Tag Archive: lords of shadow

Yes, look away my dear. It is that harrowing!

Upon purchasing Mirror of Fate for mi Bread Slice, I was almost completely aware of how this game was not going to be anything like the Castlevania I know and love, but just like retards at Stadium, I figured I could “adjust to change”. Now a week later and I do so wish I could go back in time and slap the hell out of myself.

OHHHHH the bullshit this game weaves is oh so intricate. Much worse than I imagined. I figured this was gonna be some wannabe IGAvania with Quick Time Events and crappy combat. No, it’s all that plus a bag of peanuts.

You start the game off as Gabriel fighting random monsters in cinematic bullshit pacing, and right off the bat, the first problem comes up. The game runs like ass. It goes for about the same amount of frames as does Ocarina of Time for the N64. It is that slow, and makes the game look ancient in comparison. Secondly, as I’ve covered earlier, these fucks mandate you use the damn thumb tac. After playing Shinobi and what not, trying to play a 2D game with a 3D input device was a no go. It feels so awkward, it’s like I literally have to look down at my thumb to check if I’m pressing directly left or right. And I’m serious, if it is not a straight line you’re pressing in, the shmuck will not move. He will sit his ass there waiting for a better response.

Anywho, after the tripe combat, you get to the story bits of how “Gabriel will become Dracula so the Brotherhood must hide his son from him”. So then we go to… Simon Belmont!?

Yeah, the game doesn’t really follow the game in order of events. You play from the present time and jump into the past when necessary. This is a shitty way to do a plot as it almost ensures how unsatisfying the conclusion will be when you can easily guess what happens in the story.

So anyway, Simon’s character is actually hilarious and is probably one of the few saving graces of this entire game. Nevermind the fact that he looks like some roided up Scottish drunkard that the Castlevania fans grow moist over just because it reminds them of the Barbarian look of the pre-SOTN games. But he’s funny, so that helps.

It starts off pretty decently with a good majority of this campaign being nothing but straight up action. Even has a few subweapons which are useless. Considering that subweapons barely even work against most enemies combined with the range of the whip being the size of an anaconda. Instead, you’re more dependent on 2 magic thingy’s called spirits. You have the Spirit of Belnades which grants you invincibility (also known as “cute shit 1”) as well as the Spirit of Schneider which attacks enemies that are close by (also known as “cute shit 2”).

Early on, however, you find out how nonsensical the game is about it’s inventory spoiler. There are these red glowing hook points that indicate you latch onto them with your whip… if you had the right one. You need the Combat Cross to even use the points. So ok, w/e, just move on. You won’t get the damn cross until halfway through the campaign either way. Despite that, you will start finding a million of those red points taunting you as you make your way through the damn castle. By the time you find the cross, you’ll be sick to death of them. They’re all over the goddamn place! Hook points! WE HAVE HOOK POINTS FOR DAYZ!

So after a while, you get to the “Toy Maker’s domain”, a character that never really appears in this game…  at all. He appears in LOS2, but is a minor character. Nice job Mercury Steaming Pile, you have this whole area building up this fat mother fucker like he all important and shit… anywho, here, you actually get trapped fighting puppets. The goal? Kill all puppets? Actually no, you just have to wait it out until the trap is opened again. Sucks for you. After the trap is… untrapped, you get a nice little cutscene showing Alucard running away, and Simon getting pissed off again. Can’t blame him, the whole event was stupid.

Then we FINALLY get the Combat Cross after miles and miles of *yoink* YOU BITCH! Instead, some necromancer snatches it from Simon’s hands and now you have to fight for it. Tedious boss fight but w/e, we NOW finally have the Combat Cross! And all the Red points become blue points to signify yadda yadda good, now I can climb some shit. I forgot to mention, climbing in this game suuuuuucks. It’s slow, controls like piss, and trying to make the Scottish bastard jump from wall to wall is grating as he has a delay before he can make the leap. Rage is sure to follow if you’ve got steam vents to watch out for. Oh and make sure you really “look before you leap”, because MS went into the psycho “realism” bullshit that now a Belmont can’t jump from a certain height without dying. I died more times from this bullshit because a lot of this game involves leaps of faith (thank you shit camera) because even looking doesn’t give you much info on your surroundings. How the fuck did you replicate all the problems of 3D adventure games… in a 2D game?!

Anyway, after that fuckery, you come to some merry go round filled with heads. Once again, you get trapped behind laser walls and the merry go heads keep spinning around. So now you have an endurance test. And this one was hell. See, you can’t even duck in this game so you have to jump over everything. And these controls are are not suitable for a game like this. You have to really time these jumps due to poor responses, and this goes on for a good 2 minutes or so, combined with the fact that the ride reverses itself, and the laser beams on the walls, floor moving, they really didn’t think of making better controls for these challenges all the while promoting their fucking “Mercury Engine” as you boot up the game. And you’re reward is another lame cutscene.

