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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:08 pm 


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Personally I think the bunnyhop quick attack is a huge charm of the series, and I think it would be a really hard thing to remove.
Either way, I'd definitely not like to move while attacking, that's like the one defining characteristic of the Castlevania series that's managed to stay consistent through its entire existence - changing that would require rethinking every single level and enemy design that gives it its identity. It's fine for any other series, but let's not pretend Bloodstained isn't a Castlevania game.

I think both the Crissaegrim and Maria in Rondo (which both allow you to move while attacking) prove quite well what a huge difference it makes.
If you want to get rid of the bunnyhop exploits (which I specifically made sure to in my own game with similar combat mechanics), just don't reset the attack cooldown when landing. That would be a simple thing to change if they really wanted to.


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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:32 pm 


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'lil bit of a mechanical rant incoming since this is something I've been uber critical of in the series for more than a decade now ^_~

Sumez wrote:
Either way, I'd definitely not like to move while attacking, that's like the one defining characteristic of the Castlevania series that's managed to stay consistent through its entire existence - changing that would require rethinking every single level and enemy design that gives it its identity. It's fine for any other series, but let's not pretend Bloodstained isn't a Castlevania game.


But you can move while attacking. I don't think I've ever made one stationary attack in any of Iga's games that wasn't an accident (outside of Eclessia). You just do it via bunnyhop.

The thing that always bugs me about it is that it's like Wave Dashing in Melee: an arbitrary extra input that gives you a universal advantage. There's no strategy to it, it's not tricky to pull off, there's no risk/reward trade off when doing it. It's simply always better to bunnyhop slash.

Sure, you could make some abstract arguments that you use up your jump for a split second or that you can cancel into a backdash on the ground (from the portable games onward), but realistically these are frame/pixel advantages that never come into play compared to the absurd dps, safety, and mobility advantages gained by performing every single attack during a shorthop. The committed, grounded attacks are more or less useless in comparison.

If these games removed the ability to attack on the ground , it'd barely make a difference to people who are familiar with them. There's very little reason to ever do so once you understand the raw burning power of the mighty bunnyhop.

Sumez wrote:
I think both the Crissaegrim and Maria in Rondo (which both allow you to move while attacking) prove quite well what a huge difference it makes.


Or maybe it's more the fact that, you know, Crissaegrim attack power kills everything in 5 seconds ^_^ including the super boss that takes ten years to kill if you use anything else. Like I said, you already can attack on the move in SOTN. Being able to do so on the ground with Crssaegrim is a mild input convenience at most.

Rondo on the other hand is still designed around Richter not being able to change direction in mid jump and not having 1/5th of the move/attack mechanics you have in Iga's games. It's already a totally different beast.

Sumez wrote:
It's fine for any other series, but let's not pretend Bloodstained isn't a Castlevania game.


Honestly? I was hoping it wouldn't be a Castlevania game, as far as subtle hardcore mechanics and handling go. What better opportunity to remix the tired formula and cash in on some long desired "what if" mechanics than a "new beginning" spiritual successor? Mega Man to Mega Man X, baby. Mix things up.

Part of the burn out for me is that it's the same wonky-ass Igavania toybox I've played 100 times before, but without the enchanting atmosphere that tied it all together. If there was an actual touch of creativity or originality in there I might find it more compelling in spite of how lifeless it looks.
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:54 pm 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
Mega Man to Mega Man X, baby. Mix things up.


I can't believe what I've read. This can't be serious. A case could be made that the tonal shift between just PoR and OoE has more mixup on the proven formula than what you can squeeze out by comparing anything present in the two MM legacy collections.
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:44 pm 


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As a big fan of OoE I was hoping RotN would ape that title in particular (and Shanoa's influence on Miriam is clear) but they decided to draw on the series more broadly, in particular, SotN and the Soma games. While it's not what I hoped for I'm not surprised or disappointed. If they were clear about one thing it's that this would be a Castlevania game !

Anyway, currently up to the Alfred fight in my Nightmare run. It's relatively easy to stay safe in this fight, but getting damage in is tasking. Might try and see if I can craft some decent shoe weapons to get the mobility I need. While I am actually a big fan of the use of 3D in the Twin Dragon Towers area, in this fight it gives me serious Sonic Rush vibes. IGA really is bringing back the glory days of the DS :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:06 pm 


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Turrican wrote:
Squire Grooktook wrote:
Mega Man to Mega Man X, baby. Mix things up.


