it) I never really played it past the opening stage or 2.

 

So after researching and finding out it's one of the few SNES games available on WiiU I bought it to play off screen on the gamepad.

 

Did anybody ever play N64 Castlevania? What was the solution to the nitro at the very end of his video (11.30 or so)? Then I go for the fourth and final part of his videos:

 

 

Which was more revelations. I didn't even know there was a Mega Drive Castlevania.

 

That video though is mainly about SotN, a game I have played and completed on PSP. A game I want to play again, only the gimped PS1 version is available on the UK store, with the US store getting the PSP game too. Damn.

 

Other things searching the PSN store made me discover:

- The PS1 has an updated version of the first NES game available on the store (Chronicles)

- There's a new title that is multiplayer, HD version available with DLC (Harmony of Despair)

- The 3DS game is now ressed up and on PS3 (Mirror of Fate)

 

 

Which then led me to research what else I've missed and where it's available. Which is the next post and point of the thread. What is amazing is how one paragraph has sparked this great desire to play Castlevania.



#2 bowser123

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 12:59 PM

So enthused to research I realised there's so much I've never even heard of, never mind played. I knew I'd pretty much completed or at least tried all the Metroidvania type games. I've never played a 3D game and only started to touch upon the classic style.

 

8-bit Era

 

Castlevania NES, 1986 (Completed)

Vampire Killer MSX, 1986 ( I don't even know what that format is)

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest NES, 1987

Haunted Castle Arcade (88) and PS2 (2006)
Castlevania: The Adventure Gameboy, 1989

Akumajō Special: Boku Dracula-kun Famicom, 1990 (Playing at the minute, a translated ROM Kid Dracula)

Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge Gameboy, 1991

Kid Dracula Gameboy, 1993 (Completed)

Castlevania Legends Gameboy, 1997

 

 

16-bit and PS1

 

Super Castlevania IV SNES, 1992

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood PC Engine, 1993. Re-released on PSP as Dracula X Chronicles

Castlevania: Bloodlines Mega Drive, 1994

Castlevania: Dracula X SNES 1995, Vampires Kiss (PAL)

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night PS1 1997, XBLA 2007

 

Castlevania Chronicles Sharp X68000 (err, what format?) Later released on PS1 and PSN, a remake of the original NES Castlevania

 

GBA, DS and 3DS

 

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon GBA, 2001 (Completed)
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow GBA, 2003 (Completed)
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow DS, 2005 (Completed)
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia DS, 2008 (Played)
 

 

3D Games

 

Castlevania N64, 1999

Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness N64, 1999

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence PS2, 2003

Castlevania: Curse of Darkness PS2, 2005

Castlevania Judgment Wii, 2008

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow PS3, X360, 2010

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 PS3, X360 2014

 

 

Modern, none 3D games

Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth Wiiware, 2009

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair PSN, XBLA, 2010

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate 3DS, XBLA, PSN 2013

 

 

I'm going to do the NES games as that's my format of choice at the minute.

 

So I bought the SNES game on VC, I like the look of the Wiiware game. I want to try the Mega Drive game. I need to go back and play Rondo as I skipped that on PSP and just went for SotN.

 

I think that's a decent start. The 3D games I have the perception of being terrible. Was there a good one?

 

I guess properly playing the second and third DS games are an option too. Didn't at the time as I was tired of the series having bought, played and completed the amazing GBA games.

 

 

Not just a blog for me though, what have you played? What would you recommend? General Castlevania chat please!



#3 shadowman

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 03:35 PM

I've played practically every last Castlevania game. Just need to play the N64 games and the newest game that's just been released.

 

The NES games are a bit tricky in places (due to the jumping and tricky enemy placement) but they are still in the top games for me. CV is a classic in my eyes, with awesome music and boss battles and CV3 improves on the original in every way and needs to be played (not sure this actually got a Euro release, it might have got a small print run and is insanely expensive).

 

The Snes has Super Castlevania 4. Ignore some so-so graphics in places and just enjoy the game. Mutli directional whip, an amazing soundtrack, cool mode seven effects, awesome boss battles and a surprisingly long and varied game. Its technically billed as a remake of the original Castlevania but I always viewed it as a separate game seeing as how (bar the names of the bosses) it comes across as a completely different game.

