Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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GoldfishX Oct 21, 2010

CV3 by far...the only real sticking point in CV1 is the Grim Reaper and I can actually beat him more reliably now. In comparison, last 3 bosses in Castlevania 3 I consider myself lucky whenever I can finish one off. I forget how I managed to beat the Doppleganger when I had Grant...I know I beat him with Sypha's magic, but fighting as Trevor/Grant, he actually got stuck in place and I merrily whipped the living crap out of him. When you're that damn difficult, I'm definitely going to hit you while you're down! And Dracula's 3rd form...and moving platforms...yeah....Sorry Castlevania 1, CV3 is difficulty evolved.

Zane Oct 24, 2010

Zane wrote:

I downloaded CV3 on the VC last week. I made it all the way to level 7 and I reset without creating a save state or writing down my password. Had to start over from scratch, but this way I got to see all of the other levels. This game is a goddamn testament to how great this series was. Between this and CV4... man. The music, the mood, the level design. All of it is just so great.

I hit level 8 earlier this week and plateaued. The actual level itself isn't that hard or anything (totally awesome homage to CV1), but the boss is a total douche. I don't have the patience to play through seven or eight minutes of gameplay over and over again to have my ass handed to me every time I reach the boss. I'm definitely frustrated and don't know if I'm going to come back to this one again (if this is what level 8's boss is like, I can just imagine what else the game has in store for me). It's worth the ride, but I think I'm going to be hanging up my CV3 whip.

However, I did download CV4 last night and played through the first three levels. It's much "easier" than CV3, but I think it's more enjoyable. I know the archaic controls and enemy patterns are "classic", but goddamn if I'm not excited to jump and change my direction mid-air to avoid a pesky bat or Medusa head. Since it's Halloween, this is a perfect time to play some CV. It's also a perfect time to play some RE4...

Bernhardt Oct 24, 2010

Still struggling through getting through the 5th set of levels in the original Castlevania.

RE4, the first time I popped it into my Wii, and played through until I got tired, those were some golden hours. Getting back to it again now, though, it's quickly lost its appeal for me. I'll still be playing it through until the end, but I'm just not enjoying it as much as the first few hours I played. Waiting months between picking it back up usually tends to make things seem stale.

the_miker Oct 24, 2010

Zane wrote:

It's also a perfect time to play some RE4...

Haven't you already played that once? wink

Zane Oct 24, 2010

the_miker wrote:
Zane wrote:

It's also a perfect time to play some RE4...

Haven't you already played that once? wink

Eh, I think so. I maybe made it halfway through before getting bored.

For serious, though. My girlfriend, who watches me play games all the time*, wants to check it out and what better time than: A.) the fall, and 2.) the present. I'm only allowing myself to play through two games concurrently (don't want to get overwhelmed), so once I finish up CV4 I'll probably fire up RE4 for another round.

*Any woman who buys a Wii, plays Mario Galaxy and watches me play through Startropics in its entirety is a goddamn saint.

Angela Oct 26, 2010

Angela wrote:

Part 4 takes an exhaustive look at the series' portable titles.  Since absolutely no one could answer the question of which 3D Castlevania was the best, maybe this one will come easier:

Which would you say is the best handheld Castlevania?

For me, it's unequivocally Dawn of Sorrow.  While I love the consistently excellent quality of Portrait of Ruin's music score, I wasn't too keen on the dual character gameplay or the heavy reliance on magic-based attacks.  Aria may not have done much to innovate Symphony of the Night, but damned if they didn't perfect the formula to an illuminating sheen by Dawn.  Save for the silly 'Magic Seal' drawing aspect, I loved most everything about the game.  The DS's first Castlevania reveled in some beautiful 2D graphics, and unlike Aria, Yamane's music score had more hits than misses.  I absolutely dug the Tactical Soul system, and the extra CV3-esque Julius/Yoko/Alucard adventure was a terrific bonus.

I wasn't particularly blown away by Order of Ecclesia either.  I'm partial to Masaki Hirooka's art design, and the significant ramp-up in gameplay challenge was refreshing, but I couldn't hang with the Glyph system or the repetitious nature of the quest itself.

SonicPanda Oct 26, 2010

Angela wrote:

Since absolutely no one could answer the question of which 3D Castlevania was the best,

The only ones I've played are Lament and LoS, so I was kind of at a loss. Sorry.

Angela wrote:

Which would you say is the best handheld Castlevania?

Portrait of Ruin. It's also my favorite of the so-called Metrovanias, edging out Symphony. It's strange, but I seem to like it for the exact reasons you don't: the thing I hate most about these sorts of games is the feeling of isolation - having two characters at all times dissipates that - and I think the magical slant makes it an interesting exception to the usual CV style.

