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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:41 am 


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Blinge wrote:
lol fuck ye just did it legit boiii.
6 lives remaining too.. replay to come.


HOLD IT (・`ω´・)

Normal or Expert :3

I don't know the difference anymore, ain't played Normie in decades ;3

BUT STILL, I GOTS 2 KNO (・`W´・)

(Expert ain't shit compared to CVIII's first loop, let alone second!)
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:01 am 


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Expert has more bats in annoying places


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:59 pm 


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Normal..
sorreee, don't care for harder modes in my CV :oops:
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:31 pm 


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I commented on it somewhere on the forum, can't remember where. But my scrub take on Bloodlines (or The New Generation!) was that normal mode felt a little too much like a walkover, while expert mode mostly just made the game more annoying to play, rather than simply harder.

I really did enjoy watching BILs expert mode replay though.

EDIT: FinalBaton was on the same page viewtopic.php?p=1210929#p1210929


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:16 pm 


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I do feel like it's a bit of a pushover with Eric.
but going in wildly swinging and unpracticed with John got me annihilated a few days ago.

Welp, I'm giving Drac XX another whirl.
This game just feels unpleasant to play on a basic level. It's like i have a prosthetic hand.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:18 pm 


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It gets better.. but yeah, it takes some time to adjust to, especially if you just came from something more fluid, like Bloodlines.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:19 pm 


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While you genuises are discussing the caveats of otherwise beloved classics, I'm playing this masterpiece that I'm sure all of you forgot existed!

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:43 pm 


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Ah yeah i didn't really factor that in enough

I've got ol' Obscura giving me tips on steam! :mrgreen:

FYI boys my good old time scrubaroo skeleton slapping time on Bloodlines is here:
https://youtu.be/4pmeDWX9NHc


Haha Sumez I started that.. last January.
Shit. I really need to get back to it.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:05 pm 


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I've gone out and bought myself a Switch and am looking for reasons to go on a buying spree. How's the port quality (qualities?) on the Anniversary Collection?
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:02 am 


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They're all perfectly serviceable, though obviously not to ShotTriggers standards or anything, but for me the collection was worth buying just for the excellent dot matrix filters you can enable on the GameBoy games, which simulate the gridlike, pixel-perfect appearance of GB screens.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 4:21 pm 


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Sold. Thanks! It's been ages since I played CV3.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:53 pm 


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Jesus any advice for Death in Drac xx?
struggling to see how this isn't total bs

There's something seriously wrong with me. I just save stated his second form for forty minutes and couldn't beat it.
with the dagger you get from checkpoint.
forty minutes. while watching youtube videos for strats.

I whip the second form.. he gets knocked back.. I knw the spin is coming. I try to be close so it doesn't traverse the whole stage. still hits me. every. fucking. time.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:48 am 


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Sounds like you've got the general idea of staying near him, as he'll bulldoze you off the edge otherwise. Specifically, you want to stay in whip range at all times, landing hits and evading his inevitable counter-attacks. The high scythe can be ducked easily enough. Evading the divebomb takes some finesse, which is where you might be having trouble. Let it lock onto you, then turn and longjump away. Don't neutral-forward jump, or backflip! Now is not the time for subtlety! Image You need an outright running leap out of the dropzone.

Here is a 1hit fight demo where I get nipped by a stray sickle I shoulda whipped. Notice how I move in on him after each scythe dodge. GAIN GROUND Image

IIRC, subweapon attacks on Death himself will only be returned as homing revenge bullets, the worst kind of revenge bullet. However, bombing as shown can let you aggressively iframe through his counters. Handy when he's on the ropes.

I rove this boss, fuckin hardcore. Be all Geese Howard counters + high building, fated to be nasty/brutish/short, a HOBBESIAN battle and shit BUT with finesse you can slip everything he throws out. Image I especially like his random backstep into divebomb (seen here). Only thing I'd add is a low scythe slash for mixup.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:09 am 


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I sometimes wonder if your writing is wasted on this forum, Birru.

