Zero Punctuation: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

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Utena flashback.

By the way, there's a Castlevania roguelike, if you're into that sort of thing.

Technicolor:
I really liked Castlevania SoTN but I really hate that all Castlevania games are following it as the model rather than improving upon the classic Castlevania games

Non-linear gameplay still needs strings of linearity in order to keep the player on track or to avoid boredom. I think everyone can agree that the Inverted Castle was comparatively sloppy and aimless compared to the first half, without anything to give the player drive to move on beyond reaching the end.

Whereas Linear gameplay allows the player to assess a situation with multiple endeavors. Super Castlevania was a prime example of this, it had gameplay fairly fine-tuned in order to keep the game challenging because of level design rather than vague character & enemy strength.

Egoraptor explains this utilizing castlevania 1 & 2, which were linear & non-linear respectively

Egoraptor's piece is very insightful (I hope he does more like this), but I think he overlooks the entire exploration angle that SotN and its successors have. When I play one of those Castlevania games, the best single moments are when I look at the map and realize despite the hours I've played the game, I'm still only at like 27% completion of the map, which means there's so many more interesting environments to tread over. This is not a mechanic that has any analogue in the older Castelvania games and doesn't show up in Egoraptor's comparison.

Captain Browngray Loadsofbloom. I may have to steal that name some day.

Fronzel:

Technicolor:
I really liked Castlevania SoTN but I really hate that all Castlevania games are following it as the model rather than improving upon the classic Castlevania games

Non-linear gameplay still needs strings of linearity in order to keep the player on track or to avoid boredom. I think everyone can agree that the Inverted Castle was comparatively sloppy and aimless compared to the first half, without anything to give the player drive to move on beyond reaching the end.

Whereas Linear gameplay allows the player to assess a situation with multiple endeavors. Super Castlevania was a prime example of this, it had gameplay fairly fine-tuned in order to keep the game challenging because of level design rather than vague character & enemy strength.

Egoraptor explains this utilizing castlevania 1 & 2, which were linear & non-linear respectively

Egoraptor's piece is very insightful (I hope he does more like this), but I think he overlooks the entire exploration angle that SotN and its successors have. When I play one of those Castlevania games, the best single moments are when I look at the map and realize despite the hours I've played the game, I'm still only at like 27% completion of the map, which means there's so many more interesting environments to tread over. This is not a mechanic that has any analogue in the older Castelvania games and doesn't show up in Egoraptor's comparison.

This is true, but you said you are only at 27%. The begining half of SoTN is very well designed, and still challenging. Therefore still fun. however as both Egoraptor & Yahtzee stated, the game eventually has your character so strong that he practically breaks the game.

Eventually at this point when you have all your powers, there are still plenty of minor things to grab (like those health & magic power ups) but by then the levels aren't designed around the player's abilities, but rather by vague avatar strengths (such as having a sword that does like 200 damage per swing).

SoTN is a great game (it is a little too long), but I really just miss the old linear style. My problem is that Konami justs wants to continue with Metroidvanias rather than Classicvanias

C. Eleri Hamilton:

hurricanejbb:
Why the hell is he ragging on Myst?

Because it is in the Seekrit Society Of Game Critics Rulebook- Thou Shalt Not Admit you liked Myst, or any of the sequels, because doing so makes you a Braniac Nerdling, and we Can't Have That.

Myst fandom is the secret shame of gamers everywhere... except for those of us who have come out of the library closet.

Or it could be because, despite its obsessive cult of fan's beliefs, the game did have some legitimate flaws.

It was a fairly linear string of puzzles jacketed in a game-like veneer of travel consisting of a progression of (for the period good) CGI stills. Despite the puzzles themselves (which range from logicalc common-sense approaches to esoteric point and click pixel hunts and infuriating trial and error crapshoots) there isn't much actual gamePLAY compared to more adventure oriented puzzle games. Additionally, other than to soak in the nostalgia of low resolution early period Computer Generated Terrain graphics with edges so jagged they can be used to grate fine spices and zest citrus, there's no real replay value. The puzzles are static and merely require knowing the answer and where to find the pieces. Unless you're in it to relive the story, but at that point the puzzles are just tediously designed doors to let you progress through the rest of the game.

