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Bootation
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"Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre order" , posted Wed 1 Nov 02:48post reply

Hello Fellow Vampire Hunters. I'm surprised no one has posted about this upcoming game: Here what you get if you preorder:

Pre-order bonus

The wax-sealed package features a 48-page art book detailing every game in the Castlevania series, a 20th anniversary soundtrack CD that covers the music of the series, a time line poster detailing key events and characters in the Castlevania series, a special edition DS Lite Castlevania stylus that extends for comfort, as well as a special game case that allows gamers to keep both Castlevania DS games close in their possession.

Does that not sound fucking awesome or what????

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSxIq3S7kaI&eurl=

here is a link of this game in action. It looks fuckin rad. 2d goodness.

(unfortunately i don't know if i can preorder since i don't have a address or any money but still. Finally good games are coming out for ds like children of mana and final fantasy.)





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IkariDC
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"Re(1):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre ord" , posted Wed 1 Nov 04:02post reply

I preordered mine yesterday, and I would have done it earlier but I was out the whole weekend.

I just hope I wasn't too late, the pack is just awesome! Also, I wonder if Japan is getting anything at all.






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"Re(1):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre ord" , posted Wed 1 Nov 04:10post reply

quote:
Hello Fellow Vampire Hunters. I'm surprised no one has posted about this upcoming game:



We have, actually!





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"Re(1):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre ord" , posted Wed 1 Nov 04:17post reply

quote:


Does that not sound fucking awesome or what????

(unfortunately i don't know if i can preorder since i don't have a address or any money but still. Finally good games are coming out for ds like children of mana and final fantasy.)


Wow that does look pretty awesome. I thought the only pre-order bonus was a cd. Looks like the game comes out fairly close to X-mas. Maybe you can ask your parents or brother for it? I'm definitely pre-ordering this. Thanks for the link Bootation.





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"Re(2):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre ord" , posted Wed 1 Nov 22:33post reply

On a separate note, Castlevania games continuously stay fun but anyone notice the series has gone towards a more bright-colored, anime-ish direction?

I miss the old creepy style like the insects crawling up the wall in Castlevania 4 or the drab, olive-colored walls of Castlevania: Bloodlines. Set the mood alot more IMO





IkariDC
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"Re(3):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre ord" , posted Thu 2 Nov 01:01post reply

quote:
On a separate note, Castlevania games continuously stay fun but anyone notice the series has gone towards a more bright-colored, anime-ish direction?

I miss the old creepy style like the insects crawling up the wall in Castlevania 4 or the drab, olive-colored walls of Castlevania: Bloodlines. Set the mood alot more IMO



That's just because they want to attract the younger audience so they can spand the castlevania fanbase.






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"Re(4):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre ord" , posted Thu 2 Nov 08:08post reply

So I got mine too, yesterday. Finally got convinced by Ikari.

Both pack and game look sooo appetizing...
quote:
On a separate note, Castlevania games continuously stay fun but anyone notice the series has gone towards a more bright-colored, anime-ish direction?

I miss the old creepy style like the insects crawling up the wall in Castlevania 4 or the drab, olive-colored walls of Castlevania: Bloodlines. Set the mood alot more IMO


That's just because they want to attract the younger audience so they can spand the castlevania fanbase.


w0rd.

Altho' I understand it and it doesn't specially bother me, I'd certainly prefer it if they were darker like those 2 you mentioned...





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"Re(4):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre ord" , posted Thu 2 Nov 08:16post reply

quote:
That's just because they want to attract the younger audience so they can spand the castlevania fanbase.



it sure isn't working in japan!





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"Re(5):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre ord" , posted Thu 2 Nov 08:23post reply

quote:
That's just because they want to attract the younger audience so they can spand the castlevania fanbase.


it sure isn't working in japan!


>.< I say, then.

Why are you saying this, though? Low sale rates? High average age? Simple curiosity.