You've an inimitable voice and a sense of humour I think is deserving of a larger audience.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:32 am 


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Aww, thanks Image :mrgreen: this place is my comfy internet armchair, no effort is wasted when you're enjoying yourself. Image

I know that feel though, I'm hoping the works of Mr. Stockburger (RIP) hit the bigtime some day. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:49 pm 


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ahhhh i did it. Between Birru and Obscura the internet's got me through it :lol:
Got it down in the save state. Was trying to backflip sometimes before but stopped doing that on your advice.

I swear it's tougher when facing left, dunno what that is.. Maybe it's just superstition as Birru and ArektheCheater etc's videos all face right when fighting the second form.

Anyhow, loaded my password save, beat death without taking a hit on the second form. One axe crash to finish it.

wow. breezed through the final stage twice. got slapped about by drac's second form in various amusing ways.
now i can't beat the elevator section. Or i can't get to the fucking health without paying so much i may aswell give up.
This game has genuine malice for the player. It is rude.
This is the only way i can describe it.

-oh my god. dracula takes so long. the minutes of my life.. wasting away.
Edit: done it legit. skree.
1cc coming never. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:55 pm 


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Blinge wrote:
I swear it's tougher when facing left, dunno what that is.. Maybe it's just superstition as Birru and ArektheCheater etc's videos all face right when fighting the second form.


Everybody loves that 1P side :wink:

What was your subweapon pick, btw? XX is axe all the way for me. Unlike other trad CVs' "ultimate weapons" (CV1/3 Holy Water, CV4 Cross), it's not a boss cheeser, just generally more useful. The vertical attack compensates for XX's sluggish handling and thorny collisions, it's not as soundly nullified by heavy armours as the Cross, and it can expedite Dracula's second form by tagging him twice a throw. If you can keep the x3 shot (hearts > 30), it can put up a pretty nice wall of death.

Nothing but experience and an indulgence of the game's foibles will truly suffice, however. That's the story of trad CV, but eXXponentially moreso here. Image Annoys me that they didn't port Rondo's much smoother engine 1:1. I enjoy XX's mean-spiritedness as a "mission pack" affair, but the handling attaches a needless caveat. I'll hunt down and wedgie the motherfucker who started the trad CV = SLOW WALK ROFL meme that afflicts this and Dracula Densetsu II. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:14 pm 


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Yeah pretty much Axe.
Had the cross part of the underwater ruins section but that was more experimentation.

Drac's second form is sooo much easier with +30 hearts aaa.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:23 pm 


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Oooh. i tried to 1cc the game actually.
went down to 1 life on stage 2 because mermen and gravity don't mix. Aslo bat company fucked me up, much to my shame.
Anyway eventually clawed it back, took a dive as i didn't realise crouching doesn't stop knockback if you're whiping..
and reached Carmilla with two lives.

but as Bruce Lee said, i think.. You can only fight the way you train.
I'm totally unpracticed on shaft and my journey ended here.

Edit: seriously what the fuck is up with that lightning. it made sense in rondo. It's infuriating, i actually can't replicate what i'm looking at in a video.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:01 pm 


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I've gone on often about how fond I am of DracXX. I hope you've gotten to appreciate it a little more now that you've spent time with it... though I can feel the frustration in your tone. :)
I always thought it as one of the easiest classicvanias though. The second form of Dracula should be the biggest obstacle on the way to a 1CC for most people I feel.

I'm done with Castlevania 64, and currently slogging though Legacy of Darkness because I was curious enough about the differences that I felt that I should have the former game in recent memory to be able to get a decent impression of it.
Fortunately, LoD is actually a much more solid game. Once I'm done playing through at least one of the characters I'll do a full write-up on both games.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:22 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
... though I can feel the frustration in your tone. :)


lol really, what gave it away...

Quote:
I always thought it as one of the easiest classicvanias though.


yeah great thanks for the help.
Also, no.

Edit: oof. Between these attempts that's two hours of my life i'll never get back.
I literally cannot focus during dracula's fight. I'm lurking around the safe spot though sometimes going to the next platform. The waiting kills me. I start fucking around, I go off the plan, I try to hit him in unsafe ways, I fuck up the safe ways.
Rather heartbreaking, I arrived with 4 lives.

