I'm going to rate the ones I've spent significant time on. Inspired by the Metroid thread and the Castlevania month challenge in the retro trade thread.
1. Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse 2. Symphony of the Night 3. Super Castlevania IV 4. Castlevania 5. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 6. Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest 7. Castlevania: Curse of Darkness 8. Castlevania: The Adventure
1. Order of Ecclesia (This game was fantastic) 2. Aria of Sorrow 3. Dawn of Sorrow 4. Portrait of Ruin 5. Circle of the Moon 6. Castlevania (NES) 7. Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles 8. Mirror of Fates
That's it as far as the Castlevania games that I've played. For a series that I consider myself a fan of, I'm surprised that I haven't played more. I'd like to get around to SotN one of these days. (It was included with the PSP game, but I never unlocked it.)
Castlevania SotN Castlevania III Castlevania Rondo of Blood (akumajo dracula chi no rondo) Castlevania Super Castlevania IV Castlevania Aria of Sorrow Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow Castlevania Order of Ecclesia Castlevania Bloodlines Castlevania II Simons Quest Castlevania Chronicles Castlevania
Castlevania: SotN Super Castlevania IV Castlevania Castlevania: Rondo of Blood Castlevania III Castlevania Bloodlines Castlevania: The Adventure (Haven't beat Dracula in this one) Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
Maybe I beat one of the games on the GBA double pack or DoS but honestly the mobile games all blend together for me because I played them all around the same time.
Surprised no mention of Lords of Shadow Mirror Fate. Was the last one I played and loved it.
SotN will probably always remain as my favorite. Would have to really stop and think how to rate (kinda drunk atm) but feel like Simon's Quest is always under rated. Loved that one growing up (assuming it hasn't aged well).
> Surprised no mention of Lords of Shadow Mirror Fate. Was the last one I played and
> loved it.
I mentioned it, but had to edit my post because I forgot it. (Even though it's the only one I still own lol.)...I feel like I have played Simon's Quest. Might have rented it as a kid, but not sure. I'll check to see which ones are available in the eShop.
My top 3 are Lament, Judgment, and Curse of Darkness. To be honest, Lament and Judgment are kind of tied for me, but Lament has better graphics and is a proper CV game whereas Judgment is a spinoff albeit a really good one. Both have the best whip combat in the series, at least until Lords of Shadow rolled out which I didn't care for. Curse of Darkness is actually a distant third place, to me it was always a pretty decent action RPG and nothing more.
After that it's the metroidvanias. The best ones are CotM, Portrait, Aria, and Dawn. The remaining three are shovelware except for SotN, which started it all, but is broken mess of a game and suffers from weird graphics, severe pixelation, and slurred audio. It's also boring, but that's possibly just a consequence of all the other problems it has. Order of Ecclesia is especially stupid, you have two buttons to attack (why?) and you only receive money if you have full hearts, meaning that even if you have plenty of hearts left, you're forced to run back to town to replenish them.
That leaves Dracula X Chronicles at the bottom. Stiff characters, bad voices, and it tried to make young Maria a serious character which they ended up completely botching imo. And good luck trying to unlock anything or get the endings without looking up online. I can probably throw Lords of Shadow in here as well, granted I played it for only about half an hour but I did not care for it at all.
> If SotN isn't at the top of anyone's list your gamers card is getting revoked. This
> is way too ambitious to do on a cell phone, I'll try to chime in later.
I disagree; I'd put Dawn of Sorrow above it. I like the addition of the souls system, and I feel this was better fleshed out than Aria of Sorrow. And my old-school roots did not like needing to get an item in SotN for candles to drop stuff- the rule is that candles DO give you stuff in Castlevania. (That, and I'm still sour about the superior Saturn version being completely neglected in the umpteenth Playstation version remake...)
> SotN is the best PS1 game ever IMO. DiamondDave, that is a very interesting way you
> look at the series. I just realized I own Lords of Shadow and I haven't played it
Just makes sense to me; there were a few titles that, while excellent in their own right, didn't really have much to do with Castlevania other than character names. Doesn't make them bad, just doesn't really make them Castlevania games in my eyes is all.