You know, if I actually gave a damn about these characters, this wouldn’t seem so obnoxious, because you easily figure out that Alucard was in the background saving your sorry ass and that he’s really your father in the form of a vampire, there’s not much to care about. I mean, you just sat here and wasted my damn time on this merry go round for the sake of a story, you’d think they would make it much more enjoyable.

But shortly after that (and I mean shortly), you get up to Dracula’s throne room… but he isn’t there. Instead, you’re in some arabian palace with a flower in the center, and on top of it is bewbs.

Mmmm, demonic bitches.

Of course, knowing Castlevania, that thing was definitely a Succubus in what happens to be a boss fight. I’ll say one thing, the boss fights are least fun in this mug. So after beating her ass, you get to face off against the big D man himself!

After all these years, I thought to myself “FINALLY! A remixed battle between Simon Belmont and Count Dracula once again!” Dis gon B Guud!

NOT! Instead of that, the party is interrupted by Alucard… and this chapter ends.


Yeah, really. No fight, it’s literally the end of Act 1… and the beginning of when this game starts to REALLY blow chunks.

Act 2 puts you in control of fangirl favorite, Alucard.

Vampire Fabio. Come and get it ladies!

He sits around complaining about how it wasn’t supposed to be like this or w/e, but proceeds with a makeshift combat cross to take revenge… only to go outside and get his ass whooped by a spider lion.

My, what sparkling whites you have!

So, you have a boss fight you’re not allowed to win, and you’re thrown off a bridge into the water. Oh look, you can breathe under water (note: Simon and Trevor can’t, which makes for some obligatory swimming challenges.) If only I had my trusty Belnades soul. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, you lose fucking everything… except your 2nd combat cross… since you transition to a brand new character (save the “no shit” retorts), but why give me a combat cross if you’re gonna wipe my inventory?

Can’t touch this, I’m gorgeous!

So, you have chapter resets in your abilities. And basically you start off fresh. Anywho, Alucard’s story suuuuuuuuucks. Wanna know why? Less action. Alucard is more about puzzles. Along with that, the boss fights become less fun as you spend more time multi-tasking around specific boss patterns rather than whacking the shit out of em. One boss fight has you using some magnetic rail system to leap over laser beams while trying to destroy machines that keep healing the big bastard. Probably wouldn’t be so irritated if that guy wasn’t so cheap.

Totally not Cornell from LOD

Alucard’s new abilities contain a wolf form that is only good for opening doors (complete with a quick time event so you feel like the wolf form is of some awesome importance. He also has a mist form which is a better dodging move that unfortunately uses up MP just so you can’t abuse it, the fuckers. There’s also a bat projectile that really… REALLY sucks, and a stopwatch that is ultimately worthless aside from one platform puzzle. Alucard is gimped in all combat abilities aside from the combat cross, it’s a wonder he can even fight.


But most of your time is spent solving puzzles, 2 of which involve saving Simon’s hairy ass. These devices are very complex(and easy) in that you have to usually guide laser lights to their proper end points, or burn some ropes with some asinine contraption (And no, you have no fire powers either). It’s funny how when it comes time to save Simon the second time, Alucard sighs like “this fool in trouble again”. It’s like the developers were trying to patronize you by saying “yeah, we know doing another puzzle sucks, so lets make the character agree with the players!”.

Sorry kids, But deez… are… the breaks!

After one of the most tedious portions of any game, you FINALLY get to have your precious fight against Dracula. By teaming up with Simon Belmont! This… COULD’VE been a fun fight, but then MS put some gay shit in here where Simon gets mind controlled and sicks Simon on you, basically a trick since Simon is Alucard’s son, what happens is that if you try to attack… at all, Alucard will instead sit there and say random shit like “I don’t want to fight you! No!”.

I….. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The game turned my character into a punk bitch! He cries like the pussy he is if you press any attack button. Instead, you’re supposed to counter a good 3 to 5 of his attacks just to snap him out of it, then you go back to fighting Dracula. And Simon fights like a bitch, he can’t get close to Drac without being knocked on his ass. GREAT JOB OF PROVING WHY YOU’RE THE MOST FAMOUS BELMONT, DIP SHIT! So I just used him as bait to distract Drac. Whipped his ass into submission.

So after the most anti-climatic boss fight in Castlevania history (Beat the Sorrow series in those departments), we get a scene where Alucard places his and on Simon’s cheek in the most incestuously homo way imaginable, and they stare into each other’s eyes uncomfortably, and Alucard leaves.