 

Dracula X however I've never clicked with. Its bastard hard, even for me I think its bastard hard. Enemies take a ton of hits but you don't and the placement of them is pure evil. Enjoy bits like in your vid above with thin pillars, bottomless pits and enemies waiting to fuck you over. It has an awesome soundtrack though but I'd recommend you get...

 

Dracula X (PC Engine) instead. It looks like the Snes one (but its better graphically) and the soundtrack is pure genius. Add in branching paths each with its own boss battles and endings based on you resueing all the characters. A must play and in my opinion its better than most Metroidvania games that came after it. I got the physical copy (which is fairly expensive) mainly due to it being so damn awesome. But I think it got a virtual console release AND a PSP remake that you could try instead.

 

Symphony of the Night should need no introduction so I won't touch on it for long. The soundtrack is the pinnacle of the series for me narrowly pushing out Dracula X but the game is just too easy in my opinion. You need to de equip armour and use weaker weapons to not walk through the game with no problems.

 

I'll touch on the rest later...



#4 qazimod

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 04:45 PM

A thread similar to this was posted last November on rllmukforum (which a few GHZ peeps - including myself - visit) - the OP was late discovering Castlevania and wanted to know the best way to get into the series. :) Me, I've played each of the main NES games, Super CV IV, BloodlinesDracula X/Rondo of Blood, SotN and a few of the more modern games (Portrait of RuinLords of Shadow, Harmony of Despair)... It can be hard to make recommendations on Castlevania as the series is so vast and has changed genre/format so often, so it depends on what kind of gameplay interests you.

 

If I had to brutally simplify things, I'd say there are three different styles of Castlevania out there - the side-scrolling linear games that have their roots in the first NES game, the post-SotN games that implement more RPG elements and a Metroid-style format (exploration, mapping, backtracking and gaining extra powers to access certain areas), and the 3D games that are generally more conventional action adventure titles. All of this matters because I usually end up telling people that Super Castlevania IV is one of my favourite Castlevanias, and that's one of the best side-scrolling Castlevanias out there. It generally follows the same format of the original NES game - go from left to right fighting through enemies, collecting expendable items, whip upgrades and weapons, and ultimately defeat a boss - but it's so much more atmospheric than the NES games, the controls are much better (eight-way whipping, better control of your jump arc) and the SNES' power is used to great effect in certain scenes... and so it feels like one of the most "complete" traditional side-scrolling Castlevanias. Bloodlines and Rondo are also pretty good, but I might be biased towards Super CV IV since I played it before those others, and I also put more time into it rather than getting a few levels in and being distracted by other games :P

 

With regards to Metroidvanias (games that follow SotN's format - I believe the reason they aren't simply dubbed "Metroid-style" is because they also have a bunch of RPG elements that you won't find in Metroid games), the only one I've really played extensively is SotN. I tend not to play them for long because if I leave them for a while and come back I'll forget where the heck I was going, but if anyone else has a sieve-like memory, it helps to make shorthand notes that point out areas you can't get to yet, or impossible bosses that could be beatable at a certain level or with a certain item. I'm still holding out for a Metroidvania that lets you annotate the in-game map :P Then again, I've also played Harmony of Despair, and although it's not an amazing game (and isn't really that much of a Metroidvania), it had quite a novel feature where you could zoom the view of the level in and out in realtime; at the default zoom level, it looked like your regular 2D Castlevania, but when zoomed out fully it looked like a realtime map. Even though HoD isn't great, I really liked this feature as it was much easier to make sense of things compared to Symphony's "blueprints".

 

I'm not sure if it's really worth me talking about a game like Lords of Shadow that much; it was much better than the only other 3D Castlevania I played (Lament of Innocence), had some great atmosphere in places and some interesting standalone sequences such as the whole music box thing, but it felt a bit weak in other areas, and personally I got tired of every other boss having ground-pounding shockwave attacks that you had to jump over. Oh, and I kept trying to dodge-cancel my attacks, which you can't do. Stupid sexy Bayonetta.


Edited by qazimod, 10 March 2014 - 04:54 PM.


#5 bowser123

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 05:24 PM


Dracula X (PC Engine) instead. It looks like the Snes one (but its better graphically) and the soundtrack is pure genius. Add in branching paths each with its own boss battles and endings based on you resueing all the characters. A must play and in my opinion its better than most Metroidvania games that came after it. I got the physical copy (which is fairly expensive) mainly due to it being so damn awesome. But I think it got a virtual console release AND a PSP remake that you could try instead.

