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  #31  
Old 04-16-2010, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by SilentSnake View Post
Looks like a Harmony of Dissonance sequel, maybe.
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  #32  
Old 04-16-2010, 06:32 PM
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There's been a lot of good games since Harmony of Dissonance. There's no reason think the game would be a step backwards even if it was a sequel.
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  #33  
Old 04-16-2010, 06:36 PM
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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.
Maybe it'll be Harmony of Dissonance with a soundtrack and map that don't totally suck.
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  #34  
Old 04-17-2010, 01:05 AM
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Harmony of Dissonance always had a weird plot setting besides everything else being a little cruddy. I've always thought it was a step backwards from Circle of the Moon, Iga's authorial delusions be damned.

In a way, "Harmony of Despair" sounds like a step back as well. The Metroidvania games have moved on and yes, have become kind of stale since then. Why a throwback to that ancient GBA game, except to explain the incongruity of the setting? And do we need another DS iteration, if it's that?

There is a chance it might be that mysterious Igarashi Castlevania game that was announced and then silenced away, but reworked for a different release than originally planned.
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  #35  
Old 04-17-2010, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Sami View Post
Harmony of Dissonance always had a weird plot setting besides everything else being a little cruddy. I've always thought it was a step backwards from Circle of the Moon, Iga's authorial delusions be damned.

In a way, "Harmony of Despair" sounds like a step back as well. The Metroidvania games have moved on and yes, have become kind of stale since then. Why a throwback to that ancient GBA game, except to explain the incongruity of the setting? And do we need another DS iteration, if it's that?

There is a chance it might be that mysterious Igarashi Castlevania game that was announced and then silenced away, but reworked for a different release than originally planned.
Harmony of Dissonance did have accessibility on its side, even though the music quality was piss, most of the whip upgrades sucked, the castle designs were constricted and derivative, barely any of the item drops were worth a crap, and the bosses were mostly piss-easy and only somewhat interesting when they weren't giant versions of normal foes. If there's one thing Juste has over Nathan, it's that he doesn't have to double tap to move at a reasonable speed.

I probably would like Circle of the Moon more if Nate had more mobility and its card system wasn't such a GameFAQs-reading grind. I'd expect if Harmony of Despair does end up being a Harmony of Dissonance sequel or remake or whatnot, that it will have learned from its predecessor's follies.
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  #36  
Old 04-17-2010, 07:32 AM
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Wasnt harmony of dissonance called something else in japan?
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  #37  
Old 04-17-2010, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by chud_666 View Post
Wasnt harmony of dissonance called something else in japan?
Yes, it was. Over there it translates to Castlevania: Concerto of the Midnight Sun. Speaking of which, it was the start of Konami's Japanese division trying to spread the the Castlevania name label used for the series in western territories over in Japan, though that only lasted for three games before they went back to the Akumajou Dracula label.
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  #38  
Old 04-17-2010, 07:53 AM
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I've never played a Castlevania game to completion, but would really, really like to. What would you guys say is the best place to start? Something that's curently available on Virtual Console would be preferable, but I have access to a NES and a SNES, too.
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  #39  
Old 04-17-2010, 08:08 AM
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I've never played a Castlevania game to completion, but would really, really like to. What would you guys say is the best place to start? Something that's curently available on Virtual Console would be preferable, but I have access to a NES and a SNES, too.
Wii Shop stuff, eh? If you want a Castlevania game that's easily accessible, Rondo of Blood's a good start. It's got some bite to it, but its mechanics are more polished than the games before it. Other good starting points are Super Castlevania IV (if you have a Classic or Cube controller) and WiiWare's Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth, though the latter will feel kinda disappointing once you've got some other Castlevanias under your belt.
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  #40  
Old 04-17-2010, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Metal Man Master View Post
Wii Shop stuff, eh? If you want a Castlevania game that's easily accessible, Rondo of Blood's a good start. It's got some bite to it, but its mechanics are more polished than the games before it. Other good starting points are Super Castlevania IV (if you have a Classic or Cube controller) and WiiWare's Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth, though the latter will feel kinda disappointing once you've got some other Castlevanias under your belt.
Thanks! I'll be downloading that later, then. Is this the one that everyone wanted to come out, but didn't for ages, and then there was a crappy PSP port, and then it finally came out on VC recently? My Castlevania knowledge is shameful.
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  #41  
Old 04-17-2010, 08:22 AM
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Thanks! I'll be downloading that later, then. Is this the one that everyone wanted to come out, but didn't for ages, and then there was a crappy PSP port, and then it finally came out on VC recently? My Castlevania knowledge is shameful.
Yep, that's the one.
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  #42  
Old 04-17-2010, 08:36 AM
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If you go with Rondo, play as Maria. That's essentially the game's easy mode, and is loads of fun and very accessible to a newcomer. I would give SCIV a slight edge over Rondo on the strength of the music and the flicky-whip, though.
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  #43  
Old 04-17-2010, 09:01 AM
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Like Grant said, Super Castlevania IV and Rondo of Blood are excellent games to start with.