Dad sucks!

So onward to Act 3. This time you play Alucard’s other half, Trevor Belmont, the father of Simon, years before the first 2 acts took place. This one, while not as horrendous as Alucard’s story, is also quite lame. This time, you perform “cinematic action sequences” and fetch quests. One very notable one is where you have to find dead bodies containing answers to a particular puzzle you have to solve before moving one. Wow, combining 2 of my most hated segments in any game. Not to mention having to scale a giant vertical tower where making one wrong jump can kill you, so basically the game is testing your patience with shitty controls.

I also spotted something iffy. Alucard needed to earn the ability of double jumping… but Trevor has it right off the back. It couldn’t be old age, Vampires don’t age. Ah, w/e. Trevor’s abilities now contain light and dark magic, similar to the Spirits that Simon uses. They’re mostly used for opening specific doors and not really for combat purposes. You also get an upgrade for te Combat Cross which allows you to… basically do the same thing as Alucard’s wolf form. So basically, here you just get new equipment for the same reasons Link does in Zelda games, just to get around. It’s kinda sad. It’s stupid shit like this that makes the excitement of getting new equipment… not exciting because you know you’re going to be doing a lot of backtracking just to get through those areas that you couldn’t get through the first time because you didn’t have so and so tool at the time, no wonder Zelda and Metroid sell like ass without good graphics.

Anywho, after a while of “cinematic boss fights” filled with QTE’s, you come to a big area where you climb, jump, climb some more, and jump some more until you get to a point where the final door cannot open until… you leave the entire area and go through the whole castle again to look for 2 balls.

MS is a troll developer, you think you’re going somewhere, but then you’re sent on a goddamn goose chase! Man, who knew Dracula loved elevators? There’s so many here. Something’s wrong. This series is supposed to take place in the 11th century, where did these elevators come from!?

Praise Amma for teleporters or this segment would’ve driven me batshit. These items are spread so far, mang. You’d think you were playing Mother Goose or some shit.

So after screwing around with looking for nutz, you finally get to fight Dracula… again. Now… this fight is supposed to be “harder” than before because you no longer have live bait but honestly, this fight was just as piss easy as the last. When you get him down to a sliver of health, you go into cinematic bullshit mode with more QTE’s. But it looks epic, you got Trevor and Dracula flying through the air like some DBZ shit. BUT…

Problem, Trevor?

Yeah yeah, I know, it had to happen to explain why Trevor became Alucard, but damn if it isn’t unsatisfying. A final boss fight where you are made to lose.

Trying to summarize this game is more difficult because a lot of it’s material is easily forgettable, and I don’t know who would want to play through a second time for any reason, it’s a one and done deal. There’s also a secrent ending for 100% completion, but it’s only a shot of Simon looking at the Castle crumbling as a sort of “easter egg/cute shit” throwback to the regular endings of……. ALL Castlevania games, really. It’s cheap, it’s unrewarding, and shows that Mecury Steam looks at Nostalgia in a completely superficial context. Dracula recites a line from SOTN for no goddamn reason… TWICE in this series. It comes off as cheap and uninspired.

A lot of this game feels nothing like Castlevania, but they think that by throwing in a few little “nods” (w/e the fuck a nod is supposed to mean to me or any other stupid ass Castlevania fan), they can appease the fans of the series? Piece of shit! This is not Castlevania, and I don’t care how much cute shit you toss into it, it will never be Castlevania.

I don’t get this idiocy with developers who completely revamp a series without consent of the fans and have all the fucking gall to move in and convince people that this is the shit they know and love. Gabriel’s armor being red as a reference to Simon’s red armor from CV2, are you on the yak!? And people actually bought that excuse. You’re not gonna look at Gabriel Belmont and think Castlevania 2! Nobody likes Castlevania 2 to give a shit about some 2 bit easter egg that no one would get.

To calm myself down from rage, I found Lament of Innocence over PSN, DL’d it…. THIS GAME WAS THE SHIT! This is REAL Castlevania! You got REAL boss fights that consist of merely whacking the fuckers and dodging their attacks, not doing some contrived “multitasking strategy” bullshit like “counter attacks 3 times to get to the next part” or any dingy involving QTEs. Sure, there’s a few fetch quests and back tracking, but I’ll take anyone’s bullshit over Konami’s new “revisionary series”.

I’ve been playing Castlevania games up the arse. From Bloodlines to SOTN, all the GBA/DS games, it’s real sad how fucked this series got after Harmony of Dissonence. It turned into animu creampuff BS along with having a Pachinko game with titties.

