Castlevania: Mirror of Faith Page 3

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  • acousticwilliam 11 Mar 2013 16:08:59 812 posts
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    Just finished the Alucard chapter, what a chore. What a nosedive. The 'puffs of air' as wall climbing obstacles. Magnetic hand rails. Electricity hazard platforming. BOSS FIGHT CHECKPOINTS - wtf?
    In a way, by doing that the bosses feel like QTEs because the game just throws you back until you perform 'the right combination' - I know that's slightly exaggerated but do you see what I mean?

    Urh, just want to finish this, Ebay it and then get Monster Hunter next week.

    It's just really weak and average. I've taken my rose tinted spectacles off now and feel like a bit of a dork from reading my first impressions. What is the point in exp in this game? It doesn't mean anything. It's just in there because the majority of games MOF is taking influence from have it.

    I've also just watched the 4 part AVGN Castlevania retrospective which has only added to my negativity toward this game. Mercury Steam? Mercury Steaming-pile-of-dookie more like!


    Edited by acousticwilliam at 23:27:37 11-03-2013
  • uiruki 11 Mar 2013 16:50:20 4,493 posts
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    Didn't enjoy the demo of this at all. Came very close to hitting "buy" on SOTN in the Archives (600 yen!) but the last thing I need is another bubble signifying a game I both haven't completed and have already completed multiple times.
  • JinTypeNoir 13 Mar 2013 05:13:25 4,392 posts
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    The demo finally came out on the Japanese e-shop (game comes out next week over here). I gave it a spin.

    Good points:

    -It certainly feels Castlevania-esque in the enemy design and visual atmosphere. The gameplay also feels like someone took Rondo of Blood and Castlevania IV and mixed them together with Final Fight.

    -The graphics are astounding. The castle's features are thrown in harsh darkness, brilliant light, revolving levels of parapets and decay, ghostliness and crumbling stone by a dazzling display of 3D. It's also moody and dark, without losing too much of the colorfulness of the series' past.

    -The change to a more brawler/beat-em-up style of gameplay seems to be pretty well implemented. I don't have any problem in theory with changing the series' style of mostly weak enemies you can plow through that provide more of an obstacle to movement, to enemies that are harder to deal with, but still provide something of an obstacle to movement. Castlevania's identity as an action series is not just visual and musical trappings, but that particular combination of action and platforming that made it such a good complement to stuff like Mega Man. In that sense, dying or getting hurt from long drops may take away a bit from the fun factor of dropping long distances, but it makes sense in this one and adds a nice element of challenge from coming down from high places.

    -The weapons and attacks made available in the demo are nicely differentiated.

    -There's some interesting secrets to be found if you go off the obvious path.

    -The parchments that dead skeletons hold not only provide experience (which is a nice touch) but nice bits of atmosphere and storytelling. I approve. Keep it even it goes back to IGA. (It's also nice how much detail there is in the descriptions in the menu items and such, but I hope you can re-read the parchments you find in the retail version from the menu.)

    -You can annotate the map.

    -The first boss has a clever and funny introduction, with great use of 3D.

    -The hand that comes out in the tunnel is hilarious and a nice touch, as are of the some of the cool little background animations.

    Bad Points

    -The music, at least what is available in the demo, absolutely fucking sucks. Its pompous, derivative, pretentious wannabe movie score shit that has swept in like a plague to so-called AAA games and ripped them of half of their souls. This no talent hack should be kicked to the curb for a real composer who will give us a real Castlevania score. Castlevania is made only worse with "Ehhhhhhhhh, bom bom bom, baarrrrrgh, dun dun dun, DON DON DON DON, aarrrrrrriegggharrggegj!" music, if you can call it music and not orchestral vomit spewed out of the ass of shitheads everywhere who want to ruin how uniquely game music has evolved. GET THESE SHITHEADS OUTTA MY GAMES! BANISH THEM TO THE TOILETS WHERE THEY BELONG! RRAAARRR!

    Castlevania's soul is in its music. ;_:

    -Why oh why oh why oh why on this green earth would you design so many lanterns, candles and light fixtures, keep the mechanic of breaking something to get hearts AND THEN make the hearts come Ye Olde Generic Barrel? Why would you take away from the series' identity like that? Is it out of some misguided sense that money and hearts popping out of candles is weird and inconsistent with reality and you want to make a more realistic game? If that's the case, come here. Right here, behind this shed. This shotgun? Pfft. This old thing, just thought I'd bring it with me while we have a nice talk. A nice, long talk.

    -Trevor's face is dorky. I don't understand why so many Western developers have to design a male face so it looks like a 30 year old tax accountant's face mapped onto the body of the Incredible Hulk (and occasionally, like in this case the hair of an 80s metal band). The animation is beef jerky and the character doesn't move as smoothly as a Castlevania hero should, even if he perhaps the slowest of the three characters. Castlevania heroes should be as smooth as Sunday morning, with bright white teeth to go with their slinky battle dance steps. It is only when they jump or go up stairs that their chronic constipation and arthritis should click in.

