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RPG Backtrack - Episode 15

JuMeSynJuMeSyn Code: KirinAdministrators
edited May 2010 in Latest Updates
We braved the horrors of Dracula's castle in both the past and future. Hear the stories of our adventures, from which we were lucky to return after meeting Death repeatedly on the Game Boy Advance.
The non-Castlevania music came from here.
It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

Comments

  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited May 2010
    Any podcast that makes use of DEVO gets bonus points from me.
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • NyxNyx Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff
    edited May 2010
    Okay, so I have to ask - as a noob to the Castlevania series, the only one I've played and have finished was Symphony of the Night which I found challenging (I realize I suck at these games). What would be a good starter on the GBA if I were to get into the series, what would be considered a good one to start with?
  • MasterChiefMasterChief I didn't learn anything! Full Members
    edited May 2010
    [quote=Quote:(Nyx @ May 10 2010, 9:26 AM)]
    Okay, so I have to ask - as a noob to the Castlevania series, the only one I've played and have finished was Symphony of the Night which I found challenging (I realize I suck at these games). What would be a good starter on the GBA if I were to get into the series, what would be considered a good one to start with?
    Well if Symphony of the Night was a challenge, I'd start you off with Harmony of Dissonance. It's far from the best of the GBA games (the music is GODAWFUL), but it's a solid title that's decidedly easier than any of the games that came before or since.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.
  • Green NuGreen Nu Member Full Members
    edited May 2010
    [quote=Quote:(MasterChief @ May 10 2010, 12:32 PM)]
    [quote=Quote:(Nyx @ May 10 2010, 9:26 AM)]
    Okay, so I have to ask - as a noob to the Castlevania series, the only one I've played and have finished was Symphony of the Night which I found challenging (I realize I suck at these games). What would be a good starter on the GBA if I were to get into the series, what would be considered a good one to start with?
    Well if Symphony of the Night was a challenge, I'd start you off with Harmony of Dissonance. It's far from the best of the GBA games (the music is GODAWFUL), but it's a solid title that's decidedly easier than any of the games that came before or since.
    Gah! How am I the only one that thinks it was hard from my recent replay. Strange!
    You must gather your party before venturing forth
  • MasterChiefMasterChief I didn't learn anything! Full Members
    edited May 2010
    [quote=Quote:]
    Gah! How am I the only one that thinks it was hard from my recent replay. Strange!

    You sure you're not confusing it with Circle of the Moon? Harmony of Dissonance was made stupidly easy in reaction to fans' railing against the unreasonable difficulty of Circle. Hell, almost every facet of Harmony's design was an over-correction based on reactions to Circle. Really, Aria was the only one of the GBA trilogy that got it just right.



    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.
  • greybrickgreybrick Member Full Members
    edited May 2010
    Circle of the Moon was my very first Castlevania game, but I think I enjoyed Aria more.
  • solosolo Dilettante Gamer Full Members
    edited May 2010
    This episode made me nostalgic for games I've never played. I started in on Castlevania with the DS games, and I have no ability to play GBA games, but I'll find a way to play Aria of Sorrow at some point due to the positive discussions on the podcast.
  • jcservantjcservant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited May 2010
    Contest Winner has been found! sirxlash@gmail.com will receive a $20 Amazon gift certificate.
  • MasterChiefMasterChief I didn't learn anything! Full Members
    edited May 2010
    [quote=Quote:(greybrick @ May 10 2010, 8:50 PM)]
    Circle of the Moon was my very first Castlevania game, but I think I enjoyed Aria more.
    Well, like I said, Aria was the only one that got everything right.

    Circle was oppressively difficult, too dark (this was a HUGE complaint when it came out since the original GBA didn't have a back light) and had a bland color palette.

    Harmony was braindead easy, too bright and had way too many colors (this became apparent when the SP came out and all of a sudden on the back lit screen the game looks like a kid's cartoon threw up all over it). Also hilariously reused graphics assets from Symphony of the Night.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.
  • greybrickgreybrick Member Full Members
    edited May 2010
    [quote=Quote:(MasterChief @ May 10 2010, 6:58 PM)]
    [quote=Quote:(greybrick @ May 10 2010, 8:50 PM)]
    Circle of the Moon was my very first Castlevania game, but I think I enjoyed Aria more.
    Well, like I said, Aria was the only one that got everything right.

    Circle was oppressively difficult, too dark (this was a HUGE complaint when it came out since the original GBA didn't have a back light) and had a bland color palette.
    Really? I found Circle quite easy, and at that point I was not accustomed to that game type. It may well have be the dogged determination of my relative youth that colors my perspective of this game, but I really don't remember being too challenged by it.

