Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Castlevania- Symphony of the Night-
Release date on PSN: July 17th 2007

              Original release date: October 2nd 1997

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Story

Castlevania- Symphony of the Night-

Castlevania is about the castle Dracula, and you play his son Alucard (Dracula backwards) as you try to defeat your father and banish him once again. There have been many Castlevania games, and this one is a direct sequel to Castlevania Bloodlines, but having not played that, I didn’t feel too lost in the story. It’s the gameplay we’re going for in this one.

Gameplay

SOTN as it’s called is a basic 2d beat em up type dungeon crawler. If you’ve played one 2d Castlevania, you’ve played them all, but this gameplay really works well and it’s extremely satisfying. The difficulty in this game is pretty high though, and dying is a huge pain due to the lack of a continue screen, and that it took me a while to figure out how to save (read the manual on this one!). Once while playing around with the controls I found a spell that kills everyone on screen and then heals you for the damage you caused. It was a life saver! But it didn’t make it too easy.

Castlevania- Symphony of the Night-

The game is non-linear in a fashion, in that you have to go through the castle, searching for new abilities that allow you to access new areas. The amount of abilities is staggering as well, from turning into a bat, to spells, tones of special equipment, swords and armor, and collecting all of these really got me addicted (not to mention leveling up your character as well).  Not just OCD to collect everything, but because they added new elements to the gameplay, and gave you more options to defeat the bosses.

The boss fights in the game aren’t revolutionary gameplay wise, you’ll be hitting them with your sword just as you do with all the enemies in the game, your jump and strike skills will be tested, but once you memorize the patterns you’ll plow through them.

Castlevania- Symphony of the Night-

What is interesting is the scope of the Castle, every part feels different which makes it easy to remember where you are, and where you’re supposed to go (the map helps too). Half-way through the game however (if you use a special item during what seems to be the final battle) the castle will flip over and you’ll play through the castle again (upside-down) while collecting more cool items and defeating more bosses. There are many endings; I didn’t go through them all, but those I witnessed were interesting and worth the playtime.

Castlevania- Symphony of the Night-

At the time 3D gaming was coming into its own, but was usually poorly executed. The makers of SOTN made a smart decision in keeping the game 2D and making those graphics detailed and colorful. Some use was made of 3D though on some enemies. This really makes them pop out from the screen and they make for a good contrast.

The style of the game is slick as well. The design of the spaces shows a lot of time was put into it. With every area of the castle looking very unique, along with the monsters you’ll be killing in each area, it just adds that extra something that keeps it from being a grind, and more of an exploration.

How it holds up today

Castlevania- Symphony of the Night-

When I first started playing Symphony of the Night, I couldn’t get into it. I would die constantly, and it wasn’t much fun. But once I got over the learning curve I found a compelling experience that really had me hooked. The story was somewhat interesting, but it was the castle that drew me in, and the abilities I was unlocking that kept me going. And as well as colorful graphics and varied locations the music was spectacular, spooky, but catchy; a great companion while playing.

I was skeptical to begin, but the game soon won me over with its timeless style and classic gameplay. For ten bucks, this is a great time eater.

9/10

Played through on a PSP-3001 approx 12 hours playtime.

If you love the music of SOTN as much as I do check out the OST here.

Also for some humor based on SOTN check out this article.

Diablo 3 plus Castlevania

diablo 3 and castlevania

Diablo 3 plus Castlevania

Diablo 3 is a lot of fun, perhaps not a 10-year wait fun, but fun nonetheless. While playing the beginning cathedral I really felt a Castlevania vibe going on so I decided to load up my MP3 player with songs from Super Castlevania and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. I had a lot of fun killing demons to that music so I decided to upload a little of my gameplay.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgbQcivE1Dw[/youtube]

Enjoy.

Nathan Bradford: Mr. Gravity

Mr.-Gravity-Indie-Games

Name: Nathan Bradford

Title: Marketer

Company: Mr. Gravity

SOTN

Favorite Classic Game: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXJShS2x60w[/youtube]

Why it is your favorite game:  The controls are simple yet addicting, there is a lot to explore in such an early game including lots of secrets that I’m still discovering despite having played through the game nearly a dozen times. There is a level system which makes me want to keep playing it rather than simply just going through it. There is more than one ending. Overall I feel it’s a very well made game for its time.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night gave me a boner

Alright, not really, but after playing through the game again I did realize how much semi-nudity is in the game so let’s just go with that.