    -Weird inconsistency in character guidance, some things I would consider crucial to explain if you're going for a tutorial stage and not a stage that teaches by experience and visual/audio guidance are left out, while others are too explicit when they should be obvious like when you reach the strange cross and statue, and respectively, they explain you need shadow or light powers to interact with them. Well gee. Thanks for taking all the thought out of the puzzle. On the flipside, I eventually understood that you could grapple enemies when they flashed white, but couldn't figure out if that was also true when they white flashes appeared signifying attacks and I was just messing up the timing. It looked like you could throw the shield guys when their shields flashed white, but I couldn't get it to work. And the boss. Don't get me started on the boss and actually designing animations so they are clear to the player what they mean. I was so confused about what kind of attack it would because so many of its "charge" animations were so similar. I eventually got used to it, but if its a first boss, its way too subtle. That's closer to something an late game boss should be doing.

    -Along those lines I couldn't get used to what you could and could not block in the demo. I'm willing to grant I wouldn't be able to master the parry-like block in the short time, but I feel like I should I have a better idea of what blocks I can attack from the animations, sounds and Trevor's reactions. I really only figured it out in the boss fight, for instance, because sometimes Trevor's energy bar wouldn't go down and there was no "hurt" animation. That's kind of weak for a modern game and really bad design if it continues like this.

    -Thanks for all the explanations in the menu, now you can please spare a moment to tell me how many crosses I can have at maximum? Or maybe clarify why I could only carry six before I got the upgrade to carry more and I can still only carry six?

    -Maybe this is Konami more than Mercury Steam and I hope to God it isn't in the final version, because it would signify a level of incompetence I cannot believe even Konami would stoop to, but why can you only annotate maps in English? Why can't you use Japanese or the entire keyboard? On a similar note why is the voice acting still in English with Japanese subtitles when past Castlevanias' voice acting have been Japanese?

    -I feel like the hit detection is wonky, but I can't be sure till I play the final game.

    So in conclusion: it looks alright, its nice enough and competent enough to be somewhat excited where it will go in the full version. But:

    I want my, I want my, I want my IGA back, whipping my candles and the hearts fly free. (Sung to the tune of "I Want My MTV." )

    Edited by JinTypeNoir at 05:16:57 13-03-2013
  • Mageme 13 Mar 2013 09:55:43 2,221 posts
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    I'm on the Alucard chapter and aside from the setting and familiar names, this doesn't feel like a Castlevania; more like a God of War to me. It's certainly playable but IMO doesn't hold a candle to the previous era of CV games. Exploration and trekking back and forth feels much more of a chore in this game than a genuine trek/voyage of discovery into the dark lord's realm of the unknown.

    As JTN pointed out about the musical aspect, I think the music in this is absolutely lacklustre. I don't claim to be the greatest CV aficionado but having played most of the CV games since Famicom days, I still very often now listen to the CV soundtracks but can't imagine doing so for this iteration. Design-wise, I much prefer Ayami Kojima's art and characters.

    In its favour, Mirror of Fate's graphics are super sharp and 3D is used very well.

    Back to bashing though (as that's the easiest thing to do!), Alucard using a whip doesn't seem right... and don't get me started on either the loading times or the 'repeatedly push B to open a chest' mechanic... I absolutely abhor that!
  • JinTypeNoir 13 Mar 2013 11:51:15 4,392 posts
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    Oh that's another thing! Why are there loading times on a DS game? It's on a friggin cartridge, for cookies' sake! I thought the same thing about Dokuro. I know they have to access data and that take a while even if its on a cartridge, but neither of these are disc-based systems. It MUST be easier to avoid loading times because hardly any (good) games have them.

    Lazy. Stupid. Inconsiderate. Hmph.
  • acousticwilliam 13 Mar 2013 21:30:15 812 posts
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    Honestly, I'm going to hunt a mint boxed copy of CV4, play that, replay DOS and finish OOE.

    Any of you guys familiar with Jon Tron/Egoraptor/Game Grumps?
    Their recent play of CV1 highlights what is at the CV series core and, what is severely lacking from MOF.

    Combat should be about timed, calculated hits that make you feel in control. Not spammy combos and fluffy flurry fighting. I would imagine an evolution something more like Bayonetta where dodging and timing count, mixed with Dark Souls where you'd use space and look for an opening.

    Yes, yes, reboot... but there still needs to be something familiar holding it all together.
  • Jazzy_Geoff 13 Mar 2013 21:37:33 8,068 posts
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    LOL. I'm a 32 year old tax accountant. I didn't realise the gaming industry was ripping off my face.
  • oldskooldeano 13 Mar 2013 22:41:52 2,888 posts
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    I just played the demo tonight and was surprisingly drawn in. You are so right about the barrels JTN, what's that all about? I want to be whipping some candles! You also called it about the difficulty. Certainly playable but beating the creatures becomes the task rather than navigating the areas whilst swatting away irksome creeps.
    Very pretty. I liked that.

    I'll get it once it is it cheap.
  • Mageme 26 Mar 2013 15:00:50 2,221 posts
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    So I finally finished this last night. What an epically dull anticlimax of a final boss battle! Sure, it took a few goes to work out the attack patterns but it all ended quickly, with as much thrill as the looong end credits. Unskippable pre-battle cutscenes are frickin' annoying though!

    I think I clocked up 97% completion in about 9 hours; time to mop up that other 3% before Fire Emblem turns up!
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