I enjoyed LoS very much, pretty decent storyline and the gameplay's a bit reminiscent of like, God of War with just like, a straight-up whip. Also better story and characters. And an interesting spin on the mythos.
I don't really like to compare the linear and non-linear Castlevania games since they're so different, so I'll do separate lists. I prefer the Linear games overall.
Super Castlevania IV Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse Castlevania Castlevania Legends Castlevania II: Simon's Quest Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge Castlevania: The Adventure
Super Castlevania IV is the clear winner here to me. That game is just so polished and plays so well. I'd love to play some more Castlevania games like it. I played all 3 of the GB titles around 2006 or so. They all run together a bit, but I do remember Legends being clearly better than the other 2 (probably because it came out several years later). Belmont's Revenge and Adventure were pretty close, but I think I liked Adventure slightly less. Simon's Quest isn't as bad as people make it out to be. It does have a few extremely cryptic things, and the castles are very disappointing, but it also tried a lot of new/interesting things that I would love for them to re-visit.
2D Non-Linear ("Metroidvania")
Circle of the Moon Symphony of the Night Harmony of Dissonance Aria of Sorrow Dawn of Sorrow Portrait of Ruin Order of Ecclesia
I loved Circle of the Moon, it doesn't get enough credit IMO. Most people seemed to like Aria of Sorrow more, of the GBA titles, but I actually didn't care for the ways it changed things up. I put Symphony of the Night at 2nd place because it feels somewhat unique compared to the others, although I'm not sure it's "better". Honestly, all of the Metroidvania games are extremely similar. I played all 6 of the GBA/DS titles really close together, from 2007-2008, and by the end I was really tired of the genre. I would be perfectly fine with them never making a Metroidvania game again.
Still need to play
Castlevania: Bloodlines Castlevania Chronicles Castlevania: Rondo of Blood Castlevania: Dracula X Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles Castlevania: Harmony of Despair Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate
Apparently, Dracula X and Dracula X Chronicles are just remakes of Rondo of Blood. I've heard Dracula X on SNES isn't very good. I know you can unlock the original Rondo of Blood in the Dracula X Chronicles, but I'll probably just play the remade version (PSP, not SNES) and call it good. Thankfully I picked up Chronicles for a decent price a while back before the price skyrocketed. Never snagged Bloodlines though, so I'll have to bite the bullet and pay up for that one. I already purchased Adventure ReBirth, just need to finally play it. Definitely need to snag Harmony of the Despair before they remove it (hopefully that hasn't already happened). So, I basically have 6 Castlevania games I still need to play. That's not too bad I guess, I thought there were more (I know there are more Castlevania games, but these are the only ones worth playing IMO).
The only 3D Castlevania game I've played is the first one on the N64, and I hated it. Never played the 2nd one on the N64, or any on PS2/Xbox/etc. The newer ones look pretty good, but I doubt I'll ever get around to playing them.
I'm not as big of a fan of Castlevania as you guys. It's not that I dislike the series, but I've not played enough of them that I should be making any sort of list. But of the ones I did play, Circle of the Moon is my favorite. Castlevania The Adventure ReBirth on WiiWare was good too. I do remember playing Castlevania 64 and I didn't hate it.
Wow wow wow. I cannot fathom putting another Castlevania above SotN!!! That's just insanity.
SotN is undoubtedly my favorite ever. But I really enjoyed pretty much all of the 2D ones. Rondo is wonderful, every GBA and DS one is great, except for Portrait of Ruin which was a little lame... Castlevania 3 was great, although admittedly I cheated with an emulator because it was too difficult for my old age. I'm not sure if I could play it now, but I even adored Simon's Quest back in the day.
3D Castlevanias? I Honestly haven't played more than 5 minutes of any of them.
