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ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Always looking for a bargain!








Castlevania is a much beloved series from Konami that began in the NES's heyday, beginning life as a series of tough, but generally fair action platformers about a family of vampire hunters and their eternal war against Count Dracula (yes, the same Dracula from the Bram Stoker novel) where caution was rewarded and sloppiness was punished. Over time, the series evolved to encompass another genre: an exploration-based platformer where players had a large map to play around in and discover secrets, but where progress was gated by abilities that the player had to seek out, not unlike a Metroid game. It was never a mega-hit, but it was never a victim of budget or scope creep and made modest returns, with a sizeable following, which made the series' apparent death after 2010 (2014 if we're counting Lords of Shadow 2) sting. Since then, the only "games" to come out of the franchise was a Pachinko machine and I think a mobile Gacha, and the man in charge of the franchise since roughly 1997, Koji Igarashi, was kicked over to Konami's mobile gaming division, and eventually left the company in 2014.

In May of 2015, Igarashi unveiled a new project on Kickstarter: an exploration-based game with gothic themes and elements - Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. It was Castlevania in all but name. It was a project not unlike Keiji Inafune's Mighty Number 9, which had similar origins as a kickstarter "revival" of a franchise left to wither away by its parent company, spearheaded by the leader of said franchise. Riding on a wave of nostalgia, Bloodstained smashed right through its backer goal, so the campaign manager added more and more goals for reaching higher and higher funding milestones. One such goal was a retro-style prequel game.

Developed by Inti Creates, of Mega Man Zero, Mega Man 9, and Gunvolt fame, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon is the retro game that the backer rewards promised. It's more of a spin-off now than a prequel, as it takes some liberty with the established story of RotN, but it's still a very strong game on its own. As far as Castlevania ties go, CotM leans hard as a successor to Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse; it features four playable characters that line up with CV3's cast with the ability to switch between them at will. It's got the benefits of modern design sensibilities too, so it's not nearly as punishing as its inspirations.



This will be a short solo LP where I show off a complete run of the game, then a couple of variations on the experience. This game is very short, and it takes roughly an hour to go through, so each video should cover two stages. I'll be releasing episodes about twice a week, tenatively on Mondays and Thursdays.







ChaosArgate fucked around with this message at Jul 30, 2018 around 16:19

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ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Always looking for a bargain!




Reserved

JamieTheD
Nov 4, 2011

LPer, Reviewer, Mad Welshman

(Yes, that's a self portrait)

Bloodstained, from both this and the demo, is definitely shaping up to be a game I want to review... And Curse of the Moon's aesthetic is p. solid. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the game.

Blastinus
Feb 28, 2010

Let's see what fate has in store.



Shit.


Not gonna lie, throwing bats at you while you're on a tiny moving platform does seem like peak Castlevania.

Commander Keene
Dec 21, 2016

This avatar helped buy Lowtax a new back.


I'm not a big fan of the Classicvania format, but I think Curse of the Moon does it pretty well. I'm not a backer, despite having tried to back the game (a long story that I'm still mad at Kickstarter over), so I had to pay the or whatever that the Steam version cost, but it's been worth it so far.

liquidypoo
Aug 23, 2006

Statues can't fuck wit dis


I will freely admit that I don't have the patience to run through some of the, er, extra things this game has to offer, so I'm glad you're doing this. I get to see what's up without having to earn it myself!

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012

The Laws of Fiesta are Absolute!


Blastinus posted:

Not gonna lie, throwing bats at you while you're on a tiny moving platform does seem like peak Castlevania.

Peak Metroidvaniagaiden has not yet been achieved. Then again, this isn't a Metroidvania, so I guess just a Castlegaiden sort of dick move.

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009

Torches, to god-damned hell with torches! We have no torches. In fact, we don't need torches. I don't have to show you any stinking torches, you god-damned cabron and chinga tu madre!

That autoducking you're using is pretty severe - whenever you talk the game audio drops to nearly nothing. Have you tried reducing its effect?

