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Offline Abnormal Freak

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An appreciation for Curse of Darkness
« on: January 05, 2019, 09:21:52 PM »
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Like most, I wrote off this game almost immediately. I thought Lament was a fun enough experience, but when COD came out, I was in no hurry to pick it up. Got it a few months after release at a discount ($40) and felt I'd spent too much after I'd played the first few hours.

What I didn't realize until a recent full playthrough is that once you get past the initial slog, the game really does start to improve. Many of the environments are still too large for how slowly Hector moves (I don't like having to dodge-flip everywhere but it's the only way to keep me sane), but the combat is generally improved over LOI. I like that it's simple and intuitive: neither a complex combo rolodex nor a mindless button masher. A system where your heavy attack changes depending on how many times you did a light attack? Fantastic and a lotta fun.

The way you buy/upgrade weapons is also a neat system, fusing materials with other weapons to create numerous unknown concoctions. There's a surprising amount of depth there that I didn't allow myself time to tinker with before. The Pokemon familiar leveling/transforming is also pretty fun, and it really helps having a bruiser or a healer help you out during those tower endurance stages, especially the latter of the two.

And man, the chair room. How can you not love that? I didn't unlock every weapon or evolved devil type, but I made it my mission to seek out every chair and get the completion chair.

Honestly, the game's biggest weakness is the player movement speed. The environments are whatever—we knew they'd suck because LOI's level designs sucked, but COD offered more variety of shapes to the layouts. It just that Hector moves so stupidly slow that it often makes traversing these areas, especially the beginning two or three, really tedious and dull. It's also nice that unlike LOI, the areas are mostly all connected to each other, giving it more of that exploration Metroidvania feel; LOI's hub was lazy and I'm sure IGA and crew could've worked out something better for that game.

It'd be great (though very highly unlikely) if Konami would allow Bluepoint or somebody to remaster the two PS2 games in a single HD package and just tweak the movement speed in COD. That one little fix could potentially help others to see that it's really not such a bad game after all.

And hey, it's loads more fun and atmospheric than Lords of Shadow, so it's not the worst 3D Castlevania out there.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 09:26:29 PM by Abnormal Freak »
Oh yeah, and also:
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Offline X

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Re: An appreciation for Curse of Darkness
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2019, 12:36:42 AM »
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I'd also ask for increased pixel/graphics resolution as LoI and CoD's environments are showing their age slightly. And for god's sake yes, increase Hector's movement speed so he at least can keep up with Leon. I'd personally also like to see the stealing skill tweaked so that I don't need to wait for a specific enemy movement/attack/special in order to steal items (cause a lot of those are a real pain in the @$$). And also have them re-balance the item drops so that getting certain items (like crafting materials) don't take hours to achieve  :P
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Offline DarkPrinceAlucard

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Re: An appreciation for Curse of Darkness
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2019, 01:56:07 AM »
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.

Honestly, the game's biggest weakness is the player movement speed.



This is something I've said CONSTANTLY on these forums lol, I've been a part of the minority here who has always expressed my support on the topics of Curse of Darkness, it really is a fun game that adapted to core metroidvania formula of exploration, leveling, and item collecting VERY well especially in comparison to LOI. Also the story was pretty top notch by Castlevania standards IMO and I loved Saint Germain and how eccentric he was. But yes my ONLY complaints with the game is hector's ridiculous slow speed and also the complete lack of platforming, these are two departments that IGA's team took a big leap BACKWARDS in this regard since LOI had both a way to speed Leon's movement (Wofl's foot) and it had at a lot more instances of platforming in comparison to Curse of Darkness which begs the question why IGA instead of addressing these issues in COD decided to further push it in the negative direction by making hector slower and doing away with platforming almost entirely.


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Offline VladCT

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Re: An appreciation for Curse of Darkness
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2019, 05:20:15 AM »
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Meanwhile I'm curious if it's feasible to hack the game just to tweak Hector's run speed.
It is precisely because it never cared, that people do care.  It's something which it's lacking, because that which it has, it has lackluster of.
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Offline DarkPrinceAlucard

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Re: An appreciation for Curse of Darkness
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2019, 06:10:53 AM »
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Meanwhile I'm curious if it's feasible to hack the game just to tweak Hector's run speed.

I've been looking into this for years but sadly no dice, the closest we have at this point is increasing hectors jump speed, more information can be found here,
http://castlevaniamodding.boards.net/thread/63/castlevania-curse-darkness-hacks?page=1


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Offline LuxKiller65

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Re: An appreciation for Curse of Darkness
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2019, 07:30:16 PM »
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I played LoI and CoD very late, around 2014-15, and I can say I enjoyed LoI a lot more. I went back to it several times to play hard mode, joachim mode and pumpkin mode. CoD though, it was painful to make it to the end, and because I wanted to steal at least from the bosses, I'm still stuck at Isaac's second battle, from which I just can't steal and it drove me crazy so I gave up playing.

LoI's a lot more fun, basic, short maybe but plays nicely and doesn't try to overdo things like CoD.