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exodus
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"Re(6):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre ord" , posted Thu 2 Nov 08:26post reply

quote:
Why are you saying this, though? Low sale rates? High average age? Simple curiosity.



The last one's first-week sales were under 15,000 in Japan.

eeeeeeeeeh! That's pretty bad!





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"Re(7):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre ord" , posted Thu 2 Nov 13:10post reply

quote:

The last one's first-week sales were under 15,000 in Japan.

OUCH! If they're gonna (unjustly in my opinion) bomb like that, they should at least bomb in style and keep using Kojima Ayami's fantastic character designs instead of that generic anime rubbish they've used on the past two games. Feels a little too much like 1994, and not in a good Rondo of Blood way, either...





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"Re(2):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre ord" , posted Thu 2 Nov 18:53post reply

quote:
I preordered mine yesterday, and I would have done it earlier but I was out the whole weekend.

I just hope I wasn't too late, the pack is just awesome! Also, I wonder if Japan is getting anything at all.



LOL Ikari, you never fail my expectations... how is it that I already knew what you were going to say in your post before reading it? At least I hope you show us the precious stuff : even I got curious about so many gifts on a single package...





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"Re(8):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre ord" , posted Thu 2 Nov 20:34post reply

quote:

Feels a little too much like 1994, and not in a good Rondo of Blood way, either...



Rondo of Blood's look was typical in 94, and thus not notable, but today, it's only good for nostalgia value. Don't get me wrong, I love the ugly old designs, but that doesn't make them good. But man, Richter on that guitar. (or was it a keytar?)

The thing that pisses me off about the new art isn't that it's "anime", but that it's shit. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't know anything about art. I don't know where they find such terrible artists. Surely we can have a happy medium! The Castlevania picture the Oz/Suiko3 artist did was okay!





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"Re(9):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre ord" , posted Fri 3 Nov 02:02post reply

quote:

Feels a little too much like 1994, and not in a good Rondo of Blood way, either...


Rondo of Blood's look was typical in 94, and thus not notable, but today, it's only good for nostalgia value. Don't get me wrong, I love the ugly old designs, but that doesn't make them good. But man, Richter on that guitar. (or was it a keytar?)

The thing that pisses me off about the new art isn't that it's "anime", but that it's shit. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't know anything about art. I don't know where they find such terrible artists. Surely we can have a happy medium! The Castlevania picture the Oz/Suiko3 artist did was okay!



I don't think those new designs are so bad (in terms of animu style), the fact is that we were so used to Koyima's gorgeous artwork that everything is going to look like shit to our eyes from now on... I wish she had returned for Portrait of Ruin , but I guess she was too busy/expensive for taking on this project...





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"Re(10):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre or" , posted Fri 3 Nov 04:04post reply

quote:

I don't think those new designs are so bad (in terms of animu style), the fact is that we were so used to Koyima's gorgeous artwork that everything is going to look like shit to our eyes from now on... I wish she had returned for Portrait of Ruin , but I guess she was too busy/expensive for taking on this project...



Well, Down of Sorrow's art style was anime, and it was ugly. IGA said that Koyima was too busy with the art of Curse of Darkness and also that they went with that anime style to get a younger audience into the series's fanbase.

Ok, so in Japan that move failed? I guess it worked wonders in the rest of the world. Now, this time they've got no excuses to not get Koyima involved in the title. The art is better this time, but it's not good either, but maybe I have to wait to play the game and see the ingame art.

So what will they do next time to try to make a Castlevania game appeal to the japanese audience?






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"Re(2):Re(10):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS " , posted Fri 3 Nov 05:05post reply

A shame Kojima kept getting distracted by the poor 3D Dracula projects while far better portable games are getting this pathetic anime art. And like Polly said, it's not bad because it's anime-style, it's just simply generic and ugly and way more 1994 than Rondo of Blood already was in 1994 (acceptable then, and laughably behind the times now). At the very least, they could get competent cartoony artists for Dracula, and they have in the past: witness the surprisingly good character designs for the surprisingly bad Nintendo 64 Dracula games, along with the fairly snappy Circle of the Moon stuff, too. The two DS character designs though, wow...if I didn't know that the games were quality, I'd be terrified that Konami wasn't putting any effort into the games.