 

I doubted the graphics thing that a PCE could be possibly be better and then I looked up the machine...

:o :o  shocked. I had no idea that format was pumping out such clean, crisp and colourful graphics. I'm genuinely astounded, but then again I don't think I've ever even seen the machine before today, never mind played any games. Not so much Castlevania for the colour (though it does look crisp), but some of the stuff in this top 100 looks amazing. SUCH a fan of the 16 bit graphics style. The top 50 for the PCE CD games, where Rondo is, the look of some of those games!

 

I mean outside of the film Enemy of the State (that is the right handheld the kid has, yeah?) , I had no idea there was a home console with a similar name, CD add on and beautiful graphics. I thought it was all tiny, monochrome displays on a brick handheld.

 

Get the feeling I'll be trying some of the games soon. Along with wanting to do Alex Kidd, Master System and that Mega Drive compilation disc on PS3.

 

But, yeah, Rondo/ Dracula X is on the PSP as Dracula X Chronicles. For shame I got that collection that had the Dracula game but only played SotN. Rather annoyingly the PSN store only has a listing on the US store meaning I can't download it and play on the Vita. Well I could, but I can't be arsed resetting the machine like I used to. Like you say it's on Wiiware for 900 points, or about £6. Tempted!

 

-------------------------

 

Started playing Castlevania: The Adventures: Rebirth on WiiWare, playing it through the WiiU gamepad.

First thing I did was remap the controls so that attack was above jump, rather than next to it. Second thing I did was change the difficulty and increased the number of lives.

 

Doing that didn't stop me losing them all near the end of stage 4 mind. Doh! Damn, I'm bad at these games. Like other classic Castlevania that meant dumping to the start of the stage, minus upgrades and score but an infinite amount of lives. Turned it off, game asked to save and I said yes.

 

Turned the game back on later only to find it hadn't saved and I had to start from stage 1. Confused, I looked the save thing up. It doesn't save where you left off, but rather progress of what paths you've uncovered. I did find a stage select cheat (hold right for 5 seconds on the start/ options screen), but it's not really a cheat as you can only play from stages you've finished already.

 

Game itself is really good. It's so very 16 bit, albeit with advanced scaling, morphing and rotation of floors and enemies that the SNES almost certainly wouldn't have been able to pull off. Naturally it doesn't flicker or slow down either given it was designed specifically for a Wii. It sounds awesome too, as expected.

 

This particular Belmont is from the school of retard stair climbing. He can't jump onto them or off, he merely walks up and down them. Well I guess he can attack from them too. Old hat and slightly annoying, though he has a jump that can be adjusted in mid air so it isn't totally retro.

 

I was talking of the game saving paths taken. There's multiple routes through every level, something that can only increase replay value. They all seemingly end up looping round to the same place (the end boss or mid boss), but offer different enemies and better rewards. Some of the paths seem to be opened up with keys, some by triggering the environment or making a particular jump, others are simple and branch off with no fuss. There's these giant concrete slabs with either a red or blue in them like the one from this pic I found on t'internet:

9t0n6o.png

I

think the blue orb on the right is signifying a previously untaken route? The red ones definitely indicate the point you restart from should you die, but I think they may also show old paths too.

 

Variety wise the game seems good and different. There's lots and lots of different enemies, it was Metroidvania levels of variety. This impressed me though my only current reference for classic Castlevania is the original NES so maybe it's nothing new? The stages too are graphically very different, the bosses I've seen impressive. I also like the system of temporarily powering up the whip so that it becomes a flame whip with a fireball attack, though there's the standard thing of powerups increasing the normal whips length and strength too.

 

Colour me impressed so far for sure.


Edited by bowser123, 11 March 2014 - 08:18 AM.


#6 bowser123

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 08:52 AM

-qazimod

 

Was having a read of that Castlevania RLLMUK thread, ta. Prefer the detail from in here, though there's good stuff in that thread. The consensus is SOTN/CV4/DS games, which was no surprise really, though it was interesting that not all the 3D games were poo pooed. I mean somebody said there's no such thing as 3D Castlevania but a few mentioned the PS2 game.

 

 

If I had to brutally simplify things, I'd say there are three different styles of Castlevania out there - the side-scrolling linear games that have their roots in the first NES game, the post-SotN games that implement more RPG elements and a Metroid-style format (exploration, mapping, backtracking and gaining extra powers to access certain areas), and the 3D games that are generally more conventional action adventure titles.