Didn't arrive with enough hearts after being shafted in the elevator. Second form immediately fucks me every time.
Never thought I'd see the day when i absolutely hate the BGM Dance of Illusions
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:36 pm 


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I'm not sure what I can say. The elevator shaft can be hurried through pretty quickly, and I think is probably easier that way. Don't dawdle/hang around for too long, just push through and ignore most of the enemies.
And yeah, impatience is what usually gets me during the second Dracula form moreso than anything else.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:31 pm 


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impatience gets me on the first form.

Yeah.. what i didn't realise is that the rosary in the elevator clears every pike man in the shaft, IF you've loaded them in. So if you need that health, ride up to the top then back down to grab the rosary.
It beats trying to fight those pricks.

Anyway I just got my precious fucking 1cc

Bad end, died with the key in hand. Got hit by just about every bat and spike in 4' heh.
Spammed item crash to get me through Carmilla,
And arrived with about 70 axes vs Draccy boi and camped in the corner.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:17 pm 


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I'm by no means an expert on XX, 4 is my meat and potatoes, but couldn't you just crouch during the Dracula fight? It's my understanding it negates knockback in this game?
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:42 pm 


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You have to hit him at some point.
mistiming a whip can be deadly.

the second form will melt your health right quick if you just take it.
but I can see how deciding to take a couple of hits in the fight by crouching could be good in a pinch

Check out this 40 seconds of fun i had in the clock tower.
The most i've had in any clock tower without taking my clothes off.

Edit: forgot the fucking link again loool.

https://youtu.be/TG9MDJjF85U

*
I thought i was done with the game but part of me won't let it rest until I've got a good ending 1cc.
I saved Maria this morning but them fucking ghosts just slapped me about and left me on the verge of death for a fleaman to knock me into the spikes next section.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:52 am 


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Oh man, that bat jump timing... gotta use them sine waves! Not so easy to do with XX's reduced mobility.

Jumping is pretty much my go-to over whipping on enemies with normal sines like standard bats and medusas—less so on enemies with tall or elongated sines like flying skeletons or those cheeky ass bats in Bloodlines.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:27 am 


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So I've now played through both of the Castlevania games on N64. A way overdue mission, after originally playing the first stage of both eons ago, not really giving me any clear idea of what they really were.

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These two games actually make me wish more attempts had been made at bringing Castlevania into 3D. When Lament of Innocense came out I was actually disappointed that they hadn't tried to do something more like this. And now after fully working my way through both games, I'll say for sure that this interesting mix of adventure, exploration and pure linear platforming through traps and enemies feels very much like the perfect approach for a three-dimensional Castlevania game.

Castlevania 64 starts out on a very, very drab note. Immediately starting the player in the Forest of Silence, among constantly respawning enemies, awkward platform jumping, and stage sections that are strangely repeated several times throughout the stage as if they were running out of storage space (which is obviously not the case). After a short while the game will turn to night, which means the skeletons will no longer die in one hit, making fighting them slow enough that stopping at any point to take them down will just get you overwhelmed with even more of them, which gets extra frustrating once the exploding kamikaze skeletons also start appearing, and you'll immediately learn that the better approach for most of this game is just to run from everything.
This is also where you'll start to see the first issues with what otherwise first appears as a decent combat system. Just hold the lock-on button and whip at a skeleton while it's still at a decent distance. It actually feels really good.
However, most of the fights in this game will involve fighting enemies that spend 80-90% of the time out of your field of vision, due to the completely unmanageable camera that doesn't seem to change its ideals no matter which of the three confusing camera modes you cycle through. Combined with what appears as a random 20% or so chance that even a well timed and perfectly aimed whip will still miss, these fights are for the most of the game reduced to a combination of anticipating patterns based on guesswork, experience and audio cues, as well as straight up luck. You do also have a close combat weapon, which is faster but barely does any damage, so it has very little actual use. Occasionally you'll have bats spawning basically right on top of you, and this attack is the best way to deal with them - just press the button while they are close and hope that it hits. I'm sure there's a way to time it, but it's definitely not apparent, and even if you watch speedrunners playing this game you'll see them hilariously struggle with a lot of the same apparent randomness that comes from the entropy of completely wacky and unpredictable controls.

