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Smeg Oct 19, 2010

Ashley Winchester wrote:

As for Castlevania's "timeline", does anyone really stay up at night and wonder how it all fits together?

I leave that up to Kurt. If the Castlevania Dungeon says so, it must be true.

Dais Oct 20, 2010

I don't really give a crap about canon/time-line stuff (okay, my eye twitches a little when I see a blatant mistake in the dumb super hero comics I read), and I'm....neutral towards a reboot of the series (at least, a theoretical reboot other than Lords of Shadow and the train of stupid the last hour of exposition is).

But...well....I've played a fair amount of Castlevania. And I've read up even more about the series - the seemingly endless details, cameos and other little touches just compel me to soak it all up. And...I can't believe I'm linking this....at a certain point, I came to the conclusion that Igarashi had a subtle (for video games) plan for the series:

http://forums.selectbutton.net/viewtopi … 734#640734

That post will come across as frothing at the mouth crazy to a lot of you, and I'm certainly not proud of the fact that I'm stilling clinging to an essentially baseless theory thrown together in a tired moment, but I really believe that IGA had bigger plans for the series, with my big guess being that he wanted to establish a new (or at least additional) central villain in the series. He just....well, he was IGA, and he fumbled it and Konami rolled their eyes and Castlevania continued to survive on the edge of relevance and just as Igarashi was moving forward with a new console-based Castlevania that was apparently a sequel to Symphony of the Night, MercurySteam and Konami started the whole Lords of Shadow experiment and IGA's game vanished into the night.

And now IGA is probably doing odd jobs somewhere at Konami, trying to figure out how to keep Harmony of Despair making money and possibly quietly developing yet another half-hearted handheld entry and wondering if he'll ever get to make the games he wants to make: the 1999 war of Julius and Dracula, perhaps something farther into the future than the Sorrow games, maybe something that will pay better tribute to Castlevania III than Curse of Darkness did. Maybe a Castlevania fighting game that people don't laugh at. Maybe...

He sighs, leaning back in his chair and thinking about the notes he has tucked away in odd places, ideas about new characters and stories and entire worlds to populate Castlevania with. He sees the series as a garden that has to carefully arranged and pruned, given the right attention in the right place. Despite that, he wants to see new flowers there, beautiful plants, statuary, something special around every corner. But he made so many poor decisions, and focused on all the wrong areas, and kept saying the wrong things when asked about his plans...

Ah, whatever.

Ashley Winchester Oct 20, 2010

Ok, so I sat down and finally played this. Well, I wasn't really sitting down - couldn't really sit down at the store I was at - but at least I can say something about the game and not just speculate.

First off, the game is just beautiful - graphically. Second... second... hmmm... well, I guess I could lie but I can't think of a second good thing. Everything else about it screamed "sell out" to me; it's a God of War game with the Castlevania name slapped on it. Like the IGN review said, for GoW fans that could be a good thing, for everyone else probably not. Additionally, I'm going to stand by what I said before about the series taking influence from Metroid and making it it's own - that is simply not the case here.

Still, if Konami wants to go this route, I'm not going to pine for a game that goes back to either type of CV that came before this, and I'm not going to hold a preverbal funeral for the series either. One less game/series to worry about/write off, the better. I rather surround myself with SNES carts and PS1 discs anyway.

Amazingu Oct 20, 2010

Ashley Winchester wrote:

and I'm not going to hold a preverbal funeral for the series either.

That's the second time this week I've seen someone get that word wrong.
The first time was that asswipe Brian Ashcraft on Kotaku, so you're in a very dubious crowd here, Ashley.

SonicPanda Oct 21, 2010

Dais wrote:

That post will come across as frothing at the mouth crazy to a lot of you,

Nah, just passionate. I can get a similar way when talking about why Inti should have made ZX3 instead of MM9&10 (and that dreadful-looking Gal Gun thing they're onto), but the powers that be are letting that potential rot on the vine. I got a laugh out of the post you made after it, though.

It is odd to compare your pessimistic outlook now with what you said before though, when you were reassuring myself and others earlier in the thread that there was no reason to believe Igarashi wouldn't be getting back on the horse. I kind of think that the devs themselves stressing that LoS wasn't intended as canon leaves the door wide open for him to pick up where he left off (albeit without Yamane, who apparently left Konami a few years back).

