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|OT| Castlevania Advance Collection |OT| Pixels in the Night

Havoc2049

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This is a great collection, especially at $20. I still own physical versions of all three GBA Castlevania games, but haven't played them in years. Playing through Circle of the Moon right now and I'm really enjoying myself. I always had a soft spot for CotM and everything really clicks with me. As a launch GBA game, it was amazing. I love the title track, Requiem.
 
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22:22

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Only ever played Aria of Sorrow, and never all the way through.

Started Circle of the Moon - seems pretty basic but I'm liking it well enough so far.

Yeah same here although I think I finished it back then; it's been a while lol

Gave both CotM and HoD a try to see what's up and ultimately decided to go with the latter seeing that it's movement is far more fluid. Like an other poster mentioned it felt really stiff and I hate double tapping to run... Really digging HoD so far!!
 

Ailynn

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I've played through and gotten all the achievements on Circle of the Moon and Dracula X. I loved CotM but if it wasn't for incredibly handy new REWIND POWER, I would have probably never defeated Dracula in X. What an absolute asshole with that incredibly spotty hitbox on his noggin. :lollipop_downcast_sweat:

I'm playing through Harmony of Dissonance right now and am seemingly completely stuck- Multiple locked doors of varying colors with no key in sight, and a huge gear in the Clock Tower I can strike to rotate, but I cannot figure out if it actually serves any purpose. I vow to find what I'm missing today, but wow...I'm definitely not a fan of the experience gain nerf the higher you get. It seems every enemy that is 10 or more levels below you will only give ONE experience point. Let me grind normally if I want, Konami! "lollipop_disappointed:

- - -
EDIT: I figured it out- I knew it was something stupid I missed. All I had to do was press UP in front of the large round stone gate after talking to Death a second time. I must've been crazy tired when I got there last night.
 
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PhaseJump

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I ran through and got everything, unlocked all achievements, same as Bloodstained. I then went into playing that Flynn game on Xbox Game Pass and used my unfocused, overpowered Castlevania mindset to storm into the enemies and constantly got destroyed by being unable to dodge right.
 
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Dr. Suchong

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I've played through and gotten all the achievements on Circle of the Moon and Dracula X. I loved CotM but if it wasn't for incredibly handy new REWIND POWER, I would have probably never defeated Dracula in X. What an absolute asshole with that incredibly spotty hitbox on his noggin. :lollipop_downcast_sweat:

I'm playing through Harmony of Dissonance right now and am seemingly completely stuck- Multiple locked doors of varying colors with no key in sight, and a huge gear in the Clock Tower I can strike to rotate, but I cannot figure out if it actually serves any purpose. I vow to find what I'm missing today, but wow...I'm definitely not a fan of the experience gain nerf the higher you get. It seems every enemy that is 10 or more levels below you will only give ONE experience point. Let me grind normally if I want, Konami! "lollipop_disappointed:
You must have the patience of a saint to finish Dracula X. I turned it off in disgust after several stages because of Richter's sluggish movement. I'll probably pick it up again after my seething subsides lol
 

evanft

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I feel like you're better off emulating these and using the rom hacks available that improve the games.
 
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My buddy and I regularly (maybe every other year) go back and replay SOTN. I think maybe this go-round we might swap it out for one of these games! If we love SOTN, which would you recommend we start with?
If you plan on playing all 3 of them eventually, start with Circle of the Moon. If you want to cut to the chase, play Aria of Sorrow, it's right up there with Symphony of the Night in terms of overall quality, it's really an incredible game.
 
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GrayFoxPL

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Nice collection. Can't hate.

Go Ahead Reaction GIF


I hope Namco does the same with Klonoa GBA series.
 

