Retro Club - something you haven't played for ages
  • Bosses have never really been Castlevania's forte. A couple of good ones on Circle of Moon and Lords of Shadow, but most of them are forgettable.
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  • davyK
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    Yeah - it's a case of getting to the boss with enough energy to spam your way through really.

    Apart from the last couple of bosses of course.

    Castlevania Rebirth on WiiWare has few good ones.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • There was a decent one in Bloodlines I thought.

    Skip to 5mims:

  • Everyone remember the cheat right before fighting Dracula?
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  • davyK
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    yup....there were some magazines back then that did walk throughs...it was a well known strategy by game devs to pile in the cheats to guarantee column inches for some time after release.

    Not sure if I used it to complete the game back in the day if I'm honest - don't think I did but I'll not be using it this week.

    I was always mystified by the size of the score display - a score for a run through that game would be in the 100Ks - maybe touching 1m - but the score display goes up to 10 or even 100m.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • The rotating stage was nice.  I've definitely enjoyed the Castlevania games I've played in this thread, and that WiiWare one was great too.  I feel like I've made up for lost time with the franchise.  Next confession: I've only ever played the Pilotwings games for 15 mins or so.
  • davyK wrote:
    I was always mystified by the size of the score display - a score for a run through that game would be in the 100Ks - maybe touching 1m - but the score display goes up to 10 or even 100m.
    It turns out when you finish it it starts all over again and your score carries over. So that's why I guess.

    So yeah, I finished it today. The last level is quite a slog of bosses. I remember most of it from when I had it on SNES all those years ago, but hadn't seen the last bits so must have given up a few bosses from the end.

    Overall the best things about it are the music and world design. They really thought through how to join up the different themed levels into something coherent, which was rare in those days, and the backgrounds are full of little details.

    However, when it comes down to it, I don't think it's that great gameplay wise. The main character's a bit cumbersome and there's a lot cheap deaths waiting for you. Things like dying by falling off the bottom of the screen when you've just come from there are annoying, as are some of the spike traps where the slightest touch kills you instantly. Using stairs can be dodgy as well. Also, the mode 7 stuff is often just there to show off, rather than adding much to the game design. Later on it's pretty much discarded for fairly standard level layouts. Many of the bosses are also a bit disappointing.

    That sounds too negative. There's a hell of a lot to like as well. The way the whip is used is excellent and the basic combat and platforming is solid. And there are still quite a few memorable one off moments. Konami were in such a golden era on the 16-bit consoles, and while this isn't the best of those offerings it's not far off. A bit more polish would have sorted most of the problems. Overall probably still a bit better than the later MD version (but Symphony of the Night is still the pinnacle of the series for me). And the music...

    I'd give it an 8.
  • davyK
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    JonB wrote:
    davyK wrote:
    I was always mystified by the size of the score display - a score for a run through that game would be in the 100Ks - maybe touching 1m - but the score display goes up to 10 or even 100m.
    It turns out when you finish it it starts all over again and your score carries over. So that's why I guess.

    If I remember right it's a bit harder the second time through - think the enemies are a bit more durable - could be wrong though.

    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • You're right. Each playthrough gets harder, not sure how many times though.
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • davyK
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    .......and the JPN version's first loop may be as hard as the PAL version's 2nd loop - or something like that. Reason being a walkthrough mentioned certain enemies requiring more hits than in my experience - they probably had an import version.

    The PAL version plays fine at 60Hz - though there is a bit more slowdown than usual - particularly in the show off rotating tunnel bit. I can remember import gamers mentioning a fair bit of slowdown at that section - so my guess is playing the PAL version at 50Hz alleviates a lot of the slowdown which perhaps explains me experiencing more of it than I remember back in the day.

    The music doesn't play slower at 50Hz but the game itself plays a bit slower - the music routine must have been adjusted for PAL gamers which, given that it's a major strength of the game is nice to know. Jury is out as to if the PAL version got any other optimisation.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • I don't remember any slowdown whatsoever. Must be that 50hz magic.
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  • davyK
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    At 50Hz there was very occasional hiccups when a skeleton bought it and exploded - usually when you were lucky enough to take out a couple with one hit. It does happen a bit more at 60Hz but is really only noticable in the rotating tunnel section.