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Always looking for a bargain!




NGDBSS posted:

That autoducking you're using is pretty severe - whenever you talk the game audio drops to nearly nothing. Have you tried reducing its effect?

Truth be told these are the same settings I use for Yakuza, which might have a louder base volume in hindsight. I can try to adjust volume for a few episodes further down the line, but Im currently in the middle of a move so I cant promise Ill be able to do so in a timely manner.

Bellmaker
Oct 18, 2008

Chapter DOOF


I heard about this game but was not aware it was connected to the other Kickstarter game, I thought it was just an homage to Castlevania 3.

Even as a fan all these Castlevania-ish titles sound the same

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.


Dinosaur Gum

There are certainly worse Kickstarter bonuses than a Castlevania 3 homage. Interresting how you get your full roster, though, instead of the choice of companion 3 gave you.

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Always looking for a bargain!




Silver Falcon
Dec 5, 2005

Citizen of Zada

My god. That dragon boss. Dramatic lead up and really cool design and everything and then freeze SMASH dead.

Commander Keene
Dec 21, 2016

This avatar helped buy Lowtax a new back.


I didn't know Albert's fire shield stopped projectiles. I guess that makes him the character with the most useful sub-weapons after all; Zangetsu's Talisman is his most useful sub-weapon (the Chain is simply worse than Miriam's Knives IMO and the Berserk is pretty useless), I don't like how slow Miriam's Axe is when the target can move, and Gebel only has Metamorphosis.

I definitely do appreciate the color-coded lanterns, especially having played Classicvania games and the classic Ninja Gaiden series, where they're not and you can drop a power you really wanted for some useless crap.

As for Valefor, he's not difficult if you know the trick, but for whatever reason I didn't figure out that you could attack the coin piles to shrink them right away, so I wasted a life or two getting pushed into walls. Also, as I said I don't like the Axe, so I was doing significantly less damage to him per round.

liquidypoo
Aug 23, 2006

Statues can't fuck wit dis


So uh, the fourth level's moon was a half moon. Didn't we start off with just a tiny sliver of a crescent moon? Zangetsu and friends are really just taking their sweet time with this adventure, aren't they?

Commander Keene
Dec 21, 2016

This avatar helped buy Lowtax a new back.


liquidypoo posted:

So uh, the fourth level's moon was a half moon. Didn't we start off with just a tiny sliver of a crescent moon? Zangetsu and friends are really just taking their sweet time with this adventure, aren't they?
It works like SMT's moon phases; three steps and it changes. Once you hit full moon nothing will talk to you and everything's trying to kill you... oh wait.

Oblivion4568238
Oct 10, 2012

The Inquisition.
What a show.
The Inquisition.
Here. We. Go.

College Slice

Commander Keene posted:

I didn't know Albert's fire shield stopped projectiles. I guess that makes him the character with the most useful sub-weapons after all; Zangetsu's Talisman is his most useful sub-weapon (the Chain is simply worse than Miriam's Knives IMO and the Berserk is pretty useless), I don't like how slow Miriam's Axe is when the target can move, and Gebel only has Metamorphosis.

Pretty much all projectiles can be destroyed by any attack, if I recall correctly. The fire shield is so useful defensively because it lasts for so long and completely surrounds your character, leaving contact damage, pits, and fairly rare non-projectile attacks as the only ways to take damage. Your post made me realize a possible combination of powers, though: Alfred's Ice, Zangetsu's Berserk, and Miriam's Axe. I'm gonna have to try that out myself later.

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Always looking for a bargain!






Oblivion4568238 posted:

Pretty much all projectiles can be destroyed by any attack, if I recall correctly. The fire shield is so useful defensively because it lasts for so long and completely surrounds your character, leaving contact damage, pits, and fairly rare non-projectile attacks as the only ways to take damage. Your post made me realize a possible combination of powers, though: Alfred's Ice, Zangetsu's Berserk, and Miriam's Axe. I'm gonna have to try that out myself later.