Circle of the Moon is great! I played Symphony of the Night for the first time around the same time I played all of the GBA/DS titles. Aside from it feeling a bit more unique compared to the rest, like I mentioned, I don't think it really did much "better". If I had played it when it first came out, I'd probably hold it in higher regard as well.
Well it's graphically better, though the DS ones come close I suppose. The music is better, SotN is god-tier musically. It was highly voice acted opposed to text based and everyone loves the VA in a cheesy nostalgic way. Symphony also had the best usage of breakable walls and exploration, something the later games significantly downplayed for some reason. I think SotN has the best story of the bunch. It's probably the longest one given the inverted castle which would be seen as "better" by most. Symphony also granted you the most amount of freedom. They're all "non-linear" games in a sense but you could go through SotN in many different ways whereas the rest of them tend to bottleneck you in the right direction.
Okay so I'm on a huge Castlevania kick, I love horror movies and I found this on Youtube. I'm going to have to check these out. Its a list of 5 movies and series to watch if you're a Castlevania fan. I see potential!
> Well it's graphically better, though the DS ones come close I suppose. The music
> is better, SotN is god-tier musically. It was highly voice acted opposed to text
> based and everyone loves the VA in a cheesy nostalgic way. Symphony also had the
> best usage of breakable walls and exploration, something the later games significantly
> downplayed for some reason. I think SotN has the best story of the bunch. It's probably
> the longest one given the inverted castle which would be seen as "better" by most.
> Symphony also granted you the most amount of freedom. They're all "non-linear" games
> in a sense but you could go through SotN in many different ways whereas the rest
> of them tend to bottleneck you in the right direction.
> What say you now Scott, huh???
I was never trying to debate anything here, just sharing my opinion To be fair, I've only played each of these games once, around 10 years go, so I'm working off of fuzzy memories at this point. SotN did have better music, but the handheld titles had better music than they're given credit for. Graphics are pretty close, actually. I just compared gameplay videos for CotM and SotN and they're very similar, and that was just the first handheld Metroidvania title, on GBA. The later ones looked even better. I did like the voice acting in SotN. I actually didn't like the breakable walls in SotN and found a lot of the exploration to be too obscure/cryptic. All of the stories run together for me, couldn't have put one over another. I don't remember SotN feeling less linear than the others, but if it is, that's another plus for the handheld titles in my book. As big and confusing as these games are, I don't mind a little bit of general direction, instead of getting lost all the time and wandering around aimlessly trying to figure out where to go next.
I don't remember what it was, but I just wasn't blown away by SotN when I finally played it, like everyone else was. I remember it feeling a bit clunky compared to the handheld titles. Another plus for the GBA/DS games was that I could play them in handheld mode, which I've always found to be more immersive and very enjoyable for most games. That could be part of why SotN didn't stand out as much to me.
Castlevania has always been one of my favorite franchises. I remember renting Symphony of the Night from Blockbuster and beating the game over a weekend. I thought it was great, if not a short and somewhat incomplete experience. Then I found out about the reversed castle, and everything changed. So many cool secrets and amazing weapons and abilities. The art style and the soundtrack are both phenomenal. The more I think about it, the more I realize just how much I love this game.
My next memorable Castlevania experience was with Rondo of Blood on the PC Engine CD. This was one of the first big purchases I made as a youngster, importing both the system and game for what, at the time, was an incredible amount of money. I had heard so much about the game, as it was already legendary status by this point. It was completely bonkers to me that what was considered to be the greatest Castlevania of all-time was not available in the US market. This is coming from someone who for his 10th or 11th birthday specifically chose Dracula X on the SNES as his big, primary present. I loved that game so much, especially that opening sequence with the village engulfed in flames and Bloodlines blaring in the background. I just watched a video on Youtube and it made me feel incredibly nostalgic. I have no idea why the game is not well regarded, but that doesn't really matter. In any case, back to Rondo of Blood. Here's another game that starts off with a bang, right from the opening cinematic. The game has a very dark tone and immediately thrusts you into action with a high-speed horse carriage battle with Death. The atmosphere in the game is outstanding. The gameplay is spot on with a difficulty level that is just right. In terms of classic Castlevania gameplay, this is the pinnacle. If you have not experienced this version of the game (available via Dracula X Chronicles on PSP or through the Wii Virtual Console), do it now! Absolutely worth your time.
