Posted by Colorwind (230 posts) -

I’ve been playing Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the first time on XBLA for about a week now. I haven’t reached the inverted castle yet because I’m trying to explore the entire castle before I go after Richter but I’m enjoying myself. The week previously, I was playing Super Metroid on the Wii, for the first time as well, and although I’m not done with either title, I’ve spent a considerable about of time with both (6-8 hours) to give my impressions as well as some comparisons to both.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a fun game. Addicting even. One attribute I can definitely say is a plus for SotN is the RPG elements. Not even in Metroid, there’s something that’s tactilely satisfying when you see numbers pop up above enemies. Leveling up and equipping new weapons and armor is gratifying in how it shows you how you’re improving. Furthermore, the game has you accomplish a lot in a small amount of time. I’ve clocked in about six hours in the game and I’ve fought so many bosses, collected so many items and explored basically the entire castle.

One problem I have with the game is how it teaches you how to play. 90% into the game and I barely found out what these familiars do. What’s more is I’m still not sure exactly why they’re useful. I happened to just stumble onto things in SotN with next to no help from the game itself. The graphics is something I also don’t care for. Especially when compared to Metroid, the sprites look bland and undetailed. Alucard especially looks uninspired. Also, why did they constantly give him this shadow effect. It’s gimmickly and, after the first couple of minutes, gets old very quickly. The bosses and bigger characters look better but not by much. Finally, the game feels long. Like I said, I played about six hours but it felt like ten hours. It’s monotonous at times, despite you feeling like you’re accomplishing a lot. Also, goddamn is the beginning of the game punishing. You better level yourself a bit before you get to the first boss.

Super Metroid on the other hand, feels better paced. When you are walking and jumping around, shooting enemies and finding secret passages, enemies die sooner thanks to you being able to attack more than once at one enemy, as you can shoot rather than slash, as well as the environments feeling more wide open. Graphics are very well done and sprites are big and detailed. Samus looks real good and her animations are smooth. The mechanics are better explained too and except for the wall jump technique, I always knew how to control Samus.

The only real complaint I have with Super Metroid is it’s really easy to get lost. I got lost in SotN too but only to complete the game 100%. In Metroid, there were parts I had no idea where to go that I hadn’t been already. Because of this, after eight hours of playing, I didn’t accomplish as much as I had in SotN in less time, meaning lulls in gameplay. There are also a couple of places that you can get stuck. There’s this one section of the game where if you run across it after getting this ramming power-up, you’ll fall through the floor and you need another power-up that you may not have yet to get out.

One last gripe that actually is for both games: the controls. The default button layout in Super Metroid is just strange. I always have to change the configuration. Also, if Nintendo ever does a remix of the game on a newer console, map the different upgrades to the extra buttons because switching between the different missiles and upgrades is not intuitive at all. SotN’s button layout is fine but with all these buttons, why am I still pressing up and an attack button to throw items? Also, the two weapons idea is nice but is never well utilized. Being able to use two weapons in tandem would’ve been appreciated. Finally, the back dash. I never use it. I tried to but it’s pointless. I would’ve taken out the back dash and put in a weapons button in a heartbeat because I never, ever push Y.

For the time being, I’m focusing on playing SotN. I’m not playing Metroid right now just because I ordered a component cable for my Wii and I want to wait until I get that until I play it again. For now, I still like Super Metroid more than Castlevania: Symphony of the Night but to its credit, it’s holding my interest. Both games are great and I haven’t been this captivated by a game or games in a while. Oh and next time SotN is ported, they better do a better job presentation wise. This shit is bare bones. Also, include the cutscenes and the extra content from the Saturn version.