On the other hand, I hate Dawn of Sorrow. It's been ages since I've played it, and I'm sure an expert could show me how I was 'playing it wrong', but it hardly matters; I've never had more hatred for a Castlevania game in my life. Between the constant BS deaths and blowing boss fights because of oops-even-though-you-traced-the-seal-we'll-pretend-you-didn't sumbitchery (this happened at least 10 times while fighting against that jester jerk in the mirror), I decided I was never going to play it again when I finished it. My playthrough took nearly a full year because I would get angry enough I let it drop for months at a time. Ruin would eventually come along and all (or at least most) would be forgiven. But seriously, Dawn can go to hell.

FuryofFrog Oct 28, 2010 (edited Oct 28, 2010)

My first time with CastleVania was at my Uncle Kevin's house. I played Super CastleVania 4 there and got my butt handed to me. I always thought the hearts were health as an unobservant little kid, and I could never figure out why I was dying. I eventually powered through it and learned what a real Belmont is like. Then I back tracked and followed the series from then on. To this date I haven't played a CV that matched the gameplay, atmosphere, and music that SCV4 had. It truly was special and to me the best in the series.

So top 25 hmm. In no particular order

Wicked Child (CastleVania)
Ripe Seeds (Belmont's Revenge)
The Silence of Daylight (Simon's Quest)
Demon Seed (Dracula's Curse)
Theme of Simon (Super CastleVania 4)
Mechanical Trick Mansion (Super CastleVania 4)
Knight Corridor (Super CastleVania 4)
Introduction (CastleVania 64)
Tower of Sorcery (CastleVania 64)
Revenge (Adventure)
A Lullaby Sent to the Devils (Adventure Rebirth)
Waterway (Aria of Sorrow)
The Sinking Old Sanctuary (Bloodlines)
Iron-Blue Intention (Bloodlines)
Thrashard in the Cave (Chronicles)
Awake (Circle of the Moon)
Mortvia Fountain (Curse of Darkness)
Demon Castle Pinnacle (Dawn of Sorrow)
Clockwork Tower (Harmony of Dissonance)
House of Sacred Remains (Lament of Innocence)
Inside the Castle (Legends)
Emerald Mist (Order of Ecclesia)
Gear Confusion Begins (Portrait of Ruin)
Op.13 (Rondo of Blood)
Chaconne c.moll (Symphony of the Night)

I'm a dirty whore for the organ and I could have just as easily filled this up with SCV4 music but overall these are my top 25. Strangely enough Chronicles version of Bloody Tears didn't end up here. I feel like if I made this list again it might end up slightly different.

So whose your favorite protagonist for the series then? They don't really have to be playable so long as in the end they fought Dracula (or are from one of the Sorrow games). I personally always thought the old men of the series were cool as hell. Both Morris Baldwin and Julius Belmont were too cool. I wish I could play respective games where they beat Drac.


EDIT: I personally think the two best handheld CastleVania games are Circle of the Moon and Portrait of Ruin. If you forced me CotM would be on top. There was something magical about that game. KCEK can do it just as well as KCET smile. It also helped they reused a variety of songs from the history of CV to bolster it. Tough as hell bosses, interesting card system, its all win here. PoR loses points for Richter and Maria. We all know that the perfect awesome team should have been Eric Lecard and John Morris.

Ashley Winchester Oct 28, 2010

Angela wrote:

Which would you say is the best handheld Castlevania?

I've only played the GBA ones, but I'd rank them:
1) Harmony, 2) Aria and 3) Circle

Circle's uneven difficulty sinks the game quite early; it also feels rather uninspired. The only real problem with Aria is the maps/castle is rather unimpressive. Harmony is just a flat-out weird game, nothing is really hidden as far as power-ups and again, the castle layout feels completely strange. However, strange =’s memorable in this case, so, it wins in my case.

Smeg Oct 28, 2010

Angela wrote:

Which would you say is the best handheld Castlevania?

Aria is my favorite, but Dawn has the best alternate character mode. I really love them all save Ecclesia, though.

Dragon God Oct 28, 2010

Top 25 best CV tracks ?

There is no way I can answer this in good conscience... too many great tracks to think of.

However, anything off the Dracula Best 2 album is more than enough to please my ears for life smile

Which would you say is the best handheld Castlevania?

I'm going to go against popular opinion and mention Castlevania II : Belmont's Revenge on the ol' Game Boy. Seems many forget that there has been non-Metroidvania games on handhelds. Oh well. Despite the fairly slow pace of this game, the stages, the music (duh) and the bosses made it one to remember and enjoy.

Smeg Oct 28, 2010

Dragon God wrote:

I'm going to go against popular opinion and mention Castlevania II : Belmont's Revenge on the ol' Game Boy. Seems many forget that there has been non-Metroidvania games on handhelds.