As for LoS itself, I've played a bit. I'm not exactly blown away, but it's not bad for what it is. It's most definitely a God of War sort of game and not really a Castlevania at all, but in its defense I will stipulate it's the first God of War game I've enjoyed at all. The first chapter's boss, though - I wonder if the people behind Shadow of the Colossus know how deeply they've been...flattered.

Ashley Winchester Oct 21, 2010

Amazingu wrote:
Ashley Winchester wrote:

and I'm not going to hold a preverbal funeral for the series either.

That's the second time this week I've seen someone get that word wrong.
The first time was that asswipe Brian Ashcraft on Kotaku, so you're in a very dubious crowd here, Ashley.

It wasn't me, it was my bloomin' editor!

Super King Oct 24, 2010

I know there's a lot of hate for it not being CV enough, but its truly a good game. The demo is a horrible indicator of whats to come. I'm not even reminded of GOW because, it plays much better with greater a challenge and at least for me as a long time CV fan; Whip=CV not GOW.

Its ridiculously BEAUTIFUL. The art direction absolutely KILLS in comparison any other CV before it. And mind you this a from a small team. I actually enjoyed the fixed camera for the amazing pans and vistas. Along with in game art gallery and the wonderfully ham-fisted storybook cinematics.

Part of the problem I think is that the game is such a slow burn. I doesn't feel like CV till a third of the way through. While the 1st Chapter sets things up nicely, it seems very Lord of the Ringish. And the 2nd Chapter drags hard and is overly long. The gameplay starts to get a little stale and there a lack of variety. But by the end of Chapter 3 after you've finished off your 1st Lord of Shadow; things really start to pick up story and gameplay wise. Its never a dull moment.

By Chapter 5, at the end of the 1st stage (Veros Woods) as you peer out from a cave and head towards Wygol village. And you finally see, the "castle". It hits you that this IS Castlevania! As if the whole game has been percolating to a boil for this one moment. You've traveled through so many wondrous lands and seen so many things; to finally realize in that one shot this is only just the beginning.

There's also a lot of love put into its well crafted world and mythology the game inhabits. Like the beastiery with anotomical sketches and full monster/character backstorys with weakness and stats. Or the scrolls of fallen brethren that you find on bodies throughout the game. Usually they give gameplay clues but often they're just last letters of love and regret to family they'll never see again.

The only real serious ding I can give it is the music. More of a preference though. Its all cinematic hollywood style and the not a lot of variety. Meaning the few good ones like Agharta Waterfalls are played in places that aren't where they're first played. Messing up traditional stage association. Instead Agharta is used in context, ie: emotional release after battle, peering over a horizon or moments of quiet etc.

Anyway give it a chance. While derivative; its whole is greater than the sum of its parts from other games. This is hands down the best 3D Castlvania. LOS->LOI->N64s->COD. Even if you can't get over the whole western reboot thing and don't think its CV enough. Enjoy it as Lords of Shadow.

Angela Oct 24, 2010

Nice write-up, SK!

Did they end up using any classic CV music for the score?

Dais Oct 24, 2010

Super King wrote:

And you finally see, the "castle". It hits you that this IS Castlevania! As if the whole game has been percolating to a boil for this one moment. You've traveled through so many wondrous lands and seen so many things; to finally realize in that one shot this is only just the beginning.

the latter half of the game totally throws any and all of this out the window, though. Once you're in the final hour of the game you might as well be playing Dante's Inferno or something.

Super King Oct 24, 2010

Dais wrote:
Super King wrote:

And you finally see, the "castle". It hits you that this IS Castlevania! As if the whole game has been percolating to a boil for this one moment. You've traveled through so many wondrous lands and seen so many things; to finally realize in that one shot this is only just the beginning.

the latter half of the game totally throws any and all of this out the window, though. Once you're in the final hour of the game you might as well be playing Dante's Inferno or something.

The final stretches are some of the best parts. Since when did Dante's Inferno own the concept of hell? The finally falls in line with IGA's final twists he's been adding lately that break the old get to drac's room and kill him mold. Its making its own heritage while carrying a lot of cues from 2, 3, 4 and recent IGA games. And most see that, but I can see you're set from previous comments.