For bonus points, throw in Gebel's Bat Ascent just to get some mad air.

Commander Keene
Dec 21, 2016

This avatar helped buy Lowtax a new back.


I'm glad I'm not the only person who hardly uses Zangetsu in the game starring him.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012

The Laws of Fiesta are Absolute!


Commander Keene posted:

I'm glad I'm not the only person who hardly uses Zangetsu in the game starring him.

Yeah, he doesn't have much utility.
Sure he has a quick attack animation, but virtually no range. Miriam can whip 2-3 times before an enemy gets in her face, so she'll probably kill them as fast as Zangetsu would. Or just axe anyone who does get through the whip.
Miriam has a ton of mobility.
His anti-air whip weapon is pretty expensive for being incredibly precise and not much better range than Gebel's bats. Miriam's kunai and Gebel have a bit of a spread. Alfred doesn't have much anti-air ability except the chain lightning.

Honestly the only things he has is his damage buff (which you should immediately tag someone else to utilize anyway), and the holy water analogue. Honestly aside from the chain lighting, and maybe a very small bit of Miriam's axe, nothing else is good for lower targets, infrequent as they are.

Also, I never really had problems jumping on stairs, but usually I don't jump in at an angle.

Commander Keene
Dec 21, 2016

This avatar helped buy Lowtax a new back.


FeyerbrandX posted:

Yeah, he doesn't have much utility.
Sure he has a quick attack animation, but virtually no range. Miriam can whip 2-3 times before an enemy gets in her face, so she'll probably kill them as fast as Zangetsu would. Or just axe anyone who does get through the whip.
Miriam has a ton of mobility.
His anti-air whip weapon is pretty expensive for being incredibly precise and not much better range than Gebel's bats. Miriam's kunai and Gebel have a bit of a spread. Alfred doesn't have much anti-air ability except the chain lightning.

Honestly the only things he has is his damage buff (which you should immediately tag someone else to utilize anyway), and the holy water analogue. Honestly aside from the chain lighting, and maybe a very small bit of Miriam's axe, nothing else is good for lower targets, infrequent as they are.

Also, I never really had problems jumping on stairs, but usually I don't jump in at an angle.
My usual setup is the Not-Holy-Water for Zangetsu and the Kunai for Miriam, swapping between them for high/low targets. I haven't really figured out what I want to do with Albert, although I tend to favor the Ice with him (I actually haven't gotten to the point in the game where they offer you the option of the lightning sub-weapon) and of course Gebel just has his one ability.

Dreadwroth
Dec 12, 2009



Those "coffins" are totally Iron Maidens basically copied from a Hellboy comic, I wonder if that was on purpose?

Blue Labrador
Feb 17, 2011

~Breathe in Breathe Out~

If ya ICED UP
Pull ya SLEEVES OUT


The Ice spell is so stupid good in this game lol. You can even freeze the buzzsaws on the platforms iirc, which makes platforming way easier.

CAPT. Rainbowbeard
Apr 5, 2012
My incredible shitposting will not transform the xbone into a good console


Lipstick Apathy

There's a traversal question I have for Stage 6, I'll wait till then to ask it.

Enjoying the thread so far!

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Always looking for a bargain!




CAPT. Rainbowbeard posted:

There's a traversal question I have for Stage 6, I'll wait till then to ask it.

Enjoying the thread so far!

Stage 6 was the back half of last weeks episode, so ask away.

CAPT. Rainbowbeard
Apr 5, 2012
My incredible shitposting will not transform the xbone into a good console


Lipstick Apathy

ChaosArgate posted:

Stage 6 was the back half of last weeks episode, so ask away.

There's a wall a skeleton is pointing at, what are you meant to do there? You can take the stairs up, and go around and you can go left and "backwards" when you come down the stairs

It's meant to be a shortcut of some kind, but how?