22:22

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I've played through and gotten all the achievements on Circle of the Moon and Dracula X. I loved CotM but if it wasn't for incredibly handy new REWIND POWER, I would have probably never defeated Dracula in X. What an absolute asshole with that incredibly spotty hitbox on his noggin. :lollipop_downcast_sweat:

I'm playing through Harmony of Dissonance right now and am seemingly completely stuck- Multiple locked doors of varying colors with no key in sight, and a huge gear in the Clock Tower I can strike to rotate, but I cannot figure out if it actually serves any purpose. I vow to find what I'm missing today, but wow...I'm definitely not a fan of the experience gain nerf the higher you get. It seems every enemy that is 10 or more levels below you will only give ONE experience point. Let me grind normally if I want, Konami! "lollipop_disappointed:

Respect! For the moment I decided to go with HoD first but I really like the aesthetic of CotM! Not sure if i can be bothered with it's movement..

You must have the patience of a saint to finish Dracula X. I turned it off in disgust after several stages because of Richter's sluggish movement. I'll probably pick it up again after my seething subsides lol

Haha yeah it's the definition of oldskool gameplay isn't it?


At least in this game you have separate stages to remember so as to cope with it's controls. In CotM you have a huge map!
 

RDaneelOlivaw

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If you plan on playing all 3 of them eventually, start with Circle of the Moon. If you want to cut to the chase, play Aria of Sorrow, it's right up there with Symphony of the Night in terms of overall quality, it's really an incredible game.

due to our limited playing time these days, I think we'll just go straight for Aria of Sorrow. Thanks for the advice!
 

fart town usa

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Great OT. I just bought this yesterday and gave it a quick spin. I really like they included all three localized versions of all three games so I can play each of them and compare. It's a shame I can't share saves between each other, but I understand bthat would be difficult to do.

Anyway, I'm glad Konami is rereleasing them and doing good job with them as well. Hopefully this sells well so Konami can release more collections. There are still some games that have never been rereleased.
Imagine a DS collection. Man the DS Castlevania games are incredible. Konami was crushing it back then.
 

Setzer

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My buddy and I regularly (maybe every other year) go back and replay SOTN. I think maybe this go-round we might swap it out for one of these games! If we love SOTN, which would you recommend we start with?
Same, I play SOTN every October but this year I'm gonna mix it up and play one of the games in the Advance collection. It's been a while since I've played any of these but Aria of Sorrow is the best game in the collection, imo.
 

NeoIkaruGAF

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COTM is stiff as hell. Playing it in handheld made my fingers hurt quite a bit.
I was never a fan of this game's bosses. Nathan's movement coupled with extremely nimble bosses and restricted view make some of the latest ones a true pain. And WTF at the almost complete absence of healing items and potions giving back only 20HP.

What I really don't like about COTM is it's difficulty curve. It's perfectly manageable until that goddamn dragon. Then it becomes a matter of huge rooms with enemies flying around and attacking you from every side and doing massive damage while you can only chip away at their health, requiring 7-10 hits to kill just one. Meanwhile you go back to the earlier areas and deal 1200 damage to skeletons.

One very good thing in COTM is the map design. Traversing the castle is pretty easy and straightforward. The same cannot be said about Harmony of Dissonance, which is pretty confusing and traversal is awful due to the zig-zag design of most rooms. Also you have to switch equipment to open some areas, and with all the terrain you can explore it's all too easy to waste minutes going to a certain point on the map only to find out you still can't progress that way. Progression in COTM is so much better.
 

carlosrox

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How's the collection? Is it the same deal as the other Castlevania collection?

I really wanna buy this but can't justify it. No time to play these games.

Got Actraiser on release and Dread is in a week.


When the fuck is SOTN coming to a Nintendo platform for the first time ever?
 

cartman414

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Over 50% if the way through AoS and will never understand why anyone would ever call it equal, let alone better than SotN.

Seems so much more basic and reuses most enemies. Soundtrack is nowhere near the level of quality either.

It doesn't waste as much of your time with backtracking/traversal. SotN has too many long hallways/shafts, and only a handful of warp rooms.
 

93xfan

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It doesn't waste as much of your time with backtracking/traversal. SotN has too many long hallways/shafts, and only a handful of warp rooms.