 

I think that's spot on actually. Maybe would have made more sense to split my post into genres than format and timeline. Interestingly though my list is almost correct for genre by chance- I never realised it was so pronounced as 8-16 bit being classic, handhelds and PS1 being Metroidvania,  post PS1 on consoles being 3D. There's exceptions like the Rebirth game but they almost all fit into the categories you mention when listing by release date. Not sure about the monochrome GB games, they look a mix of classic and almost Kid Icarus?

 

I think the small exception to all of this is perhaps the 3DS game. It fits closer to the classic style, but being 2.5D and not really focused on exploration or classic themes. To me it's more about combos and the combat system so in a different style to the classics, there's no Metroidvania like has become the norm for handheld. I didn't like what I played of it.

 

Superficially they've replaced the lovely 2D graphics for low res, shitty 3D models did the game no favours and put me right off. The demo cemented the idea and having played the full thing I realised I really didn't like the combat either. Some may say it's improved, to me it doesn't seem like Castlevania.

 

Personally I grew tired of the Metroidvania styling on the second DS game, my fatigue coming from playing the GBA games and then first 2 DS titles so close to each other. Think the producers did too. Was reading a quote in that thread about how 2D games aren't on the horizon as they class the audience as niche... shame really as you look at the indie games on last gen, some of the Wii U platform games and they really could make a gorgeous, stylised new entry in both the classic and Metroidvania genres and probably be the ultimate title for each.

Maybe have to wait for a Kickstarter game for that, like Mega Man has with the Mighty No.9.

 

Shadowman will probably be more in the position to say but I bet fans really, really want a classic game done with modern hardware. If you discount Rebirth which I'm enjoying but has really long levels, it's been 20 years since they've done one. As I learn more about the classic style I grow more and more fond, lucky for me I have 10 years worth of old titles to get on with.



#7 shadowman

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 10:59 AM

From what I've seen (on Neogaf for example) people really want more of the same in regards to Castlevania/Metroidvania games. I kind of disagree with this as while those games are almost always excellent they had fallen into a rut in recent years. Its a real shame as the third DS game Order of Esclessia really bridged the gap in my opinion - the first entire half of the game features smaller, varied environments that felt like an excellent blend of classic and Metroidvania style gameplay. It was also helped by actually not being overly easy, the game was challenging, bosses were fearsome and that really helped it to in my opinion. Then when you think your done, you unlock Castlevania and that's an enormous castle in its own right on top of what you've just done. Really the only downer is the Dracula fight which just doesn't hold up what so ever especially compared to Portrait of Ruins Death/Dracula tag team battle (which was fucking amazing).

 

Speaking of Portrait of Ruin... Its a sequel to the Megadrive game which is really cool and also has the shadow of Richter Belmont appear (again, awesome). As usual, giant castle but the idea of portraits including sub levels was a good one but it was a bit disappointing to have them kind of repeat the same area in the second half of the game. Plus props to the game + mode that gives you a load of unique characters to play as. Often disregarded as the worst of the DS/GBA games but I really liked this game.

 

The first DS game is a sequel to the last GBA game. A really interesting idea as the third GBA game was a really unique game in itself - both because of the fact that you play as (major spoiler)

Spoiler
but also because its set in the "future". It was a nice twist and the supporting cast were also really interesting in that you have
Spoiler
helping you. What's especially great is the game+ mode where you get to play as them in an alternate version of the game. What let the game down was the bloody seal system, having to draw the seal was a blatant gimmick to use the touch screen which was completely un needed especially as having the map on one of the screens was all you needed out of a DS CV game. While the games are great and very popular I actually prefer the other DS games due to not really connecting with Soma as much I guess? Or maybe I just prefer the standard CV formula of Belmont Vs Dracula.

 

The 3DS game is a bit of a weird one. It has some awesome characters and sections. I bridges the story well between the two "main" games and I'm still really impressed they got the combat down perfectly in the 2D plain but it is a bit simple compared to other CV games. I didn't like the hand holding, sign posting or the check points in boss battles. I did like the final boss though.

 

Speaking of Handheld games, as with every decent NES series the series of course made it over to the Gameboy with mixed results... The first game is very rough. The character doesn't handle well and the most common complaint is the difficulty of the title. I can clear it but there are certain sections that are pretty demanding. I like the game but I can understand why others don't.

