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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2022 9:28 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
I don't really see much similarity between Dead Cells and the CV series, and I especially don't need a "roguelite" cv if it were one.


It handles a lot like Symphony of the Night, and it has the same commitment to a ridiculous arsenal, but with some actual difficulty added. It has platforming through waves of annoying flying enemies, floating sword pets, secrets that require specific items to unlock, a hidden true final boss, the works. It even uses the exact same two hands and two powers setup that CV does. Unless you require a giant, interconnected map to explore it's easily the best CV game in a couple of decades.

I could see the dodge roll maybe being contentious, but honestly I'm not sure the higher difficulties would be possible without it. The last couple of DLC bosses can be especially brutal, the game's definitely designed and balanced around it.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2022 11:59 pm 


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Like pb and chocolate, this is a match made in heaven
Dead Cells is in my top ten of all time…
If the devs put the effort into the Castlevania aspect that they put into the OG game, this is going to be amazing
I just hope they focus on/include some amazing Castlevania music/remixes

I’m all in on this
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2022 12:01 am 


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Air Master Burst wrote:

So, the best CV in years then.



Exactly.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2022 12:12 pm 


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kid aphex wrote:
I just hope they focus on/include some amazing Castlevania music/remixes

According to the Steam page they're including 51 of the original series' tracks that can also be used in the "main" game, as well as a dozen remixes.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2022 7:45 pm 


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BulletMagnet wrote:
kid aphex wrote:
I just hope they focus on/include some amazing Castlevania music/remixes

According to the Steam page they're including 51 of the original series' tracks that can also be used in the "main" game, as well as a dozen remixes.



Holy fuck. That… is amazing.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2023 12:38 am 


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About halfway through this retrospective of the cv series. I don't agree with everything the guy says by a longshot, but he presents the narrative of the series in a satisfying way, and it's an incredible feat that it clocks in at almost 7.5 hours!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peVgerh ... AVideoGame


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 2:56 pm 


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I am once again playing Symphony of the Night and my god, I could never skip these cutscenes or play any other version. What rich voice acting full of so much bold character. I'll always adore the VA job of this game. Something about that PS1 audio really drives it all home.

Like I'm listening to a gothic novel being read to me or I'm sitting at a play. It always gives me a smile when I play this. Wonderful.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:27 pm 


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XoPachi wrote:
I am once again playing Symphony of the Night and my god, I could never skip these cutscenes or play any other version. What rich voice acting full of so much bold character. I'll always adore the VA job of this game. Something about that PS1 audio really drives it all home.

Like I'm listening to a gothic novel being read to me or I'm sitting at a play. It always gives me a smile when I play this. Wonderful.


Requiem has the cool Maria fight and runs like a dream, but it also has the boring PSP retranslation. Maybe someday they'll release a definitive version of SoTN. I'd be shocked they haven't already; except it's Konami, so I guess I should just be thankful they didn't manage to screw up the Rondo half of Requiem.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:41 pm 


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Air Master Burst wrote:

Requiem has the cool Maria fight and runs like a dream, but it also has the boring PSP retranslation. Maybe someday they'll release a definitive version of SoTN. I'd be shocked they haven't already; except it's Konami, so I guess I should just be thankful they didn't manage to screw up the Rondo half of Requiem.


The 360 port was pretty good but that was the last time they ever gave it a real port of the only version of the game I care about.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:23 pm 


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ackshully the maria fight is different and has vastly inferior music

XoPachi wrote:
Like I'm listening to a gothic novel being read to me or I'm sitting at a play. It always gives me a smile when I play this. Wonderful.


You are a bro.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 7:23 pm 


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I'm so observant, I don't think I noticed any differences when I played it on PS4. Mind, it had been a while
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 7:45 pm 


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As a quick n' easy alternative to spinning up the PS1, the PS4 version is surprisingly very good. Same goes for Rondo. Sad that we have to regard quality non-M2/Hamster ports like miraculous escapes from certain doom, but that's life innit. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:08 pm 


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Marc wrote:
I'm so observant, I don't think I noticed any differences when I played it on PS4. Mind, it had been a while


That port has the """updated""" voice acting I hate. I mean it plays fine, but just...no.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 11:58 pm 


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Blinge wrote:
ackshully the maria fight is different and has vastly inferior music


It's the same as it was on PSP.

