lördag 11 december 2010

A (rough) personal account - Castlevania series

Hm, is this the 'bat problem' they told me about..?

At this rate it is getting understandable they sent for me, but still...

AH! This feels SO right!
(though, I was kind of expecting a Crobat)

For a long time, I have shunned this franchise as overly hyped and undeserving of its praise, considering the earlier games' quite stale gameplay and controls, with mainly the original Castlevania for NES, Castlevania: Dracula X and Super Castlevania IV, both for Super NES, composing the foundation of my experience. I simply did not understand how anyone could like a game such as this (and in a way, I still don't..).

It was much later, after playing through the two GBA-games Aria Of Sorrow and Harmony Of Dissonance, concept-wise drastically different and heavily inspired by fan-favorite Symphony Of The Night (as I have yet to play), that I gave the series a second thought, and a few more years until I, through my Wii's Virtual Console functionality, finally got around playing the exquisite Rondo Of Blood in all it's PC-Engine Super CD-ROM glory. Through this event, my non-existent joy of being a Vampire Killer in classic context, was struck by rainbows. I actually want to place it among my top ten favorite 2D-platformers now, which says a lot since I have a subtle 2D>3D preference.

In this sense, I probably think quite alike the average Castlevania-fan, with Rondo Of Blood and already mentioned SotN (or in my case, it's brainchildren) seen as the masterpieces of the series. The strange thing is I still cannot stand the earlier games, with the possible exception of Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge for Game Boy. I don't even feel a need to mention the next-generation 3D-games, as they simply suck from my point of view. So, maybe this is just a very obvious case of "everyone likes a good game", with the earlier titles getting all their splendor from high-pitched, deluded fans? Or maybe not. The original Castlevania is, and probably always will be, regarded as a classic. So WHY IN DRACULA'S NAME do people fancy them? I attempt to find out. Someday...

"Rabbit that uses a clock to stop time. Strict in regards to tardiness"
- Excerpt from "Chronomage" Enemy Data (Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow)