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You know that guy that said, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"? More people should listen to him.

Perhaps stagnation isn't something to be sought after. Look what it did to the likes of Tomb Raider, Madden, Street Fighter II and even the Castlevania series to a lesser degree.

There's having a good thing, and then there's beating it into the ground. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" leads to the latter faster than you think.

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Perhaps stagnation isn't something to be sought after. Look what it did to the likes of Tomb Raider, Madden, Street Fighter II and even the Castlevania series to a lesser degree.

hasn't it been attempts to innovate that have damaged this franchise the most? I mean, look at all the pathetic 3d attempts they've made (maybe 1 or 2 of which have been so much as passable).

If you have a good formula, stick to it and improve on its shortcomings. Attempts to make OMG AWESOME NEW FEATURES IN EVERY NEW TITLE is exactly what destroyed the Sonic franchise.

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The high point of Castlevania remains one of two games: either Rondo or Symphony. No other game before or after comes close to the pinnacle, and choosing between the two is largely a matter of which style of game you prefer.

The six games post-Symphony are all good, but it's definitely feeling like a formula at this point. Let's hope that the XBLA game puts a twist on things...

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I have a hard time seeing post SOTN as "formulaic" especially when the GBA/DS games are considered. They used the idea of SOTN but went in radical directions. If you ignore the animeish looks, the characters are ultimately different, with new ways to use weapons, or use magic.

Sonic, on the other hand, was touting new features, but the core remained the same, and since that core gameplay was hardly compatible with 3D platforming, it failed badly.

I think some people fail to see the inherent differences between a series of games evolving on the same basic ideal and something becoming a routine. A good example is the Mario games, where in the main series there are only 2 games that were rather close to the previous one in terms of game play: The Lost Levels and Galaxy 2.

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People have been clamoring for change to the Pokemon games, moreso recently, and apparently The Pokemon Company are trying new things with the Gen 5 games, so we'll see if what changes they've made to their exemplarily 'formulaic'(for better, I think, formulaic than worse) series any more or less stellar and addictive than it has been.

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Bleck always gives me some minor chaff for talk about the story getting a change, so I expect him to do it to you now.

Any minute now...

3V3 Battles is the pits.

Yeah, because you've played already, ahead of the rest of the world, right? Right? Personal experience with a game mechanic that hasn't been released in the series yet?

Also, I'm pretty sure lots of other RPGs have had 3-member team battles. Like, you know, Final Fantasy.

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Attempts to make OMG AWESOME NEW FEATURES IN EVERY NEW TITLE is exactly what destroyed the Sonic franchise.

It doesn't have to be OMG AWESOME NEW FEATURES that utterly change the game. But when you consider how stagnant the likes of MegaMan, King of Fighters, many sports franchises and quite a few other game series grew when virtually nothing significant was done from one game to the next and the next, it does need to advance.

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It doesn't have to be OMG AWESOME NEW FEATURES that utterly change the game. But when you consider how stagnant the likes of MegaMan, King of Fighters, many sports franchises and quite a few other game series grew when virtually nothing significant was done from one game to the next and the next, it does need to advance.

Stagnation is the name of the game with sports titles - I mean, the sport doesn't change, so what can you expect? Save for those ridiculously quirky ones, I tend to ditch sports games like the plague.

Mega Man has the same problem Sonic does - it's the spam conundrum. Let's not kid ourselves: every Zelda and Halo game (using both to avoid the 'lulz u r fanboy' accusation) since their 3D debut has been the same. Either you are green-tunicked dude on quest for sword or generic space marine in space with more different laser weapons. The difference is, these games are released rarely. In six years (from 2001), Halo has had 3 games (Halo, and Haloes 2, 3), and LoZ 2 (WW and Twilight Princess). How many Mega Mans have been released in that time?...Too lazy to count, but a lot more than 2.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Mega_Man_games

There. Count if you want.

Likewise, Sonic got burned by two bum games post Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (DX and Sonic Heroes) and then the spam on this gen.

The moral is this: you can throw me the same game with a few upgrades if you don't do it very often, and if the game is still solid inside. Once you start spamming, you reduce the series to a paltry remnant of what it was.

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They are trying new things with gameplay gimmicks, not story.

There in lies the problem, at least for me.

Any minute now...

story doesn't matter it's pokemon blah blah deal w/ it

Attempts to make OMG AWESOME NEW FEATURES IN EVERY NEW TITLE is exactly what destroyed the Sonic franchise.

actually what destroyed the sonic franchise is the constant attempts to make the new games similar to the original games to appease the legion of fans that are incapable of processing the idea that the original games aren't really that great to begin with

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actually what destroyed the sonic franchise is the constant attempts to make the new games similar to the original games to appease the legion of fans that are incapable of processing the idea that the original games aren't really that great to begin with

Wrong. The Dimps-developed sidescrolling 2D games on the GBA and DS have been the one redeeming factor of the Sonic franchise ever since Sonic Team has been taking shits on console-based Sonic releases. They play most like the original games and are great fun.