I can't believe what I've read. This can't be serious. A case could be made that the tonal shift between just PoR and OoE has more mixup on the proven formula than what you can squeeze out by comparing anything present in the two MM legacy collections.


Don't take the comparison too seriously.

X is just an example of the base movement mechanics being shaken up in a really interesting way. The addition of the dash and walljump fundamentally altered the core jump and shoot action. You do not move through stages or dodge bosses remotely the same way in the X series as you do in Classic.

Ecclessia is more of a game structure mix up than a core mechanical twist (Shanoa still controls mostly the same aside from the mp based attacks and move chaining, it's the whole map and overworld that got shook up the most), but yes it was absolutely step in the right direction IMO.
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:10 pm 


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Klatrymadon wrote:
One thing this game shows is that a of what people have pointed to (over and over for 20 years) as Symphony's mistakes in terms of balance and pacing were part of a coherent design philosophy that this game is pretty much standing by.


Yes.

Weak Boson wrote:
As a big fan of OoE I was hoping RotN would ape that title in particular (and Shanoa's influence on Miriam is clear) but they decided to draw on the series more broadly, in particular, SotN and the Soma games.


Squire Grooktook wrote:
Ecclessia is more of a game structure mix up than a core mechanical twist [...] it was absolutely step in the right direction IMO.


I think there's a very clear relation between OoE's different approach, and the fact that it was a third outcome on the same system, and the team was seeing bad omens looming on the horizon. With that I mean that the slightly more harcore approach, with an underpowered character relying on a relatively small set of skills, was in part obtained because they weren't aiming at a "mainstream" (as mainstream as this core audience allows, really) public. It was the third outing so they probably thought "what the hell, let's try this way". Female nonBelmont protagonist and scenario involving the bizarre fate of the heroes' bloodline scattering through the normal population... Those elements owe their existence to the same mindset, I'd say.

What am I trying to say? Mainly, that the tonal shift is not so pronounced to make things incredibly different (I'd laugh at a viewpoint that isolates OoE and puts it on a pedestal distancing it from all the "inferior" steps before it, because it clearly has a smell of demented nerdy overthinking), and that it was unlikely since the beginning to think that an "entry game" like Bloodstained clearly is, introducing brand new characters and scenario, would follow too closely the highly refined, "for-aficionado" approach of OoE.

A lot of it remains of course, but it's almost all on the writing side: female protagonist (previously amnesiac, now ex-comatose), villagers and quests to solve, chests to loot...

I'm glad Bloodstained strikes a near perfect balance between the weapon system of DoS and a close mimicry of SotN's castle layout: with 5.5 mil and 60000 followers, I too would have surely chosen this direction. "Mechanical clone" sounds extremely harsh and arid way to describe it though (and also rather amusing to hear here, on a SHMUPS forum, of all places. A genre that has thrived on cloning), as the effort on the new setting is genuine and the game brings forth a lot of polish and refinement to the formula, not just the (universally accepted by now) better difficulty balance and better boss battles than those seen in 1997.

But, even if one would pass the "mechanical clone" criticism, it must be said that this cloning operation isn't really milking a cow... Since it homages a game of twenty years ago and draws from its sequels, all of which are more than a decade far from us now.
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:16 pm 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
X is just an example of the base movement mechanics being shaken up in a really interesting way. The addition of the dash and walljump fundamentally altered the core jump and shoot action. You do not move through stages or dodge bosses remotely the same way in the X series as you do in Classic.