And then we get to overcompensation with some “me too” God of War crap about a guy who cries about his dead wife but has a plan to resurrect her body before she starts to smell. Then it turns into some goth hot topic “underworld” looking shit for the sequel with so much over the top cinematics and more injected testosterone (Satan got roided up), all of it gets overshadowed by Dracula having family issues.


Turning Castlevania into a game about religion, and then into some retarded shit about New World Order in some last minute attempt to one up Ninja Theory’s fuck up with Devil May Cry. Why? Apparently the director had his head so far up his ass according to his “underlings”.

Alright, everyone who complained about Konami. I concede. Fuck Konami. For destroying the ONLY shit I cared about from them… and maybe ruining Metal Gear, idk, I don’t play that shit outside of Rising. IGA was the man. Yeah he cocked up with DOS, POR, and HD, but he knew how to make a competent game (most of the time). So chock full of secrets that you desperately wanted to dig deeper into. Not to mention making it so combat wasn’t a chore like the stiff controlling NES games. MS goes right back to stiff ass controls for this piece of shit. And all with the Thumb tac, no less!

But, they say this is it for the crappy LOS series, so I don’t know what Castlevania will be like in the future. Maybe they’ll kill it off and continue whoring out Metal Gear for all it’s milk.


Lords of Shadow 1 wasn’t even that grand of a success.

A letter from one of the devs was written in the wake of LOS2’s crap reviews.

Well, I would like to shed some light over the development of this game… Working with Mercury Steam and I would like to tell this anonymously- is about an everyday frustration. Here’s to every guy that has experienced hell during the development of this game, but especially to those who have led this to the mess that Lords of Shadows 2 is:

– Kojima had little to nothing to do with the development of the first game, he came by, set a seal, visited the studio, signed some things and that was it. He had even less to do with Mirror of Fate and LoS2.

The vast majority of this team is aware that the game we’ve done is a real piece of s*** that has nothing to do with the first one’s quality and production values… Nobody is surprised by the low reviews we’ve got.

– If there’s someone to blame here, that’s Enric Álvarez. He is the person who has led a broken development based on his personal criteria, completely overlooking programmers, designers and artists. Despite his nice look to the press, often considered as some sort of creative “visionary” in the looks of David Cage and Molyneux, this guy has serious problems. He is a mean and naughty guy (WTF!?), and since the “success Lords of Shadows 1” his ego has grown to the point of not even daring to say ‘hello’ when you meet him in the hallway.

His distrust to his own workers is enormous. Most of the development team often found out features of the game through press news, rather than from the studio’s head – unbelievable. And there is no corporate culture here at all… this is just a handful of people working blindly and at the disposal of an alleged visionary.

– Many of the studio founders are people with zero abilities for running a studio. Often here newbie developers know more than their own bosses. This structure only leads to a slow, messy and absurd development process, with the end result of Lords of Shadows 2 being a perfect example of what happens due to that.

– Absolutely every design idea has to be monitored, taken away and mutilated by Enric Álvarez. Several game designers have grown tired of this and have abandoned the studio.

– The art direction for this project has been erratic and beheaded. After Enric dismissed every idea and core decission from our main art director for the previous projects, he decided to just leave. It was a battle of egos unleashed by Enric (something that he has carried over with since his times in Rebel Act). Our now former art director is still working in Madrid, now with the Tequila guys making RIME.

– Many others have just turned to other studios offers, sick of the situation here. Almost every month we see fellow devs packing up and getting out of here looking for a new job abroad that’s sad. It’s amazing how the biggest AAA game developer in Spain is not even willing to make its workers a counteroffer. This company does not think highly of its talented workers and their good work. There has never been any kind of salary bonus or anything that remotely resembles it. Not even a single “Good job team!” acknowledgement.

– The production management for this project has been terrible, way often the heads of each department dismissed every production deadline and imposed their own criteria. As a result, the development was delayed for six months, and that investment only came out of MercurySteam’s pockets. The QA department is treated like cattle, with shameful wages and almost everyday bullying.

– After completing Lords of Shadows 2 MercurySteam has fired 35 workers, and it’s embarrasing that no website or journalist is talking about that. More firings are expected to come in the following days.

VG Cats - I can't believe it's not Updated_1367606609993

What grown ass man you know uses “Mean and Naughty” to describe their bosses?

I’ve not seen this news anywhere else yet so authenticity is still up in the air. But really, this reads like the devs intentionally sabotaged the project just to bring Enric Alvarez to his knees. I know the Spaniards are dicks but hey, tis another example of the mess people have to go through just to make a decent product.

