Jump to content

Zero Punctuation (Hilarious) Game Reviews


Recommended Posts

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.

The new Castlevania games are very different than the old ones. The old ones were far more based on player skill in defeating bosses, as you had no real inventory, no experience levels, no shops, no grinding, etc. You had to be good enough to fight through a level without getting hit or dying too many times, learn boss patterns, and rely on your platforming skills far more. In the new CV games (which, mind you, I do enjoy) most encounters can be beaten simply be leveling up more, finding better items, or spamming healing/defensive magic/items in boss fights. There is little actual platforming challenge.

The new ones are a very specific kind of platformer, with an exploration focus. The old ones were strictly action platformers with minimal RPG elements.

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.

AoS is extraordinarily similar in gameplay to SotN. The only real difference, EFFECTIVELY, is that AoS has more spells. Otherwise, it's extremely similar.

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.

I played through all of PoR using only Jonathan. I never saw the need to switch to the other character, honestly. And again, it's all minor variations of the same thing. It could have been another game mode of SotN or AoS and I wouldn't have blinked. Just because the way you obtain new abilities is different doesn't make the gameplay at all different in any significant way.

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

Admittedly I haven't played Order, so I can't comment on that, only the ones I have played.

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

In Portrait, being "outside of the castle" just meant being in Paintings which really was not any different at all. The level designs were still similar and the gameplay was still similar. Strictly cosmetic.

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?

The Mario series evolved WAY more than the Castlevania series. CV has made one and only one big jump, and that was from their old style (no RPG elements, no exploration) to the SotN style (RPG elements, exploration.) Otherwise, they've only made incremental improvements. The series as far as I can tell is getting very stale. Part of this is the nature of the recent CV games. They're not adding any fundamentally different features to the engine or the gameplay. Every challenge can always be completed by just grinding, finding better items, min-maxing, etc. and player skill is ultimately minimized by the end of the game. Compare this to the Mario series. Even though I played and beat SMG1, SMG2 added a ton of completely fresh levels and challenges which kept me interested the entire time. Because Mario is inherently skill-based as a platformer, adding new and dynamic areas will always be an interesting challenge.

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!

As a big fan of basically all the series you listed, I would say that Castlevania is by far the most stale by far. All of those series you've listed have made drastic changes over the course of their lifetimes, even with recent installations. Those that haven't are probably primarily skill or plot-based (or both) meaning you don't need to add major gameplay features in order to keep it fresh - more levels and minor tweaks are just fine (eg. Half Life 2.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 1.5k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Wow, this thread got really interesting all of a sudden.

I'm starting to understand the sport video game phenomenon. Basically, it's not the game itself that is what keeps millions of people coming back to franchises like Madden. Instead, it's that it COMPLEMENTS your existing enjoyment of the sport. Madden games work like a personal action-figure version of your favorite sports team. You can simulate what your favorite team will do this season and beyond.

People get it every year because the sport that they already follow has changed through rosters, rookies, and players' ages and abilities. I still don't buy the game every year, but I now understand why people do.

Another interesting suggestion I've gathered from this thread is that the time apart from a game series helps keep it fresh longer. For example, I recently picked up all the GBA Castlevania games and have been playing through them all in order. Needless to say, I am agreeing that the franchise is getting stale. However, if I played one GBA Castlevania a year, I wouldn't feel so bored by the overwhelming task of playing EVERY GBA CASTLEVANIA + THE DS ONES SO I AM ALL CAUGHT UP FINALLY AND CAN FEEL LIKE A MAN NOW.

As a current example, I have been working through fully completing Mass Effect 1 so I can play the 2nd one, but I would probably enjoy 2 better if I took a break from the Mass Effect universe in between.

Link to post
Share on other sites
They are trying new things with gameplay gimmicks, not story.

Well, it's not like the game is out yet. We don't know what storyline innovations they have in store. I mean, sure there's a rival, and an antagonist and Gyms and Badges and a champion, but do you really want them to get rid of those?

Link to post
Share on other sites
The new Castlevania games are very different than the old ones. The old ones were far more based on player skill in defeating bosses, as you had no real inventory, no experience levels, no shops, no grinding, etc. You had to be good enough to fight through a level without getting hit or dying too many times, learn boss patterns, and rely on your platforming skills far more. In the new CV games (which, mind you, I do enjoy) most encounters can be beaten simply be leveling up more, finding better items, or spamming healing/defensive magic/items in boss fights. There is little actual platforming challenge.

The new ones are a very specific kind of platformer, with an exploration focus. The old ones were strictly action platformers with minimal RPG elements.