The second game improves on the first mainly due to it looking and handling much better. Its a decent handheld CV game but still not a patch on the NES games.

The third game I can't comment on, its supposed to be pretty good but I've not actually got it. Something I really should remedy when I get a chance...

 

Last lot of games I'll mention for now, the PS2 CV games. Konami's second attempt at taking the series 3D after the N64 titles and I don't really rate them. The first has an interesting story concept - the origin of Dracula which is cool. It also features Death as the final boss which is really badass. Problem is the game comes off as a DMC clone that is repetitive and just not as good. By all means play it, its far from bad and actually a competent stab at a 3D game but its just not all that awesome compared to say Ninja Gaiden which just might be the best 2D-3D action transition going.

The second game (name escapes me) I bloody hated. I've not even got that far into it but several things rub me up the wrong way - firstly the main character whos name also escapes me. Insanely generic and none of the charm that other series protagonists had. Worse is the baddie - some lady boy looking guy thats supposed to be one of Dracula's trusted generals. I just hate the design, I mean I hate the feminine anime guy look that the series took on from the third GBA game (I much prefer the Conan esque look of the Belmonts from the English NES box art!). I just can't take the guy seriously as a threat at all. Worse is that the fact that the game is supposed to take place during Castlevania 3, kind of sullying one of my favourites in the series. Though to give it its due, at least you get to use Christopher Belmont in the game.

The other thing I hate is traversing the levels. They are bland and it takes F O R E V E . . . R to get any fucking where. Ok, I admit I played only the first two levels but damn I hated the game. Only game I hated more in a series I love is Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City which I stopped playing after the first corridor!

 

Ending on a positive note, there is one untold story from the IGA CV games that could be told much to fan delight. The last GBA game and first DS game hinted at a particularly epic battle taking place in 1999 which had Julius Belmont taking down Dracula. This has been teased a few times but never made as a game. I'd totally be all over this should it ever get made (and now that Mercury Steam aren't making any more games in the series it could well happen.)



#8 shadowman

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 02:35 PM

So thanks to this thread I had the urge to play some Konami Snes games including Super Castlevania 4. Its rare that a game is as good as I remember it but this sure is. The multi directional whip is the best thing ever and deserved to be in more games, as does the whip swinging move - Dracula X really seems like it took a step back in the whip department.

 

The music and graphics are as good as ever, with some awesome uses of mode 7 to create some unique levels - the rotating room is awesome as is the ominous chandelier section (the music is so damn good on this bit).

 

Its the gameplay that wins it for me. I'm a stubborn old git when it comes to some series, wanting them to stay the same and CV is one series that I wish had a few other side scrollers in it before it pretty much abandoned the sub genre for Metroidvania. I like the dedicated start and end points, the great variety of level locations and especially the end of stage bosses. Plus the challenge, something I feel the series lacks these days. This game got everything right, bar maybe the clock tower which as with every CV clock tower is a pain in the ass to complete. Between this and Dracula X I'm pretty much in heaven as far as CV games go, now I need to get me a new composite cable to play the NES games again!



#9 bowser123

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 09:24 PM

Only the other day I was on about a Kick Starter funded classic Castlevania... and the dude behind the original games has left Konami and going independent
 

 

I've decided to break out on my own to have the freedom to make the kind of games I really want to make — the same kind I think fans of my past games want as well. Leaving Konami was a big decision, and not one I took lightly – I’ve spent my entire career there, made many friends, and had a lot of great opportunities – but I hope all the gamers and fans who have supported me in the past will join me in being excited about what comes next. Wish me luck!.

 

http://www.nintendol...rts_from_konami

 

Guessing the none PS3/ 360 3D titles must be really bad though when the developer is dissing them:

 

We made two 3D Castlevania games. And to be honest, they didn't turn out so well. Mercury Steam is very skilled at creating beautiful 3D images, so they were brought in to develop the game.

Kotaku: Couldn't you still have been in charge?

It would've been difficult, with them in Europe and me in Japan. And since the quality for our 3D Castlevania games wasn't that high, it wasn't really our place to tell them how to do one. They had that expertise.

 


Edited by bowser123, 20 March 2014 - 09:25 PM.


#10 shadowman

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 11:27 PM

I've not played the N64 3D games but I've heard mixed things about them. I've played the 3D PS2 games and as mentioned above I'd say give them a miss.