The game did seem to have a sporadic change in direction. At one point, you think it takes place in the future, then it’s in the past, then you see young Dracula in the future with modern cities this side of NYC. And something about stealth missions were added from what I’ve heard (eww). If that was all Alvarez’s bullshittin, then perhaps I made the right decision to delay a purchase.

I’m not familiar with the production of the game as it’s usually something I could care less about, but of all the names to leave out, no mention of David Cox? He’s more public than Alvarez. Not to mention the go to guy for interviews where he creates hype trains that the nerds swallow like oatmeal from their grandmas.

But they only want to apologize for the media crucifixion? Are the bonuses from good metacritic scores the only thing they care about!? I’d imagine a game like LOS2 making good on reviews based on the fact that it’s the same kind of industry crap the journalist outlets crave.

Oh well, maybe the nerds will love it for typical Lord of the Rings styled “art direction”, since that’s all that makes a good game these days.

So Castlevania Mirrors is gonna have combat based off of 2D Fighters now?

Naw, this is actually a good thing! Because I honestly didn’t think fighting games had quick time events!

First off, Cox talks about how difficult it was to have power and fluidity in combat.  So he decides to look toward Street Fighter… and Samurai Shodown. Neither of these games have fluid combat systems (unless he’s also been hypnotized by SF3’s graphics). If you want fluid combat, you would do well to look at DOA or Soul Calibur at least. Not fucking turtle fests. And considering how blatantly similar LOS’s combat system was to GOW (that even the fanboys can hardly deny), this cannot bode well for MOF.

If your combat system is gonna be based off of turtle fighters, why not just go back to the classic style instead wasting development time on shit I am sure will not even be present in the final game. It’s probably just going to make the combat into “hit and run” bullshit that we’ve seen in every god damn action game we’ve seen since Ninja Gaiden. The gameplay doesn’t even sound interesting if it’s going to be based off of slow fighting games. Or maybe he means pulling off special moves with retard commands because that’s honestly never been done before!


Cox is basically talking out of his ass again like he said about taking Castlevania back to it’s roots with LOS1. What he really means is “LOL having stages again”. With this game it means…. nothing, really.

The game actually looks like a proper Castlevania title, but I suppose it’s aesthetics are just to shut oldschool fans up and nothing more. But fighting games, that does not look like.

It’s ironic to be a fan of a series that is essentially a glorification of Europeans who save the world from Warlock ranked vampires, but believe me when I say it’s a series that’s more addicting than the face of Vilayna Lasalle.

And for some reason, people think that bitch Mily Kunis is sexy.

Castlevania has been… well, for better or worse, under the radar for quite some time up until the “exaggerated” success of Lords of Shadow. For those of you unaware (and there should be quite a lot of you that haven’t been on the internet, I guess). Castlevania is a series of 2D platformers in which you play a family of vampire slayers and blah blah you don’t give a fuck. Just know this.


And some more for good measure.

NOT CASTLEVANIA Lords of Shallow

To be honest, no one cares whether or not LOS is a real castlevania game. In fact, most castlevania fans don’t care. The game is currently standing as one of the most successful entries in the franchise (with Circle of the Moon following by and SOTN… oh wait, that didn’t really do anything, did it?). The fact is that LOS… is another GOW clone. Much like Dante’s Inferno, western devs show once again that their only real skill is copy/pasting old shit into a new package. The moment you fight your first titan should raise a big ass red flag that “something screams deja vu”.

inB4 “BUT SOTN….”

Granted, Castlevania has copied before with the Metroid gameplay (and unfortunately led to some shitty label called “metroidvania”), but everyone agrees that the change was not actually bad for the series. However, more people are willing to call these games Castlevania than they are with Lords of Shadow. And yet, more people want Castlevania games to be like Lords of Shadow anyway.

This is the beauty of fanbases. No matter what happens, they can mindfuck you with their pathology. One would ask the question that “if the majority of the CV fans don’t consider LOS to be a real CV game, but they would prefer more LOS games?” One would probably guess is that it’s the same problem with new generation gamers in general (and you’d probably be correct). One look at Castlevania dungeon and you would see a thousand shit storms over the games in general. But maybe we aren’t really thinking as to why LOS is the preferred standard. LOS does away with everything that scream Castlevania with the intent of being a derivative Hollywood LOTR  “EPIC”. It becomes evident the moment Gabriel meets some… unicorn or w/e in the forest who helps him out for no reason. It becomes evident with the long, drawn out narratives done by the always overrated Patrick Stewart. It becomes evident when the forest chase sequence has shaky cam syndrome that’s usually employed in fucking hollywwod movies.  It doesn’t even look like a game. The hyper-realism just destroys any semblance of a video game and turns it into another Final Fantasy: The spirits within.