But AoS map design seems so bland after SotN. And the fact that it doesn’t have an awesome soundtrack to keep you motivated makes it harder to get excited about going back to.

Also, I never minded backtracking in this genre. That’s just my take
 
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I'm getting really tempted to just skip Dissonance. The map design is so utterly confusing and boring to navigate. The alternate castle feeling like basically a pallete swap is breaking my brain. I wouldn't mind being stuck if it didn't take forever to get from point A to point B.
 

cartman414

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But AoS map design seems so bland after SotN. And the fact that it doesn’t have an awesome soundtrack to keep you motivated makes it harder to get excited about going back to.

Also, I never minded backtracking in this genre. That’s just my take
Extraneous backtracking deadens the pace. Worse than a lesser soundtrack IMO.
 

Rayderism

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Geez, this game could have seriously used some visual filters. I mean, it has NONE (unless I missed those settings somewhere). These games looked fine on a tiny GBA screen, but blown up to a large HDTV, yikes! Everything is so blocky, the edges are so sharp I feel like it's going to scratch my screen. Even a simple bilinear filter would have done wonders.

Yes, they are good games, but they really could have added some filters to "emulate" how nice they looked on a GBA.
 
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Andyliini

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CotM is done, now off to HoD. For the first yime ever, I actually saw that CotM really marks the breakable walls, as they have a small color oddity in them. Still, they are difficult to see even on a 50" TV let alone the small GBA screen. That, and the darkness really makes it seem like the developers did not really know how GBA would actually play like until the game was actually released.

Still, a fun game. For the first time ever I went to a 100% map completion. Fuck that battle arena, though.
 

Northeastmonk

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CotM is done, now off to HoD. For the first yime ever, I actually saw that CotM really marks the breakable walls, as they have a small color oddity in them. Still, they are difficult to see even on a 50" TV let alone the small GBA screen. That, and the darkness really makes it seem like the developers did not really know how GBA would actually play like until the game was actually released.

Still, a fun game. For the first time ever I went to a 100% map completion. Fuck that battle arena, though.
How did you do against the ending bit in CotM? I finished CotM a year or two ago on the Wii U VC this time and that was a tough one. I’d probably rank that final part the hardest Castlevania boss in my opinion. I don’t want to spoil it for others.
 
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kunonabi

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From Castlevania Wiki
"Due to the mobility restrictions, enemy positioning, and several other factors, Castlevania: Dracula X is generally considered to be one of the hardest games in the series."

That's a roundabout way of saying "Cheap bullshit" lol :messenger_winking_tongue: :messenger_grinning_sweat:
It's not that hard really. I'd rather take that than the complete cake walks that Rondo and SCVIV were.
 

Andyliini

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How did you do against the ending bit in CotM? I finished CotM a year or two ago on the Wii U VC this time and that was a tough one. I’d probably rank that final part the hardest Castlevania boss in my opinion. I don’t want to spoil it for others.
When I first played CotM in early 2000's I had much trouble with it. Pretty much every boss gave me trouble, and since I did not know which enemies drop cards, I only had the initial fire whip. Made the game very difficult then.

This time tough the game showed me when an enemy had a droppable card, so I did some grinding all the time to get them. That made me so much stronger I had no problems with any bosses, and only died once during my time and that was in Battle Arena because I went in unprepared. In contrast, I already had one boss hand my ass at me three times in HoD, which is usually considered the easiest of the bunch.
 
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The damn zombie dragon is kicking my ass in circle of the moon.
I'm trying to remember the card combo, but the DSS that gives you the two flames that rotate around you is crucial for the zombie dragon. It let's you get a couple extra hits in with the flames. I also highly recommend going after one at a time.
One very good thing in COTM is the map design. Traversing the castle is pretty easy and straightforward. The same cannot be said about Harmony of Dissonance, which is pretty confusing and traversal is awful due to the zig-zag design of most rooms.
100%. HoD would be such a better game if the map wasn't so damn annoying. Especially in the beginning of the game it feels like you're constantly running into roadblocks. It gets better about halfway through, but the first half of the game is a drag before getting things like the slide, double jump and whatnot.
 