The original Saturn version of Maria was a different one based on her original Rondo appearance, and that playable version is hilariously OP.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:41 am 



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I've only ever played this game in Japanese, but it is a shame that the quality of the level design is nowhere near as good as the (Japanese) voice acting is.

Also, Saturn version is the best version, not that I have ever played the PS1 version.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:49 am 


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Steven wrote:
I've only ever played this game in Japanese, but it is a shame that the quality of the level design is nowhere near as good as the (Japanese) voice acting is.

Also, Saturn version is the best version, not that I have ever played the PS1 version.


I dearly wanted to believe this before I actually played it, but it kinda runs like ass and the most of the extras are pretty half-assed.

Saturn Maria is fun for a couple runs, though.

For Japanese versions I'm sure the PSP/Requiem one is definitive.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:53 am 



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Air Master Burst wrote:
Steven wrote:
I've only ever played this game in Japanese, but it is a shame that the quality of the level design is nowhere near as good as the (Japanese) voice acting is.

Also, Saturn version is the best version, not that I have ever played the PS1 version.


I dearly wanted to believe this before I actually played it, but it kinda runs like ass and the most of the extras are pretty half-assed.

Saturn Maria is fun for a couple runs, though.

For Japanese versions I'm sure the PSP/Requiem one is definitive.

Yeah, it runs like complete shit, but it's the closest thing there is to a complete version of the game, which is why I consider it to be the best. Too bad they didn't add the Saturn stuff in the PS4 version.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:28 am 


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Steven wrote:
Yeah, it runs like complete shit, but it's the closest thing there is to a complete version of the game, which is why I consider it to be the best. Too bad they didn't add the Saturn stuff in the PS4 version.


The PSP/Requiem version of Maria is way better than the Saturn one, though.

The Saturn extras are nice (although Cursed Prison is a useless piece of shit), especially the added music, but it's such an inferior play experience I couldn't recommend it to anyone in good conscience.

The PS1 version is absolutely gorgeous compared to the Saturn version; and if you prefer non-smoothed old-school pixel art then you're doing yourself a disservice by only playing the Saturn version. The PSP version looks pretty nice too, although some people might hate the smoothing.

ETA: PLAYABLE Maria is better in Requiem, as a boss fight the Saturn version is far superior.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:50 am 


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The new areas in Saturn SOTN feel so awkward and amateurish, they stand out a lot compared to the rest of the game, and not in a good way. Not including them in subsequent ports was probably a decent idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:51 am 



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Cursed Prison is the best part about the Saturn version since it saves time once you open the door. Alucard's movement speed is unbearably slow as fuck anyway until you can run fast as the wolf, which is part of the reason that I hate this game so much, and anything that lets me move faster is good.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:06 am 


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Air Master Burst wrote:
Blinge wrote:
ackshully the maria fight is different and has vastly inferior music


It's the same as it was on PSP.

The original Saturn version of Maria was a different one based on her original Rondo appearance, and that playable version is hilariously OP.


Yeah, I think the Saturn Maria's much better just because it's weird and has fighter inputs - I appreciate that.
The straight up invincibility spell wasn't good for me though mainly because the input was so finnicky.

I guess the PSP maria is okay too. Nice to just have all variants accessible.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:25 am 



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There really should be a version of this game that has everything from both the Saturn and the PSP version, including both versions of Maria. This is what the PS4 version should have been, but it will probably never happen.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 10:35 am 


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Sumez wrote:
The new areas in Saturn SOTN feel so awkward and amateurish, they stand out a lot compared to the rest of the game, and not in a good way. Not including them in subsequent ports was probably a decent idea.