#1 Posted by Colorwind (230 posts) -

I’ve been playing Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the first time on XBLA for about a week now. I haven’t reached the inverted castle yet because I’m trying to explore the entire castle before I go after Richter but I’m enjoying myself. The week previously, I was playing Super Metroid on the Wii, for the first time as well, and although I’m not done with either title, I’ve spent a considerable about of time with both (6-8 hours) to give my impressions as well as some comparisons to both.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a fun game. Addicting even. One attribute I can definitely say is a plus for SotN is the RPG elements. Not even in Metroid, there’s something that’s tactilely satisfying when you see numbers pop up above enemies. Leveling up and equipping new weapons and armor is gratifying in how it shows you how you’re improving. Furthermore, the game has you accomplish a lot in a small amount of time. I’ve clocked in about six hours in the game and I’ve fought so many bosses, collected so many items and explored basically the entire castle.

One problem I have with the game is how it teaches you how to play. 90% into the game and I barely found out what these familiars do. What’s more is I’m still not sure exactly why they’re useful. I happened to just stumble onto things in SotN with next to no help from the game itself. The graphics is something I also don’t care for. Especially when compared to Metroid, the sprites look bland and undetailed. Alucard especially looks uninspired. Also, why did they constantly give him this shadow effect. It’s gimmickly and, after the first couple of minutes, gets old very quickly. The bosses and bigger characters look better but not by much. Finally, the game feels long. Like I said, I played about six hours but it felt like ten hours. It’s monotonous at times, despite you feeling like you’re accomplishing a lot. Also, goddamn is the beginning of the game punishing. You better level yourself a bit before you get to the first boss.

Super Metroid on the other hand, feels better paced. When you are walking and jumping around, shooting enemies and finding secret passages, enemies die sooner thanks to you being able to attack more than once at one enemy, as you can shoot rather than slash, as well as the environments feeling more wide open. Graphics are very well done and sprites are big and detailed. Samus looks real good and her animations are smooth. The mechanics are better explained too and except for the wall jump technique, I always knew how to control Samus.

The only real complaint I have with Super Metroid is it’s really easy to get lost. I got lost in SotN too but only to complete the game 100%. In Metroid, there were parts I had no idea where to go that I hadn’t been already. Because of this, after eight hours of playing, I didn’t accomplish as much as I had in SotN in less time, meaning lulls in gameplay. There are also a couple of places that you can get stuck. There’s this one section of the game where if you run across it after getting this ramming power-up, you’ll fall through the floor and you need another power-up that you may not have yet to get out.

One last gripe that actually is for both games: the controls. The default button layout in Super Metroid is just strange. I always have to change the configuration. Also, if Nintendo ever does a remix of the game on a newer console, map the different upgrades to the extra buttons because switching between the different missiles and upgrades is not intuitive at all. SotN’s button layout is fine but with all these buttons, why am I still pressing up and an attack button to throw items? Also, the two weapons idea is nice but is never well utilized. Being able to use two weapons in tandem would’ve been appreciated. Finally, the back dash. I never use it. I tried to but it’s pointless. I would’ve taken out the back dash and put in a weapons button in a heartbeat because I never, ever push Y.

For the time being, I’m focusing on playing SotN. I’m not playing Metroid right now just because I ordered a component cable for my Wii and I want to wait until I get that until I play it again. For now, I still like Super Metroid more than Castlevania: Symphony of the Night but to its credit, it’s holding my interest. Both games are great and I haven’t been this captivated by a game or games in a while. Oh and next time SotN is ported, they better do a better job presentation wise. This shit is bare bones. Also, include the cutscenes and the extra content from the Saturn version.

#2 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -
@Colorwind Ehhhhh, I disagree with most of your points regarding SotN, and feel it is superior to SM in almost every way.

Also, the backdash is useful against certain bosses, and is the fastest way of getting around the castle, as you can absolutely book with it when used correctly.

I feel like maybe your time with both games might benefit from reading the general hints section of a game guide or something.
#3 Posted by Colorwind (230 posts) -

@Tim_the_Corsair: I thought someone would disagree with my points and that's fine. Maybe I should look at a hints section but part of my point is the game should tell me that. Also, if you use the back dash to get around, why not just make it a normal dash button with its direction controlled by the dpad?