That's fair, but Akumajo Dracula already went that direction with their own "X" upgrade (the first X of course - Rondo. The second X is a copernican revolution too big to call it a mixup). It seems you were waiting for an "X" revamp on the whole metroidvania genre, but such mixes usually assume there's a large fanbase accustomed to playing the original series so that you can "surprise" them with a good shaking-up.
Bloodstained doesn't come in that historic moment, there is no one out there playing "Igavanias" and knowing them by memory so that you could develop something oblique to genuinely surprise them. The idea was more like a new foundation of the old: re-establishing why this goodness was once deemed good and politely showing the middle finger to the Konami chairs that in their massive ignorance put an end to it.
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:35 pm 


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Turrican wrote:
I'm glad Bloodstained strikes a near perfect balance between the weapon system of DoS and a close mimicry of SotN's castle layout: with 5.5 mil and 60000 followers, I too would have surely chosen this direction. "Mechanical clone" sounds extremely harsh and arid way to describe it though (and also rather amusing to hear here, on a SHMUPS forum, of all places. A genre that has thrived on cloning), as the effort on the new setting is genuine and the game brings forth a lot of polish and refinement to the formula, not just the (universally accepted by now) better difficulty balance and better boss battles than those seen in 1997.

But, even if one would pass the "mechanical clone" criticism, it must be said that this cloning operation isn't really milking a cow... Since it homages a game of twenty years ago and draws from its sequels, all of which are more than a decade far from us now.


It's true, it's true.

It's technically a good game, I just find myself stuck in an odd and frustrating relationship with it. The Igavania's have never really been made for someone like me, the guy who's always hoping for pie in the sky stuff like "boy I sure hope they make the platforming more interesting with clever room layouts instead of rectangular monster hallways!" or "I hope they add something more creative and nuanced to the combat and movement, and make the boss fights more epic and challenging!".

To me, with the visuals and art direction as average and mediocre as they are...there's simply no nostalgia or feeling to latch me onto this shallow toybox that I've already explored countless times before and never felt too strongly (on a purely gameplay level) about to begin with. If I want an easy shallow toybox exploring a virtual world, I'd rather start another replay of SOTN, at least the visuals and atmosphere in that game make me dream.

That being said, a lot of my more casual friends from offsite aren't happy with it (in fact, their opinions are much harsher than mine, deeming it borderline bad), though mostly due to odd annoyances and frustration factors in the second half of the game in combination with the lackluster visuals and bugs. A few other casual friends I know outright refuse to play it due to the loss of atmosphere, saying that the audiovisuals were the major appeal of the franchise, etc. so we'll see how it all turns out.

Personally, I'm hoping a minor backlash against the visuals occurs. Enough to make future devs for these sorts of things realize that "3d is cheaper! IGN will pan us if they see a pixel on a room sized tv!" isn't the soundest logic. But maybe that's more pie in the sky, since some people seem to think the game looks okay ("okay" is the kindest word I'd use to describe the visuals, personally).
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:56 am 


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Sumez wrote:
Personally I think the bunnyhop quick attack is a huge charm of the series, and I think it would be a really hard thing to remove.


Yeah. I would be far, far less likely to play RotN if there was no bunnyhop attack.
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:13 am 


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I'm at 99.5% now and have started farming for materials and shards. I actually like this part of *vania games (I think I got 9 of everything in DoS back when I was sick and confined to my couch). It's hit me that I can't recall a single track from RotN - I know that several of them contain callbacks to CV tracks but none of them area really memorable. Kind of how I feel about most post-DS Yamane tracks but I'm a little disappointed by it here. (To be fair, the sound glitch doesn't help anything)

I should take an uninterrupted listen on youtube, but the unremarkable music bothers me much more than the visuals.
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:22 am 


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I didn't even know there was a bunnyhop attack last time I played SotN (many, many years ago). You learn something new every day. :D
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:23 am 


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Bloodstained definitely feels far more fresh than just a "mechanical clone", and I agree with Turrican that that is a very unfair approach to the game.
I'm enjoying it thoroughly because it feels like visiting elements of SOTN again, but it also adds a lot that works well. Despite of the things I have already covered that work.. less well.

Beat the final boss yesterday, a bit of an underwhelming fight especially compared to the pressure most earlier bosses have put on me, this one just has a ton of safe spots going on at all times. But thank god for finally having the decency to zoom out the camera a bit.
I had somehow missed (or rather, forgot about) the area where you get the dashing skill, and feel pretty stupid for running around the entire "endgame" without it.
Turns out all the time I spent on grinding and upgrading my passive shards didn't really make a big difference on anything. However, after finishing the game I went back to tie up some loose ends, and it seems the two things you can do to really get absurdly OP are:

1. Craft all the drinkable food items. Their requirements are super simple, and they make MP recharging so fast any spell is essentially free.
2. Use the millionaire's key to fight the enemy there. For some reason I thought it would be a super hard super-boss, but it's just a random enemy with a lot of HP. The loot it drops will allow you to craft the game's true Crissaegrim.