I vaguely recall the people porting SotN to the PSP openly declaring that they were leaving out the Saturn extras specifically because they considered them detrimental to the overall quality of the game; I can't speak to whether or not I agree as I've never sampled that version myself.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 11:10 am 



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The addition of this section

Spoiler: show
Image


makes traversal between the connected areas significantly faster than in the other versions, and that alone is why I prefer this version. The other additional area is basically pointless, but it does have an interesting new weapon: the Alucard Spear, which is supposedly the same weapon that Eric Lecarde uses in Vampire Killer, or something like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 3:26 pm 


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The only problem is that by the time you can actually get around to unlock the Cursed Prison you usually already have enough teleport chambers to make it kind of pointless.

I'm trying to calculate how much actual backtracking between those areas you'd have to do to make the non-Saturn play experience worse than the Saturn one, and I can't really think of any use cases for the prison shortcut outside of random sandbox wandering.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:24 pm 


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BulletMagnet wrote:
I vaguely recall the people porting SotN to the PSP openly declaring that they were leaving out the Saturn extras specifically because they considered them detrimental to the overall quality of the game; I can't speak to whether or not I agree as I've never sampled that version myself.


bullshit excuse if there ever was one
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:28 pm 


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I have heard IGA was unimpressed by the additions to the Saturn version and doesn't endorse playing that one. Not sure how true that is. I'd be curious to know more about the development of the Saturn version.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:36 pm 


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It was handed off to KCE Nagoya, if memory serves. KCET developing the orginal under Toru Hagihara, with assistance from Nobuya Nakazato, the former also directing Rondo... IGA was an assistant director, and on his first time in the director's seat - Harmony of Dissonance - my lord did it show and blow. :shock: :lol: (don't step, HOD fans - only a bestially furied bumming awaits you, the kind recalled in ancient verse ImageImage my love AND hate for HOD is much stronger than yours!).

I keep the Saturn one around for completism - not something I normally do, but it looks cute next to the Paros, and I have a deep affection for fellow outsiders KCE Kobe, of cult CV64/COTM/Hybrid Heaven acclaim - but yeah, I don't miss its original content either. Feels decidedly grafted-on; if you told me it was from a random Euro PC port, I could believe it. In a way, it makes me appreciate the PS1 original even more, with even its recycled Rondo sprites looking so at home, my pre-importer self never realised they were transplants.

This in addition to the technical issues (botched graphical effects, extra slowdown, annoying loadtime when accessing the map... which I basically never use, nowadays, but it's still an unfortunate ding). If the Saturn version was the only one, I've no doubt whatsoever it'd be a "SEGA CASTLEVANIER" hindsight-fapped over just like Vampire Killer. Plain ol' NTSCU PS1 (fugly cover - but I must have chain wing smash!) is my definitive OG version, as-is.

Alucard using CWS to escape local shopkeepers ca. 1423, Wuhan
Spoiler: show
Image


The one KCEN thing I really like is Richter's model-accurate sprites - but then, he's in his stately Kojima threads during the PS1's coliseum cutscene, too, and I always assumed he'd changed into his battle gear for the fight with Alucard. Pretty sure Simon and Trevor weren't hanging around the keep in their leather hotpants and metal codpieces 24/7, y'know? Imagine the pinching :shock:

"Grandson, I am gravely disappoint in your sensible trousers."
Spoiler: show
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"Distract it with your fruity dance moves while I jump on its back and saw its head off."
Spoiler: show
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:04 am 


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I'm playing a lot of Bloodlines and 4 lately.

4 was my first Castlevania back when I got it on the Wii in middle school. I love this game to death. I hear people sometimes tear it down and say Bloodlines is thoroughly better, that 4 is actually bad. I think they're both very strong but with different focuses.
Super Castlevania 4 is very atmospheric. Even more than the search action entries after it except maybe SotN. The game is just drenched in mood right from the moment the Konami logo fades. While of course not "oh my god I'm gonna have nightmares" scary (as an adult), it does lean more into unnerving imagery more than the other 2D games to me. There is an impressive amount of visual detail that sells every frame of the environment with the music being expertly tuned to the environments and imposing during fights. It predates Super Metroid by 3 years but it has a thick atmosphere as though it pulled inspiration from that game. I think it stands next to Super Metroid in terms of atmosphere on the console which is really impressive for a linear, score and time based action platformer that could be right at home in a cabinet.