Diplocephalus

Castlevania - Symphony of the Night - Diplocephalus
She believes in protection and by protection I mean Holy Water.

I believe this creature was created after someone went on a blind OKCupid date and was fooled by a MySpace angle. This creature is easy to beat and has an attractive upper body and a horrible monster for a lower body. When you hit her and kill her, she turns and moons you and you realize baby’s got back.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fkbD1pl0cY[/youtube]

Venus Weed

Castlevania - Symphony of the Night - Venus Weed
She is wondering why everyone is staring.

My vagina is a flower, an eccentric tulip, the center acute and deep, the scent delicate, the petals gentle but sturdy.

Ya, now you know where they got that from. This is how Poison Ivy sleeps, in the nude and apparently, this creature drinks human blood so it must be someone’s wife. Am I right folks?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVB1VsfKimk[/youtube]

Salome

Castlevania - Symphony of the Night - Salome
She does not sweep with that broom

All your goth and bewitched fantasies all rolled into one. This young female witch turns into a cat when you weaken it and you know I love pussy…cats.

Hunting Girl

Castlevania - Symphony of the Night - Hunting Girl
Look at that pose, yeah, she wants it.

This is for the voyeur in all of us. This is for the guys who use to try and watched porn on a scrambled cable feed. Sure, you can’t really see what Hunting Girl looks like, but she looks like she has a hot frame and those poses she does when you hit her…uh… I just realized this sounds like something that can end me up in prison.

Castlevania Symphony of the Night is one of those games you will play over and over forever and the more you play the more weird things you will take notice of. So did I miss any strangely hot monsters from the game, besides succubus that is which is a given.

 

Motivational Monday: Boss Battles

Trustworthiness demotivational poster
Trustworthiness demotivational poster

Motivational Monday: Boss Battles

Remember those crappy action movies of the 90’s where the good guy would have to plow through hundreds of bad guys and then fight some super tough lieutenant  of the leader only to find out the leader himself was a complete pushover?  That just pissed me off because I always felt if you led a group of bad asses then you better be a really bad ass. Thank goodness in most video games the boss is pretty tough though it is true that some games did have a pretty weak final boss, Fable 2 comes to mind. Also for the most part there was an earlier end boss that was harder to beat than the final boss.

However, what makes final bosses cool is the intro, the setup. These fights should feel final, the curtain has been drawn and it’s just you versus him, her or it. There are many games that have captured this pretty well.

Final Fantasy 7: Sephiroth

I get it, a lot of people are tired of the FF7 talk, but you have to give them credit for presenting the final Sephiroth fight in a grand manner. Sure, Final Fantasy has used angel themed bosses many times, but the mix of the long intro, the orchestra music and his presentation makes you feel like this is it. Unfortunately, with just a few items it is incredibly easy to not only beat Sephiroth, but to neutralize almost all of his attacks, but hey how about that cool music.

God of War: Ares

Don’t you hate it when your father doesn’t acknowledge your accomplishments? While the build up to this specific fight wasn’t as epic as some of the others the fact remains that you are going up against the God of War. After opening Pandora’s Box and going all “E-nuck-chuck” it’s battle time.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night – Dracula (Richter)

Dracula is just too cool. I mean he knows even if he’s killed he will be back and ever though Richter has been tearing a hole through his castle to get to him he’s just chilling on his thrown having a drink. He doesn’t even want to fight. Hell he didn’t want to wake up it was those damn presents that woke him.

Ok, so this isn’t a final boss fight per say but is was to represent the end of the previous Castlevania and honestly whenever you go up against Dracula it’s a final boss fight.

P.S. I love his laugh while when he disappears.

Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts – Final boss

This is why I don’t wear my suit of golden armor while writing it just slows me down too much. You have to appreciate an accommodating boss that gives you platforms to jump on to help kill him. What was the grand setup for this boss fight you might ask? Well you had to beat the entire game again to get to him so that’s a cry inducing setup if I ever saw one.