    No, this is not a, "omg Iz s0 hardc0re i d0nt 3v3n kn0 my 0wn st43ngth!"
  • MasterChiefMasterChief I didn't learn anything! Full Members
    edited May 2010
    I found it absolutely bonkers, actually. It and Castlevania 1 are the only games in the series that I've tried before turning around and saying "*expletive* this."
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.
  • aquagonaquagon Member Full Members
    edited May 2010
    I started with Symphony of the Night, which I thought it was pretty challenging the first time, and my second game was Circle of the Moon. However, the difficulty for CoTM was in the middle range for me: not hellishly hard, but not excessively easy either.

    Recently I have been playing Order of Ecclessia and the classic Castlevanias (the three NES ones, Super Castlevania IV and Rondo of Blood), and of them, Castlevania 1 is the only one I still consider to be an absolute hell to play through from its difficulty. IV was hard at times, but far more enjoyable. Ecclessia had a pretty brutal difficulty curve with some of the bosses and areas, and I might haven't cleared it if it wasn't because of always being overstocked with healing items.

    Castlevania 2? Pretty easy thanks to not being any penalties from getting killed, despite the clues for advancing being cryptic and weird as hell. I haven't yet played through 3 and RoB enough to give an informed enough opinion of them.
  • Overlord_LeonOverlord_Leon Member Full Members
    edited May 2010
    Circle of the Moon's the only one I've ever played, way back when. Never was able to finish it.
    Also known as Deimosion on various corners of the internet.
  • risingsunrisingsun - Fancy Title - RPGamer Staff
    edited May 2010
    [quote=Quote:(Nyx @ May 10 2010, 7:26 AM)]
    Okay, so I have to ask - as a noob to the Castlevania series, the only one I've played and have finished was Symphony of the Night which I found challenging (I realize I suck at these games). What would be a good starter on the GBA if I were to get into the series, what would be considered a good one to start with?
    Nyx if you can track down the Castlevania double pack. You can get Harmony of Dissonance and Aria of Sorrow on the same cart. Although, AoS was the best of the three and was the total package.
  • SeraphimKittenSeraphimKitten President of Soft Paws Full Members
    edited May 2010
    I haven't played any of the Castlevania series, and while this podcast didn't quite convince me to pay money to try them out... if I find any friends with copies I'll definitely borrow them to give it a go.
  • MasterChiefMasterChief I didn't learn anything! Full Members
    edited May 2010
    [quote=Quote:(SeraphimKitten @ May 11 2010, 8:16 AM)]
    I haven't played any of the Castlevania series, and while this podcast didn't quite convince me to pay money to try them out... if I find any friends with copies I'll definitely borrow them to give it a go.
    http://catalog.ebay.com/Konami-....c0.m504

    Here's a way to try out Simon's Quest for dirt cheap, and you get some amazing other games (Castlevania III, Contra and Super C) as bonus.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.
  • BalanceBalance Member Full Members
    edited May 2010
    Am I sad? I just enjoy listening to this podcast, and the music from those nostalgic games, (I'm 37 so I remember all the 8-bit and 16 bit pixel games which started it all), even though I'm not a fan of Castlevania, I just like to listen to gamers jaw and get enthusiastic/not enthusiastic about stuff, I got to admit it's more interesting when you have played some of the games mentioned. So I just want to say - Awesome work.
    Presently, in case anyone's interested, Stopped playing WOW completely I just finished the first playthrough of SMT strange journey-really awesome game with that peculiar not necessarily PC Japanese humor through it, loads to explore and fun side missions and tough but not unbeatable bosses. Also started City of Heroes/Villains free trial.
    I know there are some big fans of the turn based strategy games on this show, and I am a big fan myself, it gives you that instant gratification of seeing your decisions acted out immediately so even the level up grind is fun, but, with some careful story, it's elevated to a satisfying experience that leaves you craving more ^^.
    I'm sooo happy that Front Mission is getting some treatment, because, despite one or two bad versions, I've never been happier than a pig in mud when I get to pretend I'm an ace Mecha pilot with missile launchers, outsize melee for close combat and of course the good old guns and getting my ear chewed off by the Mechanics for not treating my machine with lurve. One note "Front Mission" sounds a bit <snigger> dodgy but then I have an innuendo 6th sense.
  • lithoroselithorose Fire! Fire! Meiuuu! Full Members
    edited May 2010
    Are any of the Castlevania games in 3D, or are they all side-scrollers? I've always loved the cover art, but the games haven't interested me that much. You're making a pretty good pitch for them...

    TWEWY is a great game; I loved the gameplay and the fact that it gets away from a lot of the standard fantasy/RPG elements and enemies. It's one of the few games I keep playing months after finishing it. And it sounds like a gimmie to give you points for not playing, but really it's a sneaky way of getting you to come back again and again, since some pins only level up if you shut the game down for a while. And the contemporary setting and hip-hop music is what finally convinced me to give Persona a try.