CoD is a pain, Hector is slow, stealing is stupid and requires a guide, levels are stupid (the aqueduct... the forest... oh my...), and I thought LoI's story was crap until I played CoD and suddenly LoI became quality.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 07:33:11 PM by LuxKiller65 »
lords of shadow's only quality is that it makes curse of darkness look like a masterpiece

Offline DarkPrinceAlucard

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Re: An appreciation for Curse of Darkness
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2019, 10:46:42 PM »
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*post*

Wow, and here I thought this was a Curse of Darkness appreciation thread lol. ;D


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Offline FanOfDracula

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Re: An appreciation for Curse of Darkness
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2019, 11:01:48 PM »
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jajaja lol xD

Offline Gaawa-chan

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Re: An appreciation for Curse of Darkness
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2019, 10:08:08 PM »
+1
I like both LoI and CoD quite a bit.  I do find it strange that CoD has larger areas but slower movement speed, especially considering that LoI had the Wolf's Foot.  I don't understand why CoD didn't have an item or ID ability to increase run speed; it seems like a very strange decision to me.

For LoI, I like that the game forced you to use items in real time.  I think the real time menus were actually pretty well-designed and something that is rarely brought up when talking about the game.  I like that you got powered up purely by items that you found rather than having a level system because it gave more weight to exploration.  I think the game is really fun to speed run/do efficient 100% map runs of, especially due to the way the teleporting works in LoI.  Joachim mode was a great addition.  Music is fantastic, of course.  The story is... there.  I think it gets more flak than it deserves.  Combat+enemy design could use some work; I think the game might have been served better by having Leon permanently acquire each sub-weapon in order to make your overall pool of moves at any given point in the game larger.  Level design isn't bad but it's not great either.

CoD had a better narrative, or at least more engaging characters.  Also has good music as is typical. I liked the ID system a lot, and that's surprising because I usually don't like monster-raising systems much.  On the subject of stealing... with MOST enemies, stealing is not a problem.  It's just that there are a handful of enemies where stealing is an absolute chore, which is a shame.  I think that the obvious solution would be to to have made it so that perfect guarding a melee attack instantly opens up a steal opportunity.  CoD is more linear in terms of level design but it doesn't really take advantage of that linearity to do anything interesting, which is a shame, and worse still, its obstacles are less about skill and more about what IDs you have.  There's more enemy variety in this game, which is good.  Unlike LoI, where you could get most items the first time you visit an area, in CoD you have to backtrack a bit more.  While the inclusion of fixed teleport points helps A LOT (the game would be torture without them, let's be honest) the backtracking does make the movement speed issue worse.

I can't help but feel that CoD had more missed opportunities compared to LoI in terms of gameplay, mostly with respect to level design.  Here's an example.  In CoD's first area, you have only two noteworthy level obstacles beyond combat.  One is that you need to hang left instead of right at the start or you will need to backtrack for the fairy ID to get the key item in order to open a door.  The other is that you need to break a pillar that the fairy ID will point out to you.  In CoD's second area, there are multiple places that lead to dead ends (you don't have the IDs you need) and there's a room where you have to shoot things with a cannon. In LoI's hub, you go through a quick tutorial that requires you to learn basic platforming and combat moves.  In the area most people will do first (HoSR), you have to hunt down switches in order to proceed.  You have to find a hidden room, navigate spike traps, use some basic timing to get through a room with a pressure switch and wall of electricity, then avoid lasers to get to the boss room.  Along the way, you can also play bowling with some enemies and do a simple puzzle involving statues on the second floor for optional items.  What's interesting is that CoD actually has a bowling section in it as well, but... it takes no skill to execute, unlike in LoI.  You just need the right ID ability.  You can tell that a lot more effort went into designing the ID system than the levels that the ID system was going to take place in.

Uh, this sounds like I'm hating on the game, but I'm really not.  I like CoD a lot.  The ID system is a ton of fun and the characters are entertaining.  It's definitely got some problems that tend to feed into each other, though.

Offline X

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Re: An appreciation for Curse of Darkness
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2019, 12:55:38 AM »
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Quote
For LoI, I like that the game forced you to use items in real time.

I hated this. I shouldn't have to be forced take a health potion in real time while fighting a boss monster and dodging its incoming fire just to stay alive. No thank-you  :rollseyes:

I'm glad that wasn't kept in CoD.
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Offline Abnormal Freak

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Re: An appreciation for Curse of Darkness
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2019, 01:06:54 AM »
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LOI's bowling minigame is something I only recently became familiar with. Holy weird, that game's got some cool secrets.

I felt pretty bored by COD's story, to be frank. Just wasn't a fan of the characters. There's something satisfying about hearing Crispin Freeman yell all the time, though.

LOI is definitely the better and more refined of the two games, but COD's melee combat wins in my book. Such an intuitive combo system.

And yeah, not a fan of the real-time item system in LOI, personally. Was such a relief to have a pause menu for that in COD.
Oh yeah, and also:
meat

Soda as well.

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