Ha ha, I didn't forget, although I'd like to! tongue Belmont's Revenge does have an awesome soundtrack though.

Pellasos Oct 28, 2010

i'm playing through Ecclesia right now for the first time. it feels like a mishmash between simons quest and symphony of the night, but with good and challenging boss fights. there is a town whose villagers you have to find and save. they'll give you quests throughout the game for better equipment and features. i like this concept very much.

i'm indifferent to the glyph system. i'd rather have an arsenal of weapons i could sell instead of scrolling through outdated glyphs. this has been a problem with most of IGAs games. also i hate the running animation of all sprites used in his games, they all look awkward. nothing comes close to sotn. music is very good and my fav. piece is the ecclesia main room piece you'll sometimes hear in events. but the biggest disappointment is playing action games on the DS. i can't play more than 1,5 hours or my fingers start to feel cramped. the other problem is alternating attacks for combos, you'll most certainly miss a few attacks hitting both buttons in between on accident. they're too small and there's not enough space between them.

other than that, it's a great game. 30% to go and i'm finished. best castlevania in years!

GoldfishX Oct 31, 2010

Here's my thought process playing the later half of Rondo of Blood yesterday:

"Oh okay...Vampire Bat...kill with the axe, easy...MEDUSA!!!??? WTF!!!???" Dead
"Ah, so boss rush...kill Bat, kill Medusa, barely any life left...MUMMY!!!???" Dead 3 more times, until I learned I could just duck and wail on the mummy
"Okay, I got this...Even CV3 doesn't throw more than 3 bosses at me in one shot...WTF!!!??? I gotta fight Frankenstein too!!!???" Dead like 10 more times until I got a clean run through all 4.
"End of the round...it's gotta be...please say it's the end...Oh no...The Magician too!!!???" Dead
At that point, I nearly gave up, but thankfully the next fight was only the magician and I crushed him.

I really love the Ghost Ship and Den/Clocktower stages of the game. Good thing, since I've gotten quite a bit of practice on them. I'm stuck on the reincarnation of the magician right now. I can avoid the bird okay and the thing that comes out of the ground okay, but the invisible bats keep draining my life too much. Awesome game.

Angela Nov 1, 2010

GoldfishX wrote:

"Oh okay...Vampire Bat...kill with the axe, easy...MEDUSA!!!??? WTF!!!???" Dead
"Ah, so boss rush...kill Bat, kill Medusa, barely any life left...MUMMY!!!???...WTF!!!??? I gotta fight Frankenstein too!!!???

You're playing the original Rondo of Blood, and not the Dracula X Chronicles version?  I thought the biggest travesty with Chronicles was how they didn't use "Poison Mind" for this battle.  It completely robbed the musical point of this most awesome Castlevania 1 throwback.

And Chronicles DOES feature an amazing arrangement of Poison Mind.  It's just a shame they only use it for the absurdly short final ascension to Dracula's tower.

GoldfishX Nov 1, 2010

Yeah...I had to babysit the dog the other day and had all day to play with the Wii, so I played the original on the VC. Seeing the giant bat and hearing that tune (not on the original OST, oddly enough) was like a family reunion. Almost as much as that first part of the "Den" stage...that got annoying until I discovered how good the axe was to keep the bats offa me!

I feel like I got my money's worth out of the VC version. Is the remake worth the 10-15 bucks it runs if/when I get the PSP? I know I'm rather indifferent to the remixed music overall.

Pellasos Nov 1, 2010

finished Ecclesia with 99,7%. heh, guess i missed a room but i'm satisfied. my opinion stands.

still need to play Dawn of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin, but i don't think they'll get much better.

Smeg Nov 1, 2010

GoldfishX wrote:

Oh no...The Magician too!!!???

That's the dark priest Shaft! He's a bad mother.

GoldfishX wrote:

that tune (not on the original OST, oddly enough)

The OST omitted all the non-CDDA tunes. Guess they didn't want to bother making recordings they didn't already have.

GoldfishX Nov 1, 2010

Grrr, this is one of those instances where I hate the temptation of modern convenience...I can just as easily look and see how to beat his pattern on youtube, but I'd MUCH rather figure it out. Problem is, I'm tired of playing through the damn "Den" stage. ; _ ; He's at least on par with the Grim Reaper from CV1 and the Doppleganger from CV3, unless there's some uber-easy trick to clobbering him.

Angela Nov 2, 2010 (edited Nov 2, 2010)

Angela wrote:

The fifth and final part is up.  A look at the real-life lore of Dracula, an intricate overview of the timeline and characters, and a brief montage that covers the musical significance of the series.  Good stuff.

Does anyone know where that version of "Wicked Child" that plays up at 16:18 comes from?

