More Thoughts From Me #37: “What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse” «
Castlevania, the classic Konami franchise, has been around for awhile now. I hear its the game’s anniversary this year too. 30 years was it? I can’t remember. Thats not why I decided to talk about the series though! The reason I decided to talk about this series is because its October and that means Halloween coming up. And Castlevania is a great game to play around this time of the year. I want to tell you about my favorite Castlevania, my least favorite Castlevania, and also talk about where I hope the series goes next. And remember: its a “horrible night to have a curse!”
I owned the original NES system when it first came out and one of the many games I played the system was Castlevania. I liked the game, but it was the second one that I liked even more. Yes, I was a huge fan of Simon’s Quest. You don’t find many people who like this second game as much as the first one or the third one. I liked how Simon’s Quest had NPCs to talk to and towns to explore along with scenic areas to roam in. It was a different kind of Castlevania. Simon’s Quest, however, isn’t my favorite Castlevania game.
The next Castlevania game I played was Super Castlevania. I totally missed out on playing the third game on NES and wouldn’t play it till many years later (I thought it was ok). Super Castlevania is a pretty good game for the SNES. The graphics are a lot better than anything you’ll find on the NES games and the gameplay is very good. This game, however, is still not my favorite Castlevania game.
You might know what my favorite Castlevania game is. Many people consider this game to be the best Castlevania! I am, of course, talking about Symphony of the Night.
On the Playstation 1, Symphony of the Night added role playing elements and a better story to the franchise. The castle in this game was much more open and exploration was much more important than it use to be. Symphony of the Night is, without a doubt, a mix of Metroid and Castlevania. This is the game that invented the term Metroidvania! You really won’t find a Castlevania game better than this one in my opinion but there are some that come close.
The Castlevania games that appeared on the GBA and DS followed in the tradition of Symphony of the Night and kept the rpg elements. All of these games are really good and you can’t go wrong with playing any of them. I only wish that the Castlevania that appeared on the 3DS had taken after them.
On the 3DS, Castelvania: Mirror of Fate was a more three dimensional game and focused on the side-scrolling with not much rpg elements included. The game hearkened back to the NES era games, but not in a good way. Mirror of Fate seemed like a paint by numbers Castlevania game. Don’t get me wrong: the graphics looked good, though the gameplay was pretty stale. Mirror of Fate isn’t the worst Castlevania game however.
I hear a lot of people say that Castlevania 64 is the worst Castlevania game. I never played that game, so I can’t make a judgement there. The game that I think is the worst is Lament of Innocence for the Playstation 2 (and the other PS2 games are just as bad). This was the era where Konami was trying to make the Castlevania games into 3D action games. But Castlevania doesn’t work very well in 3D and it always loses it rpg elements along the way. Lament of Innocence and the other PS2 Castlevania games just feel like Devil May Cry clones. The games, especially Lament, are too fast and way too boring. Castlevania should definitely be left in the 2D side scrolling rpg realm.
Castlevania isn’t going away. Konami will always create these games as long as they are in business. But Castlevania needs to get out of the 3D genre completely. The series needs to go back to its 2D side-scrolling roots. Thats not to say that the game can’t get better with its story and add in even more rpg elements though. There is always room for improvement in any series. But Konami must not forget the series roots and can’t take Castlevania too far away from what it was!
Here’s hoping we’ll see another 2D Castlevania game soon. I think the 3DS would be a great system for this. Just because the game would be 2D doesn’t mean it couldn’t have awesome 3D depth. Plus, you could put all of the maps, status, and rpg elements on the bottom screen. If they added in touch screen use for the menus, a cool streetpass feature, and some dlc content, we’d have the best Castlevania game yet. Come on Konami, we know you can still make great games!
What is your favorite Castlevania game? What is your least favorite Castelvania game? Share your thoughts in the comments or be cursed forever! Just kidding! Maybe!
Next week: You were almost a Jill Sandwich. Yes, I’m going to be talking about Resident Evil!