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"Re(2):Re(10):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS" , posted Fri 3 Nov 05:56post reply

quote:
So what will they do next time to try to make a Castlevania game appeal to the japanese audience?


They tried to make good games, bad games, make good games again, change the name to trick people into thinking the game was not what it is, and change the name back so people don't know what it's even called.

You can't say they didn't do their best.





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"Re(9):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre ord" , posted Sun 5 Nov 05:25:post reply

quote:
Rondo of Blood's look was typical in 94, and thus not notable, but today, it's only good for nostalgia value. Don't get me wrong, I love the ugly old designs, but that doesn't make them good.

I think that's a little elitist, and keep in mind this is coming from ME, ha ha ha. I guess I just generally prefer older anime designs than what's been done recently... I personally don't care for Kojima's designs much.

Anyway, to be on topic, uh... Akumajo has never been particularly popular in Japan, but these do seem like "new lows". I don't even have a DS, and I probably won't get any of this until they make some way to hook the DS up to the Revolution or something and play it on a proper telly (but methinks that will never happen considering the way the DS works, sooo....)





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[this message was edited by Red Falcon on Sun 5 Nov 05:26]

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"Re(10):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre or" , posted Sun 5 Nov 06:08:post reply

Heh, I don't know if I would tag the old Rondo designs as ugly per se, but like Polly said, they weren't terribly groundbreaking in design with their simple faces and pastel colors either, even then. Compared to caliber of anime-styled art you could see in games in 1994, like Kubooka's work in Lunar or Toriyama's Chrono Trigger designs, I think the Rondo stuff wasn't that distinguished (though admitedly still fun).

Regarding Akumajou's (un) popularity, I'm still amazed that Iga was insane to rename the thing Castlevania in Japanese for a few games, which is even clunkier than it is in English. The latest three handheld ones are impressive, but I like to imagine that making a new non-handheld full-on extravaganza would help...





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[this message was edited by Maou on Sun 5 Nov 06:09]

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"Re(10):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS Pre or" , posted Sun 5 Nov 07:34post reply

quote:

I think that's a little elitist, and keep in mind this is coming from ME, ha ha ha. I guess I just generally prefer older anime designs than what's been done recently... I personally don't care for Kojima's designs much.

Anyway, to be on topic, uh... Akumajo has never been particularly popular in Japan, but these do seem like "new lows". I don't even have a DS, and I probably won't get any of this until they make some way to hook the DS up to the Revolution or something and play it on a proper telly (but methinks that will never happen considering the way the DS works, sooo....)



Well, okay..."ugly" is my opinion, but that doesn't make the designs interesting or inspired. Even if you like that style, the degree of artistry originality and thought put into them is much less than you see in Kojima's designs. Of course, that doesn't mean a thing if you don't LIKE her designs, so I can't make a "better/worse" argument here based on preference. If Leonardo DaVinci made unappealing character designs for a game, then he still wouldn't be doing his job. So what I'm saying is that I don't think it's fair to say the old designs are terribly good from an artistic perspective, but that doesn't mean they aren't preferable from a game-design one.

In my opinion it's better for Castlevania to look gothic...legitimately so (not like "oh, we have gothic lolita characters, and this guy has lipstick so it's gothic), and I believe that it's a travesty that they have a new Castlevania game ABOUT PAINTINGS and they have a GREAT PAINTER that normally does Castlevania art, and they use mediocre CG instead.

Also, although there are some desperate moves in there, the GBA/DS Castlevania games are still pretty decent on the whole. My only complaint with Dawn of Sorrow was that it was unforgivably easy and offered a very unbalanced challenge. That kidna comes with the territory on the "Metroid-styled" Castlevania games, though...so I'm always hoping they can incorporate the excellent challenge and level design from the older games. I enjoy the new ones, but I can go back and play Rondo of Blood, or the Megadrive one (name eludes me) any time...whereas I'm done with the new ones when I win them.