MacReady13

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I've played through and gotten all the achievements on Circle of the Moon and Dracula X. I loved CotM but if it wasn't for incredibly handy new REWIND POWER, I would have probably never defeated Dracula in X. What an absolute asshole with that incredibly spotty hitbox on his noggin. :lollipop_downcast_sweat:

I'm playing through Harmony of Dissonance right now and am seemingly completely stuck- Multiple locked doors of varying colors with no key in sight, and a huge gear in the Clock Tower I can strike to rotate, but I cannot figure out if it actually serves any purpose. I vow to find what I'm missing today, but wow...I'm definitely not a fan of the experience gain nerf the higher you get. It seems every enemy that is 10 or more levels below you will only give ONE experience point. Let me grind normally if I want, Konami! "lollipop_disappointed:

- - -
EDIT: I figured it out- I knew it was something stupid I missed. All I had to do was press UP in front of the large round stone gate after talking to Death a second time. I must've been crazy tired when I got there last night.
Yeah but going through to the “2nd castle” where to from there?
 
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I'm trying to remember the card combo, but the DSS that gives you the two flames that rotate around you is crucial for the zombie dragon. It let's you get a couple extra hits in with the flames. I also highly recommend going after one at a time.

100%. HoD would be such a better game if the map wasn't so damn annoying. Especially in the beginning of the game it feels like you're constantly running into roadblocks. It gets better about halfway through, but the first half of the game is a drag before getting things like the slide, double jump and whatnot.
Cool thanks don’t have that card combo,guess I’ll go find it and come back.
 

NeoIkaruGAF

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Cool thanks don’t have that card combo,guess I’ll go find it and come back.
Zombie Dragon is all about movement and positioning. No spells are exceptionally useful against it. Bosses like this are also quite a bit easier if you use a sword (using the Mars card) than your whip, thanks to the wider range of attack. So many years after I first played the game, I still find the rose sword one of the best weapons to deal with some bosses. But you’ll still have to be good at reading the movements of the heads. You can get some free hits on the left head when it goes up as it spits fire. The rose sword is a bit more useful than the whip here, but not as game-changing as it is against a later boss.

Unrelated to this, I’m always amazed by the fact that Harmony of Dissonance has zero breakable walls, especially coming from COTM which has so many. I still spent a lot of time whipping every wall because the Castlevania aficionado in me simply refuses to believe it, lol.
 
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Ailynn

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Yeah but going through to the “2nd castle” where to from there?

I just found out (after finding Hint Letter 3 if I remember correctly) that if you push DOWN at the round closed stone gate, it takes you to a different location in the same castle. I'm finally finding my way forward...also after finally finding out that Maxim's second bracelet (MK's Bracelet) lets you open a door "guarded by a magic spell."

I'm looking forward to finishing this game and moving onto Aria of Sorrow, which I believe I'll find more enjoyable and way less frustrating.


(Edited- Thanks NeoIkaruGAF NeoIkaruGAF !) :)
 
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Thief1987

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Unrelated to this, I’m always amazed by the fact that Harmony of Dissonance has zero breakable walls, especially coming from COTM which has so many. I still spent a lot of time whipping every wall because the Castlevania aficionado in me simply refuses to believe it, lol.
There is one, one part of the dracula's remains is behind it.
 
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NeoIkaruGAF

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I just found out (after finding Hint Letter 3 if I remember correctly) that if you push DOWN at the round closed stone gate, it takes you to the same spot but in the opposite castle. I'm finally finding my way forward...also after finally finding out that Maxim's second bracelet (MK's Bracelet) lets you open a door "guarded by a magic spell."

