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A Symphony ends and Spring begins

by Pixielated   //   6:23 PM on 03.30.2013

You know, I was complaining to my roommate that Spring was taking too long to get here and then I got a nice whiff of fresh pollen the other day. Now I can't stop sneezing. Spring pretty much always begins with hay fever and now Spring can go to hell.



I blame my sister for this. She asked me to watch one of her dogs this weekend and naturally I have to take it for walks and feed it and all that. Well, maybe its not my sister's fault entirely its just her dog, Lulu, likes to take her time when we go for walks, ensuring I have prolonged exposure to all the joys of nature. So yeah, Fall can't get here soon enough now..

I've had a ton of writer's block this month, though I think a good deal of that was actually intense Fire Emblem addiction. It probably also because I was glued to the Supreme Court proceedings this week. Watching social conservatives act like an oppressed class is amusing to say the least. Prop 8 went just about as I expected it would, but DOMA was the real problem anyway and it looks like its going to be cut down. Fine by me, though I have to admit the idea a state can put what consenting adults I can love up to a vote is still incredibly creepy and wrong. This should not be not a state's rights issue at all.

Anyway, since Soul Hackers comes out in a two and a half weeks I'm not quite sure what 3DS games to tackle next. I figure maybe I'll knock out Crimson Shroud and Gunman Clive since Etrian Odyssey IV is a more substantial commitment. I still have that True Demon run on SMT III: Nocturne I've been procrastinating on as well. Perhaps its time to finish that tower climb.



I'm quite looking forward to Soul Hackers, particularly since it was one of those games I heard about way back when Duke Nukem Forever and Too Human entered development. The reason we've not seen it until now is because SCEA blocked both original Devil Summoner games for being straight Saturn ports back in the PSX days. That and they had no new content added compared to the Japanese versions. Yes, even though these games were totally new to America, Sony blocked their localization for those reasons.

Atlus later tried again with the original Devil Summoner port for PSP, which SCEA blocked again for the same reason. Lame. And it was around this time the original source code to that game was lost, so western gamers will never be able to play a localized version of the original Devil Summoner short of emulation and fansubs. Soul Hackers, however, finally makes it to the US on 3DS. Its been a long time coming.



That aside, I did recently get around to finish Castlevania: Symphony of the Night again. Its still a classic, though I'm still missing how Maria even has romantic feelings for Alucard (maybe because I haven't played the Dracula X Chronicles version yet).

I can't get into the Lords of Shadow spin-off series, though. I mean, I appreciate what they're trying to do with story, but they play nothing like a Castlevania or and it feels like they try really hard to contrive all these elements to justify the Castlevania branding.

If you really look Lords of Shadow its The Divine Comedy X God of War directed by Joss Whedon. Seriously, it literally is The Divine Comedy - Gabriel is Dante, Zobek is Vergil and you eventually face off against the Devil himself in a moment of redemption. There isn't a damn thing before the DLC is factored in that makes this game a Castlevania aside from a dude with a whip. Oh and any interesting characters you like - let's callously kill them off. Thank you Joss Whedon logic.

R.I.P miscellaneous beloved cast members of Firefly, Dollhouse and The Avengers.

I can see why people were into it if they were totally oblivious to its narrative inspirations but even with it, it was Castlevania by force and not by nature.To me its like when Dinosaur Planet was being turned into Starfox Adventures. It just looks and feels like a different IP forced to be something else. Mirror of Fate has so many problems you can just go watch Tony Ponce of Colin Moriarty pick it apart.

Anyway, I think Konami could have best served Castlevania fans by having the 3D console games and then proper 2D entries following the "classic" or Metroidvania approach by way of downloadable games or handhelds. No, Harmony of Despair doesn't count. I said proper, not a multiplayer dungeon hack.

Symphony of the Night just did everything right, almost matching the quality of Super Metroid point-for-point and that's impressive. The Sorrow games were also of a similar caliber. Even if the Metroidvania formula got overly familiar I did like the happy medium between Classic CV and Metroidvania that Portrait of Ruin and Order of Ecclesia were moving toward until Konami seemed to stop listening to what fans wanted from Castlevania.

Oh well, there's still Guacamelee and possibly Shovel Knight later this year.

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