None of that makes Myst a bad game, but it was definitely a product of its time. One of the primary driving forces of the still newborn CD-Rom market, the immersion that drew people into it falls short in comparison with games released even a few years after it. Its cult status as "that game" for so many people hinges on that nostalgic feeling of playing it for the first time back then, not an evaluation of how it plays in comparison now.

Yatardzee.....please just stop.

You have been diluding yourself for sometime now. Im sure you can tell by the lacking of watchers over the past few years but your coming off like some young jap teen angst toon from FF.

Your basically becoming Edward from Twilight.....and probably just as small, thin and whiny....oh wait.

Just switch it up before you become a sad memory.

Technicolor:

Fronzel:

Technicolor:
I really liked Castlevania SoTN but I really hate that all Castlevania games are following it as the model rather than improving upon the classic Castlevania games

Non-linear gameplay still needs strings of linearity in order to keep the player on track or to avoid boredom. I think everyone can agree that the Inverted Castle was comparatively sloppy and aimless compared to the first half, without anything to give the player drive to move on beyond reaching the end.

Whereas Linear gameplay allows the player to assess a situation with multiple endeavors. Super Castlevania was a prime example of this, it had gameplay fairly fine-tuned in order to keep the game challenging because of level design rather than vague character & enemy strength.

Egoraptor explains this utilizing castlevania 1 & 2, which were linear & non-linear respectively

Egoraptor's piece is very insightful (I hope he does more like this), but I think he overlooks the entire exploration angle that SotN and its successors have. When I play one of those Castlevania games, the best single moments are when I look at the map and realize despite the hours I've played the game, I'm still only at like 27% completion of the map, which means there's so many more interesting environments to tread over. This is not a mechanic that has any analogue in the older Castelvania games and doesn't show up in Egoraptor's comparison.

This is true, but you said you are only at 27%. The begining half of SoTN is very well designed, and still challenging. Therefore still fun. however as both Egoraptor & Yahtzee stated, the game eventually has your character so strong that he practically breaks the game.

Eventually at this point when you have all your powers, there are still plenty of minor things to grab (like those health & magic power ups) but by then the levels aren't designed around the player's abilities, but rather by vague avatar strengths (such as having a sword that does like 200 damage per swing).

That was my experience with SotN, too (lol Crissaegrim), but not so much with the later Metroidvanias I've played, and Egoraptor's critique deals with them as a style, rather than focusing on a specific game. He didn't discuss the late-game over-powered issue, anyway.

I always liked that game because no matter how thorough you were, you'd always discover something new. Well, until you go for 200.6%.

Sorry about MK9 being banned in Australia Yahtzee. Its good as a fighting game, and they have an interesting way doing story mode for a fighting game. But I don't think it has too much appeal to people that arn't competitive. I guess you can see a lets play or something. Here is the best fight I have seen for MK9. No fatals in this vid, but this vid has the best players going at it with good commentary to give insights on how the game works.

Noobtron2:
Yatardzee.....please just stop.

You have been diluding yourself for sometime now. Im sure you can tell by the lacking of watchers over the past few years but your coming off like some young jap teen angst toon from FF.

Your basically becoming Edward from Twilight.....and probably just as small, thin and whiny....oh wait.

Just switch it up before you become a sad memory.

2/10

A serious lack of subtlety.

Too bad its truth.

No subtlety for this.

Been watching him for years and just feel like Im watching some teanage junior who requires medication and a hug from dad.

No longer funny, informative or frankly even worth a review.

There is no review hear any longer.

Look I loved the guy when he came out. Flat out Genius and funny. Now....he just needs to get laid and get some meds.