 

I'm personally surprised IGA stayed at Konami this long, I can't remember the last game he made (must have been a few years ago now?) and him going the indie route might be for the best. Heck, Mighty Number 9 is the Megaman game I've been waiting for so there's no reason he won't do similar and make a badass Metroidvania game in the style of the Castlevania series. I'd buy it for sure.



#11 qazimod

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 05:18 PM

bowser already posted the excellent series of AVGN videos, but if you're looking for more in-depth chatter about some of the older titles I recommend the "Sequelitis" videos by Egoraptor. You might know him from things like Metal Gear Awesome and Game Grumps, but these videos below do a great job of analysing where the older games succeeded and failed in certain areas. I never played Simon's Quest extensively so I can't comment on it that much, but he makes a great point about the items in the SNES game...

 

 



#12 bowser123

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 07:00 PM

Consider that video post +1ed. For some reason it won't let me like it, says I've hit a quota.

 

 

Anyway... those videos are ace. Found them really funny and informative. Loving his whip noise he makes and screaming at the bit with the armed soldiers and the medusa heads. Exact same bit infuriated me.

 

On another level they're offering a critical insight of a level you rarely read in video game journalism. The weapons and the impact of the whips characteristics change like you say is especially well done. The stuff about the contrasting, complementing colours from the 1st and second game is another really good point. I'd sort of noticed the colour scheme in the first and how things looked bold. The blue and orange like he said, but I'd not made the connection of just why it was like that until pointed out.

 

The stuff about deliberate placement of enemies in the 1st was more obvious, but explaining just why the second fell down as both a Metroidvania and a classic 'Vania was another good point well made.

 

 

Lastly I had no idea ROM hacks could do the stuff he was talking about in Simons Quest. I thought those things were an extension of cheat codes for invincibility and extra lives, I had no idea they could be used to fundamentally change ingame features. I mean I'm aware modern games have mods, even unofficial stuff that changes NSMB, but a tiny text file having that profound an effect is cool. Seriously considering whether to try the game with the hack too, though maybe I should sample the game naturally initially as it'd be my first ever play.



#13 bowser123

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 09:21 AM

Started this thread early a year old. Had no idea it had been so long.

Went back to Castlevania last weekend and it's bitten me again.

 

Finished the Wiiware game, which I enjoyed loads. I'm still not that good at the classic style, but I went from completing it using the level select to being able to finish it all in one go. Granted I'm still playing on easy with 9 lives. but there was some improvement. I like the branching path idea, whilst the end result is usually a life or powerup and ultimately leads back to the same exit it's added some variety and different scenes. I've used the level select to replay a few levels to get a better idea of where it branches off. I really liked the bosses, though some are rendered a pushover by my difficulty selection.

 

I think it might have worked better with slightly shorter stages and split up, they are very long though the checkpoints are generous. Only other complaint is a historic legacy issue- how retarded he is with stairs (can't jump onto or off them) and the Medusa heads ability to smash into you as you amble up the steps just seems a little cheap.

 

 

Onto Super Castlevania IV. I didn't play it first time round, bought it years later before selling at a big profit without ever giving it a real go. Tried it on and off a few times emulated, this newest play through the Wii U has been my most concerted effort to date. Intend to play and finish.

 

Currently saved at stage 4-1, via a save state. I haven't used states to replay bits but used it as a bookmark to continue.

 

Mixed impressions so far. The initial though is the music is absolutely splendid. The stage 1 track is brilliant and my favourite so far, though all have been good. Always atmospheric, I've heard catchy and spooky, even a bit sinister with the wailing of the third stage.

 

Graphically it's very early SNES. Some good art with impressive scaling and rotating effects, mixed with slowdown and some very ugly flooring textures. I like the idea that it's a journey to the castle and is represented by very varied stages but it's been all over the show in visual quality, sometimes quite garish and almost painful.

 

I expect the game to get harder as it goes, but Belmont almost seems overpowered. The ability to whip in diagonals and up is very neat (as is the swirl on the whip) and modern, but it seems almost too strong. Large sections that would have been very tricky in other classic games are simplified by his ability to stand below and snipe them. Now you could do similar with the special weapon in CV1, but that as standard with a smaller arc and longer range in his whip is too much. Normally I favour the axe special sub weapon but I've not really noticeably used any so far as the whip is so good.