I do certainly see what detractors mean when they criticize it. The whip is massively powerful being able to hit basically anywhere with recovery time much lower than previous games. And something about the Cross is just unbelievably stupid broken. I can't pinpoint what it is, but it is viable 100% of the time especially when you grab a Triple Shot. So the whip and cross totally nullify Water, Knife, and Ax for the rest of the game unless you lose the Cross.
On top of that Simon has...probably too much control. You don't have to commit to much despite the pace being basically the same as past entries. The game doesn't punish haphazard play and careless missteps like the others. There is less tension and subsequent satisfaction in tighter areas for sure. And you get more health items than probably any other classic title. So the game is much easier than the rest despite most definitely bearing some teeth later on. But I'd argue the change in difficulty was necessary to facilitate the dramatic shift in tone a tone which I guess Konami felt would be better suited to demonstrate the Super Nintendo's power. Because it's impressive for a '91 release. Regardless, the platforming is still very satisfying, well paced, and inventive.

And I love these simpler video game endings. When you grab the final orb and the score counter goes up in silence as the low music plays as though the game is exhaling with you after a tough, arduous journey. Then things transition to just absolutely beautiful credits music and heroic scenery before visually recapping the adventure. It's all very small, but it makes me feel accomplished. I feel like I won rather than the characters winning. What a terrific video game.

I don't have as much to say on Bloodlines because I'd say it's true classic Castlevania. This game is hard as shit, in your face, and much faster paced than 4. Playing as Eric does give you similar flexibility as SNES Simon, but sub weapons, in my experience, are not nearly as strong as Simon's cross and you have to commit in typical Castlevania fashion with your jumps. The levels are just as inventive and I find the bosses get much harder much sooner than 4's. It also has a LOT of them sort of like Hard Corps except there's actually, you know, levels too in Bloodlines. Eric is by far more fun than John though. That badass spear reversal is so clean and his super jump is neat. He feels very versatile without taking away the handicaps that make Castlevania what it is. That's a very impressive balancing act and it makes gameplay all the more approachable with the same satisfaction as 1 and 3.
As for the music, I understand Michiru Yamame's glorious debut here is basically the definitive Castlevania sound but I genuinely cannot decide between this or Adachi and Kudo's work in 4. They're so different and wildly good. Bloodlines has the bonus of being Genesis music which I love. But 4's is so bold and teeming with dramatic adventure only to switch to these palette cleaning melancholic pieces. Both using their respective sound chips perfectly and play to the strengths of the consoles. I could drift off to sleep by much of 4's music and Bloodlines gets the blood pumping when I wake up.

Personally, I just love both equally for different reasons. Castlevania (not you) is just wonderful. I love Castlevania.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:26 am 


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XoPachi wrote:
Personally, I just love both equally for different reasons.


Same; couldn't imagine choosing between those two in particular, being near-perfect deployments of two starkly contrasting consoles and tones. IV is maturely mellow and brooding, VK is hard and angular; compare the haunted turbulence of Treasury Room with the towering metallic baroque of Iron Blue Intention... or better yet, IV's movingly funereal Theme of Dracula with VK's megalomaniacally spiralling The Vampire's Stomach. Splendid gothic horror action BGM.

Beyond their consistent excellence, I find that striking individuality the real charm of the 16bit Draculas (IV/X68k/Rondo/VK). While sharing the most basic tenets of melee-geared action/platforming, they really feel like isolated, far-flung sequels to the FC games, rather than anything so gauche as a "franchise" (XX is the exception, obviously better-regarded as a Rondo mission pack).
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