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Personally, I've been thinking of a Metroidvania that limits the "levelling" to equipment, sort of like the Wonder Boy games, also giving more of a focus on skill and, ya know, finding new stuff as opposed to relying on experience points. It would be easier to balance the difficulty curve and make it more skill-based.
As much of a fan as I am of Castlevania (How's the saying go? You know I'm a fan because I hate it more than anybody?) I must admit I've always found myself more interested in those Castlevania titles that step outside the castle. CV 2 to begin with. CV 3 was quite nice with the first half-to-2/3rds of the game just getting to the castle. I especially loved Bloodlines for mixing it up by taking place all over Europe.
Ditto Portrait of Ruin, though I thought they should have tried even more crazy areas. Those portraits were their ticket to go crazy with new levels and settings. How many different ways can you have a chapel and an alchemy lab, anyways?
Series Distillation right there. High Five!
PS: may i add this to the list?
edited 3rd Dec '09 10:53:20 PM by Schitzo
@Cronosonic: Order of Ecclesia is something like that. Too bad it sucks.
well i liked it.
But it's not Dawn of Sorrow!
Lots of people liked OoE, so you're not alone, Zudak. Heck, most people I've seen have rated it the best Castlevania title on the DS, with quite a few saying it's the second best Metroidvania title, only losing out to Symphony of the Night.
But hey, whatever. Personal tastes and all that.
edited 4th Dec '09 6:42:53 AM by TriggerLoaded
Oo E is hard, which is probably why a lot of people disliked it. Part of the fun of Dawn of Sorrow is just barreling your way through all those enemies, which you can't do in Oo E. I think I still like Do S better, but it's a lot better than Po R, which was quite underwhelming.
I like Oo E because of the difficulty, but i'd say it IS difficult for the wrong reasons.
Because it's in a Castleroid format, attempts to make it Nintendo Hard make it lack some balance (Lack of resources as far as moves and their effectiveness goes. There are some attacks you can't avoid unless you have MAD skills coughtinmencough)
Overall, it's as unfair as a Classicvania at times, and if you treat it like one, you'll still wind up dead. This game will take you a while, but it's by no means impossible.
edited 4th Dec '09 7:47:05 AM by Schitzo
I agree with Cronosonic in that I'd like more focus on acquiring skills and exploring areas, and less on grinding things for random drops (Portrait Of Ruin is a big offender here).
I'm actually open to considering making the subweapons permanent acquisitions on the part of the characters, and giving the option to switch between them at will. Julius basically got that, but this isn't a classic setup—seems like the Symphony Of The Night tradition (which actually dates back to Rondo of Blood) simply gives you the option to switch, but only when you find a particular subweapon.
However, if you let the player keep a subweapon, or if you restricted instances of the subweapon to certain areas that aren't accessible at the start of the game and have to be gradually unlocked, you can have the character use the subweapon as a way to overcome specific obstacles.
The truth is that there are generally skills that can help you smack down baddies. Part of the difficulty (which wasn't present in older Castlevanias) is the sheer number of abilities you get, many of which are useful against some kinds of enemies but not others. At least until you get Nitesco, which is useful against pretty much everybody. 8p
The one boss I hated was the miniature Colossus Climb with the centaur. Not because it was necessarily harder than the others, because the boss telegraphs his moves way in advance and you just need to learn how to respond. The problem is that it's a multi-stage fight, and by the time you get to the top you've probably been hit once or twice, and the top is the hardest part of the battle, leaving little to no time to actually learn how to avoid the attacks.
EDIT: Glenn, most Castlevanias let you keep your "subweapons". Aria of Sorrow and all the DS games let you collect the various skills you have. I think only SOTN, COTM, and HOD force you to switch.
edited 4th Dec '09 9:29:36 AM by Cidolfas
I very much agree. Get rid of the grind and the farming. It's annoying as all hell to kill the same creature a hundred times to get that one item to drop.
What I liked about OoE was how some glyphs weren't acquired by just killing an enemy until they dropped it, but by absorbing it while they were casting it. This is something I'd like to see them develop more. Item acquisition based on skill, rather than luck.
If I'm to get the idea being tossed around here correctly, instead of fifty different weapons and pieces of armour, have only a handful. These items are found around, but you have to dig for them, and perhaps fight a miniboss guarding them.