Now nothing can hurt me >_>


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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:41 am 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
Personally, I'm hoping a minor backlash against the visuals occurs.

There have already been several of those going all the way back through development.

Quote:
3d is cheaper!

I can all but guarantee that this was the overwhelming (if not only) factor taken into consideration when they went in the 3D direction; Kickstarter games (heck, even professional ones at times) almost invariably run short on funds at some point, and there's no way in heck they were going to make the margins any thinner by having the whole game, or even part of it, done by sprite artists. Yeah, there is still a portion of gamedom that automatically dismisses any sprite-based game, but I doubt too many of them backed a spiritual Castlevania sequel.
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:35 pm 


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Yeah, I thoroughly recommend this article about the actual implications of pixel art in video games.
It's easy to see that there's a trend going back towards more traditional styles as modern 3D graphics has become less "new and exciting", but that doesn't mean it can't hurt your game's overall appeal on a broader spectrum.
The guy here goes through why, in solid detail:

http://www.dinofarmgames.com/a-pixel-ar ... pixel-art/


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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:03 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
http://www.dinofarmgames.com/a-pixel-artist-renounces-pixel-art/


This is a really good article, and gave me some added appreciation.
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:00 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
http://www.dinofarmgames.com/a-pixel-artist-renounces-pixel-art/

That Terry Bogard sprite is just unreal... holy fuck. I totally just soiled my underwear, lol!


That Chun fireball gif totally demonstrates what I've studied in my traditional animation class(and is something that is near impossible to do with 3D models) : action lines. exagerated ones at that (especially the frames where he wrote "elastic" around).

You gotta exagerate the poses, and the spine and general position of a character needs to follow an arc, a line, that is fluid and hyper-dynamic. since drawings/pixel art is not rigged to a model, you can deform it, go off model, and make poses that are not possible with a rigged 3D character. making highly dramatic and dynamic poses, that are sometimes not "physically possible", but that give the animation so much more snap and personallity too. and more IMPACT, that's an important one as well.

You could do that to an extent with a 3D character if you create additional "parts" for it (limbs, torso etc) and use those for specific poses. but nobody is going to do that because that would prevent their 3D models from saving them money on animation, which is exactly what most companies want.

But even then, some of the drawn/pixel exagerrated keyframes(or hyper-deformed in-betweens) straight up can't be done in 3D cause it would destroy the model/make him look disjointed or with holes between two sections.

Now beautiful stuff can be made with 3D : look at Pixar films. still very expressive and even shots that can't be done with 2D. But those studios have monster budgets and focus solely on animation. And even then : you can't get stuff in 3D like say the Tex Avery stuff or classic Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry, golden Age of Animation stuff. The characters are way too diformed at times in those for 3D to be able to do this. The maleability abstract nature of drawing/pixel allows for this super charming animation that has loads of character and is super snappy and way more dynamic that nothing 3D can achieve. The Pixar stuff is awesome, but it is not the same. a different feel

That chun gif follows the principles of the Golden Age of Animation, an era where animation got perfected to insane levels. Mastered, really. And now, that style has fallen out of favour... to save some shekels.


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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:45 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
Bloodstained definitely feels far more fresh than just a "mechanical clone", and I agree with Turrican that that is a very unfair approach to the game.


It might be unfair, it's honestly just how I feel when I play it. An uglier, buggier SOTN that's bigger.

Maybe the endgame mixes things up in a way I'd like and I'd find myself enjoying it if I put more time into it, but I think I've just been thoroughly burned by the one two punch combination of the visuals and the horrendous bugs (again, not an exaggeration to say it is the buggiest game I've ever played), to the point that I just don't find it compelling at all.

Good for people who enjoy it. Like I said it's a good game...there's just no magic there for me. Maybe I'll pick it up again on a rainy day sometime. I guess as a bonus side game for Bloodstained: Curse of The Moon, it's not that bad ^_~

It also indirectly got me to pick up Luna Nights, and for that I'm eternally grateful.