But what’s wrong with the actual Castlevania games that make people prefer these titles? Well, there’s a shit load, but I’ll just point out a few issues I have with it.


1. The series was never really that popular.

Ask anyone you know what their childhood was like with video games. Most of the time, you’ll probably just get Mario and/or Sonic. Or Street Fighter. Most can point to Mega Man, Street Fighter, or even Double Dragon. Pac Man for those that death warmed over. Amma forbid, Battle toads. Hell, Streets of Rage even gets a mention even though those bastards at Sega won’t revive the damn franchise (but lets make shitty RPG’s called “valkerie Profile” that no one wants except the nerds online).

So why can’t anyone recall Castlevania that well?

Marketing is one reason. Konami has never been known for marketing. Hell, I barely see any commercials for their most popular franchise, Metal Gear Solid. Certainly, they’ve got popular brands such as MGS and DDR, but few people will recall the Castlevania franchise. In all honesty, Konami has never truly bothered to let anyone know the series exists. The few commercials that exist were for SOTN and Lament of Innocence. I think there was one for the gameboy games, but I never saw any for Super Castlevania 4, Curse of Darkness, none for the GBA or DS titles, and jack shit for the NES games. One could assume that Konami is poor, but considering the production that goes into MGS, it’s probably the same reason Nintendo treats NSMB games in that they just don’t give a fuck about Castlevania up until now with Kojima ramming his director’s cock up the series arse.

But even then, the few people that remember the originals don’t remember them that fondly. Most people would probably never go back to the original NES games (me included) and had their view of the series colored on those games alone. I have yet to find one person who claims any of the original NES games were their favorite CV games of all time. That’s fucking impossible at this point. And even then, a lot of people would not find the difficulty of the game bearable. Considering how trite the originals were, you’d be hard pressed to recommend any of those games to anyone. You can find the original 6 Mega Man to be on anyone’s “try out” list. And hell, even Double Dragon. But you won’t find a Castlevania game in sight for the NES try outs.

I’d assume Simon’s quest was probably a hoot if not only because of Nintendo Power’s controversial front cover.

I mean, why would they turn Simon into a Trojan!?

Other than that, I can’t really see why people would care all that much about Castlevania aside from it being a parody of horror films. And even then, the NES games sucked ass.

On the other hand, Circle of the Moon was (and probably is) the highest selling Castlevania game in the series, more than LOS even (Nathan Graves is so much cooler than Gabriel’s pussy ass anyway).


2. Everyone bullshits when they say they like Super Metroid.

May I interest you in a nice fine course of your IMMINENT DEMIIIIIISE!?

Nintendo fans live in a fantasy world where games that are popular “today” were always popular. That is why we have the myth of Yoshi’s Island being “awesome” and doing wonderful things for the Super Nintendo (like causing people to call NIntendo kiddie). As such, Super Metroid is heralded as the best Metroid game ever, even though it didn’t do shit. The thing that sold Metroid Prime was the Space Marine craze of the 6th generation as well as nice graphics. Super Metroid didn’t do shit for the series except go on hiatus. It didn’t sell well enough for Nintendo to consider it for the N64 (cause Ma’at be told, they didn’t need another blunder). And if I’m being honest, the game is just shit. It controlled like ASS for the majority of the time, boss fights felt slow, your abilities did not feel optimized for combat (your rate of fire is slooooooow, even by the standards of the first game) not to mention how it felt like you were being led on a set path, which is NOT Metroid at all. The game just felt like a mess.

So why did Konami use this “formula” for Castlevania? Apparently, Koji Igarashi is a fan of Super Metroid. That’s ok. The Japanese have bad taste, we know this already (considering one dev said that Transformers ROTF was a creative masterpiece, this isn’t surprising). What is odd is just how much better SOTN is than Super Metroid. While you are being led on a set path it seems, combat is more practical, the game feels neat, controls smoothly, as is just pretty to look at. This was the definitive Castlevania experience…. and it’s still ass. The difficulty felt like it had mood swings from time to time. The majority of weapons you get, you won’t use if you have that magic shield/rod+nice sword combo that you can rape everything with. I forgot what the combo was, but it just destroyed everything once you got it. No need for any real skill even without the combo.

The problem with games like Super Metroid and SOTN is that once you’ve gone through the main castle/planet, the only thing you can do left is explore what little you have left on the map for some tiny extras that won’t amount to shit in the long run. This is the problem with most Adventure games like Zelda in which you go through this big ass world… and then you finish it, all you have left to do is go around… tying up whatever few things you didn’t do.

These games are intended for one playthrough every once in a while. You know why? Because simply put, you’ve been through the entire game, you know all the secrets, the boss strategies, the locations for 100% completion, then you get to a point and say “shit, now what?”. You put it away for a while… then just come back to it.

