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Sat, Oct. 31st, 2009, 11:01 pm

Hey, the PSP Persona is out. Anybody have it? Or has read a bunch of reviews of it? How is it?

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.

Tue, Nov. 3rd, 2009 08:49 am (UTC)

Well, the splendor of it is that because of the format, they don't have to do a reboot. They just have to make make a game and put it somewhere in time. Really, there isn't a problem with the formula: there's whole worlds of experimentation that somebody could be doing with it, it's that they creators so frequently forget the rule of fun, and with increasing frequency as the handheld side of the market goes on. Like in Dawn of Sorrow, a game I otherwise like, has you killing the same enemy time and time again to get it's ability, and that's part of your growth in two different ways. In practice, it's annoying, takes forever, and encourages you to put down the DS and go do something else. As I get older, the latter becomes increasingly likely. I don't think I would like it nearly as much as I did way back when. Replaying SotN is a blast, though, even though it's age gives it some quirky eges, like the naive approach to usable items and the other zany aspects of the inventory system. (All the things Alucard uses with his hands are in this pile! ^__^ It's ten pages long yaaaay where's that damn moon rod.)

"Castlevania: Charleston of Agony". "Castlevania: Foxtrot of the Twilight".