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"Re(2):Re(10):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS" , posted Sun 5 Nov 09:22post reply

Argh, you're right, artistic preferences (I love Kojima) aside, I hadn't even realized how unbearably tragic it was that a skilled painter like Kojima wasn't doing the paintings for the, uh, painting Dracula game. The actual Portrait artist doesn't even deserve Curse of Darkness when I take this into account. Granted, I can totally see how Red Falcon and others don't really dig Kojima (same with Amano, though I love his work, too), but it is a shame about the missed painting op.





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"Re(2):Re(10):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS" , posted Sun 5 Nov 10:51post reply

quote:


In my opinion it's better for Castlevania to look gothic...legitimately so (not like "oh, we have gothic lolita characters, and this guy has lipstick so it's gothic), and I believe that it's a travesty that they have a new Castlevania game ABOUT PAINTINGS and they have a GREAT PAINTER that normally does Castlevania art, and they use mediocre CG instead.

Now that this is spelled out to me, it does seem like a missed opportunity on their part. Also, I meant "Wii" back there, my brain falters more often than not nowadays.





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"Re(3):Re(10):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS" , posted Sun 5 Nov 11:05post reply

quote:

Now that this is spelled out to me, it does seem like a missed opportunity on their part. Also, I meant "Wii" back there, my brain falters more often than not nowadays.



I thought maybe you were refusing to call it the "Wii" like I...and probably quite a few others...did for a while. Funny how that all washed over, though and despite the initial bitching, people seem to widely accept the silly name.





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"Re(4):Re(10):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS" , posted Sun 5 Nov 11:38post reply

quote:

Now that this is spelled out to me, it does seem like a missed opportunity on their part. Also, I meant "Wii" back there, my brain falters more often than not nowadays.


I thought maybe you were refusing to call it the "Wii" like I...and probably quite a few others...did for a while. Funny how that all washed over, though and despite the initial bitching, people seem to widely accept the silly name.



Im coming....nintendo...wii.....





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"Re(5):Re(10):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS" , posted Sun 5 Nov 16:38post reply

Castlevania Bloodlines is the game made for Genesis/Megadrive.

But, who really cares about the art direction that this series is being carried in? I didn't mind the new anime look brought along with Dawn of Sorrow. I'm more concern with learning about the monster cast, and how many new weapons/abilities are available, not to mention seeing what kind of cool easter eggs are hidden in each game.





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"Re(6):Re(10):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS" , posted Sun 5 Nov 16:52post reply

quote:

But, who really cares about the art direction that this series is being carried in? I didn't mind the new anime look brought along with Dawn of Sorrow. I'm more concern with learning about the monster cast, and how many new weapons/abilities are available, not to mention seeing what kind of cool easter eggs are hidden in each game.



I wouldn't care if the art wasn't so insultingly bad. It's amateurish...like they intentionally picked someone crappy when there's thousands upon thousands of better artists that would die to do art for games like that.

But, your point remains in that the art doesn't effect how the sprites look, since they're so small. Even if Kojima DID do the illustrations, you'd only be able to tell in the (presumably infrequent) story sequences...it wouldn't effect the game as a whole.

So, yes...my primary concern is still about gameplay. I don't care about quantity anymore, though. I want quality. Challenge and excellent level design. Better pacing and management of what you have when and where. I want something that's put together well as a whole, rather it has a pretty bow on top or an ugly, poorly-drawn one.





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"Re(7):Re(10):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS" , posted Mon 6 Nov 05:23:post reply

First, on the pre-order -- yeah, I was one to get in mine as soon as I heard about the bonus. I just hope distribution of the bonus goes smoothly.

quote:
I wouldn't care if the art wasn't so insultingly bad. It's amateurish...like they intentionally picked someone crappy when there's thousands upon thousands of better artists that would die to do art for games like that.