A word of warning: My introduction to the series was IV since my first console generation was the Super NES era, and last year I tried out Castlevania III for the first time and got my butt kicked. The NES games are brutal.
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  #44  
Old 04-17-2010, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by R.R. Bigman View Post
Like Grant said, Super Castlevania IV and Rondo of Blood are excellent games to start with.

A word of warning: My introduction to the series was IV since my first console generation was the Super NES era, and last year I tried out Castlevania III for the first time and got my butt kicked. The NES games are brutal.
Simon's Quest is the only one I ever beat. CVI and CVIII are incredibly hard, even if you were an NES kid(I was).
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  #45  
Old 04-17-2010, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Metal Man Master View Post
If there's one thing Juste has over Nathan, it's that he doesn't have to double tap to move at a reasonable speed.

I probably would like Circle of the Moon more if Nate had more mobility and its card system wasn't such a GameFAQs-reading grind.
You would rather have the ridiculous shoulder button taps for dashes and a magic system that's almost as obtuse save for being less versatile? Besides, when you get to the end of the game, Nathan practically flies.
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  #46  
Old 04-17-2010, 09:49 AM
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Simon's Quest is the only one I ever beat. CVI and CVIII are incredibly hard, even if you were an NES kid(I was).
As brutal as 1 and 3 are, I'm surprised you were able to beat 2. It's hard and obtuse.
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  #47  
Old 04-17-2010, 09:59 AM
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As brutal as 1 and 3 are, I'm surprised you were able to beat 2. It's hard and obtuse.
I'll grant the latter, although I had Nintendo Power and a pack of friends playing it at the same time so it was no big deal, but I never found it hard. 3 just broke me- I don't even think I could get past the clock tower back in the day. I can make it about halfway through CVIII these days, though.
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  #48  
Old 04-17-2010, 10:48 AM
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As brutal as 1 and 3 are, I'm surprised you were able to beat 2. It's hard and obtuse.
As a kid I was armed with my NES Atlas and beat 2 several times, trying to get all the endings. I never made it past stage 4 of Castlevania, and the Clock Tower was as far as I got in 3. As an adult I came back in 2008 and beat both of them - CIII is an incredibly difficult game, up there with SMB2 (Lost Levels) in terms of hatred towards the player. I have much fonder memories of Super Castlevania IV, although I had to come back as a teenager to beat that one as well.
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  #49  
Old 04-17-2010, 11:24 AM
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Rondo of Blood: downloaded! I just beat the first stage, and wow guys, I can't believe what I've been missing. The Prologue section with the horse and carriage in the pouring rain was super atmospheric.
I was suprised by how slow and methodical character movement is, but I don't mind it in the slightist. Oh, and I loved the dragon battle at the end of the stage -- it was the perfect sort of boss for me: a relativley slow moving fight, you have to learn it's patterns and strike back. This one wasn't too hard, but I can definatley imagine the difficulty ramping up pretty soon.

Also, the graphics are brilliant. There's so much going on in that one level -- skeletons crashing through windows, flames roaring in the background, huge stone monsters -- and the smaller things, like how your feet connect with every step when going up or down stairs. I can't wait to play more!