    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • This game is hard as nails...
    Without save states I cannot finish it .
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  • Ooh, partial relevance.
    Whip dat nostalgia pony
  • Up to level VII on this, definitely enjoying it. I'm agreeing with most of JonB's assessment so far - I think this might end up as an [8] for me without the nostalgia factor. It's very good indeed, but perhaps not genuinely superb to fresh eyes.

    Given that I'm reasonably new to Castlevania I'm probably stating the obvious here, but after a few levels I learned that playing it safe and edging onto the screen pays dividends. Leeroying into a stage will get you killed pretty quickly unless you know the enemy patterns, and so far the timer hasn't been an issue.

    I also agree that the bosses aren't particularly memorable.
  • davyK
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    Moot_Geeza wrote:
    The rotating stage was nice.  I've definitely enjoyed the Castlevania games I've played in this thread, and that WiiWare one was great too.  I feel like I've made up for lost time with the franchise.  Next confession: I've only ever played the Pilotwings games for 15 mins or so.

    Add it to your list - seriously....it's what swung me to the SNES when I had the 16bit decision to make. It is Nintendo at their best and even the aging graphics (which still look nice when you are at a certain height before pixel-itis kicks in) don't take the shine off the charm or the gameplay. Actually it would be really interesting to hear an opinion from someone with zero nostalgia.



    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Done.  I'll try to have a good go on the N64 version too.  It's always looked like something that would appeal to me, perhaps a cross between Monkey Target and playing an event based game like Track & Field solo.  I liked what I played of the SNES game.
  • davyK wrote:
    Moot_Geeza wrote:
    The rotating stage was nice.  I've definitely enjoyed the Castlevania games I've played in this thread, and that WiiWare one was great too.  I feel like I've made up for lost time with the franchise.  Next confession: I've only ever played the Pilotwings games for 15 mins or so.

    Add it to your list - seriously....it's what swung me to the SNES when I had the 16bit decision to make. It is Nintendo at their best and even the aging graphics (which still look nice when you are at a certain height before pixel-itis kicks in) don't take the shine off the charm or the gameplay. Actually it would be really interesting to hear an opinion from someone with zero nostalgia.



    http://www.nintendolife.com/reviews/wiiu-eshop/pilotwings_snes
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  • For some reason I never bothered with either Pilotwings game, despite the great reviews.
  • davyK wrote:
    Moot_Geeza wrote:
    The rotating stage was nice.  I've definitely enjoyed the Castlevania games I've played in this thread, and that WiiWare one was great too.  I feel like I've made up for lost time with the franchise.  Next confession: I've only ever played the Pilotwings games for 15 mins or so.
    Add it to your list - seriously....it's what swung me to the SNES when I had the 16bit decision to make. It is Nintendo at their best and even the aging graphics (which still look nice when you are at a certain height before pixel-itis kicks in) don't take the shine off the charm or the gameplay. Actually it would be really interesting to hear an opinion from someone with zero nostalgia.
    http://www.nintendolife.com/reviews/wiiu-eshop/pilotwings_snes

    Seems like a fair enough review, but it also sounds like a game I'd enjoy spending a week with, having not spent £50 on it.  I'll probably get the eshop version, as the Mode 7 emulation on DrPocketSnes is a bit hit and miss.
  • davyK
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    That is quite a good and fair review - especially given it is a modern perspective. The main criticism - the lack of content - is a point well made. Pilotwings left me wanting more but surely that is a good thing? Looking back - spending £30 or £40 on something like that seems horrific now - but I didn't feel short changed as it lasted me several weeks. I can remember I was racing to the finish with a mate of mine who bought it at the same time and we had loads of entertainment from that. I can remember with dread the phone ringing and him crowing about how he had made it to the next lesson. Also - there was stuff like Super Tennis, F-Zero and a new game that merged the Mario platformers and driving into a new genre that looked quite interesting....it was a pretty dizzying time in gaming as there seemed to be loads of new stuff appearing every month - but maybe that's just me.

    I liked the restrictive nature of the levels - and I actually still like a restricted type of game - not for me the ambling freeform that many modern games seem to like (and as far as I can see are quite often delivered as an illusion with the underlying game being actually quite linear).

