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Alastor15243

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  1. We all tend to have our favorite setups. Also, since I beat the game, the embargo on open discussion of Bloodstained is lifted.
  2. It's not a question of which makes you stronger, it's more that now your stat boosts are tied to exploration and what resources you've progressed enough to have access to, rather than the mere act of playing the game continuously "rewarding" you with an easier time. It makes it similar to Hollow Knight's system of exploring for powerups and earning them, though this way is a good bit grindier, which obviously isn't ideal.
  3. Alright, so... I was just about finishing up my review when I discovered that there was, this whole damned time, a cheat code to unlock nightmare mode from the start. I've poured 20+ hours into this game already, but my assessment of this game's difficulty seems incomplete without playing nightmare mode and seeing how the game plays when the only way to level up your stats is by finding new ingredients to cook meals with (something that sounds like a great way to solve the difficulty curve problem of open exploration in theory). And now that I know there's a cheat code for it, I can't exactly blame the game's demands for 40 hours of playtime before unlocking the best difficulty to justify not trying it out before giving my final verdict, can I? So, looks like I'll be playing as much as I can of Bloodstained over the next few weeks to try and beat it again before Three Houses consumes every free moment of my life.
  4. Yeah, I'm not touching that game. This is an examination of Iga's work and legacy, with CotM included due to the 'legacy' part and also nostalgia. Sorry, but that does not sound like fun at all.
  5. That's a shame, but it's good to see they're prioritizing fixing the Switch version. Thankfully I won't have to wait. I'm playing the PC version as we speak. This will take longer than before to review, because I haven't unlocked hard mode yet since it's a new game. And I don't feel comfortable reviewing it until I've played it on hard.
  6. Alright, I'll be getting my long-overdue PC in a day or two. It's become clear I'll be waiting a long time before the switch version is up to snuff with the others, and thus it wouldn't be right to use it to compare. I'll start on the PC version of Bloodstained as soon as I can.
  7. I heard rumors that it was only delayed a week so that it wouldn't taint the initial week's press. Just rumors though.
  8. This really sucks. I pre-ordered it because I wanted a physical copy and due to being a huge fan and doing a retrospective I was in an "I need this even if it's garbage" situation. To be in that mindset and still wind up wasting my money is indescribably frustrating. Looks like I won't be putting off my PC purchase any longer. Hopefully the switch one will be patched up to spec eventually.
  9. Oh dear. So, apparently, while my copy hasn't arrived yet, the switch port of Bloodstained is... really bad right now. And the problem is that's the only system it was released for that I have. So I'm not sure what to do here. I may have to wait either for a switch patch that brings it in line with the other releases, or get a PC/PS4.
  10. Oh, if it's magic seals you're worried about, don't be. 1, there's a mod to get rid of them, and 2, they're only in DoS to begin with. They realized pretty quickly that they were a bad idea.
  11. A quick reminder that I won't have access to Bloodstained for another week, and I'd like to go in as blind as possible, so please do not discuss Bloodstained's content or quality in this thread until I post my review.
  12. I generally only finished genuinely terrible games out of morbid obligation to otherwise good series they're part of. And nowadays even that isn't enough. So I'd have to say the worst game I ever finished is Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance. It's a labyrinth of terrible combat and tedious backtracking so bad that not even playing it with a friend and wanting to complete my igavania marathon could motivate me to beat it again after my absurdly patient teenage self managed it.
  13. Yeah, I kinda did forget about it, or at least to mention it, because it just doesn't have the utility that the Ecclesia one has and didn't really register to me as being remotely the same thing. (not sure why you're spoiling this, but I will too in case I'm having a brain fart) A whip glyph would have been fun, along with some less generic magic. More stuff like fire-light lasers and spite meteors would have been fun. But again, I used way more of this game's arsenal than I usually found myself using in most other Castlevania games, so it feels like a quality over quantity thing here when it comes to usefulness and design. No more pattern-heavy than castlevania bosses usually are. Honestly Julius is probably still my favorite battle in the series for how alive and real it felt. But it was a hell of a lot of fun figuring out what the hell I was supposed to do with the patterns, because a lot of attacks are cleverly disguised as comically unfair before you figure out what to do. And of course even when you figure it out, mastering the timing of dodging them is a task in and of itself, one I found very rewarding. I'll have to play again though, see if the challenge still holds up now that I know all the answers. Ah yes. That is a nice change of pace, though the sprite recycling didn't really bother me or even become all that obvious until I played Symphony of the Night, and with the exception of Dracula, a lot of the "big things with lots of moving parts" sprites they added, like demons and such, felt a bit wonky. I'm considering it. I remember it being one of my favorites due to Albus just being such a fun concept. Interesting. I have a lot of similar rankings there, though I'd have to replay them all in order to really be sure. It might be a good idea for a follow-up retrospective, though I'd REEEEAAAALLLY have to space out the Circle of the Moon ones to keep interest. Also, I really wish that game let you play as Hugh at some point. My pleasure! Hope you enjoy the Bloodstained one too when I'm through with that!
  14. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia Well. Here we are. Last on the list. Last one I played in high school. Last in the series. First in my heart. I was very, very nervous going into this. Considering how, in the process of doing this retrospective, several games I remembered loving turned out to have flaws I never noticed originally (some more experience-ruining than others), I was filled with an increasing dread as I went through the games, getting closer and closer to this one, wondering if it was going to be able to balance on the pedestal I had put it on. And what a pedestal it was. I've lost count of how many times my disappointment with some feature or another in one of the games on this list prompted me to think “man, Order of Ecclesia did this so much better.” Well, that's the question now: “Did it?” Did my memories of playing this game in high school, the memories I thought about whenever anything went wrong in any of the other games on this list, hold up to the cold, harsh, burning light of reality when I replayed it once more with modern eyes? Let's find out, shall we? The most noticeable thing about Order of Ecclesia from a more casual perspective is just how drastically different it is from its predecessors. It all but entirely eschews the metroidvania formula itself. It plays less like Dawn of Sorrow or Portrait of Ruin, and more like a classicvania with igavanian controls. In fact, you don't even see Dracula's Castle at all until about 75% of the way into the game, hidden behind the game's fake ending. Until then, you're fighting your way through a wide variety of smaller, self-contained locales similar to the eponymous portraits of Portrait of Ruin, just smaller and way more numerous. Indeed, a lot of the time there's little to no exploration in these areas at all. But playing Symphony of the Night made me realize that this difference is mostly an illusion. As I said during my ranking of it, Symphony is the only game in the series that really gives you anything resembling true freedom of exploration, and it paid dearly for that freedom in many other aspects. Seen in that light, the only real difference here is that for most of the game, what's keeping you from getting to the next area isn't an inability to jump up to the door, but the fact that you haven't unlocked it on the world map by clearing the previous area. Beyond that, all Ecclesia is doing is changing the context and aesthetics, trimming the fat, and letting itself focus on delivering a tight, satisfying gauntlet of challenges for you to overcome using every ounce of skill and wit you have. The Good The Bad The Really Bad The Final Pre-Bloodstained Ranking NOTE: I'm going to have to ask people to not discuss Bloodstained in this thread when it comes out. I'm trying to avoid as much information about the game as possible, and there will be a week in which it will be out, but not for the system I want to play it on.
  15. I hope they revamp the combat system. I wanted to love the original, but the boss fights were so dull with their unavoidable area attacks that made the “action” part of the “action rpg” basically irrelevant.
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