i finished castlevania 64 a couple of weeks ago but am just now getting around to collecting my thoughts (and links!). i’m quite familiar with the original NES castlevania, so i was interested in playing the 3D version despite reading people’s complaints about it. the game does have its faults, but i actually ended up rather liking it, definitely enough to play through as carrie and pick up the “sequel”, legacy of darkness (eventually).
most people will probably mostly agree with the reviews posted at vgmuseum.com and ign.com. i appreciated the storyline, such as it was, but my biggest complaint is that the gameplay gets a bit too repetitive. it may just be me, but endlessly jumping over pits and whipping medusa heads and candles gets old. in the center of the game are a villa and a castle that you get to explore which make the game much more interesting.
one thing that people consistenly complain about is the game’s camera. i’d recently read this feature at 1up.com about the differences between japanese and western approaches to game design, and so i was much more accepting about it. if you keep the mindset that the fixed camera is part of the challenge of the game, then you shouldn’t be too disappointed. it’s not too problematic anyway, and at times it even makes the game more effective. for example, at one point you’re being chased around by a baddie with a chainsaw, and if you had complete camera control you could always just turn around and see exactly where he was, which would be a much different experience than never quite knowing how far behind you he is.
not much more to say. i’d previously said that it was interesting how franchises reuse the same elements over and over (enemies, weapons, etc.), but in this case i found the reuse to be a bit stale; not quite sure why that was. anyway, i’ll have to see how the next castlevania game i play fares.
– vgmuseum.com: best cv64 site, with scans of the instruction book, all the dialogue transcribed, screenshots of all four endings, and more.
– nice guide from ign.com
– castlevania.classicgaming.gamespy.com also has some good info, including concept artwork and a comprehensive timeline
– about.com has some good bios on carrie and reinhardt.
well, it’s def. been a full year of gaming. i’m not quite sure that last christmas when i got a gamecube after years of living without a console i would’ve fallen quite so hard in my renewed interest for video games, or that i would’ve had so many memorable times. but looking over all these blog entries it’s clear that it’s def. been quite a year.
and now, for your viewing pleasure, here’s the list of games i’ve finished in 2006 (in approximate descending order) and their corresponding blog reviews:
– metroid prime (GCN) (1|2|3)
– super smash bros. melee (GCN)
– pokemon yellow (GB) (1|2)
– pikmin (GCN) (1|2)
– zelda: link’s awakening (GB)
– super smash bros. (N64)
– super mario land 2 (GB)
– paper mario: the thousand-year door (GCN)
– super mario sunshine (GCN)
– animal crossing (GCN)
– x-men legends (GCN)
– balloon fight (NES)
– ninja gaiden: shadow (GB)
– luigi’s mansion (GCN)
– the legend of zelda: the wind waker (GCN)
– kirby’s dream land 2 (GB)
– eternal darkness (GCN)
looking over the list of games i’ve finished this year, it’s def. been a wild ride. for those of you following along at home, that was 10 GCN games, 5 GB, 1 N64, and 1 NES, for a total of 17. this doesn’t include all the hours spent starting games and then dropping them temporarily in favor of something else.
i’m in the middle of about a half-dozen games, so 2007 will prob. see even more games finished. here’s to another good year of video games!
it’s kind of silly that the first game i played at all thoroughly on the n64 i got off of ebay was super smash bros. since i played the gamecube sequel super smash bros. melee to the ground. as is my wont, i’ve played bits of several other n64 games, but even though it’s been only a few months since i got over my SSBM obsession, i still found myself intrigued by the n64 version. there were some enticements: the previous owner of the game hadn’t unlocked 3 of the 4 extra characters, so i tackled that first. then i finished all the bonus stages, which in the orig. includes the “break the targets” rounds as well as “board the platforms” rounds which i enjoyed even more. it was interesting to see the differences in the moves; the biggest differences were that you don’t power up smash moves by holding down the A button and there are no special right + B moves (they’re the same as the standing B moves). my hands got used to the new controller fairly quickly, and although the controls aren’t as smooth as SSBM i found that they were just as satisfying and at times they added a sort of deliberateness that made good hits even more satisfying. there were quite a few moves i’d either forgotten or are different in this version, and some moves are more powerful or less powerful between versions. and with all the characters in melee i found the shorter roster in SSB made me focus my attention on characters i’d either ignored or never gave enough time to (which come to think of it was prob. most of them b/c in melee i played as zelda/sheik a lot of the time). all in all, good times, and i could easily play it for longer but i should shelve it in favor of finishing some other games i’ve had lying around. (although now i want to pick up melee again to compare the two from the other direction.)
i’ve been enjoying using ign’s collection feature (a bit obsessively actually), which lets you build up your list of games w/ your ratings (although i think it’s a bit silly to give games ratings that aren’t integers so i don’t bother). it was hard to decide how to rate SSB. melee gets a def. 10 from me, but it’s not quite fair to compare the two since SSB came out first and originated so much of the greatness. in the end i gave it the benefit of the doubt (i.e. a 9 instead of an 8). this reader review from ign gives some interesting context of how different SSB was from the other fighting games around at the time. thinking back i remember how strange it first seemed to me to have damage percentages and not hit points, but now of course we all see how perfect it is.
to wrap up, here are some other SSB-related links i dug up:
– there are several good SSBM guides around, but this is the best SSB site i’ve come across
– a guide to the soundtest
– the wikipedia article has some interesting details and trivia … like i hadn’t known you can use the warp pipes in the secret level! i’m going to have to try that tomorrow
oh, and one last thing: i’m still waiting for the day that i’ll have nintendo-playing friends! some day i’ll be able to play SSB and SSBM with someone other than myself! sad, i know.