As for a list, I'd have to go with the following:
Symphony of the Night Rondo of Blood DS trilogy (Dawn of Sorrow, Order of Ecclesia, and Portrait of Ruin) GBA Trilogy (Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, Aria of Sorrow) Dracula X SNES NES Trilogy (this isn't a slight on the NES versions, they are excellent games, I just love the SotN-style so much)
I haven't played enough of the rest of the games in the franchise to properly rate them, but I did enjoy my time with the N64 version, Super Castlevania IV, & Lords of Shadow.
None of the GBA/DS games really hooked me, I got bored as soon as they all went for the SotN grinding, thought Aria of Sorrow came close to getting me invested.
Stylistically Rondo of Blood's very solid but as far as tightly designed Castlevania experiences go, the original two are tops (ignoring that Simon's Quest exists). ROB's a much simpler game to play, and to beat, though I do appreciate the branching paths present in it more than CV3 presented. That's not to say that CV1/3 are good and ROB's bad, I just like it less.
I never felt like any of the Metroidvania style games forced a grind. I enjoyed exploring and appreciated the different gameplay elements each entry brought to the series. I'll have to play through the classics again, to see which I feel have aged better.
Now I want a Vita again just so I can play Rondo of Blood..
I don't feel forced to grind in SOTN, but on the other hand, what's the point of avatar strength then? Just get rid of the levels and flashy lights. I don't need to be tricked into thinking I'm making progress, if the game's good I'll want to continue playing it regardless. I don't need the game to artificially increase/decrease difficulty as I progress through it.
I enjoy SOTN as much as anyone else, but it made for some pretty uninspired entries after it. Games got spread out and you just go through the numbers, it's not about intelligent design anymore.
> I don't feel forced to grind in SOTN, but on the other hand, what's the point of
> avatar strength then? Just get rid of the levels and flashy lights. I don't need
> to be tricked into thinking I'm making progress, if the game's good I'll want to
> continue playing it regardless. I don't need the game to artificially increase/decrease
> difficulty as I progress through it.
> I enjoy SOTN as much as anyone else, but it made for some pretty uninspired entries
> after it. Games got spread out and you just go through the numbers, it's not about
> intelligent design anymore.
I don't recall level ups having a tremendous impact on the game. A very RPG-lite element of the game. Gearing up seemed like a far more important aspect, and there was a natural progression to it. I never felt like I needed to level up, or that my gear was so woefully weak that I didn't stand a chance. Considering you can play the game as a Belmont, I think it's the perfect go-between for the two play styles.
Er, no, sorry, I'm dumb lol. Famicom! They've got a sound chip that Nintendo refused to produce and add in for the US release, so the Japanese Akumajo Densetsu gets some super detailed tunes we missed out on. It's not EARTH shattering but it's immediately much much better playing the FC version.
Also, while I was firing up Super Mario Galaxy last night I realized Rondo of Blood was on the Wii VC, and I already bought it, so I will be playing the original version of that afterall, not the PSP remake.
Symphony of the Night Aria of Sorrow Dawn of Sorrow Order of Ecclesia Portrait of Ruin Harmony of Dissonance Circle of the Moon
Super Castlevania 4 1 3 Dracula X Chronicles Bloodlines Lament of Innocence Castlevania Chronicles Dracula X Castlevania 2 Curse of Darkness
There's wiggle room for debate in the classic series but that's generally been my experience. Never played the 64 ones and it's been too long since I've played the gameboy ones. I generally don't think they matter much. I kept the Lords series out of it but I greatly enjoyed Lords 1 and Mirror of Fate (very under rated).
