Castlevania: Where to begin (10)

1 Name: Anonymous Gamer : 2009-05-12 14:29 ID:B1iYEqfL

Hey guys. I just recently went to a Video Games Live concert, and they ended with Castlevania. I had played some of the earlier ones for the nes and snes, but stopped afterwards (especially after that castlevania 64, bleh). Damn they have some cool bosses - and rockin music.

Which one would you guys recommend to start with? What's the game that's got the greatest "hook" to get me started?

2 Name: Anonymous Gamer : 2009-05-12 21:42 ID:B1iYEqfL

I suppose I should mention I really prefer the 2D variety

3 Name: Anonymous Gamer : 2009-05-13 16:30 ID:pmg/hwhS

Did you play Symphony of the Night? If not, that's where i would start. It's pretty easy, but it's long and sooooooo fun, with awesome music (of course) and nice looking 2D. One of my all time favorite games.

4 Name: Anonymous Gamer : 2009-05-13 22:06 ID:B1iYEqfL

No, so I was debating whether to wait for a copy to show up at a local pawn show or rettro-game store, or just give up and DL from the PS store.

Also, which would you recommend from a DS?

5 Name: Anonymous Gamer : 2009-05-13 22:55 ID:q9Wnjs9q

If you just want SOTN, I would just download it. Saves you the wait.

Castlevania II for game boy was pretty good, despite being a bit short, but the other 2 castlevanias on the Gameboy weren't all that great. Depending on the version of II you play, your subweapons will be different.

Did you ever play Castlevania Bloodlines for Genesis? Depending on who you ask, it's better than IV for SNES.

Dracula X/Chi no Rondo/Rondo of Blood is arguably the best traditional platformer one. It's for the PC Engine, and also included on the recent PSP game revamp of it. IIRC, Symphony is also included with the PSP game as well, so you might consider getting that to get all three. There was an SNES port of it, but it skimps out on some of the good stuff the original had, like the extra character and, IIRC, the branching level paths. So, if you just want SOTN, you can just download it, but if you want it and this game, you might as well go this route.

GBA is also good too. Circle of the Moon is my favorite non-olden platformer. There's a number of extra "modes" to play after you beat it as well, but you have to beat them successively (Normal>Mode1>Mode2>Mode3>Mode4). Aria of Sorrow is damn fine as well. The bonus character you get after beating it is great. I highly recommend you NOT play Harmony of Dissonance. It's really not that enjoyable outside of using 8-bit simon in the boss rush. That itself is fun, but getting to be able to do that isn't. At all. And the bosses suck.

As for DS, I honestly do not recommend Aria's sequel, Dawn of Sorrow, simply because it really isn't as good. The extra mode is sort of cool, but it's done much better in Portrait of Ruin. If you're going to play Portrait, then play it after playing Castlevania Bloodlines and Dracula X so you can catch some of the references. Portrait is a bit thin and not as fleshed out as most other games, but it's still pretty good and has the most extra characters I can think of so far. In addition, it has really brutal hard modes. The newest DS game is a bit different from standard Castlevania action, so I would recommend you play that after some others and regain your footing into the franchise. It's not that it's bad, it's just not quite played the same as previous games.

As for the "hook", it just depends on what your preferences are. I think Circle of the Night is the best well-rounded Castlevania to date that incorporates the newer exploration-type maps while keeping the old platformer flair, without any mandatory new fangled stuff like turning into animals (although this itself is an old one, technically), having an AI partner, or having your weapons solely being magical. On the other hand, Aria of Sorrow is different from the conventional stuff, while still being enjoyable in its own right and the extra character is very much like the old castlevania heroes in his own way, and getting him is enjoyable, too.

I recommended a few old ones, but that was just for the sake of "Have you played this yet?" If you just want the recent ones, then don't forget the GBA. Unless of course you have a DSi, in which case, I recommend buying a Micro or SP, depending on your preferences. GBA stuff isn't that expensive anymore, and since you seem to be willing to buy stuff, they shouldn't cost too much, compared to recent stuff that is. I don't think you should have too much trouble finding either, be it in a store or online.

Happy hunting.

6 Name: Anonymous Gamer : 2009-05-14 11:14 ID:iEsGZWTf

Actually, I'd have to say the latest one brought it back to it's roots a bit more than the other ones have been. The atmosphere and feel of Castlevania was really there in Order of Ecclesia compared to DoS and PoR in my opinion. I felt that DoS and PoR started to make the CV series wander into JRPG territory (artwork aside) when it came to scenario and characters.

Really though OP, if it's a 2-D CV game it's hard to go wrong.

7 Name: Anonymous Gamer : 2009-05-14 14:48 ID:B1iYEqfL

>>6 true enough

Thanks, >>5, you're the kind of person I was hoping would reply to this thread. I've been out of Castlevania for so long I didn't know what's what.

Yeah, i'll probably just download SotN, even though I'll still probably look for a PS copy, and kick myself repeatedly for buying it multiple times. I didn't play the one for the Genesis, and I don't have a psp, so I guess I'm stuck there. I do have such fond memories of the one for the snes, though.

I've still got an SP and my original DS, so I'll eventually try to pick up some of the DS and GBA games after I've beaten Castlevania 2 (for my NES) and SotN. I heard the latest one for the DS is pretty good too, but I'll at least try to work my way up.

8 Name: Anonymous Gamer : 2009-05-18 00:47 ID:d+ya7A2K

I personally really enjoyed Dawn of Souls for the DS. I thought the character development (that made the game look a bit like an RPG) was well included in the game, and I loved the map setup. Just throwing that out, so you see this game has not received only "meh" reviews.

I also liked a lot Order of Ecclesia, more recently. Portrait of Ruin was maybe too thin for me not to stay on my hunger.

9 Name: Anonymous Gamer : 2009-05-18 18:59 ID:63ydLbJh

> Castlevania Bloodlines for Genesis
> better than IV for SNES.


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