Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow

September 14, 2005 at 8:30 pm 1 comment

Anyway, the DS has been cleaning up silently beneath the waves of PSP hype and despite a strong European launch, chances are Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow will mop up the mess of handhelds until Sony’s killer-umd cart arrives and we all switch to metal-geat-ratchet-god-of-katamarin-whatever. Regardless Dawn of Sorrow is one of those big ass side scrollers that Konami pionerred when they figured out they could do something new with 2D and a huge amount of video ram. All the last Castlevania games have followed this formula and Dawn of Sorrow places a great emphasis on memorizing the local fora and fauna. All these Castlevania games have been about memorizing topography inventing entire sub-conscious worlds of a-b-a hack and slash pushing you to a knowledge of miniscule demons and muscle men to the piont where you could pretty easily remember the entire bio-diversity of the amazon region. I’m playing it in Japanese, have no idea what’s going on, but finding the way it circulates puzzles by fighting in an intuive manor, how can you take out the minotaur, the sucubus, the witch, the knight, the demon, and the zombie all of whom circulate pre-ordined paths with regularity, but you have to jump and slash between, equip and change, it’s this finesse between route memorization, button slash, and equipment change that gives Castlevania it’s consistent appeal, you can work your way through each situation in a different series of massacares and avoidance. The addition of levling up and special abilities only add to it. What items to include etc.

My point being, Castlevania has given depth to what was once a simple a and b game. It’s ability to juggle multi-usefull abilites that are introduced frequently, but easily explainable gives the entire games a sense of progression and use that’s rare in video games these days. Sure the maps are open and vast, but when you get that new ability, you then instantly remember the one section blocked by ice you couldn’t get to etc. The fact that the powers include a doll that warps you a few feet, the ability to delay your jumps in air, the standard double jump, and using the touch screen to destory small objects all adds up. Castlevania’s varios incarnations since the PlayStation made memory an after though in game design is to push such vastness and it’s incarnation here is another example of how much we’ve chanced since 8-bit games hit shelves. Is anything in this game un-doable on previous generations of consoles? no, but it’s something in the design, the way it fails to feel over-whelming, but instead it all seems dead until you get there that makes Dan of Sorrow feel like almost anything these days. Like the vast habitats we inhabit in words online, it’s worlds seem chock full of promise if you have the right tools to get there.

yes yes I am a capitalist, buy it here: Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow

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1 Comment Add your own

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