And do those better artists know how to market themselves properly, so that potential employers would find them?

I remember Don Hertzfeldt (of Rejected stick-figure fame) saying that art schools should require students to take some form of business class too. And I can see why -- it's not necessarily the best artists that get the jobs. It's the sufficient artists who know how to make themselves known to, and win favor with, employers.

... of course, that's with any profession.

[And for the record -- from what I've seen (cover art, in-game portraits, etc.) -- I'm also one that actually kinda likes the art.]






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"Re(8):Re(10):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS" , posted Mon 6 Nov 08:07post reply

quote:
And I can see why -- it's not necessarily the best artists that get the jobs. It's the sufficient artists who know how to make themselves known to, and win favor with, employers.

... of course, that's with any profession.



You're absolutely right. While some very lucky people can be approached simply by having a webpage, it's kind of short-sighted to think that you can get jobs just by "being out there." I would either be working a minimum wage job, or dead in a ditch if I didn't learn the benefits of networking. I've seen people ballsy enough to apply for jobs they're not even remotely qualified for...and get them. I think that's the case here, but as there's at least one person that likes the art (you), I can't say it's a total failure.





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"Re(9):Re(10):Castlevania Portrait of Ruin DS" , posted Mon 6 Nov 20:57post reply

quote:

You're absolutely right. While some very lucky people can be approached simply by having a webpage, it's kind of short-sighted to think that you can get jobs just by "being out there." I would either be working a minimum wage job, or dead in a ditch if I didn't learn the benefits of networking. I've seen people ballsy enough to apply for jobs they're not even remotely qualified for...and get them. I think that's the case here, but as there's at least one person that likes the art (you), I can't say it's a total failure.




Well, I think we have seen worse examples thousands of times... take Del Rey, for instance. Or the ones who butchered Bengus' art for the USA version of "Quiz and Dragons". Hell, at least it looks better than Dawn of Sorrow, at least as far as I know (only watched some pin-ups)





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"Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment?" , posted Tue 12 Dec 12:32post reply

Now that it's been out for a few days; how does it compare to the recent GBA and DS titles?





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"Re(1):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Tue 12 Dec 15:23post reply

quote:
Now that it's been out for a few days; how does it compare to the recent GBA and DS titles?



Overall, Portrait of Ruin is right up there along with the Sorrow games/Symphony of the Night. Gameplay overall rocks and there's plenty to explore and plenty of secrets and easter eggs to dig up. I like it.





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"Re(2):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Tue 12 Dec 17:26post reply

I like it more than the last one, that's for sure. It's not stupidly easy at least. For the last 3 Castlevania games, I didn't use any healing items, just to make it a challenge. In this one, I dropped that and substituted it with "not BUYING any healing items". Although it's still easy for most of the game, the 4 end(ish) painting areas are really fun and challenging. There are some decent boss fights in there, too.

There's still an issue of many spells/weapons, but very few useful ones, as well as the obvious one or two that are tremendously overpowered (that you get early, no less).

I AM THRILLED that you have the option to play in English or Japanese. Very nice. Some of it is more fun in English, but I can't stand English attack foleys, so I'm happy to be free of that. American's inability to do attack foley prevents me from buying so many games. Of course, the voices are annoying in Japanese too, but that's because both the main characters are stupid, arrogant, annoying people. Actually, I wouldn't have them any other way.

My greatest insult from the art is that a certain character from a certain other Castlevania game that I liked a lot looks like a fucking Scooby Doo villain. If you look at the gallery on the official page, there's some art of him looking decidedly badass, as he should. There's also some of the WORST 4 koma I've ever seen. Especially the ishi/isha joke.

Speaking of the art, if this was supposed to aimed at a younger audience, it has an awful lot of naked women, bouncing breasts and (perhaps a first!) a sort of...bouncing...crotch! (yes!)