And, uh... nice German voice acting.
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  #50  
Old 04-17-2010, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Odin View Post
As a kid I was armed with my NES Atlas and beat 2 several times, trying to get all the endings. I never made it past stage 4 of Castlevania, and the Clock Tower was as far as I got in 3. As an adult I came back in 2008 and beat both of them - CIII is an incredibly difficult game, up there with SMB2 (Lost Levels) in terms of hatred towards the player. I have much fonder memories of Super Castlevania IV, although I had to come back as a teenager to beat that one as well.
I keep hoping they'll eventually put Akumajo Densetsu (the Japanese version of CVIII) on VC. The music is the best you'll ever hear on an NES, and the difficulty is less overtly brutal. Damage works more like CV4, and the game allows you to continue right at Dracula's chamber.
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  #51  
Old 04-17-2010, 11:55 AM
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You would rather have the ridiculous shoulder button taps for dashes and a magic system that's almost as obtuse save for being less versatile? Besides, when you get to the end of the game, Nathan practically flies.
Sorry, have to emphasize that particular part. Nate does become more versatile with his vertical movement near the end, but his rigormortis when not double-tapping cripples him greatly. Why do you think the Dragon Zombies are such a pain in the ass? Juste moves at a brisk pace most of the time, even though not quite as fast as that double-tap dashing.

As for his "ridiculous shoulder button tap dashes," they're designed more for quickly dodging an enemy's attack and then zooming back in to whip its head off its shoulders. The bosses may mostly be wimpy little babies you can run circles around, but regular foes like lizard men can tear you apart if you don't master that mechanic.

As for magic, I loved Circle of the Moon's DSS card system*, and I do prefer its elements more, like the combos for special whips and weapons. However, the cards being item drops from enemies and CotM having a complete lack of a bestiary to know who drops what crippled its potential quite a lot, not to mention some card combos being harder to figure out than others. Good luck finding out what the elemental stat boosters and specials that require button combinations do without a FAQ!

Harmony of Dissonance's spells offer less versatility and may be a bit hard to remember which does what, but doing them is as simple as Item + Book + Up & B = Magic. Speaking of the books, they're laying about the two castles instead of being carried by God-knows-what. If you're a map completionist, you'll find 'em long before the game's over if you explore a bit.

There's also a couple of secret tricks not mentioned in-game: If you hold up and press the L or R button, you can scroll through your spell books. That's easy enough to find by accident, but you can also hold Down and press the L and R buttons together to deactivate or reactivate your current spellbook if you wanna switch to your sub-weapon instead of magic. Saves a great deal of menu-hopping.
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  #52  
Old 04-18-2010, 04:35 AM
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What are the GBA and DS Castlevania games like? Are they worth playing? Which ones?

Enlighten me!
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  #53  
Old 04-18-2010, 04:54 AM
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What are the GBA and DS Castlevania games like? Are they worth playing? Which ones?

Enlighten me!
They are like Symphony of the Night: you traipse along long corridors, hack monsters, find new abilities which give you access to new areas, collect exp and equipment, use save rooms and occasionally fight a boss, usually guarding one of those new abilities / items that you need to proceed elsewhere.

On the GBA:
Circle of the Moon: challenging. Do not try playing on an original GBA, must have lit screen. Still well worth the time.
Harmony of Dissonance: outdated and ugly, but not outright bad.
Aria of Sorrow: sublime level design, gameplay and style rivaling Symphony of the Night.

On the DS:
Dawn of Sorrow: Aria redux. Less squished graphics than Aria thanks to DS resolution, slightly less inspired as a game, still fantastic.
Potrait of Ruin: worked some of the stage design back in. Some stages good, some not worth a mention. Okay to play when you want more of the same and have already gone through Circle, Aria and Dawn. Besides...
Order of Ecclesia: A fusion of stage design and the SotN style. Slightly repetitive and overlong. Most of the stages aren't as good as Ruin's best ones, but better than Ruin's dullest ones. Enjoyable, but not the best the series has to offer.
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  #54  
Old 04-18-2010, 05:08 AM
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Circle has a horrendously frustrating system where random drops determine most of your cool abilities. But there's a caster mode focused on abilities that gives you them all up-front, and shooter mode that focuses on sub weapons. Worth a play-through or two.