Dais Oct 25, 2010

Super King wrote:
Dais wrote:
Super King wrote:

And you finally see, the "castle". It hits you that this IS Castlevania! As if the whole game has been percolating to a boil for this one moment. You've traveled through so many wondrous lands and seen so many things; to finally realize in that one shot this is only just the beginning.

the latter half of the game totally throws any and all of this out the window, though. Once you're in the final hour of the game you might as well be playing Dante's Inferno or something.

The final stretches are some of the best parts. Since when did Dante's Inferno own the concept of hell? The finally falls in line with IGA's final twists he's been adding lately that break the old get to drac's room and kill him mold. Its making its own heritage while carrying a lot of cues from 2, 3, 4 and recent IGA games. And most see that, but I can see you're set from previous comments.

This is pure crazy talk. The game takes no cues from previous Castlevania games except patronizing winks and nods, and the design/plotting of this game can in no way be considered an extension of the careful yet clumsy experimentation the series has been marked by for the past decade.

Also, seriously, the final hour is ridiculously dumb BS. It's stupider than anything previously seen in the series, and that's a serious accomplishment.

Don't get me wrong. I think the game is - at the very least - playable and enjoyable to many people. It's environmental art design is almost in-arguably amazing, some of the best of this generation (pity the 3D realizations of the wonderful monster concept art end up being quite hideous). The gameplay elements it shamelessly steals are stitched together quite well, and there really isn't a drop of ill intent in the design of the game.

But despite all that was said, it's not at all like any previous Castlevania, they didn't truly try to make it like any previous Castlevania, and the story is a load of bollocks.

johhnyutah76 Nov 5, 2010

I'm in the middle of playing the game, just started Chapter 10, & I'm having the most fun with this game, its maybe one of the best I've ever played, its new, exciting & fresh.

1st of all the the hero Gabriel: I like him, he has that rough look to him, & finally doesn't look like such a pretty boy like all the other Belmonts of the past. The controls are easy to learn & use as well.

Weapons: are fantastic, I love the Vampire Killer whip, plus there's so many moves to learn & unlock, as well the magic & secondary weapons are great as well, I love what they did with the Holy Water.  I also like how the orbs don't come to you, unlike GoW, u have to push down on the analogs to get them, it makes the fighting more challenging & leaves you with the decision of: do I keep fighting or leave myself vulnerable to attack.

Storyline: is good, they never truly reveal all the details which I like cause YOU HAVE TO PLAY THE GAME TO FIND OUT, the levels outstanding, lots of them which makes for a long game, with lots of game-play, (unlike "The Force Unleashed 2 which has dick all for game-play), the graphics are amazing & fun, lots of climbing & exploring, puzzle solving & the enemies are great. 

Soundtrack: Phenomenal, I'm so glad they didn't redo, the old stuff (which I love by the way), its definitely time for something new & Oscar Araujo delivers, but...
SPOILER ALERT
..if you make it far enough there is a level called "the music box", it has a new version of Vampire Killer, its nothing to special, just a piano diddly, but was a nifty idea, yes I just used the word nifty.

Now I finally understand why this game took so long to come out, & I'm happy about it, cause it was definitely worth the wait.  If you get the chance PLAY THIS GAME, anyone else who says different or complains about it, has no idea what their talkin about.  It has a few slight similarities to GoW, but not many, its no worse then all the shooters which are basically boring & the same.

and on a personal note: Down with the shitbox 360, PS3 all the way!

Amazingu Nov 5, 2010

johhnyutah76 wrote:

and on a personal note: Down with the shitbox 360, PS3 all the way!

You clever bastard!
Saving that comment for last, eh?

If you had started your post with that, I would've instantly known not to bother reading the rest of your insane drivel.

Zane Nov 5, 2010

Amazingu wrote:
johhnyutah76 wrote:

and on a personal note: Down with the shitbox 360, PS3 all the way!

You clever bastard!
Saving that comment for last, eh?

If you had started your post with that, I would've instantly known not to bother reading the rest of your insane drivel.

Oh, come on, brotherman. The "I'm having the most fun with this game, its maybe one of the best I've ever played, its new, exciting & fresh." didn't tip you off? wink

Ashley Winchester Nov 5, 2010 (edited Nov 5, 2010)

Adam Corn wrote:

Such hospitality.

When brainless fanboys come knocking...

It's one thing to like the game, it's another to candy coat it to the point of giving us all diabetes.