 

So far I think I prefer the WiiWare game.

 

 

Oh, one last thing. Retarded stair walking are still bad, but I love the accidental walk down them backwards moonwalk I pulled off. Made me laugh.



#14 shadowman

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 12:55 PM

I never did finish the Wii Ware game. It seems good but I wouldn't rate it above CV4.

 

I played CV4 when it was released back in the day, I never really noticed anything all that bad about the graphics, its not the most amazing looking game but the mode 7 effects really added to the spectacle of the game. The music is absolutely fantastic, one of the best soundtracks on the series - the main theme (theme of Simon Belmont) is among the best themes in the series. I loved the stage progression, it felt like an extended version of the original Castlevania game. It gets harder when you reach the later levels (I love the castle stages with multiple bosses - Gaibon, Slogra, Death...).

 

Are you planning to play the Snes version of Vampires Kiss/Dracula X? I'd be interested in your opinion of this game. Its the other game I never finished, I always felt it was very much inferior to the amazing PC Engine CD version (which you totally need to play if you've not done so already).



#15 bowser123

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 12:24 PM

Yeah I intend to go into more classic Castlevania after IV. I had my eye on the third NES game or maybe the Mega Drive one. Only had a brief glance at PCE Rondo but it looked superb- I had no idea that format was so capable until you mentioned it looked better than the SNES games. Gutted I didn't get the PSP version the other month on offer because it wasn't Vita compatible, but now is.

 

Also hankering after a proper Metroidvania too. Logically it'd be the 2nd and 3rd DS games as I've yet to play them and you made Eccles Cake sound great. The GBA titles being released on the Wii U is tempting though, I so enjoy using the gamepad offscreen. That can probably wait though as I own the old GBA carts and have played and completed each on my Micro GBA.

 

--------------

 

Pushed on through IV, got to the levels titled after letters. Saved at the completion of "A", just as "B" starts. It's definitely got harder and I've been forced to use continues for the first time though it's more the platforming I've failed at than actual enemies. Quite a few times there's been traps and jumps that seem almost unavoidable to avoid damage from first time around as it happens so quick. On my second attempt I've got past these bits without damage as I knew what was coming and so could get my retaliation in first. The money level (stage 9 I think) was worst for this with it's collapsible floors and spikes.

 

Talking of stage 9 I was sure there was going to be a sting in the tail with all that money. There seems to be an absolute abundance, more than anywhere else. It's thematically logical with the setting being a some money keep with the piles of gold and treasure chests but every candle gave bags and bags of cash. Halfway through I expected it to be fools gold or cursed, that somehow everything collected would count against me at the boss- alas this didn't transpire. The bat coin boss was cool though.

Guessing famous last words when I fall hard at Death and Dracula.

 

Loving the bosses, they've been great. I enjoyed the coin bat, the dancing couple and the mummy. Thing is they've all been relatively simple and I've took many of them down first time with sheer brute force. I sustain damage but so long as you avoid two or three of the attacks in the battle you generally can out damage them and take them down. I'm often left with only a bar or two but I reckon on replay could be done with even less damage. Frankenstein especially was super easy, he stood and took my cross damage from distance and died really quickly.

 

I think stage 6 is my favourite so far. It starts off the same as the original Castlevania with the undead hounds, then has the pictures that try to grab you, the knights and phantom men in suits. For some reason I thought the translucent orbs couldn't be damaged so I tried to sneak past and failed badly. I think they didn't flash on impact so I thought were immune. Died again, tried whipping away on the third go and down they go. Yay. You then have the dancers, the ghost tables and skeletons. Such a diverse and unusual cast of enemies in one level. What really got me though was the dancing couple boss, the parralax scrolling where the background and foregrounds are layered and scroll independently, the illusion as the dancers spin the room does too. Oh, and the giant rocking chandeliers. Awesome! Not as nice as the rotating room but the whole Ballroom theme is still really cool.

 

That reminds me, any idea what an item you collect called "II" does? It goes next to the life and time bar but doesn't seem to do out.

 

Think I'm nearing the end with the way the map has progressed and the level titling has changed. It seems longer than other classic Castlevania titles. Stage number wise it definitely is, but then again there was a weird, really short one. Stage 5 I think, didn't really have any enemies and no boss, was almost just a mid level break.


Edited by bowser123, 04 February 2015 - 12:26 PM.





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