Aria would have a similar problem, but there's so many cool things to collect you're bound to luck into a few and it makes it very very fun. The basic weapons are much better, too, which takes a lot of that sting out.

Order is a pretty big attempt to mix things up, and maintains some random elements but also combines fixed abilities and they use the same system this time (rather than equipment vs. souls/cards in the others). My biggest issue is the unnecessary fetch quests to access the second half of the game and a poorly setup glyph quick-swap button combo (which is essential, because things like piercing/slashing/bludgeoning resistance are common).

EDIT: Harmony of Dissonance isn't, objectively, the worst castelvania game of all time by any means. But given how much I liked circle (it was pretty impressive for it's day, remember SotN and CV2 were the only metroidvanias in the series at that point) and how fantastic Aria ended up being I'm going on record calling it the worst game in the series, anyway.
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  #55  
Old 04-18-2010, 03:33 PM
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II on the NES has a special place in my heart, as it's the one I played the most. The music is also completely fucking awesome. I mean that. Someone needs to do a badass metal cover of that stuff. I appreciate that the Minibosses tried, but no, the music deserves better than that.

Anyway, I know very little about the series, except that I enjoy 2 (maybe for the music more than anything) and Symphony of the Night is my favorite game ever. Never really played any of the others.

Seems like everyone agrees IV on the SNES and Rondo are both great though?

And here is my real question: I have a GBA that I pretty much bought and never used. Given how much I am in love with SotN, is it worth trying to get my hands on any of the three GBA games? Remember, I love SotN to death. I don't want something that pales in comparison.
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  #56  
Old 04-18-2010, 03:38 PM
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And here is my real question: I have a GBA that I pretty much bought and never used. Given how much I am in love with SotN, is it worth trying to get my hands on any of the three GBA games?
Aria of Sorrow. Absolutely the best of the GBA set, and less grindy than its immediate successor on the DS. It's still my favorite of the handheld CVs on any platform.
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  #57  
Old 04-18-2010, 03:42 PM
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I'm gonna get it then. I may skip Circle and Harmony. I'm not an avid Castlevania fan, I just love the fucking fuck out of Symphony. But since they'll never make another game like Symphony again, I might as well get Aria.
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  #58  
Old 04-18-2010, 03:53 PM
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Portrait of Ruin is the worst Castlevania game, and one of the worst videogames I have ever played.
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  #59  
Old 04-18-2010, 03:57 PM
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Portrait of Ruin is the worst Castlevania game, and one of the worst videogames I have ever played.
Man, I thought you were cool.
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  #60  
Old 04-18-2010, 04:20 PM
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  • Empty rectangular rooms filled to the brim with boring monsters that don't serve any challenge. Practically every enemy in that game has the same AI behavior, and there are maybe only a total of five enemy types in the entire game. And yet, the monster encyclopedia contains hundreds of monsters. There is an emphasis on the quantity of assets rather than the quality of how those assets function.
  • Abilities are underutilized and undercooked. How many times did you have to use the partner jump ability? How long was it after you got that you were given the double jump? How many times did was the partner mechanic utilized in interesting ways?
  • Combat is extremely loose and the game has an absurd amount of unnecessary filler. Dozens upon dozens of weapons and items that only serve to bolster artificial statistics and are quickly replaced with new ones you find laying on the ground, along with a plethora of sub-weapons and magical attacks. Don't you dare tell me that all those other abilities and weapons and sub-weapons are "options" because that's fucking lazy design. Every cog needs to serve a purpose--and Portrait of Ruin is filled to the brim with options that do absolutely nothing to change the dynamic of gameplay. It's absolutely littered with fluff. It's the Kingdom Hearts of Castlevania.
  • Everything is old, is new again. You know that dungeon you went through a while ago? Well, we're gonna have you go through it again but with some enemies of a different color palette and the rooms with be rearranged a little bit--but don't worry--you're still be going through those same empty corridors and empty large rectangles you love so much.
  • The game can't even fucking spell Charlotte or Richter's name properly in the Status Screen.

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin is an abortion. It isn't a Castlevania game, nor is it isn't even Metroidvania game. It's a watered-down jRPG in the framework of a Castlevania game, and a very poorly executed on at that. Everything about its design is lazy, shallow, and offensive.
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