Dais Nov 2, 2010 (edited Nov 2, 2010)

Angela wrote:

Does anyone know where that version of "Wicked Child" that plays up at 16:18 comes from?

*checks*

Oh, that's from Castlevania: The Arcade. The CV: The Arcade music is all arrangements of previous Castlevania (and, uh, Tokimeki Memorial) music, and they're pretty good (more coherent than the Harmony of Despair stuff). Although they could still have been a bit more ambitious...

some of you may be interested in this small write-up of Aria of Sorrow done by a cool dude. The text is a bit heavy, but the screenshots point out some nice graphical details you might not have noticed. The fetus in Legion is one that particularly stands out to those who haven't spotted it before.

Pellasos Nov 2, 2010

nice coincidence. i started replaying Aria of Sorrow (hard mode) yesterday in preparation of my first DoS playthrough. will read in more detail once i'm finished.

Angela Nov 2, 2010

Dais wrote:

Oh, that's from Castlevania: The Arcade.

Thanks!  I didn't splurge for that Best Music Collections Box, so this is my first time hearing the score.  I really like these slow burn variations of Bloodlines and Poison Mind, and I'm especially digging this more-menacing-than-usual arrangement of Walking on the Edge.

Daniel K Nov 15, 2010 (edited Nov 15, 2010)

When it comes to Castlevania, anything from the classic 8- and 16-bit eras is pure gold (both the games and the soundtracks). CV 1 - 4, Bloodlines, Chronicles, Dracula X, the early Game Boy games, all of them are great (OK, not Castlevania Adventure... ). Symphony represents a turning-point: while the game itself is insanely great, it also laid down a mold that had a petrifying effect on the series and led to it's stagnation. I liked Castlevania 64 despite all it's glaring faults, but it was nowhere near as good as the earlier games, and while I enjoyed most of the handheld Metrovanias, they all just blurred into one anonymous mess once I had finished them, and I've never had any desire to re-visit them in the same sense in which I like to re-visit Symphony and the earlier more action-oriented ones. The PS2 games I completed more out of "loyalty" to the series than anything else, they were cumbersome, repetitive, and boring (especially Curse of Darkness, don't worry, you missed nothing there, Angela). Order of Ecclesia will probably stand as the last CV-game I played, and while I enjoyed it a lot, it didn't leave me hungry for more. Looking at all the different spin-offs that have appeared over the last couple of years, I have to say that the series seems to have become something of a parody of itself, and while I can't join in the chorus that condemns Lords of Shadow (simply because I haven't tried it), I have to say that nothing I've seen/heard from it makes me want to try it out.

Eying through the block of text above, I see most of it is negative, but overall I still love Castlevania and consider myself a big fan. Its just that it is a finished chapter for me: the series up until and including Symphony is what I will always return to and cherish in my gamer's heart. As far as I'm concerned, you can't go wrong with oldskool CV. If I have to pick an absolute favourite, it will be CV3 as the best game and CV4 as the best soundtrack.

There's so much in this thread that I could waste time commenting on, so I'll just stick to the points that struck me as most salient:

Amazingu wrote:
Angela wrote:

I plan to tackle Castlevania IV again soon, but I've been enjoying the ever-loving cross out of Rondo of Blood.  Strictly as Maria, though; I haven't the patience to play as Richter anymore.

Suddenly, it's become the most ideal Castlevania for me.  Maria's ease of use allows for a traditional, straightforward action-based Castlevania that doesn't bust your balls due to a rigid control scheme.  It's bliss.

This.

A thousand times this.

Whenever I play a New Game on the PSP version, I rush to get Maria as quickly as possible and never look at Richter again. EVER.

Uncontrollable asshole.

I have to come to old Richter's defense here, I'm afraid. Maria just plain sucks because she completely ruins the game, for two reasons: 1. being a cringe-worthy, embarrassment-inducing abortion of a character that has no place in a Castlevania atmosphere, and 2. she's such a ridiculously over-powered character that she makes the game way, way too easy. One of the charms of the older Castlevanias (mirroring older games in general, really) was their ball-busting oldskool difficulty , and if you're playing as Maria, you're definitely playing softball and missing part of the experience.

Also... She's just wrong. Classical Belmonts FTW!

Amazingu wrote:

And that's one of my other beefs with the series as well. Far too much rehashing of old enemies, areas and music. As a major Mega Man fan, I can't help but notice how relatively free of enemy and music repitition that series has managed to stay in the past 20+ years.

Yeah. But its funny how even though the CV-games use a lot of rehashing of enemies and music, the Mega Man games still manage to be more repetitive. While the early CV games feel very distinct from each other and mix up the formula from game to game, Mega Man 1 - 6 is basically the same game. I agree though that post Symphony, the CV-series gets very repetitive in it's handheld incarnations.

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