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  #1  
Old 04-09-2010, 12:40 PM
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Default Talking Time needs a thread such as this: The Castlevania Thread

Castlevania is probably my favorite series in gaming, and ever since playing the amazing and long wished for Rondo of Blood, I can't get enough of it.

The flaming barrel that broke the barrier to the Abandoned Tunnel though, is this article on the upcoming Castlevania : Lords of Shadow on Joystiq.

The glowing praise of the atmosphere, combat and honest to God level design have filled my heart with hope that this will be the brave new direction that the series needs.

What say you, Talking Timers?
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  #2  
Old 04-09-2010, 12:57 PM
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That praise is positively glowing and the game certainly looks the part, but I'm wary because I've played Scrapland, which is the last game Mercury Steam made. It wasn't great. But it looks like the shot in the arm the series so very badly needs.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:59 PM
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It can't turn out any worse than any of the titles since 2005, can it?*

*Barring the remake of Dracula X.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by alexb View Post
That praise is positively glowing and the game certainly looks the part, but I'm wary because I've played Scrapland, which is the last game Mercury Steam made. It wasn't great. But it looks like the shot in the arm the series so very badly needs.
You forgot Clive Barker's Jericho, another critically-panned game.

But Tomm says to have faith in David Cox, so I'll be keeping my eyes open.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:03 PM
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It can't turn out any worse than any of the titles since 2005, can it?*

*Barring the remake of Dracula X.
By that, you mean Dracula X for the SNES, or Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles for the PSP?
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:05 PM
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I really hope that this can return Castlevania to being a AAA series. It's wallowed in comparative obscurity for too long.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:10 PM
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I'm not fond of God of War so I'm guessing a God of War clone with the Castlevania name attached isn't going to do it for me either.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Zef View Post
By that, you mean Dracula X for the SNES, or Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles for the PSP?
Last time I checked Drac X SNES didn't come out after 2005. :P
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantoon View Post
I really hope that this can return Castlevania to being a AAA series. It's wallowed in comparative obscurity for too long.
I hear you. The portable games have been mostly great, but playing Rondo made me remember that Castlevania used to be a big deal for Konami, and the industry as a whole, and I think this game may have a shot at putting it back in the spotlight.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Not_from_LOTR_Balrog View Post
I'm not fond of God of War so I'm guessing a God of War clone with the Castlevania name attached isn't going to do it for me either.
I want it to get big enough on the consoles to where the portable games get dragged up, production-wise, by the rising tide. If this is the way they've got to go (AND THIS NEEDS TO ACTUALLY BE MARKETED, KONAMI. CAPCOM SOLD STREET FIGHTER IV BECAUSE THEY ACTUALLY TRIED TO SELL IT) in order for that to happen, then so be it.

Castlevania's to the point where I have access to all the games I want to play, and if there's something new and great in the series I view that as a bonus. It's like Final Fantasy in that regard.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:19 PM
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Last time I checked Drac X SNES didn't come out after 2005. :P
It's just that Drac X Chronicles is suffering massive backlash these days and I don't know why. Personally, I loved it, and many reviews (such as Jeremy's) were pretty excited about it when it first came out. But popular opinion today seems to be that it's a terrible game and utter garbage next to Rondo Of Blood.

But eh, no accounting for taste. I bought and enjoyed the PSP remake, so I'm skipping the VC release of Rondo until an angry herd of bison stomps my UMD into fine dust.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:21 PM
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I too have some good faith in Lords of Shadow. The environments look good, and I'm especially hoping the orchestrated score lives up to the promises. The only thing I've seen from the game that I've outright disliked is some orc-like enemy designs. Not very Castlevania-ish, but my worry is that they will be the go-to fodder enemy instead of flea men and skeletons. Minor stuff though, and something I hope the game's overall quality will help me forget.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:22 PM
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It's just that Drac X Chronicles is suffering massive backlash these days and I don't know why. Personally, I loved it, and many reviews (such as Jeremy's) were pretty excited about it when it first came out. But popular opinion today seems to be that it's a terrible game and utter garbage next to Rondo Of Blood.

