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Offline Lumi Kløvstad

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Re: Castlevania Advance Collection
« Reply #105 on: October 15, 2021, 05:48:23 PM »
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My point about CDX is that within its own series, it's not an especially difficult game; there are loads of Castlevanias far more difficult, so what makes Dracula X so tough? (Besides maybe mastering its broken controls and no invincibility frames.) Games like SCV4 and SOTN are the exception to the rule, not the example. X68000, the OG Game Boy games, Bloodlines, and the NES games are much more challenging than CDX.

I suppose at the end of the day it's all subjective, but the game seems to be building a reputation as being balls-nasty and I just don't see it.

I mean, it IS building that reputation, and the thing is, it's not unfounded.

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so what makes Dracula X so tough? (Besides maybe mastering its broken controls and no invincibility frames.
Seems like some light No-True-Scotsmanning going on here so if I may, a slightly reworked version of that:

Quote
So what makes Dracula X so tough? Its broken controls and no invincibility frames.

Like, broken controls (which I personally have not really noticed, but I've seen a LOT of other people complaining about it so maybe I'm just blind here) and a lack of invincibility frames can't really excluded with a word like "besides" seeing as they're central to the difficulty argument. It's discounting central evidence.

Yeah, if the controls were snappier and the game had invincibility frames, it would be considered one of the easier games in the classic series. That's... kind of exactly the literal argument being made by detractors. And the thing is? They're right. A lot of the game's difficulty can be traced back to these roots which I think can rightly be called "unfair difficulty", which is one of the things that make people call Rondo of Blood the superior game (but just one).

Most Castlevania games from the period, including the harder ones, don't often FEEL that much harder because they're fair about it; any hits you take are your fault for not being observant enough and failing to plan effectively. Dracula X FEELS a lot harder because its difficulty is derived from how scummy it is, by punishing you two or three times in rapid succession for a single mistake, costing you half your health in the process. This is also why The Castlevania Adventure has such a sour reputation -- it does a lot of those same things, but even worse: having controls that are truly broken, and making you actively less powerful by sapping your avatar strength with each hit you take. The common thread between Dracula X and Adventure is they feel hard because the game draws attention to its inherent unfairness and punish you disproportionately to the mistake being made, leaving the player almost zero room for error. Other Castlevanias are much more chill about it, and the punishment you receive feels more or less about equal to the magnitude of your screw up, so even if the difficulty is truly higher, it doesn't really feel that way. It's the sort of thing where it falls under the principle of "if you're doing it right, the player will never notice."

Dracula X and The Adventure do not do it right (neither does Haunted Castle but who gives a shit about Haunted Castle?). And we noticed.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2021, 05:51:22 PM by Lumi Kløvstad »
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Offline zangetsu468

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Re: Castlevania Advance Collection
« Reply #106 on: October 15, 2021, 06:11:57 PM »
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My point about CDX is that within its own series, it's not an especially difficult game; there are loads of Castlevanias far more difficult, so what makes Dracula X so tough? (Besides maybe mastering its broken controls and no invincibility frames.) Games like SCV4 and SOTN are the exception to the rule, not the example. X68000, the OG Game Boy games, Bloodlines, and the NES games are much more challenging than CDX.

I suppose at the end of the day it's all subjective, but the game seems to be building a reputation as being balls-nasty and I just don't see it.

If you finish DX with the true ending, it is tough. But I will say this:

- Despite beating Death in the hardest route, ‘The Devil flies by night’ stage and boss fight in Rondo (at least in CV collection) feels more difficult than beating Death after the Clocktower in DX… Despite Rondo being a much easier game.
- The Dracula fight is much harder for obvious reasons, but there are still ways to master it.
- Stage 4(?) shenanigans of not falling into the pit and killing the knight boss is tough, although the boss itself is tougher in Rondo(although one can argue this is balanced by having to beat the knight in one shot while having the key item equipped, not allowing the player to use a sub weapon).
- Stage 5’ isn’t impossible to find, but you really have to be looking to get to Annette, whereas the 4 women in Rondo are easier to find, in general.
- Recovery after taking a hit/ invincibility frames are pretty unforgiving

All in all, it’s a challenge, but I still place US CVIII a fair bit higher. If you ‘count’ all the older games leading up to it, including the GB titles, it sits in the middle but on the higher side of difficulty. If you count Metroidvanias it appears harder.

Why I think it’s remembered as hard in general is that it took much of the freedom of movement that SCVIV brought, which also wasn’t as difficult overall.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2021, 12:50:39 AM by zangetsu468 »
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Offline zangetsu468

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Re: Castlevania Advance Collection
« Reply #107 on: October 16, 2021, 12:48:05 AM »
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Edit: Apologies to the forum and mods for double-posting. I’m on a mobile device, which seems to have attracted a Glitch Gremlin  :o
« Last Edit: October 16, 2021, 12:52:02 AM by zangetsu468 »
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Offline Abnormal Freak

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Re: Castlevania Advance Collection
« Reply #108 on: October 16, 2021, 06:34:20 PM »
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The zero invincibility frames thing is kind of balanced by the huge amount of health CDX gives the player. This isn't "four hits and you're dead" classic Castlevania, it's a Street Fighter life bar that gradually depletes. So while getting a Medusa Head up your butt for three consecutive hits can be annoying, (a) it's avoidable, and (b) it doesn't take away a ton of health.