#4 Posted by believer258 (11559 posts) -
There’s this one section of the game where if you run across it after getting this ramming power-up, you’ll fall through the floor and you need another power-up that you may not have yet to get out.

Where, exactly? It's been a while but, as the best game of all time, I don't believe that you can actually and truly get stuck anywhere in Super Metroid. There's always a way out.

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#5 Posted by Colorwind (230 posts) -

@believer258: I think it's in Norfair. You don't have to run through there but if you do (you know just to get through that section faster), you're screwed and you have to restart from your last save if you don't have the Space Jump upgrade.

#6 Edited by believer258 (11559 posts) -

@Colorwind said:

@believer258: I think it's in Norfair. You don't have to run through there but if you do (you know just to get through that section faster), you're screwed and you have to restart from your last save if you don't have the Space Jump upgrade.

I think I know what you're talking about and I believe there's a passageway underneath or overtop that you can bomb to and get out. I seem to remember getting stuck there as well and got out. Are there a bunch of doors closing behind you?

EDIT: Also, fair warning, there's a five post limit coming up on you.

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#7 Posted by Colorwind (230 posts) -

@believer258: When you fall down, there's one door that leads to a health regenerator. The room also has a creature that shows you that you need to space jump to get out, something you can't do unless you have the Space Jump.

#8 Posted by JohnnyAutoFire (353 posts) -

@Colorwind: All you need for that section of the game is the speed booster power up, and you can only enter that pit by using the speed booster when you run over the top of it. This section is supposed to teach you how to use the shinespark ability. You basically just run until Samus flashes, then press down and jump, and she flies up to the top of the pit.

#9 Edited by believer258 (11559 posts) -

@super_mario_john said:

@Colorwind: All you need for that section of the game is the speed booster power up, and you can only enter that pit by using the speed booster when you run over the top of it. This section is supposed to teach you how to use the shinespark ability. You basically just run until Samus flashes, then press down and jump, and she flies up to the top of the pit.

AH! Yeah, I know where this is now! Yep, shinespark, but I thought that was in Brinstar. Yeah, that's in Brinstar.

EDIT: This?

Man, I really want to play this game again now. I fucking love this game.

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#10 Edited by Colorwind (230 posts) -

@believer258: @super_mario_john: Well, I was stuck down there a few times for like an hour and no map showed me an alternate route. There's another tutorial in the game that wasn't that good either then.

EDIT: Yeah. That's the spot. Never even heard of the Shine Spark technique.

EDIT: Also, +10 Awesomeness on finding a CGR clip. Love that show.

#11 Posted by JohnnyAutoFire (353 posts) -

@believer258: There's another pit in Brinstar where you have to learn how to use the wall jump ability to escape. It's not something that you have to pick up, but it can be a little hard to do since it feels different from the wall jump in games like Mega Man X. You basically have to be pushing away from the wall on the d-pad when you hit the jump button.

#12 Posted by JackSukeru (5897 posts) -

Ha! once you said that it teaches you everything except walljumping I thought "what about that running charge tackle flying thing though?". I remember being stuck in that pit for so long before I figured it out so I don't exactly blame you.

I don't really like Super Metroid though, and SoTN is not my favorite of those types of Castlevanias either, though it is pretty good.

#13 Edited by believer258 (11559 posts) -

@Colorwind said:

@believer258: @super_mario_john: Well, I was stuck down there a few times for like an hour and no map showed me an alternate route. There's another tutorial in the game that wasn't that good either then.

Well, the game's trying to give you hints and not outright telling you how to do it. Done right (and this is indeed done right), this is a great way to make a game, though it would never be acceptable these days because (Cranky Kong mode upcoming) it doesn't involve pressing X to do it via quicktime event.

@super_mario_john said:

@believer258: There's another pit in Brinstar where you have to learn how to use the wall jump ability to escape. It's not something that you have to pick up, but it can be a little hard to do since it feels different from the wall jump in games like Mega Man X. You basically have to be pushing away from the wall on the d-pad when you hit the jump button.

