Author [EN] [PL] [ES] [PT] [IT] [DE] [FR] [NL] [TR] [SR] [AR] [RU] [ID] Topic: Revisiting Legacy of Darkness for the 1st time in 14 years…  (Read 1370 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline RichterB

  • Returnee
  • Legendary Hunter
  • ****
  • Posts: 648
  • Awards Permanent Resident: Seems to always be around to post/reply. The Retro Gamer: Has a heated passion for the oldschool VG Titles.
    • Awards
  • Likes:
Revisiting Legacy of Darkness for the 1st time in 14 years…
« on: October 26, 2013, 07:42:01 PM »
+1
At last...

If you’ve been around the forums for a while, you know that I’ve often talked positive about Castlevania 64, and about my recurring statement of wanting to replay Legacy of Darkness (which I had only played and beaten with Cornell through a rental when the game first came out). Well, I’ve finally picked up a copy and have been working my way through it to settle in my mind how it compares with Castlevania 64 (which I’ve owned since 1999 and could play many times over the years).

Remarkably, my save file on my memory pak from 1999 still worked, and I was able to pick up where I left off with Henry’s quest. To date, I rescued four of the seven children. I probably could have gotten the others in time, but I couldn’t figure out how to get into the next level following the Underground Mine. I realize now, thinking back, that I probably just needed to jump back into the coffin after beating the Spider Queen, but I’ll have to wait for another go at it, because I started a new quest with Cornell in his alternate outfit.

Before I get to that, here are my initial impressions of Henry’s quest. The idea of this really creates an open-world Symphony of the Night vibe different from what I think of when I think about Castlevania on N64. It gives a new twist on the levels, forcing you to be extra aware of your surroundings, and the ability to backtrack lends the N64 world a shocking sense of scale and continuity that was perhaps intended in the earliest builds based on developer interviews talking about villages and such. On the other hand, the game as it stands wasn’t built for this, and the ability to go everywhere right from the start without keys or puzzles makes the levels seem less substantial and consequential. This is to be expected, though, since this mode was clearly an add-on trying to salvage Coller’s scrapped quest.

Speaking of which, the gun gameplay that was Coller's works extremely well and lends a totally new feel to the game. There are points where it’s not as Castlevania-like, and it seems to kill a lot of the challenge, but when you think about the idea of alternate characters with new gameplay styles and the fact that this is a race against time, it fits in the established N64 world very well. (This mode makes me think a Contra 64 was perhaps possible). The story idea of Henry coming back to rescue others like him is also cool. I like the nod to Simon’s Theme when you rescue a castle prisoner. The Spider Queen boss is very cool and pretty hard. The way she spins you around the room with webbing is quite eye-popping with the way the camera follows your plight. For some reason, I found it hard to believe a boss like that could have been envisioned for the original CV64, though. It just seemed more elaborate and nuanced than many of the bosses in CV64. That was my impression, anyway. But when I get to face her with a more conventional character, maybe I’ll feel differently.

I will resume Henry’s quest at a later date, but for now, I’m in the middle of Cornell’s quest. First a few notes about the game itself.

The new textures and special effects added to this game are really nice. I like the visual cue when you get a power-up, as well as the extra halo glow on certain candles. The ability to stack sub-weapons wherein they have extra effects is an ingenious mechanic that harkens back to the triple shot, and my memories of that were not disappointed. I’m not crazy about the new bolded in-game text. It feels less atmospheric and more video game-like.

And what about the camera? I have mixed feelings here. They went out of their way to provide a camera system that is remarkable modern for such an old game. The first time I played this game, I do not think I was aware of the fact that you could spin/zoom in and out the camera using the control pad. It’s a nice addition to have, but you don’t need it too much. The new R Button Lock doesn’t seem too much different from the R Button Reposition ability in the first game. Truthfully, I found the default camera view in Castlevania 64, with the character a little smaller to show more of the background, a better default camera. So while Legacy of Darkness nicely gives you more camera options/control, the need for that doesn’t arise as much as one would think, and the camera of Castlevania 64, while flawed, didn’t need as much constant detailed correction as one would think (particularly because of the old R Button Reposition). Both games can fail you, but I think I’ve found more instances of that in Legacy of Darkness than CV64, which is ironic given LoD’s extra camera options. I think that losing CV64’s Normal View was a somewhat bigger deal than I initially supposed.

Playing the game with Cornell’s alternate costume, which was to be his main costume originally, makes things feel more in sync with the N64 world. The Wolf Mode with the L Button feels a bit like cheating with how powerful it is, and I don’t like that you can’t shut it off unless a cut scene comes up.

Now, when I get some more time, I’ll continue this thread with thoughts about the stages, and how the whole experience compares to Castlevania 64 in the broader sense. I'm a little surprised by my findings. I'm finishing up the Tower of Science.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 07:47:07 PM by RichterB »

Offline X

  • Xenocide
  • Master Hunter
  • *****
  • Posts: 8669
  • Gender: Male
  • Awards SuperOld Dungeonite: Members who have been around since the oldOLD days. The Unfazed: Never loses his/her calm, even in the most heated arguments. The Retro Gamer: Has a heated passion for the oldschool VG Titles.
    • Awards
  • Favorite Game: Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
  • Likes:
Re: Revisiting Legacy of Darkness for the 1st time in 14 years…
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2013, 09:34:17 PM »
0
Just to ease your mind RichterB, there are only six children you have to rescue. Not seven. And in order to rescue the last three kids you need to enter the coffin in the hedge maze during specific times in order to get to the next area that has a child. This is where a walkthrough will come in handy.
"Spirituality is God's gift to humanity...
Religion is Man's flawed interpretation of Spirituality given back to humanity..."

Offline DoctaMario

  • Legendary Hunter
  • ****
  • Posts: 859
    • Awards
  • Likes:
Re: Revisiting Legacy of Darkness for the 1st time in 14 years…
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2013, 01:09:09 AM »
0
I'm due for another go around with the 64 games.

It's interesting that you mention the camera stuff. I always thought Normal View in CV64 was pretty good for the most part. Action view moved around too much so I never used it, but like you, I found the camera in LoD a little MORE wonky in some ways.

I understand why they didn't, but I wish they'd kept the design of the levels the same as CV64. The level design in that game is far superior to LoD's in my opinion. The levels make much more sense as they're laid out in that game than in LoD. I also didn't really get much out of the newer levels either. Castle Wall was pretty cool and the Art Tower had its moments, but by and large, none of the additional levels really grabbed me that much. Although I did like the Ship at the beginning too.

Great games though! Where were you able to find a copy of it after all these years?

Offline X

  • Xenocide
  • Master Hunter
  • *****
  • Posts: 8669
  • Gender: Male
  • Awards SuperOld Dungeonite: Members who have been around since the oldOLD days. The Unfazed: Never loses his/her calm, even in the most heated arguments. The Retro Gamer: Has a heated passion for the oldschool VG Titles.
    • Awards
  • Favorite Game: Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
  • Likes:
Re: Revisiting Legacy of Darkness for the 1st time in 14 years…
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2013, 10:29:16 AM »
0
I always found the tower of ruins to be interesting. If you don't know where you're going (even with the floor map plainly visible) you could get turned around quite easily. Not only that but with bits and pieces, and platforms segments of the tower collapsing all around you, and other parts forming it does give you the sense that Castlevania is still in its formation phase as it prepares for Dracula's resurrection.
"Spirituality is God's gift to humanity...
Religion is Man's flawed interpretation of Spirituality given back to humanity..."

Tags: