student 20 Productions

Random Thoughts of a Game Developer

Castlevania is Evil

So, every time I sit down to work on 16 Bit Heroes lately, if I run into even a mild stumbling block, I try to “clear my head” with a game that helped inspire 16 Bit Heroes in the first place: Castlevania.

Now, I don’t mean those old Castlevania games that are harder than hell and lack even a coherent storyline, let alone any “role playing” elements. I mean the ones since Castlevania: Symphony of the Night that have helped define a sub-genre of of the Platformer: the Metroidvania game, more properly called an “Adventure Platformer”. Personally, I like Metroidvania better… it sounds cooler.

In any case, this groups of Castlevania game includes stats, leveling up, equipment, and so on, and it was one of the inspirations for the game I’m working on now. But the point of this post isn’t to bring that little fact into the light of day; the point is to point out that Castlevania – and most games in the Metroidvania sub-genre – is evil.

I’ll take a break from writing and design, pickup my trusty Nintendo DS,  and fire up Portrait of Ruin or Dawn of Sorrow or some such. The next thing I know, it’s three hours later. I’ve gotten no more writing done, and nothing done around the house. The games are addictive.

There are lots of reasons why they’re so hard to put down. The gameplay is just about perfect. The controls work the way you expect them to. The platforming is hard because of good level design, not because of arbitrary cheap deaths or bad controls. There’s so much stuff to do and collect that one could literally play for days straight without seeing it all. The DS games are pretty – especially Dawn of Sorrow, which has gorgeous backgrounds and great characters. The music is great, and the games have plenty of replay value.

Which is why I desperately want Order of Ecclesia so bad I can taste it. It tastes of plastic and silicon and vampire-slaying goodness.

So, yeah – Castlevania is evil. I thought everyone might want to know.

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4 thoughts on “Castlevania is Evil

  1. DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS is evil. CASTLEVANIA is mildly wicked.

  2. Don’t make me take the DS away from you!

  3. Cullen: Dragon Age: Origins doesn’t come close to the playability of the newer Castlevanias. Plus, you don’t go around collecting the souls of your fallen enemies…

    Nicole: I’ll be good! I promise!

    • Wha wha wha what? You get a deep story, interesting characters, and some of the most evil battles in Dragon Age: Origins I’ve blabbed about this over at WCP, but DA:O is all that and a bag of outdated catch phrases… I mean chips. Chips.

      I’ve played some of the more recent Castlevania’s (The one Todd’s got on the XBox is the most recent) and while the 2-d Side Scroller ones are boss, they don’t compare. Uh uh, nuh way ferget it.

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