Sunday, 17 May 2015

Thoughts on Castlevania...

A little background story

Castlevania, a franchise that I ignored for such a long time... the Angry Video Game Nerd was talking about it all the time. I watched his four parter Castlevania review, and I heard about it from friends and from many other sources. It was everywhere, yet, it didn't mean a thing for me...

A Symphony of the Night...

Then I decided to give Symphony of the Night a chance and that's something I will never regret. Holy shit! What a game! I enjoyed all the hours of exploration, collecting items, beat the bosses, fight the strong foes. The castle design was amazing, the soundtrack is something I still love to listen to. It was decided. I need more Castlevania!

Grand Cross!

Memories are fading away, but I think my next stop was Dracula X Chronicles for the PSP. The game was weird at the beginning. 3D graphics for an old school gameplay. Then it grew on me and I loved it was an amazing remake of Rondo of Blood. I loved the level design, the short cut scenes, the characters and the final battle against Dracula was just perfect and challenging. I unlocked the original Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night, I like the original RoB a lot too. The soundtrack was memorable in case of both games, most memorable from the remade version are Moon Fight, Former Room, Tues Deus meus (in manibus tuis), Bloody tears and Red Dawn (obviously, since I heard this like a hundred times... it was a deadly stage).

Back to the past...

It was the time to go back the 16 bit territory... Super Castlevania IV for the SNES. Atmospheric, creepy opening theme, spooky sceneries, great controls, excellent soundtracks, but... where is the challenge? I liked this game, but at the same time, it was disappointing. It was way too easy and all the deaths were because cheap level design. Spikes for example. That's all. The bosses were ridiculously easy, except Slogra. Then preparation to the final fight... Oh, wow, that was amazing. Torches light out, spooky soundtrack while waking up the stairs to fight Dracula. The fight itself was disappointingly easy, but in overall, the game was fun and memorable.

NES hard!

I gave a chance to the NES games (except that one... you know which one I am talking about). The first game was fun, until I didn't get stuck. Battle with Death was deadly it was a miracle if I could manage to reach him... with low health and crappy sub weapon. Sadly, I still couldn't beat the game.
Next stop: Castlevania III - Dracula's Curse. What a game! It's hard as balls, but fun. It's like the first game, but way better. Multiple paths, more characters to choose from, amazing soundtrack, great graphics for its time. But again, the stage with Death destroyed me... I really wanted to do it, but I failed miserably. I didn't want to use save states. It's cheating. I had to accept defeat.
But then I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I heard a sound. Something that surpasses everything I've heard on the NES... The Famicom version of Castlevania III: Akumajou Densetsu (The Legend of Demon Castle or something like that in English). The same game, except the VRC6 mapper which give plus three sound channels, which is used well. The soundtrack is amazing, the sound effects are better. The graphics are almost the same, but the game is easier. Still very hard, but no bullshit enemies hurt more on later levels stuff. I managed to complete this game with Trevor and Sypha. What a game! This game is worthy for a remake. It was so amazing! And I started it again on an alternate path and it feels like I am playing another Castlevania game. It's great!

The others...

Castlevania III was the last I finished. I started Bloodlines which is amazing and bloody and brutal and fun! I am not interested in Lords of Shadow yet, it's not my style. It's not Castlevania for me. Lament of Innocence looks fun, but... I don't know.
Super Castlevania IV was fun, the Rondo of Blood remake was amazing, but for me, Castlevania III - Dracula's Curse... ehhemmm... I mean Akumajou Densetsu is the game that I consider as my favourite from the series. I may change later.
I really want a Dracula's Curse remake something like Dracula X Chronicles was. It's such an amazing game. Not perfect, using sub-weapons next to stairs drove me nuts, but that's my biggest issues about the game. I want a remake!!!