Dude, for real

Well done. When I saw the title my first reaction was one of confusion followed by the fear that you'd eviscerate one of my all-time favorites, one still considered the best Castlevania out there today by most. In it's time it was glorious. There were secrets like the Sword Brothers glitch and Axe Armor mode I didn't learn until over two years into the game.

Poison Mist is exactly what you said, one of those optional weapons you don't need but get as a reward for beating a boss harder than the last one. SoTN can do much better than that when it comes to ridiculously broken weapon/ability combinations but that's part of the fun really.

Indeed the game's easiness is its greatest flaw, something that all Metroidvanias after that have all endeavored to fix to varying degrees. I'd recommend trying one of the DS ones next time you're in the mood for a retro review but, hey, variety.

He didn't rag on Myst, he said it only survives a play through if you're playing it with nostalgia or an *extremely* open mind, which is somewhat true. Some games just don't stand the test of time to newbies.

Not to be pedantic but...the Japanese didn't invent Alucard. I believe it was an old American film that coined the name first. AVGN did a point on it in his Castlevania retrospective.

That was unexpected and AWESOME, I just love this game. I bought it on PSN (well, when it used to f**** work) as soon as I could and, like Silent Hill 2 is your scape pod of bad games, Castlevania SotN is my bunker.

And hunting for the enemies just to complete that list is something somewhat interesting. Although you forgot to mention the absolute amount of useless itens that you will NEVER use and the tottaly useless magics. And that the only sub-weapon that is worth your time is the axe, wich is a life-saver in Clock Tower.

And I have to agree with you. Reacting with that back jump even with an 1 hp damage is annoying as hell.

SotN is one of my favorite games... ever... I f*cking love it

Now Yahtzee has finally given his opinion on SotN, I'd actually be interested in knowing what he thought of Aria of Sorrow on the GBA. Not a full review of course, it'd be too similar to this to be worth the time, but just a potted summary of his opinion. In his review of Lords of Shadow he mentioned those 2 games together as examples of the pinnacle of the Castlevania series and, having played both, I personally hold the somewhat heretical opinion that Aria of Sorrow is actually BETTER than Symphony of the Night- it's better balanced, the soul system is fantastic and it has the most fascinating story of the entire series (it takes place in the FUTURE after Dracula is permanently DEAD for one thing).

JamesStone:

Srdjan Tanaskovic:
wow

there really was nothing else for you to review?

I mean

you could have gone with Donkey Kong Country Returns instead

Really? Hes complaining about lack of variety and your ideia is telling in to play Another Donkey Kong? Are you from space or something?

I didn't hear him complain about the lack of good games

besides last time we had a game like DKCR was during the SNES era

I think the game is then outside of "lack of variety" stuff

and he will get another chance to bash the Wii which he loves to

and the game is hard

so I see no reason why not to review it

The ghost of Portal 2 is still looming menacingly around.
Yahtzee feels guilty? :D

Yeah, I played Myst a year or two ago and it was fucking awful.

Hahaha nothing bad to say.
These older game are great because they demanded so much skill that if you couldnt play gtfo!
And werent made to sell copies like todays poison is.

Noobtron2:
Yatardzee.....please just stop.

You have been diluding yourself for sometime now. Im sure you can tell by the lacking of watchers over the past few years but your coming off like some young jap teen angst toon from FF.

Your basically becoming Edward from Twilight.....and probably just as small, thin and whiny....oh wait.

Just switch it up before you become a sad memory.

Noobtron2:
Too bad its truth.

No subtlety for this.

Been watching him for years and just feel like Im watching some teanage junior who requires medication and a hug from dad.

No longer funny, informative or frankly even worth a review.

There is no review hear any longer.

Look I loved the guy when he came out. Flat out Genius and funny. Now....he just needs to get laid and get some meds.

Dude, for real

Ah... you must be the butthurt ones from the SSBB review...