But eh, no accounting for taste. I bought and enjoyed the PSP remake, so I'm skipping the VC release of Rondo until an angry herd of bison stomps my UMD into fine dust.
Really? I mean, it certainly doesn't play as well as the actual Rondo of Blood, but it's a pretty good remake. What did people dislike? Was it the stretched proportions? I thought the costume designs for Richter and Maria were actually pretty good, which is another common sticking point. The remixes were also great and if you didn't like them you could substitute in the old music or even something from SotN. I really can't see where the problems come in.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:54 PM
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Eugh. I came across the new material on Lords of Shadow, and couldn't help thinking that it doesn't seem anything like what I'd want, and I have no trust the developers can actually pull off a compelling game. I have a feeling it will be another Silent Hill: Homecoming, this time with Castlevania. Underneath the Joystiq hype, it just seems so uninspired. I hope to be proven wrong, but have seen nothing pointing me to that direction yet.
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  #15  
Old 04-09-2010, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by alexb View Post
Really? I mean, it certainly doesn't play as well as the actual Rondo of Blood, but it's a pretty good remake. What did people dislike? Was it the stretched proportions? I thought the costume designs for Richter and Maria were actually pretty good, which is another common sticking point. The remixes were also great and if you didn't like them you could substitute in the old music or even something from SotN. I really can't see where the problems come in.
Most of the complaints revolved around the graphics being crap. Which I never really agreed with, because they're decent enough for a PSP game, and the backgrounds add a lot of depth to some areas that were previously a bit dull. The only real problems I had with it came from playing the PCE game so much that the changes in controls (Richter's backflip) threw me for a loop, but other than the slight imprecision inherent in 2.5D, I thought it was pretty damn good.

But then there are people like my roommate who found the remake to be extremely difficult but the original version well balanced. I'm not sure what causes that, because again, other than the control changes and the new-ish level, difficulty-wise, they're about 90% identical. Maybe there's just something about the expanded view that makes it seem harder than it really is? I don't know.
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  #16  
Old 04-09-2010, 05:39 PM
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I thought that the only thing people got really angry about was the emulated version of Rondo? The PSP version is actually quite good, I played it about 6 months ago and enjoyed it thoroughly. It looked good (except for the zooming in on the 3D models during cutscenes) and the controls were excellent, making it my favorite pre-Symphony Castlevania by far.
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  #17  
Old 04-09-2010, 05:42 PM
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1up has a preview of the game, and an interview with David Cox.

I wonder when this game will take place in the overall timeline, if at all.

Iga's kind of made a mess of it all.
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by R.R. Bigman View Post
1up has a preview of the game, and an interview with David Cox.

I wonder when this game will take place in the overall timeline, if at all.

Iga's kind of made a mess of it all.
The timeline, you mean?
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  #19  
Old 04-09-2010, 08:43 PM
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They've already jumped the shark in terms of timeline. At this point, any game series with more than three games in it - e.g. Metroid, Castlevania, Mega Man, The Legend of Zelda - and I just ignore the idea of timeline altogether.
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  #20  
Old 04-09-2010, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by SilentSnake View Post
But Tomm says to have faith in David Cox, so I'll be keeping my eyes open.
He's finally said this publicly so now I can tell you guys:

Lords of Shadow was always meant to be a Castlevania game. This isn't just something they slapped a brand name on to make it actually sell. 3 years ago, Dave Cox was visiting and he excitedly asked if I wanted to see the Castlevania game he was working on. He loves the 4 classic vanias (4 is his favorite game of all time) and he's really wanted to get back to the dark, gothic feel of those original NES games. He doesn't want cartoon skeletons, he wants dark, walking, reanimated bones (if the difference makes sense).

I've periodically gotten to see tiny snippets of the game, and I'm really excited to finally play it at E3. I'm fairly certain it's going to be epic.

I got to chat with Dave last night at Gamer's Night and the things he's told me only make me more confident in the new game. We're pretty much on the same page.

What I can say that elements people are pegging as copies of other games ("Running like Nathan Drake" etc) have been in the game for longer than said games have been released. This isn't "game with elements people seem to enjoy" - it's a classic fan's vision of the perfect 3D Castlevania. Cox wanted to do this game even more than I wanted Contra 4 or Rocket Knight (okay, MAYBE more)... so he's the best shot we have at the series becoming a big deal again (like others in this thread have said)

Also as Dave's said in various interviews - this isn't a sequel or prequel to any of the games. It's a re-establishing of the concept.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:24 PM
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How bad is Judgment? It's not like I use my Wii for anything as it is.
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  #22  
Old 04-09-2010, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by han_shot_first View Post
They've already jumped the shark in terms of timeline. At this point, any game series with more than three games in it - e.g. Metroid, Castlevania, Mega Man, The Legend of Zelda - and I just ignore the idea of timeline altogether.
This is true. The CV canon was clearly a mess by the time Iga had taken over as the producer for the series, but opting to consider some games canon and others side stories did more to complicate things than anything.