Sumez wrote:


That was the exact article I was thinking of, yes. Read that years back in a convo with Hagane.
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:52 am 



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Squire Grooktook wrote:
But you can move while attacking. I don't think I've ever made one stationary attack in any of Iga's games that wasn't an accident (outside of Eclessia). You just do it via bunnyhop.

The thing that always bugs me about it is that it's like Wave Dashing in Melee: an arbitrary extra input that gives you a universal advantage. There's no strategy to it, it's not tricky to pull off, there's no risk/reward trade off when doing it. It's simply always better to bunnyhop slash.

Sure, you could make some abstract arguments that you use up your jump for a split second or that you can cancel into a backdash on the ground (from the portable games onward), but realistically these are frame/pixel advantages that never come into play compared to the absurd dps, safety, and mobility advantages gained by performing every single attack during a shorthop. The committed, grounded attacks are more or less useless in comparison.

If these games removed the ability to attack on the ground , it'd barely make a difference to people who are familiar with them. There's very little reason to ever do so once you understand the raw burning power of the mighty bunnyhop.


I mostly agree but believe it or not, in Bloodstained they actually gave ground attacks at least somewhat of a justification in certain cases. Well, if you prefer to ignore the Shard system (which will always be the most effective tool for dmg output I guess) and focus on the raw weapon combat. Special moves for weapons in this game are not an exception anymore and more of a regular thing compared to previous titles and there are actually quite good ones concerning dmg output and range. And well, they can only be performed when being on the ground. I was mainly usind the Katana and moon-slashing my way through regular enemies (and certain bosses) for the last bit of the game, since the thing has good dmg, some invincible frames and can easily be backdash/jump canceled if necessary. Nothing ground-breaking but I found it to be a nice change of pace from previoucs titles and it entertained me more than just spamming magic all the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:12 pm 


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Yeah, I liked the specials. Reminds me of all the secrets on weapons in SOTN.

Something I missed that I wanted to comment on:

CStarFlare wrote:
I'm at 99.5% now and have started farming for materials and shards. I actually like this part of *vania games (I think I got 9 of everything in DoS back when I was sick and confined to my couch). It's hit me that I can't recall a single track from RotN - I know that several of them contain callbacks to CV tracks but none of them area really memorable. Kind of how I feel about most post-DS Yamane tracks but I'm a little disappointed by it here. (To be fair, the sound glitch doesn't help anything)

I should take an uninterrupted listen on youtube, but the unremarkable music bothers me much more than the visuals.


I think the last really amazing Yamane OST was actually Skullgirls.

But yeah the ost in Bloodstained is good but not super memorable to me.

It kind of reminds me of the style of recent output from a lot of veteran VGM composers who's heydeys were in the 90's and 00's. I'm actually not sure if it's just that they've been doing this for several decades and are running out of ideas....

...or alternatively maybe it's just a style/direction thing. When Yuzo Koshiro switched out from FM Synth on Etrian Odyssey 4, it astounded me how low my interest instantly dropped compared to EO3 (which might be one of my favorite osts ever). All roaring orchestral sweeps and wailing guitars. Very bombastic and lacking in restraint and atmosphere.

Bloodstained music gave me a slightly similar vibe when I first heard the preview tracks when the kickstarter began. I think maybe these oldschool composers would benefit from limiting themselves very slightly to the style of "videogamey" synth that they mastered back in the day. Not saying to do 8-bit or fm synth, but maybe don't hire a full orchestra and a million dueling electric guitars for everything.
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:05 pm 


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I liked the soundtrack, I could listen to that Forgotten Jade song for hours. But I can agree it's not a memorable ost overall. Still solid, they did a good job on it

I'm more of a Bloodlines style of Michiru Yamane - I think the soundtrack to the 1994 game is a masterpiece... All the other vanias she worked though, only Ecclesia was memorable to me. I don't remember much about Symphony, I'm not a orchestral guy.

