Saturday, October 31, 2015

Castlevania: Dracula X (Super NES, 1995)

Here's a game that I've never covered before. It got somewhat of a bad rep over the years, and a lot of that is probably because Super Castlevania IV was a much better game. This despite Super Castlevania IV being years earlier in the Super NES's lifespan. In short, this was a fairly unnecessary addition to the Castlevania-verse, but it's a decent game regardless.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Castlevania Bloodlines (Sega Genesis, 1994)

Originally posted in 2010, now remastered for 2015.

With this one, the series arrives on the Sega Genesis with a bang. I found this game to be more fun than the NES installments, even though it still has a brutal final battle. In keeping with Sega's early 90's tradition of acting younger and hipper than Nintendo, this game stars the hip young descendants of Simon Belmont. Come on in and follow along.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Super Castlevania IV (Super NES, 1991)

This was one of the Super NES's earliest games, and helped kickstart Nintendo's bid to regain any ground they lost to the Sega Genesis - which got an earlier release - in the 16-bit wars. It's a great game, and my personal favorite in this series.

It isn't a sequel to the earlier games, nor is it a prequel like the third. This is nothing less than a remake of the original Castlevania starring Simon Belmont. That's right, we've gone from the original, to a sequel, to a prequel, to an original remake. It's pretty weird, but at least it's less confusing than Zelda.

Because this game is SO GOOD, I decided to do something special with this one rather than my usual spastic commentary and juvenile references. Thus, it will be narrated entirely by the protagonist, Simon Belmont.

Take it away, Simon.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Castlevania III: Akumajou Densetsu (Famicom, 1989)

(Originally posted in 2010, now heavily remastered for 2015. This is probably the most-remastered of anything I've remastered. Without further ado, let's start this.)

Time for another classic game. It's worth noting that what I'm playing here isn't Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse as we know it here in the States. It's the Famicom version of that game, translated as Legend of Demon Castle. (Note: Pay no attention to the title screen spelling it "Akumajyou", as the Y is evidently a typo in the version I got ahold of).

Why play the Japanese version over the U.S. version, you ask? Well, this version has vastly better music and a more down-to-Earth challenge level. That's right, this is one instance of an NES game that was actually made more difficult for the North American version. A more manageable challenge level is very welcome here; the U.S. version is so difficult that it might as well have been a game about birthing a meteor. The music is also notably improved in this version, due to it having a special sound chip that the North American version lacked. Now that we've established all of that, time to play the most well-balanced version of the third game in the series.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES, 1988)

The second game in the series is...well, how to say this. It is not like the others. It emphasizes exploration and collection of powers. It's a "proto" version of some of the later titles, rather than a straight-up action game like the original. It seems like companies were into trying entirely new things for their second game rather than sticking to what worked at the time, if this and Zelda 2 are any indication. Both are, to an extent, the black sheep of their series. Regardless, this is the first of many "Metroidvania" games. I originally wrote about this in 2010, but here's an entirely remastered post. The original post was legitimately not good and in dire need of editing.

While we're on the subject... what's up with the word "Metroidvania"? Shouldn't games of that style simply be referred to as "Metroid-esque" since Metroid did all this stuff first? "Metroidvania" is like referring to "Reaganesque" politicians as "Reagan/Perry-esque".

...well, maybe not quite that bad.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Castlevania (NES, 1987)

Time to take a look at the original Castlevania. Originally posted this in 2010, but I'm presenting a remastered version here.
For anyone unfamiliar with Castlevania, it's a series where you play as various vampire hunters (such as Richter, and Simon) and battle Dracula and his minions. This series has garnered a hell of a lot of acclaim over the years, and the original - this one right heeah - is where it all began. This is Simon's quest (heh) to conquer Dracula, the terror of the night. It's an NES game from 1987, so it will be an arduous battle. Let's do this.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Gargoyle's Quest II (NES, 1992)

Gargoyle's Quest II is the NES debut of Firebrand. This game got an even more limited release than Demon's Crest, and as a result it's a rarity that almost no one got to play. Follow along as I reference tons and tons of other games that this one reminds me of.

There was a Gargoyle's Quest II for the Game Boy before this, but only in Japan. So this NES version is actually... a port of a Game Boy game? Don't things usually go the other way around? Given that it came out in 1992 - after the NES had started winding down - it's surprising that they didn't take it directly to the SNES.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Gargoyle's Quest (Game Boy, 1990)

Also Known As Red Arremer: Makai-Mura Gaiden, Gargoyle's Quest is a side-story to the legendary Ghouls n' Ghosts series from the late 80's and early 90's. That series was best known for having nightmarish difficulty, even at a time when high difficulty was the norm. In any case, there was one particularly nasty foe, a red gargoyle, which I talked about in the last post quite a bit. This recurring foe, named Firebrand, ended up getting his own series. Gargoyle's Quest is where it all begins. No word on if Arthur shows up in this game to make Firebrand's life miserable, but it'd certainly be karma.