GET A F***ING LIFE!

Noobtron2:
Too bad its truth.

No subtlety for this.

Been watching him for years and just feel like Im watching some teanage junior who requires medication and a hug from dad.

No longer funny, informative or frankly even worth a review.

There is no review hear any longer.

Look I loved the guy when he came out. Flat out Genius and funny. Now....he just needs to get laid and get some meds.

Dude, for real

Dont say that bro theyres just nothng bad about the last several games hes reviewed.

Keep in mind hes a critic not a comedian. Hes to give us insight on whether to buy a game or not. Hes the only one thatll tell like it is about the core elements of that which makes a good nostalgic game.

Silent Eagle:
Hahaha nothing bad to say.
These older game are great because they demanded so much skill that if you couldnt play gtfo!
And werent made to sell copies like todays poison is.

You aren't seriously saying that SOTN required skill, are you? I can see that for the majority of the Caslevania series but SOTN was coma inducingly easy.

StriderShinryu:

Silent Eagle:
Hahaha nothing bad to say.
These older game are great because they demanded so much skill that if you couldnt play gtfo!
And werent made to sell copies like todays poison is.

You aren't seriously saying that SOTN required skill, are you? I can see that for the majority of the Caslevania series but SOTN was coma inducingly easy.

Did you do the 99 luck thing and get two crissagrims plus every other item in the game and get to keep your shit from death in the beginning on new game plus?

Wasnt ridiculously hard, but challenging.

eva243:
Symphony of the Night is a good Castlevania game, but I still personally think Bloodlines was the best. It was creative and very very unforgiving D:

word, Death in Blood lines didn't fuck around at all, that fight sucked x.x

interesting review choice though, but then if i had to review something as was faced with the crap that's out now, probably do Super Metriod >.>

Noobtron2:
Too bad its truth.
No subtlety for this.
Been watching him for years and just feel like Im watching some teanage junior who requires medication and a hug from dad.
No longer funny, informative or frankly even worth a review.
There is no review hear any longer.
Look I loved the guy when he came out. Flat out Genius and funny. Now....he just needs to get laid and get some meds.
Dude, for real

Alas, Poor Noobtron2!
You shall be missed on the Escapist forums.

For future trolling attempts, do try to conduct a bit of research on the subject of your ire. That "needs to get laid" part is especially hilarious, ho ho.

Dragon_Nexus:
Not to be pedantic but...the Japanese didn't invent Alucard. I believe it was an old American film that coined the name first. AVGN did a point on it in his Castlevania retrospective.

You beat me to it, but it's true. Alucard's name is taken from the 1943 movie Son of Dracula:

Anyway, this review only reinforces my desire to buy Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles, which includes Symphony of the Night as an unlockable. I've been wanting to buy that game for a while now.

I wonder if Yahtzee will ever pick up Cave Story. He'd probably love that game.

Srdjan Tanaskovic:

you could have gone with Donkey Kong Country Returns instead

No one in their right mind, anywhere, if given the choice, should play Donkey Kong Country Returns over Symphony of the Night. :)

I love this game. I agree, I kind of like that you have to figure out how to use some of the special items and explore on your own with very little hints. It's kind of refreshing, and the cd soundtrack still holds well I think.

Awesome episode.
And i never knew Alucard was Dracula spelt. backwards. THE MORE YOU KNOW!

I did detect more hate than usual for the universe though....

Pretty much correct.

The running around like a lost cat gets a bit tiresome at times. I got pretty annoyed at the very ambiguous "you need a guide to figure this out" hidden stuff. That and the inverted castle was a bit of a let down as I was basically an unstoppable killing machine by that point. Most of the bosses were a complete joke in the face of the Super Cross Attack. Though that lightning bastard at the top of the inverted castle was a pretty big pain in my rear end.

Oh and the voice acting.

I love Alucard's forward moon walk.

lol loved it ^^

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