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So, I want to get into the Castlevania series...:

A-HYUK!
I looove Metroid, so I've found it a bit odd that I've never even tried out a Castlevania game before. That said, there are apparently a TON of the games flying about, and I have no idea where to even begin.

And this is where you guys come in. What's a good Castlevania game to start with for a newcomer to the series? For reference, I own a DS Lite (so GBA games are fine), Wii, and PSP (PS1 classics are also fine).
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 2 Spooky Mask, Thu, 7th Jul '11 9:55:43 AM from Corner in round room Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Insert title
Hmm, I think any of them is good game to start with o-o Though, older ones aren't Metroidvanias.
Time to change the style, for now
 3 Wild Knight, Thu, 7th Jul '11 9:57:53 AM from the wasteland.
If Metroidvania is all you're interested in, Symphony of the Night is a good starting point as that kicked off the Metroidvania we know and love today (it's a PS1 Classic on the PSN store, you can download it onto your PSP). From there it'd probably be good to go in release-date order through the GBA and DS games (so Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, Aria & Dawn of Sorrow, Portrait of Ruin, and Order of Ecclesia).
The blind man walking off the cliff is not making a leap of faith.
 4 Narmer, Thu, 7th Jul '11 2:51:05 PM from some state in Mexico.
Symphony of the night as mentioned above is a really good starting point but I recomend trying the first ones too the ones that aren't Metroidvanias.

Dawn of Sorrow is the only one I've played, and I've liked it, but I hear it's different from the rest of Castlevanias.
 6 Actually Comma, Thu, 7th Jul '11 3:26:26 PM from a mysterious place
I am making sense!
It really depends on whether you want a Metroidvania or not. Sot N is the obvious choice if you do; if you don't, you pretty much can't go wrong with any of the others. 1, 3, Super, Rondo of Blood, Bloodlines, Chronicles — just pick one out of a hat. I suppose 1 might seem a little primitive nowadays, if you're picky about that sort of thing.

Really, I think either Chronicles or Sot N on PS1 would give you the best bang for your buck.

edited 7th Jul '11 3:27:39 PM by ActuallyComma

Except [condescending response follows]. Because [sarcasm here]. You do understand [snark], right? POTHOLE TO SARCASM MODE
 7 Aondeug, Thu, 7th Jul '11 3:29:49 PM from  Our Dreams
Oh My
I didn't care for Sot N. I really liked Portrait of Ruin and Order of Ecclessia out of the Metroidvanias I've played till the end. Po R is...different and Oo E has a reputation of being the most difficult of the Metroidvanias. I don't think it's hard, but...that's me and I'm in the minority. So Sot N is probably your best bet.

Outside of these...Classicvania. If you have any interest in those I'd vote on 4 or Rondo of Blood. 4's easily the best of the Classicvania's gameplay wise, but it's nowhere near as stiff as the others. NES Classicvanias are very fun and worthwhile, but they are incredibly stiff. That and the difficulty curve is an absolute bitch.

Unless you're 2 in which case the trouble is not knowing what the fuck to do.

3Dvania I have only played the N64 games. I found them to be decent and they remain cherished parts of my life. They pale in comparison to the the 2D games though and the camera is a bit of an annoying whore to get used to.

edited 7th Jul '11 3:30:09 PM by Aondeug

If someone wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells, then that's their business. We know what we're doing. - Achaan Chah
I'm not a fan of Sot N. It established the formula that the later games would follow, but it was unrefined compared to its successors. Aria of Sorrow, Dawn of Sorrow, Portrait of Ruin and Order of Ecclesia are all great games.

 9 Aondeug, Thu, 7th Jul '11 3:41:39 PM from  Our Dreams
Oh My
Oh fuck it. Portrait of Ruin gets my vote. I changed my mind.
If someone wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells, then that's their business. We know what we're doing. - Achaan Chah
 10 Deathonabun, Thu, 7th Jul '11 3:47:26 PM from the bedroom
Bunny
All are pretty good, but I agree with Aon on Portrait of Ruin.
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All I recommend is not doing what I did and starting with Circle Of The Moon. Not only is it not representative of most of the other metroidvanias, but it's also really hard for all the wrong reasons. Barely any save points, every item is dropped, even potions, which are surprisingly rare, no after-boss healing... the others are much more forgiving in this regard.