AoS is extraordinarily similar in gameplay to SotN. The only real difference, EFFECTIVELY, is that AoS has more spells. Otherwise, it's extremely similar.

I played through all of PoR using only Jonathan. I never saw the need to switch to the other character, honestly. And again, it's all minor variations of the same thing. It could have been another game mode of SotN or AoS and I wouldn't have blinked. Just because the way you obtain new abilities is different doesn't make the gameplay at all different in any significant way.

Admittedly I haven't played Order, so I can't comment on that, only the ones I have played.

In Portrait, being "outside of the castle" just meant being in Paintings which really was not any different at all. The level designs were still similar and the gameplay was still similar. Strictly cosmetic.

The Mario series evolved WAY more than the Castlevania series. CV has made one and only one big jump, and that was from their old style (no RPG elements, no exploration) to the SotN style (RPG elements, exploration.) Otherwise, they've only made incremental improvements. The series as far as I can tell is getting very stale. Part of this is the nature of the recent CV games. They're not adding any fundamentally different features to the engine or the gameplay. Every challenge can always be completed by just grinding, finding better items, min-maxing, etc. and player skill is ultimately minimized by the end of the game. Compare this to the Mario series. Even though I played and beat SMG1, SMG2 added a ton of completely fresh levels and challenges which kept me interested the entire time. Because Mario is inherently skill-based as a platformer, adding new and dynamic areas will always be an interesting challenge.

As a big fan of basically all the series you listed, I would say that Castlevania is by far the most stale by far. All of those series you've listed have made drastic changes over the course of their lifetimes, even with recent installations. Those that haven't are probably primarily skill or plot-based (or both) meaning you don't need to add major gameplay features in order to keep it fresh - more levels and minor tweaks are just fine (eg. Half Life 2.)

Guys. GUYS.

Mega Man.

I'm out.

Also:

On the subject of Singularity, I heard of someone that used to work at Ravensoft years and years ago. He spoke of a game that under went change after change after change. From first person, to over the shoulder to mimic Gears (which required the level design to be rethought since the camera angle changed), then added elements to mimic Bioshock because that became "the thing", and then around the Portal age they thought of a "time gun." Which apparently caused a lot of grief among the developers.

I feel like....this was forever ago. I'm surprised this game actually made it, I'm even more surprised of the elements all making it in the final product, lol

Link to post
Share on other sites

zircon also needs to try Lvl 1 hard mode on Ecclesia

tell me that that doesn't come down to real skill there

sure you can collect some potions but what good does that do you if the boss can kill you in one or two hits

Link to post
Share on other sites

of the post SOTN Castlevania games, I would without hesitation say that Order of Ecclesia is the best of them thus far. At the least I would definitely say it is the BEST of the DS CVs, whereas Dawn of Sorrow was derivitive of the superior Aria and Portrait was just fucking boring to me.

It's like this weird hybrid mashing of the old Castlevania's linear level design, smushed into a variation of the SOTN-style CV's open-ended world type of thing.

Aside from the original 4 CVs, it's one of the few games in the series I've played again and again and again.

And yes it is really balls hard.

Link to post
Share on other sites

After watching this, I decided to install the deathspank demo that I had downloaded forever but never tried. I can say the game is very funny and not in a corny and cheezy sort of way.......ok maybe it is, but somehow it is able to do it's jokes without making me cringe. I'd say it's dialog trees as well as it's content are very much like monkey island.

Tell you what, the demo is available (at least on psn) so try that. It's not my type of game, but I still recommend it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
of the post SOTN Castlevania games, I would without hesitation say that Order of Ecclesia is the best of them thus far. At the least I would definitely say it is the BEST of the DS CVs, whereas Dawn of Sorrow was derivitive of the superior Aria and Portrait was just fucking boring to me.

It's like this weird hybrid mashing of the old Castlevania's linear level design, smushed into a variation of the SOTN-style CV's open-ended world type of thing.

Aside from the original 4 CVs, it's one of the few games in the series I've played again and again and again.

And yes it is really balls hard.

Agreed with everything in this post -- Order is easily the best of them thus far, AND the most changed since SOTN since you're relying on your magic meter with every attack. Admittedly, there is still a balance issue with traditional weapon glyphs at certain points in the game, but overall I'd say that it's pretty decent.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Agreed with everything in this post -- Order is easily the best of them thus far, AND the most changed since SOTN since you're relying on your magic meter with every attack. Admittedly, there is still a balance issue with traditional weapon glyphs at certain points in the game, but overall I'd say that it's pretty decent.

And of course once you get Nitesco you've pretty much won the game.

lol I love spamming that + any blade.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...