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I have a hard time seeing post SOTN as "formulaic" especially when the GBA/DS games are considered. They used the idea of SOTN but went in radical directions. If you ignore the animeish looks, the characters are ultimately different, with new ways to use weapons, or use magic.

As someone who has played just about all the GBA and DS Castlevania games, I have to disagree. They're all pretty similar. The gameplay approach is the same; you explore a massive castle (maybe with sub-castles or paintings or rooms or whatever), fight bosses, gain XP, level up and find weapons/moves/powers. They're all minor variations on SotN. The specifics of the magic or ability system are not that important since the gameplay itself is very similar. You're still platforming, you're still exploring with the same kind of map structure, you're still able to level up and get stats/items to boost your effectiveness and heal you in battle, and so on and so forth.

That's not to say that I didn't really enjoy Aria of Sorrow, Harmony of Dissonance, Circle of the Moon and Portrait of Ruin (all of which I own.) But the formula is definitely getting stale. I don't see "radical directions" at all. ALL the core gameplay concepts are virtually untouched. There's minimal innovation at best.

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As someone who has played just about all the GBA and DS Castlevania games, I have to disagree. They're all pretty similar. The gameplay approach is the same; you explore a massive castle (maybe with sub-castles or paintings or rooms or whatever), fight bosses, gain XP, level up and find weapons/moves/powers. They're all minor variations on SotN. The specifics of the magic or ability system are not that important since the gameplay itself is very similar. You're still platforming, you're still exploring with the same kind of map structure, you're still able to level up and get stats/items to boost your effectiveness and heal you in battle, and so on and so forth.

That's not to say that I didn't really enjoy Aria of Sorrow, Harmony of Dissonance, Circle of the Moon and Portrait of Ruin (all of which I own.) But the formula is definitely getting stale. I don't see "radical directions" at all. ALL the core gameplay concepts are virtually untouched. There's minimal innovation at best.

Also let's not forget outside of bosses, most enemy sprites were just basically carbon copies of their SoTN self (Circle of the Moon being one of the few exceptions). Actually would be Rondo of Blood since SoTN used sprites from it as well lol

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Stagnation is the name of the game with sports titles - I mean, the sport doesn't change, so what can you expect? Save for those ridiculously quirky ones, I tend to ditch sports games like the plague.

Mega Man has the same problem Sonic does - it's the spam conundrum. Let's not kid ourselves: every Zelda and Halo game (using both to avoid the 'lulz u r fanboy' accusation) since their 3D debut has been the same. Either you are green-tunicked dude on quest for sword or generic space marine in space with more different laser weapons. The difference is, these games are released rarely. In six years (from 2001), Halo has had 3 games (Halo, and Haloes 2, 3), and LoZ 2 (WW and Twilight Princess). How many Mega Mans have been released in that time?...Too lazy to count, but a lot more than 2.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Mega_Man_games

There. Count if you want.

Likewise, Sonic got burned by two bum games post Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (DX and Sonic Heroes) and then the spam on this gen.

The moral is this: you can throw me the same game with a few upgrades if you don't do it very often, and if the game is still solid inside. Once you start spamming, you reduce the series to a paltry remnant of what it was.

Actually, the frequency isn't in play IMO. It doesn't matter if four games come out over 15 years or five years. If they don't really change much, it's still stagnation and should be called on it. On the flip side, you could have a game series get a new release for four years in a row, and each game could be worth owning because of good changes, adjustments and additions. This admittedly doesn't happen very often, but...

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Actually, the frequency isn't in play IMO. It doesn't matter if four games come out over 15 years or five years. If they don't really change much, it's still stagnation and should be called on it. On the flip side, you could have a game series get a new release for four years in a row, and each game could be worth owning because of good changes, adjustments and additions. This admittedly doesn't happen very often, but...

Using what you said as a springboard, I think that the frequency of release is in play precisely because of what you said. I bolded it, and I venture that the changes/additions/adjustments come from age and candid examination of the series. It's far harder to have fresh ideas for moving the series along when you have 3 or 4 games coming out in one year for that series. Likewise, when ideas have years to be tested and considered, they tend to end up well - for that, I would cite the evolution of the Legend of Zelda series. They all follow a similar premise, but each one is still a fantastic game. I venture that this is because Nintendo had the time between releases to consider where the series needs to go. And even though Nintendo didn't really change course on any of the Zelda games, each one feels fresh and awesome.