I'm looking forward to finishing this game and moving onto Aria of Sorrow, which I believe I'll find more enjoyable and way less frustrating.
Pushing Down in front of a stone gate warps you to other stone gates in the same castle.

I’ve never loved Aria that much, but let’s see if a new playthrough on Switch will make me appreciate the game more.
 
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BlackTron

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COTM is stiff as hell. Playing it in handheld made my fingers hurt quite a bit.
I was never a fan of this game's bosses. Nathan's movement coupled with extremely nimble bosses and restricted view make some of the latest ones a true pain. And WTF at the almost complete absence of healing items and potions giving back only 20HP.

What I really don't like about COTM is it's difficulty curve. It's perfectly manageable until that goddamn dragon. Then it becomes a matter of huge rooms with enemies flying around and attacking you from every side and doing massive damage while you can only chip away at their health, requiring 7-10 hits to kill just one. Meanwhile you go back to the earlier areas and deal 1200 damage to skeletons.

One very good thing in COTM is the map design. Traversing the castle is pretty easy and straightforward. The same cannot be said about Harmony of Dissonance, which is pretty confusing and traversal is awful due to the zig-zag design of most rooms. Also you have to switch equipment to open some areas, and with all the terrain you can explore it's all too easy to waste minutes going to a certain point on the map only to find out you still can't progress that way. Progression in COTM is so much better.

CotM is indeed stiff but in the broader picture of Castlevania games I like it the way it is. It feels like NES Castlevania paired with a SotN style map and RPG system. There are enough silky smooth entries in the franchise that I appreciate CotM's uniqueness for being a more old-school feeling game.

I played it on GBA launch day and completed it on the non-lit screen. You cannot play a dark ass game on a Game Boy with stiff NES controls and hard as hell bosses to completion if the game isn't doing something to keep you glued. So for me this game recalls the feeling of past "in the trenches" gaming challenges that seem horrific today but I had fun plowing through them. I like it better than HoD but yeah AoS is still GOAT lol.

Playing it on TV with a controller, it feels like I'm cheating, without having to suffer all the handicaps. But I can tell you an old GB was more ergonomic than Switch and it felt better to double-tap run on the GBA's d-pad.
 

Saber

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I'm getting really tempted to just skip Dissonance. The map design is so utterly confusing and boring to navigate. The alternate castle feeling like basically a pallete swap is breaking my brain. I wouldn't mind being stuck if it didn't take forever to get from point A to point B.

I can agree to an extent that when you go around trying to open that stupid blocked doors, you get stuck pretty easy.
As for side B...well, not sure. Didn't Symphony Night was like that but 2 times worse? I mean, SN side B is completelly upside down. This one is pretty tame.
 

Dr. Suchong

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Adramelech in Circle of the moon is a pain.
The blue flames and skulls aren't too bad but the purple shit everywhere is just annoying. I did it by sliding lilke a mad man and spamming axes. I don't know how on earth I did this on the original Advance years ago, with no backlight.
 

NeoIkaruGAF

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CotM is indeed stiff but in the broader picture of Castlevania games I like it the way it is. It feels like NES Castlevania paired with a SotN style map and RPG system. There are enough silky smooth entries in the franchise that I appreciate CotM's uniqueness for being a more old-school feeling game.

I played it on GBA launch day and completed it on the non-lit screen. You cannot play a dark ass game on a Game Boy with stiff NES controls and hard as hell bosses to completion if the game isn't doing something to keep you glued. So for me this game recalls the feeling of past "in the trenches" gaming challenges that seem horrific today but I had fun plowing through them. I like it better than HoD but yeah AoS is still GOAT lol.

Playing it on TV with a controller, it feels like I'm cheating, without having to suffer all the handicaps. But I can tell you an old GB was more ergonomic than Switch and it felt better to double-tap run on the GBA's d-pad.
I was there on the OG GBA, too. It definitely controlled better than on the Switch.
Anyway, COTM is exactly that - a 8-bit game to the core, with a 32-bit coat of paint. There’s so many rooms that just repeat the same layout again and again, like they designed a little piece of a room and just cloned it multiple times to make a big room, exactly like it was in NES games like Zelda 2, Battle of Olympus, etc.

