Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

Castlevania Advance Collection Review (Switch eShop)

Konami has recently revived some of the old Castlevania titles. The 2019 Castlevania Anniversary Collection focuses primarily on “classic vania” style games (stage-based progression, limited life), which is popular with the “Metroidvania” style (Metroidvania). Has open-ended exploration, RPG elements) Symphony at night..

As the title suggests, the titles in the Castlevania Advance collection are derived from Game Boy Advance (Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, Aria of Salou), and the SNES version of Castlevania Dracula X is missing from previous releases. doing. As a bonus.

Ring of the moon (just called Castlevania (When it was first released in Europe) was the launch title for Game Boy Advance in 2001, starring the whipping vampire hunter Nathan Graves. It looks and feels different from many other Metroidvania because it was developed by the Konami team in Kobe, who previously worked on two Nintendo 64 games.

Its main feature is the Dual Setup System (DSS), which allows you to combine two cards for a variety of effects such as enhanced weapons, increased stats, spirit summons, and familiars. However, rubbing is the random dropping of cards by certain enemies. This means you have to hunt down and kill the card, then leave and re-enter the room until you let go of the card. Needless to say, it’s a little boring. In addition, by default, Nathan’s walking speed is fairly slow, allowing him to run early, but the navigation is a bit clunky.

Still, the visuals are decent for the early Game Boy Advance titles (and when played on Switch, they’re much easier to see than the native console), and the soundtrack is solid. Previous game. In addition, there are some particularly brutal (and worsening) boss battles that put the difficulty between the challenging Classic Bania title and the milder Metroidvania game.

“Harmony of Dissonance” (2002) by Koji Igarashi, assistant director of the night symphony, as the producer of the Castlevania Dracula series. His first job was to bring the look and feel of the game closer to symphony, including hiring artist Ayami Kojima for packaging and character artwork. The game starring Just Belmont, a direct descendant of Simon Belmont, exploring Dracula’s castle to save a missing female friend. There are various basic spellbooks to find, which can be combined with sub-weapons for various cool attacks.

As a direct response to its predecessor’s dark visuals, Harmony’s graphics look overkill on a properly illuminated screen like a switch, but to make it easier to see on a GBA unbacklit screen. It’s much brighter. In general, it’s still a fascinating game, but especially a large, multi-segmented enemy animated by the sprite rotation effect. However, this extra stress is placed on the Game Boy Advance CPU, which relies on synths that are closer to the original NES to reduce the quality of the music. Even without that downgrade, the Harmony of Dissonance soundtrack is extremely rare, avoiding the strong melodies known in the series and favoring quirky, sometimes sharpened music.

There are two adventurous castles, like the Symphony of the Night, but instead of waiting until the second half of the game, explore them in parallel. There isn’t much change between them, and both have the same basic layout, so it feels like the level design is bloated. Other than spellbooks, there aren’t many ways to find fun equipment or items, except for the weird subquests that look for furniture and decorate an unobtrusive room. Still, it’s easy to control just, thanks to the forward and dash features mapped to the shoulder buttons. So, despite many other drawbacks of the game, both combat and exploration remain fun.

Sorrowful Aria (2003) is where Koji Igarashi and his team were able to more faithfully reproduce the treble of the night symphony. In 2035, teenage Soma Cruz puts himself in a solar eclipse, including the castle of Dracula, looking for an exit for the power of darkness. Soma, along with some melee weapons, controls the same as Alucard did in Symphony, compared to the whip-focused characters of the previous two GBA games. Equipped with a tactical soul system, each enemy has a soul that can be randomly absorbed when Soma is defeated, giving him some unique abilities. It’s similar to Circle’s DSS, but it’s better implemented because it has so many enemies and so much power to use. It also combines separate magic gauges and heart gauges into one pool. This pool will regenerate itself, but will be replenished as soon as you earn a heart. Indeed, it cleans up some of the turmoil found in the night symphony instrument system and makes it much more manageable and balanced.

Michiru Yamane is back to compose the best soundtrack of the three GBA games featured here. Due to technical limitations, neither the visuals nor the sound has reached Symphony’s level, but it’s still excellent and overall a great game. The map designer was finally able to give a good flow to the search and prevent it from getting boring. The twist in the plot is incredibly predictable, but it’s still cool when it happens.

The strange man is known as Castlevania Dracula X Castlevania Dracula XX Japan and Castlevania Dracula: Vampire Kiss In Europe. Originally released for SNES in 1995, the game is based on the PC Engine game Castlevania: Rondo, with the same hero (Richter Belmont) and some of the same enemies and design concepts, but otherwise. Is a completely different game.

It’s also much worse. The PC Engine Dracula X was so nice thanks to its rich design that it had several branch levels, lots of one-off enemies, and additional playable characters in the shape of the pretty girl Maria. All of these elements will be removed or removed from this entry. There are only two alternative levels for a total of nine (compared to the 12 in the PC Engine game), and Maria appears in the game but cannot be played. The visual style is also muted compared to the bright anime horror styling of PC Engine games.

Even in its own right, it feels stripped from the other 16-bit games that surround it, especially for some frustrating level design. They found (correctly) that the final boss battle with Dracula was too easy, but they overcompensated here by filling the room with a bottomless hole, which was incredibly annoying. The best thing to say about this version is that the soundtrack that fits the Red Book Audio original SNES sound chip is characteristically great, and some songs actually sound a bit better.

The compilation was developed by M2 and includes state saving and rewinding capabilities, and a Dracula X screen filter (probably not included as the GBA game was created for a small LCD screen rather than a CRT). ). GBA Games There are also some small gadgets that can help a little, such as the Circle of the Moon and Aria of Sorrow indicators that show the cards and souls dropped by the enemy. HarmonyofDissonance displays important items in the area. There is also a high quality sound option that removes the hiss noise found in the audio output of the original hardware, but that’s only a slight improvement.

The gallery contains a lot of artwork and all fully scanned packages except the American SNES Dracula X. Most of the Japanese texts are difficult to play and have been changed to Circle of except for some experience levels, but they also include regional variations. May, they are almost the same, and Dracula X has only minor censorship changes.

The tweaks were great, especially the rewind feature that made card and soul shattering a hassle, but the revised color palette that made harmonies and arias more suitable for modern displays was great. Would, or something to adjust the drop rate of the item.