But what if you have good memory? You’re really fucked now!

Games like this have little to no longevity. There’s no real incentive to go back and continue playing them over and over because once you’ve gotten everything down pat, it’s just a matter of doing speed runs just because you can. This is why most people would have to wait a good while (like 6 months or so) before coming back because the game’s content is just too fresh in your mind at this point.

The problem with Castlevania now is that they decided to add RPG elements to the package. And with that comes a myriad of problems. For one, it gives the game the “grind” if you will. You’ll find yourself killing the same enemies 100 butt fucking times to get one weapon/soul/DSS Card/Glyph, w/e. This shit isn’t fun. Play Dawn of Sorrow and find out that half of your weapon inventory depends on you giving up your monsters souls, and you will soon realize just how fucked up this weapon collection system really is. Not to mention now since you can level up, the games have lost all semblance of challenge. The Castlevania series was (by the few) considered a “man’s game” because everything about them could rape you to crumbs. Now? It’s a damn joke in comparison. The game even makes it a point making some of the series previous bosses into normal enemies you can kill just by pissing on them.

Rags. More powerful than the Vampire Killer.

What happens is the series’s been declawed. Stripped of any real challenge (just like the Metroid Series). While OOE tried to fix that (and succeeded), for the most part, anyone can get into the series and rape it just by killing the same enemies over and over. This is a problem with RPG’s in general, and while it doesn’t completely ruin he Castlevania series, the removal of any real challenge is strongly evident.

Not to mention it just feels like you’re just running around like rambo and just killing everything in your path. It’s fun for a while, but after 7 times, it feels trite.


3. IGA was kinda fucking it up.

I’ll admit one thing. A lot of Japanese developers piss me off. I can count Aonuma, Iizuka, Miyamoto, Sakamoto, Inafune, Kojima, and Hirabayashifor destroying the Resident Evil franchise.

But Koji Igarashi is (for the most part) a decent developer. Unlike a lot of them, he seems to genuinely care about the Castlevania series and certainly has a lot more respect for it than other developers that inherit a long time series during the 90’s or currently. Hell, he did make a famous stance saying “2D Forever!“. That said, he isn’t perfect. He did make LOI and COD, 2 games that literally made the series a little worse (story wise at least). The portable games have been fun (for a while) up until Dawn of Sorrow. By that point, it was clear that IGA was starting to get burnt out from mass producing the same games. It started with Harmony of Dissonance where he essentially tried to make “SOTN 2”. And it’s very clear that he was. Consider the following.

A. Suspiciously similar Map layout



Notice they have the same castle center block.

B. Same save stations



C. Contains inverted castles

D. Has the “Simon’s Quest” Syndrome.

IE. In Simon’s quest (Castlevania 2 NES), you are required to collect the 5 remains of Dracula’s body to finish the game. To get the true ending for both SOTN and HOD, you have to do the same thing.

Simon’s Quest artwork of Dracula’s heart (EW!)

Like so.

And then Aria of Sorrow, he decided to bring back the weapon collecting element that was the main source of addiction for SOTN in the first place in combination with the Demon Souls System (where you get to collect souls of enemies you killed) which was one of the coolest additions to the series admittedly. With these 2 entries, it’s clear he was trying to outdo SOTN. It’s a good attempt considering how bad SOTN actually is (when no one is blinded by “art assets”) and how superior AOS was.

But then, he fucked up with Dawn of Sorrow. As I’ve said earlier, IGA decided to intertwine soul collecting with weapon hunting. See, in AOS, weapons and souls were segregated. You had to find each and everyone individually. In Dawn of Sorrow, if you wanted every weapon in the game, you desperately NEED souls. See, here’s how it works. In a certain shop, some white bitch can relinquish a soul from you in exchange for crafting a new weapon. This is neat except that if you want 100% completion, you would need to collect at least 2 of each soul in order to keep it and get a new weapon. And this is agonizing considering that the drop rates for souls from monsters like the Final Guard and Iron Golems are completely FUCKED!   If you thought catching legendaries in Pokemon took forever, you have not lived until you’ve tried every enemy in this game. The RNG will tear ass on your patience like you wouldn’t believe. So this whole system just didn’t work and damn near killed the game. Not to mention those damned seals.