These games keep you glued to the end because the Metroidvania gameplay loop is incredibly addictive. Every little jump, every new room, every power-up no matter how mundane, always feels rewarding, and the push to go just a little further is relentless.

Today I wrapped up Harmony and started Aria.
OK, I see it now, at last. Coming straight from the previous two games, this one feels so much more polished. The controls are the best in the trilogy; too bad Soma doesn’t have those zippy dashes Juste has in Harmony, otherwise we’d have the perfect Castlevania controls. But it isn’t so, therefore traversing the castle is a bit too slow and the backward dash is borderline useless.
Even if the game feels better and it’s clearly much better designed though, it has its problems. Too many weapons are just useless, unless you want more challenge. The shop is completely redundant. And again, there’s a terrific difficulty spike in the arena, with the game putting you against tons of different enemies at once in cramped rooms, and they’re all much tougher than the ones you’ve been fighting until that point. A couple rooms in the arena are pure bullshit. This happens in every game of the GBA trilogy, and it’s still a thing in Bloodstained, 20 years later. I find this really irritating. There’s no need to ramp up the difficulty with this BS.

Most of all, I’m really not a fan of game systems based on random drops. Aria brings Circle’s gimmick up to eleven, with every different monster in the game being the potential source of an extra power. Good luck making some monsters drop theirs, though. And while I appreciate that some secret areas are gated behind specific powers, getting those powers and figuring out they’re exactly what you need seriously feels like a cheap way to keep you playing more than necessary.
Oh, and really, that story? I’m not expecting any deep plot from Castlevania - which is exactly why this sudden turn towards anime always rubbed me the wrong way. Yeah, there’s this bunch of nonsensical characters in this castle that came out of nowhere, yet Soma never freaks out and keeps trusting the shadiest people. It’s terrible, really. There’s even the obligatory “N... no, it’s not like that!” line in one dialogue.

Today I also had a brief run at Dracula XX. It’s an amazingly bad game. I’m not sure how you can explain taking Rondo of Blood and coming out with this travesty. The level design is awful, with extremely frustrating enemy placement, and the character controls terribly. It’s like one team designed the levels while another worked on Richter, making two things that don’t gel at all. And for the love of God, don’t play the Euro version. If you’re not familiar with that 50 vs 60Hz thing that gets discussed here sometimes, just compare the Euro version of Dracula XX with the JP or US one and it’s all you need to know. The Castlevania Adventure on the Game Boy is a better game than this.
 
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Spukc

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My buddy and I regularly (maybe every other year) go back and replay SOTN. I think maybe this go-round we might swap it out for one of these games! If we love SOTN, which would you recommend we start with?
The second
 

fart town usa

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Put some time into Harmony of Dissonance over the weekend. Great game, I think this one gets flak for being rushed but it's a lot of fun. Really not much to complain about so far.

Played on the god-tier console aka Wii U of course but this new collection is awesome. Such a deal.
 
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DGrayson

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My buddy and I regularly (maybe every other year) go back and replay SOTN. I think maybe this go-round we might swap it out for one of these games! If we love SOTN, which would you recommend we start with?

Aria of Sorrow is considered to be the most like SOTN and is considered by most to be the second best "Metroidvania", so I would go with that one. The sequel is also amazing but is currently on DS only.
 

Soodanim

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EDIT: I figured it out- I knew it was something stupid I missed. All I had to do was press UP in front of the large round stone gate after talking to Death a second time. I must've been crazy tired when I got there last night.
There's been so many times that I've been in this situation. At the time you think you've exhausted every possibility, then it turns out to be something you ran past a good few times thinking you'd checked it. Or that one room where you thought "Nah, it's definitely not that one". But it is that one. It's always that one. We just need sleep to convince ourselves that it is.
 
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