Something like how it was in CV2, eh? There's a few items, but you pick one up and you have it from then on out. There's only a few whip upgrades, and it's a noteworthy milestone to purchase them.
Almost any instance where you see the term "random" in a game, it's either Fake Difficulty or Fake Longevity.
One idea I saw (or had, I don't remember) was to implement weighting for everything that involves Randomly Drops or Random Encounters. So if you fight one Metal Slime and it has a 1% chance of dropping something, the next one you fight will have a 2% chance, the next one a 3 or 4% chance, etc. By the time you've fought (say) 15 of them, you've got one, guaranteed. This allows for randomness without the hopeless possibility that said item will only drop after a hundred Metal Slimes, or not at all.
I. Hate. Grinding. For. Items.
That really bugged me about Portrait, and then it bugged me even more for Circle. Most missions are optional in Portrait, but in Circle, DSS cards are SUPPOSED to be "the" new feature about the game.
No, I'll just take a very difficult castletroid, thank you very much. And screw grinding the battle arena.
edited 4th Dec '09 10:05:55 AM by GlennMagusHarvey
Meh, I never bothered grinding for the cards in Circle. I'm not harcore enough to spend all that freaking time doing it. As such, I only got to see all the various abilities on Magician mode (I did all modes). Otherwise, I just used whatever dropped my way.
edited 4th Dec '09 12:12:54 PM by jaimeastorga2000
Yeah, grinding/ item farming can go die in a flaming toilet.
Yes, oh so very yes.
Stupid amounts of grinding in Oo E.
I guess I agree that the Cot M cards were a pain in the ass to grind for. Grinding isn't good.
Anyways, I had an idea for a third Sorrow game - a game that takes place in Soma's high school, which has been placed under a curse, and several students have inexplicably gained magic powers and gone evil. Soma goes in, starts purifying them, and some of his peers join in to kick ass, including Mina. Plus, Julius Mode from the start would be awesome too.
Also, I've started playing Portrait of Ruin. It has some good ideas in there, but it leaves some things to be desired.
Very much agree. Still a fun game, and Brauner has got to be one of the best villains in the series. (He's the only one I know of in the entire series to call out Dracula for being a complete failure and dying all the time.) I won't spoil the boss fight, but rest assured he really Chews The Scenery during it.
My idea for a Sorrow sequel was where, five or ten years later, Soma finds himself in the middle of a extraplanar conflict. Several powerful demons want to become the Dark Lord now that the title's been vacant for quite a few years, and they've pretty much decided that the winner will be the one to kill Soma. Not sure how this would play out, but part of it is a three-way conflict. I'm thinking Death will be on one side, Galamoth on another... Not sure who would take the third side.
edited 5th Dec '09 2:08:27 AM by TriggerLoaded
Well, it wouldn't be Count Orlox, in the Do S sequel novel he's apparently offed by Curtis Lang and Michelle Da Nasty, not to mention Death was trying to kill him in that same novel anyway.
Also, that novel needs a translation, badly.
edited 5th Dec '09 2:12:21 AM by Cronosonic
Or better yet, a game adaptation in both Japan and America.
Oh, and also:
Konami, where's my Sot N remake for the DS?
Glenn: Trust me, Portrait of Ruin is nothing, NOTHING, compared to Dawn of Sorrow. At least in Portrait of Ruin most of the spells and subweapons could be found around the castle, or bought in the shop. In Dawn, EVERYTHING must be grinded for, and some of the drop rates are obcenely low. I spent a good half hour of my life killing this one enemy over and over (I must have killed it at least 150 times) and got nothing for it, while drops in Portrait took very few tries to get. What's worse, in Dawn, you only get the very basic weapons around the castle, and are expected to use up your hard earned souls to upgrade them. So you have to choose between grinding, or going through the game woefully underpowered.
At the same time, how much forced grinding was there? In Dawn, it was a Killer Clown, an Ukoback and an Axe Armor. Back in Aria, you couldn't beat the game without grinding a Flame Demon and a Succubus.
Grinding in Do S was also more fun (or less unfun) because gameplay was more fun).
Grinding is grinding. To me, it's equally unfun in any game. At least, I can't recall any instances where the grind was not as annoying, beyond convenient enemy placement and mmmmaybe the attack used.
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