    Pilotwings64 cranks up the content and also adds in a free flying mode so it would be good to have them both to compare in a week or fortnight. It loses something though - the little mini-copter is great but the other flight vehicles just don't do it the same for me - and there's no sky diving which is criminal. It might have been pushing the old N64 a bit hard too - but it was an early title and I hear the PAL port which I have leaves a lot be desired - having said that I played it loads - though I never completed it as it gets really tough. Excellent game and is crying out for a proper sequel. The PS2's Sky Odyssey is the closest thing I've come across - though it is all plane-based - it is a lovely little game and is worth a look despite it being an early release and suffering a tiny bit from fog.

    The original will also suffer if save states are used - the difficulty came from the fact that you had to string 2 or 3 good performances together in order to progress - save states ruin that - and it really is the point of the game - performing well in , for example , skydiving then hang glider and then jet pack - it really cranked up the pressure by the the 3rd exercise.

    The review reminded me of the music - and I can hear it in my head as I type this.

    One other thing - the oft slagged Wing Island for Wii isn't half bad at all if you can pick it up cheap - I heard about moans as to its control but I have no issues with it. I got it for my youngest who loved the flight modes in Wii Sports Resort but found myself getting into it....
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Do you own it?  Do you reckon my Wii points transferred over when I did the system transfer?

    I'm up to stage 'A' on Castlevania (at least I think it was an A).  Dropping to your death can be incredibly harsh at times, especially if the ground is a millimetre below the bottom of the screen.
  • I've had to stop for the evening, as I'm getting repeatedly destroyed by the bosses on stage B.  The chicken carcas looking boss took a while to work out, and the flying Death one is killing me atm.  I'm really struggling with it as diagonal whipping only works around one in five times with my GP2X dpad.  If - and it's a big if - I'd got here as a kid I doubt I would have progressed, great joypad or not.  I thought the difficulty was quite manageable (with plenty of practice), up until the difficulty spike at stage A, but this has got rather tricky all of a sudden. 

    I've been banging on about this since the thread started, but how long were SNES games compared to the average Meagdrive releases?  It's come as a bit of a shock.  I feel like I've been making steady progress for hours now.  Perhaps being a huge Sega fan in previous generations is the reason why I'm always on the look-out for current gen games that have brief single player modes.
  • Yeah MD games were much much shorter, this thread has only opened my eyes more to this.

    Save states might be adding to the difficulty spike your experiencing, this is after all perfection through repition gaming. I don't remember the spike being any harsher than the MD or PCEngine games.

    RE: Pilotwings 64 - I do have it but it's one I picked up late in the 64's life so it didn't get much love from me. Was one of the very few games where I prefered the SNES prequel. I'm sure if I got it in 1997 I would have been all over it though, unfortunately I chose poorly in Killer Instinct Gold.

    and yes your Wii Points did transfer over.
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  • Nowt wrong with KI Gold.
    Currently playing Modern Ops and Luigi's Mansion 3
  • Also why was there no street fighter game for the n64? After the snes success one would have thought it a foregone conclusion.
    Currently playing Modern Ops and Luigi's Mansion 3
  • Moot_Geeza wrote:
    I've had to stop for the evening, as I'm getting repeatedly destroyed by the bosses on stage B.  The chicken carcas looking boss took a while to work out, and the flying Death one is killing me atm.  I'm really struggling with it as diagonal whipping only works around one in five times with my GP2X dpad.  If - and it's a big if - I'd got here as a kid I doubt I would have progressed, great joypad or not.  I thought the difficulty was quite manageable (with plenty of practice), up until the difficulty spike at stage A, but this has got rather tricky all of a sudden.
    If it helps there's not far to go.

    Also, I found Death not too bad in the end.
    Spoiler:
  • Killer Instinct Gold was by far the worst in the series, I thought that was common knowledge.
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  • In regards to SF, I've oftem thought the same thing. Maybe the whole Cart VS CD and the infamous Nintendo licensing fees really put Capcom off? They released plenty of games on Saturn/Dreamcast to be up Sony's arse and have since released plenty of games on Nintendo's subsequent consoles.

    Konami are the complete opposite, they put a fair bit of effort into the N64, initally just as much if not more than the PS but they have since dropped Nintendo support almost completely.
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