As for the old ones, I've only played Super Castlevania 4 and Rondo, but both kick ass.
 
 12 Clarste, Thu, 7th Jul '11 8:09:20 PM Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Three Steps
Circle Of The Moon was terrible. Stupid cards. I think the Soma games probably make the best starting point (Aria Of Sorrow and Dawn of Sorrow). Symphony of the Night might be a bit too unpolished and Order of Ecclesia just has some weird design choices. Portrait of Ruin is pretty good, but I don't think it stands out in any way. Although maybe that's a good thing.

edited 7th Jul '11 8:10:37 PM by Clarste

 13 Spooky Mask, Thu, 7th Jul '11 8:15:18 PM from Corner in round room Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Insert title
Rondo of Blood is good game, its not metroidvania though.
Time to change the style, for now
Since you have a PSP, I'd suggest looking at Dracula X Chronicles. It has both a updated version of the original Rondo of Blood, the last of the "classic" Castlevanias, as well as Symphony of the Night, the first of the metroidvania titles.
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I personally really like Circle of the Moon, but I agree that it's a crappy starting spot. I say start with Aria of Sorrow, or MAYBE Symphony of the Night. IMO, Sot N is fun with excellent music, but as was said before, very unpolished.

Oh, and Harmony of Dissonance is polished, but dull...somehow. I think the lack of good tunes may be part of it.
 16 Zeromaeus, Thu, 7th Jul '11 10:25:52 PM from Neo Arcadia
Mighty No. 51345
For Metroidvanias, I'd agree with what appears to be the minority and say start with Aria of Sorrow and THEN go to Symphony of the Night. After that, just go for whatever calls out to you, they're all good. Even Circle of Moon in its own terrible and sadistic way.

...
Oh, and Order of Eclessia is only hard if you do a 'np hits from bosses' (necessary for 100%) run. Even then its just about memorizing patterns.
Mega Man fanatic extraordinaire
 17 Aondeug, Thu, 7th Jul '11 11:21:14 PM from  Our Dreams
Oh My
The patterns aren't that hard to memorize either...BITCHES I GOT PERFECT CLEARS ON SOME BOSSES WITHOUT TRYING. So then I was like "Well...we already got a few of these fucks. LET'S GO ALL THE WAY". And I did.

edited 7th Jul '11 11:21:39 PM by Aondeug

If someone wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells, then that's their business. We know what we're doing. - Achaan Chah
 18 Zeromaeus, Thu, 7th Jul '11 11:39:04 PM from Neo Arcadia
Mighty No. 51345
The crab is the hardest boss to perfect, next to the shadow guy. The rest are cake.
Mega Man fanatic extraordinaire
 19 Actually Comma, Thu, 7th Jul '11 11:47:59 PM from a mysterious place
I am making sense!
[up]Hint: attack his weak point for massive damage.
Except [condescending response follows]. Because [sarcasm here]. You do understand [snark], right? POTHOLE TO SARCASM MODE
 20 Zeromaeus, Thu, 7th Jul '11 11:56:04 PM from Neo Arcadia
Mighty No. 51345
wat
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 21 Schitzo, Thu, 7th Jul '11 11:59:34 PM from Akumajou Dracula Relationship Status: LA Woman, you're my woman
TvT
Classicvanias: 4 or Rondo gets my vote. If you're feeling brave, tackle either 1 or 3 afterwards. The Adventure Rebirth is also a fine choice for wiiware. Try Castlevania Chronicles if you're in a masochistic mood. I usually am.

Metroidvanias: Symphony Ofthe Night is to Castlevania what Final Fantasy VII is to it's own series. The game everyone remembers and refers to, and with good reason. As for the other entries: My absolute favorite is Aria Of Sorrow

If you have a PSP, it is mandatory that you get The Dracula X Chronicles.

edited 8th Jul '11 12:00:07 AM by Schitzo

ALL CREATURE WILL DIE AND ALL THE THINGS WILL BE BROKEN. THAT'S THE LAW OF SAMURAI.
Yeah, If you want to get into the series in general, try Super Castlevania IV; a much more reasonable difficulty compared to most Classicvanias, basically a remake of the first game, great whipping control.

SOTN is the obvious choice for Metroidvanias, but the Sorrow series offers a fairly reasonable difficulty(not too hard, but no super easy), and is a bit more polished.
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Total posts: 22
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