You just smash the wall at 7:45 or so. I was too cowardly to make the leap and hit it. :v

CAPT. Rainbowbeard fucked around with this message at Jul 23, 2018 around 04:24

Silver Falcon
Dec 5, 2005

Citizen of Zada

Commander Keene posted:

I'm glad I'm not the only person who hardly uses Zangetsu in the game starring him.

There's a precedent for that, too. The Castlevania game... Rondo of Blood, I think? You can unlock a secondary character who's a little girl in a dress who summons her animal friends to fight for her. There's basically no reason to use Whoever Belmont after you get her because she just outclasses him in every regard.

Commander Keene
Dec 21, 2016

This avatar helped buy Lowtax a new back.


Silver Falcon posted:

There's a precedent for that, too. The Castlevania game... Rondo of Blood, I think? You can unlock a secondary character who's a little girl in a dress who summons her animal friends to fight for her. There's basically no reason to use Whoever Belmont after you get her because she just outclasses him in every regard.
I know I prefer playing Maria in Dracula X Chronicles (the PSP remake of Rondo).

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Always looking for a bargain!






While this may look like the end of the game, stick around, I've still got two more videos for this LP!

Silver Falcon posted:

There's a precedent for that, too. The Castlevania game... Rondo of Blood, I think? You can unlock a secondary character who's a little girl in a dress who summons her animal friends to fight for her. There's basically no reason to use Whoever Belmont after you get her because she just outclasses him in every regard.

Maria, yes. The game was balanced around a character with traditional movement, so having actual mobility options makes things a shitton easier. Funnily enough, the girl in the dress of this game is the Belmont of this game.

Wiseblood
Dec 31, 2000

THE ONLY JOKE HERE, IS HOW STRONG MY MUSCLES ARE.


You can actually get through that one door in stage 7 in normal mode if you freeze the enemy below it and use it as a platform to break the wall with Miriam's axe.

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Always looking for a bargain!




Wiseblood posted:

You can actually get through that one door in stage 7 in normal mode if you freeze the enemy below it and use it as a platform to break the wall with Miriam's axe.

Huh, I never thought of that. That makes a lot of sense!

Silver Falcon
Dec 5, 2005

Citizen of Zada

Ok yeah that was a really cool final boss. He's no Dracula, but he'll do. I liked the detail of the phase of the moon in his head being a tell for what attacks he does.

The Stage 7 music gave me some series Bloody Tears vibes, and I am extremely OK with this. What was that mask looking thing you didn't pick up? Did you cover what that does? I've forgotten.

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Always looking for a bargain!




Silver Falcon posted:

Ok yeah that was a really cool final boss. He's no Dracula, but he'll do. I liked the detail of the phase of the moon in his head being a tell for what attacks he does.

The Stage 7 music gave me some series Bloody Tears vibes, and I am extremely OK with this. What was that mask looking thing you didn't pick up? Did you cover what that does? I've forgotten.

That'd be Zangetsu's last power up. I forget if I showed it off, but it gives a power boost to your attacks. Just like Alfred's spells, it can be transferred to other characters, so you can get some crazy strong axe swings with it.

pointy corpse
Jul 7, 2014



Pretty sure Gremory is female.

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Always looking for a bargain!




pointy corpse posted:

Pretty sure Gremory is female.

I must've imagined someone calling Gremory a male then because I'm not sure where I got it from.

Wiseblood
Dec 31, 2000

THE ONLY JOKE HERE, IS HOW STRONG MY MUSCLES ARE.


Gremory is usually depicted as being male with the appearance of a beautiful woman. But they've described the Gremory in Bloodstained as being female.

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Always looking for a bargain!




ChaosArgate posted:

I must've imagined someone calling Gremory a male then because I'm not sure where I got it from.



Oh hey I know where I got it from now.

pointy corpse
Jul 7, 2014



welp. I know when I'm beat.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012

It's an Owlbear

Gremory has a pretty cool design.

MonsterEnvy fucked around with this message at Jul 24, 2018 around 18:27

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MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012

It's an Owlbear

Which I might as well add is an adaption of his mythological design.


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