Speaking of vidya games, I think the best Castlevania was Symphony of the Night. I can't put my finger on why, exactly. Maybe it was because Alucard could do so much crazy stuff: he could use a lot of equipment (much of which had special abilities of their own), he could transform, and he has these crazy ass button-combination spells. The bosses were rather free-form, so you didn't have to do these little dances that earlier and later games in the franchise make you do. Duck, attack, walk a smidge to the right, attack, OH CRAP JUMP DOUBLE JUMP DUCK attck, duck, attack, walk a smidge to the left. You know, that kind of thing. Nope, there was very little of that. Sure, it meant that the game can be a cakewalk to some gamers, but it doesn't make it any less fun.
I think a lot of the games with the same format as SotN are kind of writhing in the shadow, though. It's been going downhill, too. Tales of Ecclesia was simply awful, in terms of gameplay. It has That One Boss several times: you have to learn to do the dances, like I mentioned above, for each of them. I do not know what the designers were thinking. To wash it down, I slogged around in Dracula X Chronicles to unlock SotN -- YES I JUST SAID UNLOCK KONAMI IS FILLED WITH CRAZY BASTARDS okay okay take a breath -- and play it again just to wash it down. To make it worse, they're falling the name formula from Symphony of the Night, so they're always something like "Castlevania: Something of the Something" or "Castlevania: [Song type] of [Thing]" Circle of the Moon. Harmony of Dissonance. Aria of Sorrow. Dawn of Sorrow (direct sequel). Portrait of Ruin. Tales of Ecclesia. I look forward to "Castlevania: Mambo of Regret" and "Castlevania: Shuffle of the Doomed".
Most fans of the series agree with me on all of this, but a lot of us just keep forkin' over the money. (I've stopped, pretty much. Pretty much.) Maybe therin lies the problem.