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"Re(3):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Wed 13 Dec 01:09post reply

quote:
bouncing breasts and (perhaps a first!) a sort of...bouncing...crotch! (yes!)

Bonus bizarro points of both of those are about female characters. But it sounds like there is bouncing for all genders now!





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"Re(3):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Wed 13 Dec 19:53post reply

I just got it on Monday, and started it for real yesterday. Unfortunately I have very little time to play, having gotten only up to the first boss, good ol' Dullahan (I beat him but due to carelessness I got killed later and forgot to save... so I have to kill him again. Such a tragic life is mine :_( ).

So far... I found the castle entrance to be a little bit too empty and monotonous, just like COTM. Then again, it's only about 7% (IIRC) of the whole thing, so duh...

The "Hazy Town", instead, is precious, beatiful and gorgeous. Full of details such as the hanging pieces of meat on one room, which you can hit and make 'em swing... accomplishing nothing (that I know so far, at least), just for the heck of it. I'm such a sucker for things like this... ^_^;

The control... feels a little bit... uh... what's the word? complex? No, that's not it, but can't think of a better one. I find myself pushing the change playing character button when I want to call or viceversa...
Then again, I'd blame the fact I've just played it twice and specially my own clumsiness for that, rather than its design.

And so it is.

Oh, and one little thing: for some reason, the ambience overall feels more like the XIXth century than the 40s to me, so far.
quote:

I AM THRILLED that you have the option to play in English or Japanese. Very nice. Some of it is more fun in English, but I can't stand English attack foleys, so I'm happy to be free of that. American's inability to do attack foley prevents me from buying so many games. Of course, the voices are annoying in Japanese too, but that's because both the main characters are stupid, arrogant, annoying people. Actually, I wouldn't have them any other way.

DO WANT!

*searches* *finds*
*is spoiled a little, ouch!*

Thx for the info! I've kept myself away from any info from this game, in fear of spoilers, so I didn't know about that.





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"Re(4):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Wed 13 Dec 20:11post reply

quote:

*searches* *finds*
*is spoiled a little, ouch!*



For those of you who may read this and don't want to be spoiled, you just hold down the L button when you start your game (with A button) on the main menu. You'll know you have it when Johnathan yells "Show Ti-" .He never quite gets the "time" out...makes me laugh every time.

Also, to see his crotch animation, hold "up" for a long time. Charlotte's is okay, too (but her delivery on the English is so off!), but you can't get with Jonathan's pose.

Oh, and I still have issues at the end of the game getting "call" and "change" mixed up. It's hardly a nuisance, though.





Iggy
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"Re(5):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Wed 13 Dec 20:51post reply

On that subject : the game can be played by two players in cooperative mode, is it ? You need two games, then you can play the whole game with someone ?





Sensenic
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"Re(6):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Wed 13 Dec 21:04post reply

quote:
On that subject : the game can be played by two players in cooperative mode, is it ? You need two games, then you can play the whole game with someone ?


Yes, but only a special stage, called "co-op mode" (or similar), not the main game per se. A pity.
It can be played through Wireless and Wi-Fi and... I don't recall exactly, but since the manual didn't mention anything about downloading, guess both are needed, yup.





Ling Yao. The king indeed.

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And still there was nothing but you could see it!
" -Unknown-

Iggy
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"Re(7):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Thu 14 Dec 00:48post reply

quote:
Yes, but only a special stage, called "co-op mode" (or similar), not the main game per se. A pity.

Oh.
Thanks for the answer.

Does anyone know if that co-op mode is any long (or even better, fun ?)





IkariDC
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"Re(8):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Thu 14 Dec 04:24post reply

I'll try the co-op mode on friday, stay tuned!






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exodus
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"Re(3):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Thu 14 Dec 17:15post reply

quote:
I like it more than the last one, that's for sure.



waaaaah, I don't understand. the last one had a live universe, one that felt like a castlevania game. this has...action stages. it feels like action sidescroller game - not castlevania.

what do you base the increased liking on?