I guess it partly depends on your definition of stagnant, too.

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Using what you said as a springboard, I think that the frequency of release is in play precisely because of what you said. I bolded it, and I venture that the changes/additions/adjustments come from age and candid examination of the series. It's far harder to have fresh ideas for moving the series along when you have 3 or 4 games coming out in one year for that series. Likewise, when ideas have years to be tested and considered, they tend to end up well - for that, I would cite the evolution of the Legend of Zelda series. They all follow a similar premise, but each one is still a fantastic game. I venture that this is because Nintendo had the time between releases to consider where the series needs to go. And even though Nintendo didn't really change course on any of the Zelda games, each one feels fresh and awesome.

I guess it partly depends on your definition of stagnant, too.

On the other hand, the likes of Streets of Rage and the NES Castlevania's came out rapidfire, yet each was noticeably different and/or improved over the previous entry. They were all good games with noticeable additions and tweaks. It goes to show it's not a matter of time, but of ideas and implementing them well. Some companies/people need a lot of time to do this, others don't. Just because a lot of time has passed doesn't mean what comes of it will be an improvement over earlier entries, or even be of matching quality.

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Using what you said as a springboard, I think that the frequency of release is in play precisely because of what you said. I bolded it, and I venture that the changes/additions/adjustments come from age and candid examination of the series. It's far harder to have fresh ideas for moving the series along when you have 3 or 4 games coming out in one year for that series. Likewise, when ideas have years to be tested and considered, they tend to end up well - for that, I would cite the evolution of the Legend of Zelda series. They all follow a similar premise, but each one is still a fantastic game. I venture that this is because Nintendo had the time between releases to consider where the series needs to go. And even though Nintendo didn't really change course on any of the Zelda games, each one feels fresh and awesome.

I guess it partly depends on your definition of stagnant, too.

I think Zelda has been stagnant since Windwaker. The timed gameplay mechanic of Majora's Mask was just enough to differentiate it from Ocarina of Time, but everything since then has felt like Ocarina of Time Deluxe.

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As someone who has played just about all the GBA and DS Castlevania games, I have to disagree. They're all pretty similar. The gameplay approach is the same; you explore a massive castle (maybe with sub-castles or paintings or rooms or whatever), fight bosses, gain XP, level up and find weapons/moves/powers. They're all minor variations on SotN. The specifics of the magic or ability system are not that important since the gameplay itself is very similar. You're still platforming, you're still exploring with the same kind of map structure, you're still able to level up and get stats/items to boost your effectiveness and heal you in battle, and so on and so forth.

That's not to say that I didn't really enjoy Aria of Sorrow, Harmony of Dissonance, Circle of the Moon and Portrait of Ruin (all of which I own.) But the formula is definitely getting stale. I don't see "radical directions" at all. ALL the core gameplay concepts are virtually untouched. There's minimal innovation at best.

If you don't want to play a platforming game in Dracula's castle, then you don't play Castlevania.

It seems that what some people want is a totally new experience that stays in touch with its roots. A franchise is built upon core concepts. Castlevania's core is: Platformin, and Kicking Dracula's stone cold ass. It's that simple.

From the first one to SOTN to Portrait, or order of Ecclesia, it's been about killing a dude that doesn't really die. The innovation is in other aspects of the game. Look at the differences between SOTN and Aria of Sorrow. AOS has a very complex magic system where every monster is a spell, you didn't have that in SOTN. Not only are there a variety of spells, and no to play-through are going to be the same, but in the sequel they upped the ante by adding levels to spells that change the appearance and spell effects.

Portrait had the dual protagonists that removed the jack of all trades aspect of the protagonist and made for interesting strategies. They built upon the many spells of AoS and DoS but still stayed away from the soul capture aspect of the previous games.

Order had another core difference: they took out the weapons, making the character entirely dependent on magic.

Portrait and Order also had something different: lot of time was spent outside of the castle.

But yeah, they were all the same, with that platforming and killing a bad guy, just like Mario, or Ninja Gaiden. Why can,t they just make one very generic platformer and then move on?

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If you don't want to play a platforming game in Dracula's castle, then you don't play Castlevania.

Exaaaaaactly! :smile:

This is completely true. Now, apply the same concept to Sonic, Mario, Kirby, Contra, Donkey Kong, Halo, Final Fantasy, Half Life, Zelda, or what have you. If you don't want to play a Mario game, you don't HAVE to change Mario, pick a different game instead. That's why we have so many IPs to choose from in the first place!

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