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Castlevania, part 3

11/28/2011

Sorta dropped the ball on the whole Halloween thing. Too much came up, too much was happening to care too much about the blog. Fact is, the posts people comment on the most are the ones that I wish people wouldn’t comment on. No one comments on the stuff that I care about the most. But still, I promised to talk about Castlevania DS games, so here we go.

I don’t own my own DS. However, I bought one for my mom and my brother for birthday presents back when I was making good money and didn’t have a ton of debt hanging over my head. So from time to time I’ve been able to borrow my brother’s DS and play some games on it that I am more interested in. Obviously near the top of the list was the Castlevania games, the first of which is Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (see how they cleverly got the “DS” moniker into the title?)

Dawn of Sorrow was a sequel to the the Game Boy Advance game, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. And this is one that is far out there. So get this: Dracula’s castle has been sealed in a solar eclipse! You play as Soma Cruz, the reincarnation of Dracula! But you are good and not evil and helped defeat Dracula a year previously! But holy crap, some cultists and a sorcerous want to reincarnate Dracula and bring his castle back! And they have to awaken your latent powers to do so! Best go beat some crap.

Story aside, the gameplay was fanastic and the graphics even more so. It took everything great from Aria of Sorrow and doubled it. Unfortunately, it tacked on some DS specific features such as stylus action (a good idea from Nintendo that was poorly implemented in most games out there; just because it’s there, doesn’t mean you have to develop for it, programmers) in the form of having you draw “seals” to defeat bosses in the game. Wisely, I’ve heard Konami dropped that from later games.

Did I mention the game is just gorgeous? I seriously thought it was in HD when it came out, things were that crisp and clear and colorful.

Now here’s the sad confession. Dawn of Sorrow is the only Castlevania DS game I’ve played. The rest have been sitting on my wish list for a few years now. But, I picked up Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles on PSP a few years ago, and finally picked it up last month and started playing through it, mainly the port of Symphony of the Night from the original Playstation. And the game is awesome. However, having played all the Game Boy Advance and one of the DS games that came out after Symphony of the Night, it sorta feels like “more of the same”, although Symphony clearly was the inspiration and source of artwork and sprites for most of the latter games. And in some areas, Symphony hasn’t been surpassed in a 2D Castlevania. Unfortunately, I quit playing a few weeks ago and haven’t picked it up again yet.

So there you go. My experiences with the Castlevania games. I’m really looking forward to playing the rest of the Castlevania games as well as the recent console Castlevania. But that’s for another time.

Not the most exciting speedrun as he just abuses the game and it’s not recorded in good quality, but you can still get a feel for it.

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