Pollyanna
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"Re(4):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Thu 14 Dec 17:33post reply

quote:
it feels like action sidescroller game - not castlevania.



There's the problem. Castlevania IS an action sidescroller. Unlike most people, SoTN is not my favorite Castlevania. I've had enough games like it. I want an old school action sidescrolling game with excellent level design and balanced, challening gameplay. That, other than aesthetics, is what makes the game for me.

The problem with the last game, even if it "felt" more right was that it was absolutely stupidly easy, and although you had tons of variety in what you could do, most everything was so useless and poorly balanced that it was a "screwing around game" more than anything. That's fine, if you like that sort of thing, but I don't and I don't think it necessarily epitomizes Castlevania (as these elements were completely lacking from the earlier games).

While the art is awful, the characters are too cartoony and some of the settings are less than fantastic, if I look at the cover, and I can still buy the game, then I've committed myself to those disappointments.

The interesting enemy design, variation and animations (which I credit DoS mostly for) bring me back to the feelings of delight I had playing the first game and seeing things like the paint peeling away at the "top" of the dungeon....or maybe the monster that was chasing you in Dracula X that you find out is missing its back half.

So when I play Portrait of Ruin, I think that I've lost some precious things, but I've gotten a few back as well. I'm still waiting for magic to happen again, but this one has enough for me to work with and enjoy.





Iggy
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"Re(5):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Thu 14 Dec 18:29post reply

quote:
There's the problem. Castlevania IS an action sidescroller.

Seconded.





exodus
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"Re(5):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Fri 15 Dec 03:08:post reply

quote:
I want an old school action sidescrolling game with excellent level design and balanced, challening gameplay.



I assume you're content to keep waiting? That's definitely not what I get out of this game. The level design is even less inspired than the more metroid-esque ones, in that it's basically just 'levels', some of which are even just straight, with not much variety. I feel like the series has not been innovative design-wise for a while, and I feel like this game isn't necessarily a step forward.

I agree that some of them were too easy - and this one is a little harder (still not 'hard', but I'm only in the third painting now), but it also makes the weapons less important than they ever were. As you (I think) mentioned, there are just a few good weapons, and all the rest are useless. In previous CVs of this type, you'd usually get weapons that were more powerful as you progressed - this one hasn't worked that way at all.

I take your point on the better animations and whatnot, but the happy colors and bright setting really doesn't work for me, and doesn't feel like Castlevania. I want at least a *little* darkness.

For me, Castlevania is mostly just about discovering things and the feeling it brings across - the discovery aspect of this is not intentionally diminished here, but isn't well done. The feeling, well - the aesthetic really changes that. CV may be an action series, even if it's really only the first few that were that way (there've been more that weren't than were at this point), but I don't think this is a good action game. It's halfway between the original stuff and the contemporary, and I don't think it does either one right. Granted it's not done yet, but since when has castlevania been a game that builds to something? Well - it's been a while anyway.

So whereas previous castlevanias inexplicably inspired me to keep playing through the acquisition of new/more interesting items, this one does not. The fact that there's some measure of difficulty is nice, but isn't quite enough for me. Also, if you're going to make the game more difficult, why, why, why go for the stupid anime look? As much as I like Ayami Kojima, if they're not going to play to her strengths, they should have someone else design it. Her real artwork is gorgeous, as we all know, but she sucks at anime-style characters. How big are his thighs? I mean come on... I hate the arrogant characters and ridiculous stories as well.

So, this is rambling and I don't even know what I'm saying now because I've been typing it off and on for over 45 minutes, doing work in between. I think my conclusion is that this is in no way my favorite castlevania, and I don't think the castlevania I want will ever be made.

And Penelope/whatever they call the maid always reminds me of Polly (perhaps because I know she's a fan of the series as well). Don't know if she can fight as well though.


[edit]
iggy, congrats on breaking 8,000! you are an inspiration to us all!





