Well, that was fast.
That being said, my “Castlevania Hit List” at this point consists of #1 and 3 of the original NES trilogy, Super Castlevania IV AKA the Super NES remake of the original, and Castlevania: Dracula X the Super NES port of the PC Engine Rondo of Blood.
Admitting my distinct lack of skill at handling the series’ dreadful momentum based jumping mechanics, I decided I would make my first foray into pwning the shit out the classic Castlevania games by starting from the more forgiving, end of the timeline; and work backwards.
Getting to the point, today I took Castlevania X and kicked it’s skull out it’s ass.
No, you don’t get a pic for that one.
While I won’t go so far as to say Castlevania X was anything less than a challenge, I have to admit that I was kind of amazed by how easily I made it through the game.
In comparison to what little experience I have with the NES games in the series, I’d say X was significantly easier.
In general, the game speed seemed slower, with enemies respawning and attacking less frequently, making for a much more methodically paced game.
Make no mistake, pitfalls and “bounce back” deaths were still a huge obstacle for me in Castlevania X, however I found I was able to take advantage of the slower pace of the game to take my time in formulating strategies for whatever challenges lay before me.
Also, I must say, gaudy as they were; the backflip and item crash maneuvers came to my rescue more than a few times by allowing me to dodge some nasty hits, or bypass them entirely through the item crash invincibility frames, all while dealing a shit ton of damage.
In general, I found Castlevania X to be a pretty fun afternoon playthrough.
The game felt kind of short, and some of the bosses were actually surprisingly easy, but overall it felt like a decent game that I definitely would’ve enjoyed had I played it in my youth.
The one exception to the overall fun factor of the experience, as well as the ease of the boss fights, was the final battle with Dracula.
In short, Dracula was a pain in the ass.
Not overly difficult, so much as annoying as fuck; the design of Dracula’s throne room arena, combined with his predictable; but dangerous attack pattern made for a nerve wracking encounter that definitely ranks as one of the hardest boss fights I’ve ever played through.
To those that are unaware, Dracula’s attacks in Castlevania X consist of the traditional, “I open my cape and cum fireballs all over your face” type; with said instances of fiery ejaculation being the only opportunities to give ‘ole Drac a whip to the dome.
That is to say, the only time you can hit the fucker is when he’s in the process of jizzing in your mouth.
It goes without saying that Drac’s flaming rude juice is far more damaging than the Vampire Killer whip, but that’s not the real problem in the equation.
The real problem is the fact that you fight Dracula amid a series of narrow platforms surrounded by instance death pits of doom.
Basically, unless you get really fuckin’ lucky; (as I did numerous times upon eventually defeating Dracula) any hit you take, regardless of how much damage it deals, will ultimately kill you by knocking you into a pit.
Nevermind that Dracula’s absurd height advantage over you forces you to jump to land hits on him, effectively doubling the chances of instant death pitfall, regardless of whether you actually succeed in hitting the bastard.
Take my word for it, any kind of jumping in an old-school Castlevania game is bad news, especially when pits are involved.
While this form looks fuckin’ beastly, personally I found it to be much easier.
Using the handy cross/boomerang subweapon, I found I was able to deal damage and destroy most of his incoming projectiles pretty much at will, a far cry from the slow-paced chess match of the “jizz in your face” phase of the fight.
That being said, while it took me an ungodly number of tries to get past Dracula’s first form, as soon as I was consistently able to get to Speedo Devil Man, I had Dracula kissing curb in short order.
Anyway, that’s my Castlevania conquest story.
Hopefully I’ll get around to playing through some of the other games in the series at some point.