It doesn't just stop at the camera's unwillingness to show what your enemies are doing either. Utilizing the whip well also requires being able to correctly judge your distance to the enemy you're fighting, and basically the entire game through you'll be forced to view the action in the exact angles that makes judging distances as impossible as it can get. This will impact fighting and precision platforming alike, and it makes the first form of Dracula a complete torment to suffer through.

Although Reinhardt is the traditional "castlevania man", and the one I played through the game with, Carrie is probably the better choice for anyone who wants to just try the game. Instead of the whip she has a charge-up homing energy ball which completely bypasses the two biggest issues with the whip - judging distances, and actually connecting with a hit. They get a couple of unique stages each, but most of the game is the same.
You'll miss the Death fight though, and the honestly kinda-cool story of Rosa - The tragic vampire lady who Reinhardt refuses to kill because he can't get himself to punch hot babez. In general there's a lot of really awesome world building in the game, which makes you wish the gameplay weren't such a trainwreck. I really enjoyed exploring the Villa stage, and even the backtrack-heavy Castle Center which has received a bit too much hate from its bomb-carrying challenge gimmick (it's nowhere near as bad as some of the genuinely frustrating places in the game).
A fun addition showed itself after I'd failed one go at Dracula. Instead of saving in his room, I went back to the previous save to use the rest of my saved up gold to fill my inventory with healing items. On my way back to the final battle I was met with a different cutscene from the game's merchant, who gives you an extra boss fight at the end if you've used more than a certain amount of money. That was a pretty cool idea, and along with many of the secrets you can find everywhere in the game, it's one of the things that really speaks to the game's well guarded merits.
Apparently there's another "secret" boss fight if you spend too many in-game days getting to the end, in which you need to fight a fallen vampire hunter, which in turns affects the ending of the game. I never got to experience this though.

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Last edited by Sumez on Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:40 am 


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Always been fond of the N64 duo (despite the latter being an avowed "Gaiden," it packs so much extra material, and completely rebuilds so many existing stages, I've never had qualms thinking of it as its own game).

The first gets off to a truly awful dishwater-dull start, which is happily not very representative of the game as a whole... and yeah, it's a damn shame IGA was so quick to write KCET's work off wholesale. Their towering verticality and treacherous, pest-ridden platforming combined with LOI's first-rate combat engine and practical camera would've made for a credible 3D Castlevania. Instead the PS2 game is so paper-flat, it had my old acquaintance who worked at Konami Hawaii asking if the retail copy loaned to their office was a beta, and getting reprimanded for it (true or not, that's a story I'll always treasure Image).

Although the N64 games' combat has its issues, mostly the temperamental lock-on system, I really like the snappy impacts. Feels good whacking enemies and lighting fixtures alike, true to classic CV form. Have you tried out Gaiden's Henry? That flintlock has a hell of a kick.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:04 am 


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I'm getting to that :D

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Castlevania 64 is a very obvious example of an unfinished game. I cannot for the life of me imagine any developer being satisfied with the product as it was, and the thought of a tester playing through the entirety of the game saying "this game is as it should be, let's ship it" is downright laughable. There's no doubt that the pressure of deadlines must have hurried the game out through the door.
That impression is of course further reinforced by the release of Legacy of Darkness. The internet will have you believe this game merely adds two new characters, and allows you to attack while sliding, but it fixes so much more than that. It basically feels like what you'd imagine CV64 would have been like if it had gone through a beta testing process. Though the game doesn't entirely escape the jank, it straight up addresses almost every single major issue with the original game, while retaining the same base gameplay. It is very clear that this is the game they had intended to release originally.
These are the biggest, most relevant improvements:

