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the obligatory castlevania entry
// Submitted @ 4:07 PM on 04.30.2008
I have a big project in the works for the old c-blog, but until then here's my thoughts and ratings (on a generic one out of five scale) for this now twenty year old franchise. FYI, I'm only going over the games I actually own (as I can't review games I don't own or have never played), and I'm using the American names for simplicities sake. This is real quick and dirty, so beware of sentence fragments.
The original. Made way back in 1986. Pretty easy up until the Grim Reaper (for those who have played the game, you know what I'm talking about). Still a pretty solid title twenty years later.
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
The easiest Castlevania EVAR. Why I need to "prosess" Dracula's body parts, I'll never know.
The hardest Castlevania EVAR. Was originally in Arcades, and then it recently came out on the PlayStation 2. Too damn hard to be any real fun.
Castlevania: The Adventure
This Gameboy game isn't terrible, but it is realllly slow. It was nice to see some new ideas put into the series, but the slow game play kind of ruined it.
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
Three companions (although Grant was kind of useless), but pretty good graphics and awesome music (for the time). Oh, and don't forget to enter HELP ME at the beginning (those in the know, know exactly what I'm talking about).
Super Castlevania IV
Solid, solid game. Excellent music and long as all hell (stage eight is kind of hard though). And no more falling to your death because you didn't press down on a staircase.
Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge
The second Gameboy Castlevania runs a little smoother and faster. The graphics are pretty good for a black and white game, plus the music is really, really good. A little too easy though.
Demon Castle Dracula X: Rondo of Blood
Multiple paths, two playable characters, solid controls and game play, and an awesome soundtrack. 'Nuff said.
A nice diversion of the Castlevania series. A really solid title, although some of the enemies and bosses I had a few gripes with (like the boss made up of gears).
Castlevania: Dracula X
A remake of the PC Engine Super CD game, but fails miserably. The music and graphics are quite good, but there just doesn't to seem any real enhancements to the game play. Very mediocre.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Castlevania plus Metroid style game play plus hand drawn graphics equals instant win. The PlayStation version is slightly better than the Saturn version as it doesn't have slowdown (!) and lower load times, even though the Saturn version has two new areas and you can play as three characters from the start.
Back to the slow-ass game play that was in the original Castlevania game on the Gameboy. Not that this game is canon anyway, but I remember expecting so much from this title and being pretty disappointed in it.
This is for the PlayStation port of the X68000 version. Pretty good although it is pretty damn difficult.
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
The same formula of Symphony of the Night, but graphically inferior and really dark. I figure that game was the reason the Afterburner was created.
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
This one is a Castleroid/Metroidvania game, although the execution on this game is slightly better. This one though is kind of like a blur, because nothing from this game really stands out.
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
After Symphony of the Night was successful, I guess Konami decided to stick with this new formula. I'm not complaining, and this game is one of the better games in the series although was it me, the music seemed like it was being played through mud. Still a solid game.
Castlevania: Lament of Innocence
Castlevania's third 3D game. This is an okay game; however, it's really hard to keep any interest in it as the game just doesn't "feel" right. It's almost like it's 3D for 3D's sake.
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Just as good as Symphony of the Night. Really. The music and graphics are really good as well. Plus it uses the Nintendo DS touch screen to good use.
Castlevania: Curse of Darkness
Another 3D Castlevania. Meh. This one suffers from just being really repetitive. I mean really. I've gone through five different hallways but they look all the same.
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
Another solid 2D enty, and I do like the team dynamic, even though you will end up using one character over the other 80% of the time. I did not like some of the repetitiveness of some of the level design though.
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
You'll have to wait for this to come out before I give you my thoughts.