P.S. He looks like Papa Smurf on steroids.

Silent Hill: Final Boss

It’s the power of the womb with that crazy woman with the Mother Teresa scarf on. At the time I thought the cinematic’s for Silent Hill was so cool and now the dialog and voice acting just makes me a sad panda. I love how the cop stands there with her gun pointed for like five minutes before yelling “freeze” then somehow she flies onto her back.

The setup is slow, as slow as the bottle flying through the air, but the point is you finally get to punch someone’s face in for putting you in this nightmare. Then she turns into the man-bat form the Batman cartoons and its battle time.

Super Mario Bros. 2 – Wart

First things first, would you really jump in the mouth of a headless eagle after beating it down? We know a few things about Wart. One, he likes platforms. Two, he likes organ pipes that spit out vegetables. Three, he has nasty acid reflux disease.

Why would you stand in a room with a machine that pumps out things that can kill you? That would be like me keeping a swimming pool of peanut butter next to my bed so I can roll out and into it in the morning and kill myself.

Poor Wart was a bad design from the start being a mix between Bowser and Kermit the frog, but I liked the ending even though it was just all a dream. See, that’s what happens when you OD on mushrooms.

Oh there will be a part 2

There are a ton of awesome boss fights and we promise to get to them. In the meantime if you have an opinion on an awesome boss fight let us know and we will profile it.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night OST

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night OST

Today in the music hall I’d like to share with you one of my favorite soundtracks. Castlevainia has always had good music even back to the Nintendo days. I remember many of the memorable tunes from Super Castlevania, but when SOTN was released on the Playstation I was hooked.

Castlevania Symphony of the Night OST

 

Not only was it such a great game, but it has incredibly well composed music that I still listen to today.

You can purchase the full OST here.

Trine

Trine
Trine

Trine review by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“Symphony of the Night + The Lost Vikings + Out of This World = fun!”

Overall Score:

8 out of 10

Overview:

Trine is a fantasy action puzzle platformer game that consists of three soul-bound characters that got trapped that way at the beginning of the game through magic making their way through each map in stages. You switch characters depending on which one you want to use, in the style of The Lost Vikings, only that all three characters take up the same place, rather than like in The Lost Vikings each being an independent character that you control once at a time.

The three characters are a mage, a rogue archer, and a warrior.

The mage can move objects around through magic and summon magic cubes/planks, which you can use to use to jump higher or drop on enemies.

The rogue archer is basically the most powerful character in the game. She can fire a ton of arrows that although they don’t do as much damage as the warrior, you can eventually fire multiple numbers of them and you can dispatch enemies safely at a distance. The best ability she has is firing a grappling arrow, sort of like the grappling hook gun that Batman has, which you can use to climb up, slide down, rock back and forth, swing, and all sorts of crazy acrobatics. She can light torches by firing flame arrows at them. For me, she’s basically the main character to use.

The warrior is supposed to be the main fighter, although the rogue archer is superior in my eyes. He mainly mashes things, whether parts of the terrain or boxes or enemies. He can also pick stuff up and move it around and he has a shield which absorbs most damage, so long as you angle it properly. He can also light torches, simply by chopping them with his sword.

There are 3 stats in this game, health, mana/energy, and XP.

Health is pretty self explanatory, with some enemies dropping hearts which can heal you. You can also heal by going to a checkpoint, if your health is lower than the minimum that difficulty setting designates as the minimum.

Mana/energy gets used up any time the mage does anything, or to do special attacks for the other two characters. The rogue archer mainly uses the energy to fire lit arrows when you pick up that power. The warrior uses energy to perform special attacks. You replentish mana/energy by going to the next checkpoint or by picking up blue vials which some enemies drop, which this is the most common drop in the game.

The last stat is XP. You pick this up in green vials that are scattered throughout the map (mainly in hard to reach places) and by killing enemies. When you get enough XP all three characters level up and you get a certain amount of character points which you use to purchase new powers or improve old ones.