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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:01 pm 


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Well, I got a deal on a physical PS4 copy and took the plunge. Some promising and also discouraging comments in the thread, I'll see how I do...generally like this genre.
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:55 am 


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Bloodstained's soundtrack is mostly good, but like nearly half the areas have tracks that feel like they were just whipped up in like 10 minutes as a filler thing, such as Inferno Cave or the Underground Lab, while the rest are just engineered to sound like a carbon copy of specific SOTN tracks.
The only "new" ones that stand out to me are the track on the boat, and the super Ys-like Twin Dragon Tower tune. That's some good stuff.

Squire Grooktook wrote:
...or alternatively maybe it's just a style/direction thing. When Yuzo Koshiro switched out from FM Synth on Etrian Odyssey 4, it astounded me how low my interest instantly dropped compared to EO3 (which might be one of my favorite osts ever). All roaring orchestral sweeps and wailing guitars. Very bombastic and lacking in restraint and atmosphere.


Yuzo Koshiro switched out from FM Synth on Etrian Odyssey 4, it astounded me how well he managed to stand his ground and deliver what is probably the most amazing soundtrack in the Etrian Odyssey series.


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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:39 am 


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Well I put 50 hours into my playthrough, everything is at 100% now. Doing all the weapons was a bit of a grind and I will admit I had to use Google for one item and a missing quest. The chisel shard is totally insane at top level!
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:23 am 


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Chisel is insane, but then there's 8-bit fireball and summon hellhound. The latter does like 2000 HP damage to everything on screen every time you push a button. I wish the game would give you some sort of reason to get so OP, but even the "secret boss" went down in like a couple of seconds. I have no idea what he actually does.

Also discovered the ring that increases chance of getting shards shortly after finally getting 100% of them. Gee >_>


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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:39 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
Yuzo Koshiro switched out from FM Synth on Etrian Odyssey 4, it astounded me how well he managed to stand his ground and deliver what is probably the most amazing soundtrack in the Etrian Odyssey series.


I didn't like it at all and found the whole ost (outside of two tracks) on iv to be pretty boring =\
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:24 am 


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Sumez wrote:
Yeah, I thoroughly recommend this article about the actual implications of pixel art in video games.
It's easy to see that there's a trend going back towards more traditional styles as modern 3D graphics has become less "new and exciting", but that doesn't mean it can't hurt your game's overall appeal on a broader spectrum.
The guy here goes through why, in solid detail:

http://www.dinofarmgames.com/a-pixel-ar ... pixel-art/


This article got me thinking. Why are we so stuck on 'pixels' as a mechanism for producing hand-drawn art? Screen resolutions these days are such that individual pixels are largely irrelevant, and the main benefits of pixel art lost in most 3D games are not benefits of pixels per se, but rather basic animation principles like squash and stretch (as seen in the Chun-Li example) that are nowhere near impossible in 3D—they just require frame-specific intervention outside of the normal rigging and tweening done on 3D characters. Setting 3D aside, there are absolutely gorgeous games that have been produced using 2D frames (Cuphead probably being the standout example) and these animation techniques can 'easily' be used with digitized hand-drawn 2D art, _or_ frame-by-frame produced vector animation.

Although cost is an issue here, I think the bigger issue is talent. Although the recent Netflix Castlevania series looked pretty decent to my eyes, its animation quality was only so-so, and they probably had 5X the time and resources that Iga had with RotN. That said, if there's a subsequent 2D game I don't see a reason for it to remain fixated on pixel art—the idea of a game in this series produced using Cuphead-style techniques is pretty incredible and I hope more studios start moving in this direction.
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:06 am 


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it290 wrote:
This article got me thinking. Why are we so stuck on 'pixels' as a mechanism for producing hand-drawn art?


I am actually very open to non-pixel-art hand drawn 2d visuals. Skullgirls (which I believe is straight hand drawn) is one of my favorite games in this regard.

That being said, after thinking about it long and hard, as well as actually working with pixel art in my game and supervising the design of many sprites, I've come to believe that pixel art does have a unique advantage (beyond simply the charm and appeal to nostalgia) and is naturally useful for certain types of games.

That advantage is the nature of dithering: using illusions to imply non-existent detail (say, a face in a game where the perspective is too zoomed out to properly see one) can create more vivid images in the player's mind eye than simply upping resolution and "technically" showing things too small/distant to properly appreciate. This is one reason why I think sprite art always seems to have so much "personality", and it's naturally suited to a medium where gameplay considerations frequently force artists to frame the action in a way that is not artistically ideal (Consider, that Classic Zelda's top down perspective is maybe not the best camera angle to depict a frightening underground crypt, even if it's the best camera angle for the gameplay).

