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Thread: The Making of Super Castlevania IV and Castlevania Bloodlines/The New Generation.

  1. #46
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    Earnest Evans was a case of an experiment gone wrong (and they really should have canned the idea early on and gone with more traditional physics instead). The issue with that game is that every limb has its own hitbox, which at first may seem like it'd give much more impressive physics (and, more importantly, automatically "solve" the issues with slopes), but in practice you end up playing as an animated ragdoll. It doesn't help that some animations are forced, and physics are tied to them, which leads to stuff like being shot out of tight gaps when you get hit because the game tries to force you to recoil back and that means your body is crammed into the ceiling and floor.

    It was one of those ideas that seemed great in theory but are a disaster in practice. Games cheat a lot for a good reason.

  2. #47
    WCPO Agent Orchid87's Avatar
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    Also, SNES Dracula X takes the prize of being the most underrated 16-bit Castlevania. People hate it for not being Rondo. Funny, because gameplay is the same, sound and music come close and the background graphics are better than in Rondo. Seems like people can't forgive missing branching paths and playable Maria (and some cheap deaths, probably).

    Actually, I've just realised that we were really lucky with 2D Castlevania games. Three games on NES, two on SNES, one for Genesis, one for PCE one for X68000, and one masterpiece for PS1. This is not counting numerous handheld games. I wish Contra series got the same treatment. Imagine PCE CD Contra, or a proper 2D PS1 Contra made with the same passion as SoTN.
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    Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orchid87 View Post
    Actually, I've just realised that we were really lucky with 2D Castlevania games. Three games on NES, two on SNES, one for Genesis, one for PCE one for X68000, and one masterpiece for PS1.
    Unless you were an Amiga/ST owner and all you got was this garbage.
    Can one really complain too much about the bad art in Bloodlines when you could have gotten... that... instead?

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    WCPO Agent Orchid87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    Unless you were an Amiga/ST owner and all you got was this garbage.
    Can one really complain too much about the bad art in Bloodlines when you could have gotten... that... instead?
    Japanese game franchises and European home computers rarely got along.
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  5. #50
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    MSX also got Castlevania and it was different than what the NES got.

    Mind, for a franchise that apparently wasn't making much money, it sure was prolific when it came to releases. I wonder what was Konami's greenlighting process like.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher Stifu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orchid87 View Post
    Japanese game franchises and European home computers rarely got along.
    The result is only bad when it's rushed or handled by the wrong people. Maybe that's what happened in most cases, I don't know, but I have found memories of games like Rainbow Island or The New Zealand Story on the Amiga. BC Kid was a nice port, too, although I didn't have it back then.

  7. #52
    Death Bringer Raging in the Streets Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orchid87 View Post
    Also, SNES Dracula X takes the prize of being the most underrated 16-bit Castlevania. People hate it for not being Rondo. Funny, because gameplay is the same, sound and music come close and the background graphics are better than in Rondo. Seems like people can't forgive missing branching paths and playable Maria (and some cheap deaths, probably).

    Actually, I've just realised that we were really lucky with 2D Castlevania games. Three games on NES, two on SNES, one for Genesis, one for PCE one for X68000, and one masterpiece for PS1. This is not counting numerous handheld games. I wish Contra series got the same treatment. Imagine PCE CD Contra, or a proper 2D PS1 Contra made with the same passion as SoTN.
    I was excited for the SNES version of Rondo until it came out and found that the gameplay and stage design is broken. The developer didn't put any polish (or seemingly play testing) into the control/collision/enemy layouts. Being different doesn't make something bad, but in this case you feel how little thought was put into each aspect.

    Richter is sluggish and less responsive, but the stages which range from uninspired to just random aren't engaging or satisfying and the collision and enemy patterns can lead to you getting clipped at full health and juggled till you die without you being able to interact at all after the initial hit.

    The new stage assets are a completely different style than the carried over Rondo assets, they're inconsistent, feeling like they come from different games and are cobbled together in silly ways.

    I've run out of time to finish this post. But the composition in stages is often hilariously misguided and parallax is messed up in unique ways. It's worse than a launch'ish game like Castlevania IV for having a checklist of things to try doing and failing miserably.
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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    Unless you were an Amiga/ST owner and all you got was this garbage.
    Can one really complain too much about the bad art in Bloodlines when you could have gotten... that... instead?
    I actually thought Master Of Darkness on the Master System was better than Bloodline's. I'm amazed and disappointed that SEGA never made a sequel for the Mega Drive and Mega CD
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    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sik View Post
    MSX also got Castlevania and it was different than what the NES got.