[this message was edited by exodus on Fri 15 Dec 05:28]

Iggy
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"Re(6):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Fri 15 Dec 03:33post reply

quote:

iggy, congrats on breaking 8,000! you are an inspiration to us all!


Holy crap





exodus
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"Re(7):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Fri 15 Dec 04:34post reply

quote:

Holy crap



Yeah, I thought you might not have noticed!





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"Re(6):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Fri 15 Dec 04:41post reply

quote:
As much as I like Ayumi Kojima, if they're not going to play to her strengths, they should have someone else design it. Her real artwork is gorgeous, as we all know, but she sucks at anime-style characters.

Er, did Kojima Ayami have anything to do with this? I hadn't heard her name associated with the project on any websites, and wasn't even aware she could, let alone would, draw generic anime stuff like that. Not owning the game, I can't check, but was it actually her?

Toatsy Frog sounded like he hit it on the head by saying that it wanted to be this mix of Metroidvania and Akumajou Densetsu/CV3, yet didn't really succeed at being either. I'd really just settle for Rondo of Blood-styled but with Nocturne-quality controls.





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Pollyanna
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"Re(6):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Fri 15 Dec 07:20post reply

quote:

I assume you're content to keep waiting? That's definitely not what I get out of this game. The level design is even less inspired than the more metroid-esque ones, in that it's basically just 'levels', some of which are even just straight, with not much variety. I feel like the series has not been innovative design-wise for a while, and I feel like this game isn't necessarily a step forward.



I'm not trying to imply that this game is any kind of ideal. I think it took steps forward in some ways and took steps backward in others.

With me, a little challenge goes a LONG way, though. In the past few games, I haven't even had to PAY ATTENTION to what I'm doing. I can just run into enemies, or use some kind of shield-like spell and zip around. If I'm not into collecting crap (which is totally boring to me) I get very very little enjoyment out of the game. I don't care how much crap it gives you to do, if none of it has any bearing on the gaming experience outside of novelty, then it's useless.

In the last "group" of paintings in PoR, although the levels look like crap and the designs are very basic (go in a circle, straight line), the enemies were fun, I had a few different things I could do with the system, and it felt like I was playing Castlevania again. It didn't look like it, but I could lose myself in it after I had to pay attention or die.

Also, there are more good boss fights in this game than the last 3 combined. The last boss fight is pretty decent, too.

I mean, I really agree with most of what you're saying. The game has a lot of problems the recent games have had, and a few new ones as well, but I got almost nothing out of the last game other than "cool enemy designs" and "neat second playthrough mode". In this one, I've had a few memorable gaming experiences at least.

Oh, and the soundtrack is a little better than usual, I think. There were 4 tracks I liked.

PS: The maid's name is "Persephone". Actually, I made an icon of her a while back, which I am now using to demonstrate that which I have done. I used to be good at fighting, but I don't know anymore. I'm bad at vacuuming, though.





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"Re(7):Anybody who pre-ordered care to comment" , posted Sat 16 Dec 20:48post reply

Ok, I played the co-op mode yesterday. It's like a boss rush mode, but with rooms in between the bosses, with some enemies. You select a character, and then select a course to play. You can see there how many unlockable characters are in the game, since there are empty boxes for them. You can also pick up the same character as your friend is, same color and everything. There are 3 courses, but I think that you'll unlock the others when you finish the game, because the first course uses bosses from Down of Sorrow, for not spoiling the bosses from the game until you finish it.

Like in the game, you share the same HP bar with your friend, but at least for now you can't do the dual attack thing. You appear in this mode with the same experience level, and using the same equipment you are using on your saved game, and you can't change it. Hell, you can't even pause the game. It seems that all of the "double jump, etc." type of abilities are available.

The first course is very short, like about 6 rooms, straight like in boss rush mode, so I find it stupid that in the upper screen it shows the map, revealing in it the next rooms when you enter them for the first time... At the end of this course there was a ring. I don't know if it's always the same item or if it's random.

It was fun, but I hope that the other courses are more complex and challenging/rewarding.






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