Let's face it, to almost anyone outside of this board, the Castlevania "story" is never much more complicated than "Dracula is back. Please go kill him again."

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Originally Posted by Psyael View Post
How bad is Judgment? It's not like I use my Wii for anything as it is.
The character designs range from acceptable variations to nowhere-near-close-to-the-original-characters. They also are arguably the biggest sticking point for most fans of the series.

The actual gameplay is a really simple non-standard fighting game. Basically, everyone has the same (very basic) move set, but the move sets are different per character (i.e. different basic melee attack and ground combos, and different specials when multiple buttons are pressed simultaneously, different jumping attacks, etc). It has 1 player modes you can use to unlock more characters and such, but the long tem appeal is highly questionable.

I didn't like it, and frankly there's so many other better fighting games, and better non-traditional fighting games--ones that people actually play. I can't really think of a single reason to honestly recommend it, especially to CV fans who will likely wretch at the character designs anyway.

If you're desperate to do something with your Wii, you might enjoy screwing around with the 1p modes and if you're lucky enough to find people who want to play it, knock yourself out. However, I'd suggest renting; you'll likely be bored of it before it's even due back.

Last edited by Andrew; 04-09-2010 at 10:34 PM.
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  #23  
Old 04-09-2010, 10:52 PM
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So, it's a re-establishing?
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:02 PM
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I have pages and pages and pages of Castlevania writing that I've been sitting on and waiting to publish for the debut of my blog. It started as a modest critique on the series as a whole and snowballed into something entirely different--something with a message. A retrospective if you will, but primarily from the stand-point of level design featuring a comprehensive break-down of what they did right and what the hell went wrong.

Progress on that has been kind of halted right now. Thanks to not having a working PC and a little bit of self-induced paralysis. Is there anything TT would like to see me cover in detail, specifically?
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Old 04-10-2010, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentSnake View Post
You forgot Clive Barker's Jericho, another critically-panned game.

But Tomm says to have faith in David Cox, so I'll be keeping my eyes open.
"Have faith in Cox and they will blow your mind."

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Originally Posted by Psyael View Post
How bad is Judgment? It's not like I use my Wii for anything as it is.
You mean "Death Note Zero"?

Anyway, looking forward to Lords of Shadow, and enjoying that Gabriel seems to be dressed the way Simon was in Simon's Quest, of which I am perhaps the only fan that exists.
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  #26  
Old 04-10-2010, 01:26 AM
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I like that LoS is a reboot, because seriously the canonical castlevania timeline is starting to be pretty crowded. I mean, games like Portrait of Ruin and Order of Ecclesia are already starting to feel like "hey, uh, so by the way, twelve years after Django Belmont defeated Dracula, the evil vampire lord was resurrected by an evil cult, again, only to be defeted by heroes that were completely forgotten by history"
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:36 AM
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Currently in Rondo of Blood, Richter's repeatedly getting his ass handed to him in Stage 6 by a boss gauntlet of Shaftified versions of Castlevania 1 bosses. That dirty mother...SHUT 'YO MOUTH!

Even though it's taking a bit to accept that so many of these guys I've fought in the Metroidvanias* debuted here, it's awesome to play this game and take on these guys in their original context. Loving the attention to detail RoB has for a TG-16 game, loving the soundtrack, and I even love the ridiculous blood and gore for Ol' Skeletor Death.

Rondo of Blood hits just the right nostalgia buttons that I wanna pick up the first two Castlevanias when I get a points card again....and look into getting one of those ways to replay SotN.

*Yeah, I know Symphony of the Night stole 'em before the DS games (and repainted Slogra and Gaibon), but it was less shameful considering it's a direct sequel and added much more than it took.
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:45 AM
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I haven't read the linked articles yet; I'm really hoping Lord of Shadow turns out to be a great game, but I'm trying not to think about it too much before it comes out, because fretting over it won't do any good. Tomm's words are definitely encouraging, though.

Of course, my views on Castlevania are evidently pretty weird because I somehow love Ecclesia even though I'm normally not a fan of obtuse difficulty. But I've already written plenty about that.
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  #29  
Old 04-16-2010, 05:27 PM
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I'm interested in this. It sounds like in addition to the big budget console game, we may also get a new Metroidvania style game as well.
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Old 04-16-2010, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.R. Bigman View Post
I'm interested in this. It sounds like in addition to the big budget console game, we may also get a new Metroidvania style game as well.
Looks like a Harmony of Dissonance sequel, maybe.
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