Also, since beginning to study perspective, I've come to realize that pretty much any game based on 2d visuals (pixel or otherwise) is likely to break certain rules of perspective/lighting/shading at times. Pixel Art - again, with its emphasis on illusion - in some ways makes these fudge pills easier to swallow.

So while I think other forms of 2d art are good in their own right, I believe pixel art is more than just an appeal to nostalgia or to the craftsmanship of its creation. It has honest advantages that suit it well to certain types of games, and leaving it behind in the dust of history would therefore be a mistake.
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:54 am 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
That being said, after thinking about it long and hard, as well as actually working with pixel art in my game and supervising the design of many sprites, I've come to believe that pixel art does have a unique advantage (beyond simply the charm and appeal to nostalgia) and is naturally useful for certain types of games.

Yeah, these are all good points, especially about illusion. To expand on that, I'd add that pixel art helps force a consistent design aesthetic which is a big part of player immersion, and a big part of the "art" of pixel art. I think part of the reason Bloodstained lacks atmosphere is that there's a kind of inconsistency in the overall assets... it isn't dramatically bad or anything, but it's neither realistic enough to be convincing that way, nor "consistently fake" enough to be immersive in the illusion sense.

I hope the success of the game means he can keep working with the team and fostering the talent he's got, though... (assuming the talent of "design" can really be improved with training)
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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:52 am 


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it290 wrote:
This article got me thinking. Why are we so stuck on 'pixels' as a mechanism for producing hand-drawn art? Screen resolutions these days are such that individual pixels are largely irrelevant, and the main benefits of pixel art lost in most 3D games are not benefits of pixels per se, but rather basic animation principles like squash and stretch (as seen in the Chun-Li example) that are nowhere near impossible in 3D—they just require frame-specific intervention outside of the normal rigging and tweening done on 3D characters.


I think the article kind of touches on this.
Like you said, the basic animations principles that are possible in 2D are also possible in 3D (mostly anyway, there's some reality bending stuff that will occasionally look weird in 3D), but which essentially defeat the entire purpose of using 3D models in the first place.
But there's a pretty big difference between pixel art and hand drawn 2D. The former involves manually placing individual pixels with a sense for how they affect the bigger picture, while hand drawn line art, like you said, doesn't account for display resolutions, whether real limitations or fictional. Higher resolution pixel art (or simply larger sprites) will often be created on top of hand drawn line art, too.

This article mainly deals specifically with the stigmas towards pixel art, and I don't think the same exist towards most high-res 2D artwork. Or, at least not to the same extent. However, creating beautiful and fully animated high resolution hand-drawn line art for your 2D game is probably the most time consuming and expensive approach of all.
Whenever a game has something approaching that, you often see them cutting corners with Flash-like transformations to achieve cheaper animations, like you see in most of Vanillaware's later games - a technique not too different from skeleton based 3D animations.


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 Post subject: Re: Bloodstained RotN : Kouji IGA's new "Castlevania" game.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:25 am 


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blackoak wrote:
Squire Grooktook wrote:
That being said, after thinking about it long and hard, as well as actually working with pixel art in my game and supervising the design of many sprites, I've come to believe that pixel art does have a unique advantage (beyond simply the charm and appeal to nostalgia) and is naturally useful for certain types of games.

Yeah, these are all good points, especially about illusion. To expand on that, I'd add that pixel art helps force a consistent design aesthetic which is a big part of player immersion, and a big part of the "art" of pixel art.


Yeah, I've experienced that too. It's somewhere between an art style and an artistic medium, so it's actually surprisingly doable to fold different art styles under its wing and make them "gel". Like you can have an anime girl fighting through H.R Giger hell and it won't look the slightest bit jarring if you do it right.

I think one of the best illustrations of this is the Marvel Vs Capcom series. MVC1 doesn't even have the res issues of MVC2, but it has some extremely Japanese stylized character designs existing alongside the Western Marvel designs, and it's hard to even bat an eye.
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