    Mind, for a franchise that apparently wasn't making much money, it sure was prolific when it came to releases. I wonder what was Konami's greenlighting process like.
    Masato Maegawa has talked about working on the Castlevania: The Adventure (GB) at Konami. He and everyone else on the team except for the main programmer were new hires working on their first game. He said that there was a bit of grumbling from other Konami staff that the management let a team of newbies handle Castlevania, but at the time nobody thought the Game Boy was going to be a success so management didn't really care.

    Maegawa said that even though the game was crap, it sold 1 million+ copies, mostly overseas, and the development team all got huge bonuses (to the frustration of other Konami staff).

    Konami really did seem to want to milk the franchise, since it was one of their earlier successes. I think Castlevania games sold well, just not as well as TMNT.

  10. #55
    Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    I'm amazed and disappointed that SEGA never made a sequel (to Master of Darkness) for the Mega Drive and Mega CD
    You and me man, Kenseiden too for that matter.

  11. #56
    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    You and me man, Kenseiden too for that matter.
    I loved the look and setting of that game , so good at the time . Shame SEGA never looked to make sequels to both.

    There are some utter gems on the Master System
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  12. #57
    Heat Guy WCPO Agent Lync's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orchid87 View Post
    Also, SNES Dracula X takes the prize of being the most underrated 16-bit Castlevania. People hate it for not being Rondo.
    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    I was excited for the SNES version of Rondo until it came out and found that the gameplay and stage design is broken. The developer didn't put any polish (or seemingly play testing) into the control/collision/enemy layouts. Being different doesn't make something bad, but in this case you feel how little thought was put into each aspect.
    Dracula X is the only Castlevania of this bunch that I've never actually played.

    I understand the comparisons with Rondo, but on it's own merits, is Dracula X any good at all?

    The backstory on it is also lost on me other than I swear I once read that NEC asked (payed?) Konami not to make a direct port...

  13. #58
    Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    Dracula X starts with a bang, with an insanely cool looking intro section with transparent wobbly flames that form a third background layer. Game feels a little stiff compared to rondo but nothing too bad. The level is kinda basic, and has some mildly annoying medusa heads (talk about starting on the wrong foot there ), but it makes a good first impression.

    The problem happens after that first stage, where everything gets really uninspired. The stages look pretty but there's nothing interesting going. I know you wanted to know how the game stacks on its own but the comparison with Rondo really gets the point across.

    Rondo starts with richter riding a horse pulled cart and being attacked by death who mocks you after toying with you a little. Then you reach the town on fire (like the SNES game, but not as pretty). In the SNES game, the whole stage is the same pretty much, just a giant fire in the background that turns blue for the boss fight.

    In Rondo you first see the town burning far away, then you reach the town and skeletons jump at you out of the buildings through the windows, then can find an underground area where you are attacked by a crazy plant monster (which leads you to an alternate level) or you go out into a park area of sorts where you see the town on fire again but now from a closer perspective and are attacked by giant rock monsters, ending with a fight against a dragon (rather than panther or something like in Dracula X).

    Same happens with other stages, like the falling bridge which in Dracula X is just... a falling bridge, whereas in Rondo it leads you to Charon and an alternate level if you fall. The battle against Death is also insanely cool in Rondo at the top of the ghost ship, whereas the battle atop the clock tower in Dracula X is... ok?

    There's no comparison, Rondo is way better. If you end up liking Dracula X more than Rondo I dunno what to tell you. While game design is subjective, this is a pretty clear cut one.

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    Wildside Expert paulojr_mam's Avatar
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    That was an awesome video!
    Contrary to most people in this thread, I actually adore CB's color choices. I think it's very fitting to locations that should appear strange, especially Dracula's castle. It makes perfect sense that not everything would look like you'd expect.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    I actually appreciate the dreary style of SCV4. It has this nice moody atmosphere which was not something you could have on the 8 bit generation and was pretty rare on the MD/PCE.
    I agree and it's unfortunate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sik View Post
    Well, Bloodlines does have diagonal whipping… but only when jumping for some reason.
    I think it's perfectly reasonable when you have two characters. Eric can attack diagonally while standing but John can't. John can do it while jumping but Eric can't.
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    Heat Guy WCPO Agent Lync's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    There's no comparison, Rondo is way better. If you end up liking Dracula X more than Rondo I dunno what to tell you. While game design is subjective, this is a pretty clear cut one.
    With much of what you've said about Dracula X, I wonder if it would have fared better had Konami made it more of it's own game rather than a quasi-port (reinterpretation?).

    Looking up Dracula X up on the eBay, I remember it being a $50-$100 game - but I guess it's been that long since I've bought a SNES title...

    Since when do sellers figure loose SNES carts fetch as much as some complete Saturn games? Also, when was it permitted to openly sell reproductions!?

    Oh well. Thanks for the testimony. Sounds like Dracula X is in the same category as what I would place something like Valis IV.

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