Yeah, I was thinking about this one as well. I remember it. All right, all right, I'll admit that wall jumping in Super Metroid could be easier... but it's hardly that bad, and again the game is banking on you giving it another shot and trying to figure out what they're doing.

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#14 Posted by believer258 (11559 posts) -

One more thing: read this about Super Metroid to know what I meant by the game giving you hints and not outright telling you anything.

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#15 Edited by JohnnyAutoFire (353 posts) -

Yeah, This is the one I was talking about:

I don't know, I thought it was pretty straightforward, since your little animal buddies show you what you have to do. It's just actually performing the wall jump that's the hard part, but once you have that skill down you can explore so much more of the game. I love both Super Metroid and SoTN, but I definitely put more time into Super Metroid. I guess it's just a matter of personal preference.

#16 Edited by Colorwind (230 posts) -

@believer258: I agree. Everything else in the game, like the freeze beam example, is taught to you extremely well. The walljumping and shine spark techniques are not. Both told me I had to jump off the wall and jump really high and break through the ceiling but neither told me how or let me come to a logical conclusion as to how to do it. The walljumping isn't too bad because I was able to stumble onto that after 10 minutes of trying. There is no way I could've figured out that shine spark technique.

In that room, I managed to wall jump all the way up and planted super bombs and shot super missiles at the ceiling but nothing. I checked maps online and found no alternative paths to take. I bombed the entire room looking for a way out and I could've never figured out that jump. I tried running till I was glowing and jumped but nothing. @RockmanBionics was completed lost too for a long time. In terms of an example, that's a fail in my book. But that's only one (two with the walljump) out of a dozen others or so that do give strong examples. A small blemish on an amazing game.

EDIT: Yeah. I know the ice and plasma beams are separate and you can turn them off and on. I'm just generalizing.

#17 Posted by joshthebear (2700 posts) -

Super Metroid will always be superior in my eyes. It just felt better than SotN and was more fun, to me at least.

#18 Posted by believer258 (11559 posts) -

@Colorwind said:

@believer258: I agree. Everything else in the game, like the freeze beam example, is taught to you extremely well. The walljumping and shine spark techniques are not. Both told me I had to jump off the wall and jump really high and break through the ceiling but neither told me how or let me come to a logical conclusion as to how to do it. The walljumping isn't too bad because I was able to stumble onto that after 10 minutes of trying. There is no way I could've figured out that shine spark technique.

In that room, I managed to wall jump all the way up and planted super bombs and shot super missiles at the ceiling but nothing. I checked maps online and found no alternative paths to take. I bombed the entire room looking for a way out and I could've never figured out that jump. I tried running till I was glowing and jumped but nothing. @RockmanBionics was completed lost too for a long time. In terms of an example, that's a fail in my book. But that's only one (two with the walljump) out of a dozen others or so that do give strong examples. A small blemish on an amazing game.

*shrugs shoulders*. Now that my memory is coming back I remember figuring it out fairly quickly way back when. Maybe it just seems really simple now (run, duck, jump), but I guess it could be hard.

On another note, the ice beam and plasma beam are two separate weapons. The weapons in Super Metroid layer on top of each other and you can turn each on and off.

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#19 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

I think your expectations are too high on the hand-holding present in old games.

#20 Posted by csl316 (7963 posts) -

Like 2 days ago, I realized that Symphony of the Night is my favorite game of all time. The gameplay, the music, the art.

Beat Super Metroid a couple times and just finished watching the Game Informer super replay, and all it made me want to do is play SotN again.

#21 Posted by SilverGalford (53 posts) -

Samus is faster than Alucard lol!

#22 Posted by The_Hiro_Abides (1249 posts) -

I've played both games so much over the years to have completely lost perspective on what it was like the first time. These particular games I wouldn't want to be different in any way. Plus weird design decisions coming from japan in that era was completely the norm at the time.