Thanks to yesterday's eBay flash sale, I picked up Castlevania: Legends(Game Boy). Now, it's a safe bet to say I'll enjoy it 'cause it is, after all, mother freakin' Castlevania. But, I also feel it's a safe bet to say that it won't be toppling any of my all-time favorites in the series, either.
>> One thing that helps 3 is the character switch and the abilities. I think C3 is
>> as close to perfect as a game can get. The score is excellent too.
> I like III, but IV is where it's at. THAT'S 2D Castlevania perfection right there.
> I'm surprised it's not getting more credit in this thread.
Dangit Scott your CV priorities are all kinds of weird. Lol, JK. I am a fan of both all though I do prefer III of IV.
Super Castlevania IV is the very weird outlier as it is a reboot of Castlevania. Them music is probably one of my favorite soundtracks personally. Who doesn't love Simon Belmonts theme?
Vampire Kiss is a watered down version of Akumojo Dracula X for PC Engine (Rondo of Blood) in my opinion I prefer Rondo over SC IV however it is in everyway the DNA of SOTN. Scott if youve not played Rondo of Blood you'll get an appreciation for SoTN.
Vampires kiss is good in its own right though.
Anyone have any fondness of Order of Ecclesia? It is one of my favorites but it has a very different exploratory formula from the other Metroidvania style Castlevanias
The diagonal whip is one of the reasons I don't particularly care for Super Castlevania IV. I'll have to give it another shot, but I've never been able to get into it. Much prefer even the SNES Dracula X port.
> While they are both good video games, Akumajo Dracula X: Chi no Rondo
> (NEC PC Engine CD) is clearly the preferred choice over Super Castlevania
> IV (Super Nintendo). There! I said it!!
It's AWFULLY close. Catch me on the right day of the week and I'd probably flip those two around on the list. Drac X is consistently good, and SCV4 starts out slow and actually ends up finishing much stronger than it began.
Until I decided to play through it once and for all, I was frankly on the fence between liking and just NOT liking CV4, but by the time I finished it came to appreciate the time spent with it very much.
> @Karaiya, I listed Order of Ecclesia as my favorite. Does anyone know if you can
> play SotN on the Vita? I've seen it in the PS store, but it says it's for PS3 and
Looks like SotN is indeed playable on Vita. I might start playing it soon...have Ys 8 and Danganronpa 3 to finish first, though. And then Layton's Mystery Journey. AND then Etrian Odyssey V. AND then Super Mario Odyssey. Might be a while, lol.
I mean, I can't really argue much here. I still think they're all pretty similar. I never said SotN was bad or anything, and I totally understand most people putting it at #1, it just didn't stand out the same way to me. If anything, I'm more opposed to the Sorrow games being rated so high. I still think CotM and HoD are the best of the handheld titles, I didn't care as much for the way the Sorrow games changed things up. Maybe I shouldn't complain about an attempt to change things up in a series/genre I say is mostly the same lol I mostly disliked how the settings for these games kept being a giant castle over and over again. I really wish at least one of them had took it outdoors and been more like Simon's Quest. Traveling the Transylvania countryside, visiting various towns, cemeteries, caves, generally creepy places, AND castles would have been really cool. I'm still hoping they make a Castlevania game like this some day.
> Classic Series
Loving the SCIV at the #1! The tops of our lists are very similar, we just have Castlevania 1 and Castlevania 3 swapped. I can totally support that, the original Castlevania is still awesome and holds up great. I feel like C3 is more polished overall, that's why I rated it higher, but it was really close because I actually don't care for the alternate paths (would rather just play every level in one playthrough) or the alternate characters (would rather just play as Trevor Belmont). The rest of our lists are pretty different since I've played some you haven't and you've played some I haven't. I'm really excited to play the rest of the games I haven't played at all, and then start re-playing some of the ones I already played! After Super Mario Odyssey, it's on!
Now, did I enjoy seeing your lists? Yes. Do I feel enlightened? Nah.