    Speaking of which, did you all play the same P3 I did? I didn't find the battle system anything unique, apart from the Rush feature. I hardly touched a Persona (for any character) before Floor 70; the in-dungeon weapons were enough. And I was very dissatisfied with the sim aspects of the game- constantly frustrated because while I was required to study, it only amounted to hitting the same "study" button on any night I didn't go to Tartarus. The result was it felt like they chopped out the meat and left the gristle. And being Tired wasn't the drawback it should have been- I went to school Tired or Sick all the time; it was a good opportunity to get Courage from the Nurse's concoctions. As for the S-Links, it felt too pandering. And in FES you can't directly control your characters, but from what I hear, the AI is a little smarter.

    And the Answer is a 30 hour dungeon of its own- it isn't Tartarus, and you don't leave the dorm. I played about two hours before loaning the game out; the increased difficulty didn't strike me yet, but the shadows move faster and are harder to dodge.

    Anyway, great podcast guys!
  • Berserk_AlucardBerserk_Alucard Member Full Members
    edited May 2010
    Oh man, this one brought back some memories for me non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif When I got a Game Boy Advance at launch I picked up Circle of the Moon with it. I was really impressed, it definitely got me into the series. I didn't find it too hard though, I think it was one of the few games I had so just powered through. I got through the main story and most of the unlockable alternate character playthroughs. There were one or two I couldn't finish though, I forget which...

    The Battle Arena was pretty tough actually..

    I'd say I like Aria of Sorrow most out of the 3 GBA metroidvanias. Not too sure which I prefer between Harmony of Dissonance and Circle of the Moon. HoD was a lot faster, I like the backdashing and stuff like that. The character designs are definitely cool in HoD as well, compared to the first Gba one they are quite a bit more interesting.

    Exploration in Harmony was a bit of a letdown for me though. I found it hard to remember/tell where to go once you get to the inverse castle. The map colours were...eww. Yeah, I'd agree with you that SotN did a lot of things better than Harmony of Dissonance.
    Soundtracks in the Castlevania games are usually damn good as well. I love the overall dark, kind of gothic atmosphere some of the games have.

    I've played all of the Metroidvania games in the series (and a few more), they are all damn good games. If you guys are interested by this podcast, you should try and pick one or two of them up and see what you think.

    I'm currently listening to the podcast, so might edit with some more comments. Good job so far though ;D

    [quote=Quote:]
    Are any of the Castlevania games in 3D, or are they all side-scrollers?
    Some of the games are 3D, like Curse of Darkness (PS2/Xbox), Lament of Innocence (PS2) and Castlevania: Judgment (Wii) but for the most part, they aren't liked as much as the 2D platformer ones which have the gameplay, graphics and music all really well done. The 3D ones (I might have forgetten some) are usually different genres slightly as well.



  • MasterChiefMasterChief I didn't learn anything! Full Members
    edited May 2010
    [quote=Quote:(lithorose @ May 13 2010, 4:43 PM)]
    Are any of the Castlevania games in 3D, or are they all side-scrollers? I've always loved the cover art, but the games haven't interested me that much. You're making a pretty good pitch for them...
    The games discussed here are all 2D action-exploration games in the vein of Metroid or the more recent Shadow Complex. 3D Castlevanias have come out on the N64, PlayStation 2 and Xbox platforms, but are widely derided by the fandom. Even Igarishi himself has said that Devil May Cry is closer to a true Castlevania experience in 3D than any of the current 3D Castlevanias. Hopefully Lords of Shadow will be the one that pushes the series in the right direction.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs A Familiar Teacher Administrators
    edited May 2010
    [quote=Quote:(Overlord_Leon @ May 11 2010, 1:33 AM)]
    Circle of the Moon's the only one I've ever played, way back when. Never was able to finish it.
    I have a very similar story, though in my case it was becuase I rented the game, had to return it before I could finish it, and took out the same copy only to find that some jerk saved over my file. I didn not feel like starting from square one, so I never finished. I've been meaning to play the other GBA and DS games, but I've yet to get around to it.
    " I think this is why aging makes humans die! "
  • JuMeSynJuMeSyn Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited May 2010
    I didn't know stores rented GBA games. I suppose that's only because I never looked. Circle of the Moon is pretty cheap now, and as I recounted gave me quite a good time-to-money ratio, but it seems not many others had the urge to play it five times through.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • silktailsilktail mild peril Full Members
    edited May 2010
    Circle of the Moon is the only metroidvania game I've played. (I didn't get very far into the SNES castivania.) I did complete it, but barely started a Wizard play-through.
    I was too busy with GameCube by the time the later games came out, so regrettably had to skip them.


    Twewy is left-hand friendly with the 4 buttons controlling your partner instead. Or you could let the AI control your partner I suppose.
    As for difficulty, adjusting your level just gives more HP for lowering the drop rates. There is however a separate difficult mode if enemies really are too tough and you will be changing that to get different pins anyway.

    I don't think rushing through the game would be very hard either, the bonuses from taking your time aren't much better than playing longer sessions. I guess you can always replay chapters after completing the story, if you had to lower the difficulty and missed some pins.
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