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Thread: Castlevania Collection

  1. #16
    Resident Critic Ayen's Avatar
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    The only thing I don't like about Castlevania 64 is that you don't get the full game if you play it on easy. What's even the point of having an easy difficult, then?


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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    • Former Cid's Knight

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ayen View Post
    The only thing I don't like about Castlevania 64 is that you don't get the full game if you play it on easy. What's even the point of having an easy difficult, then?
    Bloodlines did the same thing. Considering the series has a rep for being difficult, I'm not surprised. Even the Metroidvania titles did things like this with their being a Normal ending and an actual True ending that usually involves doing something counter productive during the penultimate boss fight.

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    I finished Castlevania Adventure and holy hell am I grateful this collection has save states because I doubt I would have the patience to beat this game without them. The game is just clunky and bad with too many choke point areas that rely on RNG more than skill to proceed unmolested. The most annoying enemy in the games are either bats or the monsters that shoot fireballs at a diagonal since there is no way to counter them effectively. Making matters worse is that Belmont's hit box is larger than his sprite so it was annoying to think an attack would slide past you or that you cleared jumping over an enemy only to have the game act like Chris is twice his size and get hit regardless. The most obnoxious part is the platforming. Chris is just too slow and his jump is more awkward thanks to the inconsistent hit box. The third stage is one giant level of being chased by spikes and trying to clear the level ASAP which is a nightmare with his sluggish controls. The only saving grace of this game's original design is that all of the bosses are complete jokes once you pick up their patterns. Even Dracula is pretty easy. I checked out Belmont's Revenge, the Game Boy sequel and that game has already fixed most of the problems from this game by making Chris's mobility on par with the NES Belmont's and bringing back sub-weapons. I'll tackle that game once I finish Dracula's Curse.

    Dracula's Curse has certainly lived up to its reputation as the hardest entry in the franchise, but more importantly, it has some of the coolest design elements. I now understand why Igarashi references and emulates it so much when he became the series producer. I'm doing the Alucard route, and I'll concede that Alucard is probably the worst of the three companions. He can only use the Stop Watch as a sub-weapon which is traditionally the most useless, his other ability is to turn into a bat which is nice for clearing tricky platforming sections but it consumes hearts the longer he's in the form and he instantly transforms back if he's hit. His main mode of attack is firing off fireballs like his daddy, and you need to find weapon power ups to get the full three fireballs. These fireballs are also weak and you're often better using Trevor. The only really plus with his attack is that two of his fireballs shoot in a diagonal direction meaning he can at least attack more annoying enemies like bats and ghosts. He's also next to Trevor in the tanky department, taking less damage than Sypha and Grant are.

    What's interesting about this game is that beating certain stages gives you the option to choose the following stage with multiple paths to play the game. What's really interesting is that the stages still have an interconnected feel to them. So for instance, you rescue Grant in the Clock Tower after you beat him, but the exit to Drac's castle collapses in the cutscene you obtain him. So instead of just assuming the Clock Tower is beaten and jumping you into choosing the next stage, you actually have to leave the Clock Tower just as you came in, so you have to retread your steps. Some stages also overlap and so you might end up traversing parts of other levels as an intermediary stage to reach stages with actual bosses or stage choice sections. This game is incredibly ahead of its time.

    My only real beef with it at the moment is the controls for using stairs is actually far more finicky than they were in the previous two games and not hitting the button correctly will simply have any character not named Grant walk off a ledge to a cheap death. Considering the high amount of vertical stages in the early portions of this game, it amounted to about 80% of my actual deaths. This brought back a lot of memories of Demon's Souls and Dark Souls where the majority of my deaths was simply falling to my death. Overall, I'm having a blast with this game because while it's hard, it doesn't quite feel as cheap as Castlevania Adventure did.
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  3. #18
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Dracula's Curse is beaten, though I may do one more playthrough to get Sypha's ending and see how badly she breaks the game. This game was pretty intense and the final stretch within Castlevania itself was pretty brutal due to some tricky platforming I often skipped thanks to Alucard's bat transformation and the sequential boss fights. The two most brutal boss battles in this part had to be the one with a spirit that summons three different bosses for you to fight in a row, and then Dracula himself who also had three phases. Outside of skipping annoying platforming sections and being a cheaper way to deal with diagonal placed enemies, Alucard was pretty useless in the fighting department for all of this.

    I'll probably tackle Belmont's Revenge next before jumping into the 16-bit era Castlevania titles.
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  4. #19
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Doing the Sypha route in Dracula's Curse, and I must say that I am really impressed with this entry. It may have actually unseated the original Castlevania as my favorite of the Classicvania series, though Rondo of Blood is also quite excellent as well. Sypha is the most unique of the trio in that she's the only character to get unique sub-weapons in the forms of her spells, and like the Belmont's, said sub-weapons are game changers in boss battles. She's not as clunky as I thought she would be, though she is incredibly flimsy in taking damage. If I had to give any mark against the title besides making Alucard kind of useless, it's that the game has a bad habit of recycling bosses. That spirit enemy I mentioned in my last post actually pops up earlier in her path except he only summons the Mummies and the rematch with the Cyclops in that fight. I will give props for the reworked Medusa fight. She's pretty brutal in this one since she can turn you to stone and then hit you for triple damage. The ghost ship was interesting to say the least.

    On the Game Boy front, Belmont's Revenge is a massive improvement over The Castlevania Adventures. Christoper finally has the movement speed of a typical Belmont, a new slide move when going down ropes, the ability to use the Axe and Holy Water sub-weapons and he no longer loses his whip upgrades when he takes damage and instead loses them when he dies. Several returning enemies have also been significantly nerfed with bats and those fireball spewing blobs now being slower and positioned in stages with larger space to maneuver around. The game has a bit of a Mega Man vibe since it begins with you having to conquer four other themed castles before being able to enter Dracula's castle proper. This game also has a minor plot to it, with Christopher having to track down his son who has been possessed by Dracula's spirit to use the Belmont power to resurrect him this cycle, making Christoper one of only two Belmont's to face Dracula twice within their lifetimes along with Simon Belmont. Assuming you don't count the Bad Ending's to the Soma entries. The game is significantly more user-friendly at the cost of being a bit on the easy side. Course this may be due from me coming off of Dracula's Curse...
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