The final thing to mention regarding general gameplay is that there are different treasures/loot hidden throughout the maps. Each one can boost your powers by a set amount or add a completely different kind of power to the character. For example, I picked up an item which lets my mage swim under water for unlimited amounts of time.

The game gets told as a fairy tale story, and it’s really well done in that sense.

As of the time of this writing, this game is only available on PC. You can play the demo here from Steam.

This is an indie title by Frozenbyte. It has gained a lot of acclaim/awards from other gaming sites. Overall, it’s a great, although short game.

Fun Factor:

This game is a lot of fun, especially the first time through. There are many different approaches and solutions towards getting through an area or fighting enemies and to me that makes for an intelligent game, which most games are not these days, especially a platformer game. The atmosphere and way the game got made keeps you playing. The first time I played the game I was dead tired and started playing it at 11 PM. I went to bed that day at 5 AM.

For the first playthrough I give the game a Fun Factor score of 9 out of 10. For the repeat plays, I give it a score of 6 out of 10, maybe even 7 if it’s been a while.

Difficulty Versatility:

There are different difficulties but they are mostly the same. The only difference I found in game play is that the amount of health that you get when a character dies and resurrects at the checkpoints is lowered the harder you set it. I got really good at this game real fast so I would recommend playing it right from the start at the max difficulty. Most of the game is pretty easy to me, but some parts are tricky. Difficulty Versatility gets a score of 6 out of 10.

Value:

When I got this game it was $5 (when I announced the sale last time). At that cost, the game is an amazing value.

When it’s not on sale, this game usually goes for about $20. At the time of this writing, you can get it for that much through ebgames.com in DVD and also as the downloaded version. You can get it for the same price through Steam.

You can also get it from Impulse here, which is one of our sponsors.

Trine
$19.99

For $20, considering it took me 5-6 hours to beat the game the first time, it’s not so much a great value. At that cost, I’d give Value a score of 4 out of 10. At a cost of $10, I’d give it a 6 out of 10. At $5, I’d give Value a score of 8 out of 10.

Replayability:

This is a pretty short game. I’ve played it twice so far and the game was predictable the entire 2nd playthrough. I have a good memory and since I just played it back to back, I will probably revisit this game in a year or two. I’d give replayability a 4 out of 10, mainly because it’s such a well made game and the action is well done.

Sound:

The voice acting for the game is great. I enjoy when they argue with each other, regarding the path they are taking for solving the main plot. It’s comical. The mage is a shy dork, the rogue archer is a hot sexy lady, and the warrior is a dumb jock.

The sound effects are well done too. The arrows sound real. The smashing of the warrior’s sword or the impact on his shield sound amazing. Sound gets a score of 8 out of 10. I would have given it a higher score, if it had more voice acting.

Music:

The music for the game is beautiful. It goes well with the atmostphere and the fairy tale setting. The music sometimes reminds me of a Tim Burton kind of fairy tale movie. Danny Elfman would be proud! It is written by Ari Pulkkinen. I wish it were available for download. The music from Trine gets a score of 10 out of 10. It’s simply beautiful.

Graphics:

The game looks beautiful. It reminds me sort of the style that the first Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen had, only from the point of view of a side-scrolling platformer instead of the top down and not pixelated at all. They look well drawn and the game is simply beautiful. For what this game is, the Graphics deserve a score of 10 out of 10.

Stability/Reliability:

The game runs rock solid even while alt-tabbing the living hell out of it. Nothing to complain here. It loads up quickly as well each time. Stability/Reliability gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Controls:

The controls are simple and fluid. Standard WASD + mouse combo work like a charm for Trine. Once you’ve played the game for a while, you will be able to use each character almost as if it’s second nature to you. It doesn’t take long to get used to the controls. Eventually you will find yourself just drilling everything with the rogue archer and the enemies won’t stand a chance. Controls get a score of 10 out of 10.

Performance:

The game runs perfectly on most gaming machines, even some obsolete ones. I never saw lag, not even once during any part of this game. The levels load up quickly as well. Performance gets a score of 10 out of 10.

My history with this game:

This was one of over 300 games I bought during the Steam holiday sale. Although the game is short I enjoyed playing it as much nearly as when I played Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the first time. I would recommend it to people who like that game a lot, who are PC gamers.