Tim JC Nov 5, 2010

Hey, some of us (-->me) roll our eyes over the extreme lauding of certain "superior" old games, so I'd say it's a fair exchange. If you like something, you like it. Bias included.
By the way, I did play the Lords of Shadow demo and, while I thought it fun enough, it didn't make me want to buy the game.

Angela Nov 5, 2010

Amazingu wrote:
johhnyutah76 wrote:

and on a personal note: Down with the shitbox 360, PS3 all the way!

You clever bastard!
Saving that comment for last, eh?

To be fair, the 360 version of the game has been widely lauded as the inferior one.

Amazingu Nov 5, 2010

Angela wrote:

To be fair, the 360 version of the game has been widely lauded as the inferior one.

That's irrelevant.
And I'm not complaining about the fact that (s)he really loves the game either. Why should I? More power to him/her!

But I have zero tolerance for rampant fanboyism that results in people using terms like "shitbox360".
That's the kind of thing that would be an instant ban if I had any say in it.

FuryofFrog Nov 5, 2010 (edited Nov 6, 2010)

The game is actually fun on some levels. The thing that really kills it are 3 fold

1. Fixed Camera
2. Non-CastleVania Feeling
3. Blatant Colossus Splicing

I mean as a game alone its a decent experience. Its a bit lazy in some areas and unnecessarily long. There is barely any kind of fan service. I mean Cornell as the manbeast makes an appearance, theres a Carmilla AND Laura, and Rinaldo Gandolfini is the one making all the nifty whip upgrades. Other than that the game feels like Lords of Shadows, not CastleVania. With side platforming I felt like the game was harkening back to the old platforming of CastleVania but kind of failed. At times I almost felt like I was playing Gauntlet Legends. Its not bad but an extremely flawed experience. The thing that especially kills me is the especially large amount of money thrown into the game to create an experience that doesn't really have a soul. Is the music good? Well yes, its very nice with booming brass and singing strings  but it kind of reminds me of any music that a high fantasy movie could throw out. Where are the extreme baroque elements? Where is the harpsichord and most of all organ? No where. David Cox lied to all of us. Having new music is excellent but having at least some motives from any of the other games with the orchestra they used would be excellent. No one can deny a new Dance of Illusions wouldn't sound awesome with that orchestra.

The colossus thing was so dumb. I know CastleVania typically pulls from everyones mythology but they have gone too far. Not having perpetual darkness, attacking these huge things just doesn't really cut it for me. Ultimately this is a bland upgrade of Dante's Inferno with some impressive elements that ultimately falter.

I would have really like to see KCEK work on this again. Too bad the chance will never arrive.


EDIT: Sorry if my post is non-sensical. My week has been hell and I'm tired as hell. On a different note Kurt Kalata freakin' rocks. May CV Dungeon and Hardcore Gaming live forever. That brings me to an interesting thought. Kurt really needs to cover that in HCG 101. Mmmmm CastleVania

Ashley Winchester Nov 6, 2010

Tim JC wrote:

If you like something, you like it. Bias included.

Excessive bias, either positive or negative, simply destroys credibility. If you like a game, that's cool, but if you like a game and can point out some shortcomings in the process, it kind of helps the process along.

Additionally, I don't think Symphony of the Night is all that either. Good game, but like a lot of games from the past, does it really measure up to the memory?

FuryofFrog Nov 6, 2010

I find Symphony usually keeps up with the memory. Fun game, excellent music, horrible ending song, and ridiculously easy. When the easyness factor is added in it all adds up to a short lived memory. There are other CV's I would sooner play than SotN.

Ashley Winchester Nov 6, 2010

Amazingu wrote:

But I have zero tolerance for rampant fanboyism that results in people using terms like "shitbox360".

Haha, that's pretty funny - "shitbox360"

You have to admit that nickname has some credibility considering the first model's failure rate. Still, does it really matter? Mircosoft is the one laughing all the way to the bank; it had enough clout when it came to software for people to risk buy a shoddy console. How many products have such a claim to fame?

Idolores Nov 6, 2010

Ashley Winchester wrote:

How many products have such a claim to fame?

Like all of Sony's consoles? Every console they've ever made have suffered from problems in their first iteration. They're not much better than Microsoft.

Pellasos Nov 6, 2010

i replayed SotN last month. it doesn't age, which means the low difficulty and mostly poorly executed bossfights stay the same.

still a great game though.

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