Comparing since they came out around the same time, I think Bloodlines gives more of a challenge at parts, it's just a more solidly built game so I guess it doesn't feel cheap like CDX can. But it's one of those things where if you put a little time into mastering the play controls and quirks—and it doesn't take much—it's no longer that hindering.

Now whether you find the game worth putting in a little effort is a whole other thing. I know there are games I didn't have the patience for so I cheated my way through them just to get it over with, and maybe that's how folks feel about this one. I think there's a decent little game there, even if it pales in comparison to Rondo and the other 16-bit entries.
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Offline X

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Re: Castlevania Advance Collection
« Reply #109 on: October 17, 2021, 12:12:56 AM »
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Unlike CDX where you could take several good hits and still power your way through an area, in Rondo you took four or five hits and you died, even early on. In the original games not including Simon's Quest you could lose two or three bars of health depending. That is until you entered Dracula's castle and then you would lose four health bars. And since the player only had a total of sixteen bars that means four hits and you died. CV Bloodlines had twenty health bars. An extra four bars of health over the rest of the series.
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Re: Castlevania Advance Collection
« Reply #110 on: October 18, 2021, 06:32:17 PM »
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I've been playing Harmony of Dissonance. Honestly, it's been years since I've played it and forgot how much fun it is. Only thing I wish is it were on a console instead of the GBA.

Offline zangetsu468

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Re: Castlevania Advance Collection
« Reply #111 on: October 18, 2021, 07:42:15 PM »
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I've been playing Harmony of Dissonance. Honestly, it's been years since I've played it and forgot how much fun it is. Only thing I wish is it were on a console instead of the GBA.

Gameboy Player would like a word…  ;)
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Offline Darkmoon

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Re: Castlevania Advance Collection
« Reply #112 on: October 21, 2021, 05:45:17 PM »
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I got absorbed into Circle after reminding myself why I don't like Dracula X. I'll hit Harmony and Aria to see what special changes they made to those before I do my review on ICVD.

Offline Reinhart77

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Re: Castlevania Advance Collection
« Reply #113 on: October 22, 2021, 08:57:56 AM »
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the one thing tying Dracula X to the other games is they share some of the Dracula X series mechanics.  the main one i can think of is that when you grab a subweapon, you get the option to get your old subweapon back.  In this way, Castlevania Advanced Collection could kind of be seen as a sequel to Requiem (though still we need RoB/SotN on other platforms besides PS4).

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Re: Castlevania Advance Collection
« Reply #114 on: October 24, 2021, 03:22:35 PM »
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I got absorbed into Circle after reminding myself why I don't like Dracula X. I'll hit Harmony and Aria to see what special changes they made to those before I do my review on ICVD.

Are there changes? I played through AOS and it's exactly the same as I remembered, emulated to the last detail (except with an annoying overlay when you start the game showing you the menu and start buttons). The menu with a bestiary/items list is the only thing additional, but I did turn off the hints system or whatever.

And man, AOS is still so solid, almost as good as SOTN. One thing SOTN did, however, that none of the other Metroidvanias did for me was having such a smartly designed/themed castle that you automatically know what the area looks like from looking at the map screen. I can't do that with the GBA or DS games and kind of only vaguely remember where some areas are.
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Offline zangetsu468

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Re: Castlevania Advance Collection
« Reply #115 on: October 24, 2021, 04:27:11 PM »
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.
And man, AOS is still so solid, almost as good as SOTN. One thing SOTN did, however, that none of the other Metroidvanias did for me was having such a smartly designed/themed castle that you automatically know what the area looks like from looking at the map screen. I can't do that with the GBA or DS games and kind of only vaguely remember where some areas are.

AOS>>>SOTN imho. In terms of gameplay(particularly how fluid the combos are), the souls system, the inclusion of boss rush & hard modes and the fact that it had a more robust in-game plot - rather than a backstory which simply set up the game. The castle layout and boss fights I also personally prefer.

The main 3 areas where SOTN outshines is graphics, OST & sound quality and the artwork being more consistent. (And more playable characters if you count SS or PSP)
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Re: Castlevania Advance Collection
« Reply #116 on: October 24, 2021, 05:04:33 PM »
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Are there changes? I played through AOS and it's exactly the same as I remembered, emulated to the last detail (except with an annoying overlay when you start the game showing you the menu and start buttons). The menu with a bestiary/items list is the only thing additional, but I did turn off the hints system or whatever.
They actually changed several stuff, but extremely minor. The original soft reset function (Press A+B+SELECT+START at the same time) and original key config screen are disabled in favor for the collection's own soft reset/config functions. Also the soul trade functions in AoS are disabled. Other than that I'm pretty sure they're all 1:1 to the original roms.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2021, 05:10:48 PM by Aceearly1993 »
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Re: Castlevania Advance Collection
« Reply #117 on: November 19, 2021, 03:03:50 PM »
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I recently played and beat AoS. I haven't played it in a long time, but it felt slow to me. I think part of that is due to just having played HoD where Juste has his shoulder button dashes. I know you can get souls that make you go faster, but I just felt Soma was going as slow as he could. Still a great game though.

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