    - Cornell still turns slowly, but will now still high jump even when jumping slightly sideways, which makes platforming a lot more effortless. I believe this was fixed for every character, too.
    - Climbing up from edges is faster, and has been fixed so that you more intuitively press the direction you wish to crawl up.
    - Even the reused stages are retooled to bring down the repetitive nature, and generally feel largely improved, sometimes only due to minor differences such as better placement of save spots. Surprisingly even the added escort quest in the Villa maze garden just works way better than the CV64 version's take on a similar event.
    - You can actually control the camera, though it uses the D-pad which can't be easily reached. Most importantly, though, you can zoom out the view so that you can get a better view of the action, and actually judge distances.
    - In general the camera has improved a lot. There are now only two modes, and an actual notable difference between them, with Battle View actually trying to keep the enemies in the frame of the camera
    - You can control the camera manually, which isn't as useful as you'd think as you do so using the awkwardly located D-pad. But you do have the ability to permanently zoom out the camera, which should be done immediately and always, as it makes the game much more playable.
    - Even without using the lock on button, Cornell is a lot better at auto-aiming his attacks compared to Reinhardt's unwieldly whip. His attack hitbox is also a lot bigger, which makes you much less likely to accidentally miss enemies you are otherwise clearly facing.
    - The game generally just looks better, with more visual effects spicing up things. With an expansion pak you can enable a "high resolution" mode which makes the graphics look much clearer and really justifies my purchase of an S-video cable.

The downside of the high resolution mode is that in most of the areas which have more than a bare minimum going on, the game drops into a low framerate which has the added effect of making the otherwise responsive controls lag a lot, which can hurt both precision jumps and fast paced combat scenes pretty bad. As a result, I'd recommend always using the low resolution mode, which is a little unfortunate. The game mostly runs at a very smooth framerate in this mode however, making it a lot more enjoyable to play. Am I mistaken, or does the game actually run smoother than the original game? It feels very nice especially for an N64 game.

It is no secret Legacy of Darkness is a lot easier than the original CV64 too, which has some times been mentioned as a drawback. While I'd agree that it could have used the tension of the previous game, one of the primary reasons that the game is easier is simply that you aren't really at the mercy of unpredictable controls anymore, and the game is much less likely to screw you over in the same way. There's a TON of platforming in this "version" of the game, but you'll be skipping and hopping across much more confidently. You do also find a lot more helping items (I never even used the shop this time around, and still maxed out my healing hitems by the third stage), which could have been toned down. But even without them, the game would still be easy.
It probably wouldn't have hurt the game to dial up the risks and throw more enemies at you to counter this. But I'd take an easy but functional game over a challenging trainwreck any day. I quickly tried out Hard Mode with Reinhardt, and it seems that it doesn't just affect the damage scale, but actually removes a lot of the useful items you'd find, and gives (at least one of) the bosses much more dangerous patterns. So I might look a bit more into that.

Compared to CV64, I actually miss the change of pace introduced by the massive Castle Center, which was scrapped from Cornell's mode. He still gets a notably longer game however. Though it is the default in the game, and the only one accessible from the beginning, it's very cool that both Reinhardt and Carrie from the first game are still included. Rather than gimmicky slightly alternate modes, they basically play through their original game, but with all the improvements from LoD, as well as the new intro stage with the sinking ship. The stages which had their progression structured slightly altered for Cornell are back to normal, but the ones which were completely retooled (basically Forest of Silence and all of the late-game stages) remain changed for this. They also retain their unique stages (so Castle Center is back) and the boss fights that were unique to their game, which means you have two different final monster forms of Dracula in the game depending on which mode you play, and both of them are honestly really badass. Reinhardt and Carrie even get two new unique bosses that weren't in the other game, including the previously M.I.A Medusa.
In short, there's no shortage of content in Legacy of Darkness. It's kind of stupid that you have to play Henry's quest to unlock most of it though. His game is a fun idea (you waltz around 6 of the stages to find a barely hidden kid to rescue in each of them. All doors are already unlocked, and you don't need to even kill the bosses), and I do love just having a god darned gun in Castlevania, but it's also ridiculously easy and feels very half-assed. It could have been a cool addition, but instead it's just 20 minutes of busywork to unlock hard mode and the other characters.

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Just like in DracXX you actually get to walk on the clock face of the clock tower this time around. More CV games should have that!


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:51 am 


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Will defo dig into your posts when i have a bit of time later Sumez

I'm just dropping in to say I had a great early run of Drac XX... beat dularn, got a 1up after refilling health.
Had the key and everything.

Then my fucking stupid clumsy ass knocked the mouse off the desk when reaching for something, it landed, apparently on the button.. ON THE X and closed the emulator. All in that one fall.
I'm still fucking amazed.
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