Then comes Portrait of Ruin which, ironically, is much better given that it’s less tedious. Even though the story is awful, the characters jumping out of a Saturday morning anime (literally. The dialogue is just…..FUCK!) and character techniques and weapons are essentially the AOS soul system repackaged. POR is the most childish game in the series, more so than Rondo of Blood with that cunt Maria Renard. And this saddens me considering that this game was supposed to be the sequel to Castlevania Bloodlines (which was considered to be one of the darker games in the series), and what we got is a slap in the face in comparison. Not to mention level design was just awful. They placed enemies in some of the most awkward places in this game (there’s a large jelly fish floating above a dining room area why?). And difficulty? It’s all over the place. I can’t believe the guys behind Legacy of Darkness and Circle of the Moon were behind this game. And that animu art style literally alienated a lot of fans.

This art style was done for 2 reasons. He wanted to give the main artist a break, and he wanted to broaden the series appeal. This wouldn’t be a bad thing if not for the fact that Castlevania isn’t a series for fucking children. Let them play that dumb ass Kid Dracula series, don’t fuck up Castlevania for them. That’s probably the reason people hate anime shows now, because they had such a negative influence on video games in general (look at Sonic the Hedgehog).

Anywho, from what I’ve heard, KO-G (KCEK guys behind LOD and COTM) had a big hand in the development of OOE, so maybe that’s why it wasn’t such ass in comparison to the first 2 games. It actually tried to mesh the elements of the classic games and the new. It is fucking hard, for one. The glyphs are another (shitty) soul system mechanic which…. is actually not as awful as the souls from DOS (drop rates are much better), and the music was pretty damn good too (TOWER OF DOLLS REMIX! YES!), not to mention Dracula actually innovates his fighting strategy for once (he walks!). OOE was a bitchin game.

So afterward, he produced 3 final games before moving on to allow Dave cocks to ruin Castlevania. Judgment, Rebirth, and Despair. While I like Judgment, it’s very clear why that game bombed. If you thought the animu shit from DOS and POR were awful, the manganization of Simon Belmont will scare most gay people straight. The designs alone turned people off, but the gameplay was quite shallow itself. Rebirth was pretty good. Despair also sold pretty decently too. But even then, it was clear as day that IGA’s heart just wasn’t into it anymore. These were all just fanservice games with no real meat to em. And they reek of “hastly put together for a buck”. They all have their merits and charm, but at the end of the day, IGA had practically fucked CV with POR.

I can’t really put the full blame on him. He’s not the brightest bolt in Konami’s house of developers. Hell, his interviews on the subject of “Castlevania Legends” speak volumes on how dumb he is. But getting stuck with a franchise that barely sells and being expected to usurp a KCEK game was probably asking for too much givin the series track record. But in the general sense, he had good intentions with a load of bad choices (making Dracula from an asshole to a sympathetic little bitch over women was the killer, as well as making the belmonts completely irrelevant to Dracula’s destruction). But hey, at least Konami is willing shift around the talent after a while. Loads of Japanese developers have job security after 1 success, and they ruin franchises with their egos.


4. The fans are fucking assholes.

About right.

This goes for any fanbase, but the CV fans deserve honorable mention for being the only fanbase that will fight over any statement, agreeable or contradictory, and the flames of disaster will  engulf the world.

The fire contains the words “Legends is Canon”.

One good look on Castlevania Dungeon forums, and the fanbase will be at war. Every topic, there’s always a fight about what game is superior to the other, and no one can seem to agree on what the best game in the series is (well… except Rondo of Blood, I guess). Not to mention that if there IS a unified opinion, be prepared to have it shoved down your throat as if it’s an undeniable fact. Yes, the CV fanbase represents that of an incredibly dysfunctional hivemind network, which is quite rare given how most fandoms operate. Got a problem with Simon’s design in LOS: MOF? “You’re a waste of Amma’s talent”.

If the fans like something equally, you had better lather up some saliva, get down on your knees, and hope you kiss a well toned female ass because you wouldn’t last a second if you are a contrarian thinker of the community. The problem is knowing how to appease them, because CV fans hate goddamned everything.  Like POR? Fuck you. Think Lords of Shadow is a GOW rip off? “NO! IT RIPPED OFF LOI FIRST!”

It seems most of the discussion is taylor made for ripping apart the series of anything and everything. How Classicvania sucks and needs to be brought back to prevent further suckage, why LOS is a real CV title because it has a million easter eggs to compensate for being nothing like Castlevania, why Dark Souls is infinitely 1upping CV and everything else? Man I can’t stand the hype for Dark Souls. It’s like people are just soooo upset with a franchise that they have to point out how much better something else is at every chance they get. I don’t even know what Dark Souls is and I don’t even want to play it. I can see devs will be playing Yugioh with that shit for years to come.

In any case, the barrier for entry into the CV fanbase is to be born of a Food Network critic and Simon Cowell.  In that you love fucking everything and curse it to crumbs.

When you think about it, #4 is probably the main reason Lords of Shadow is so popular.