I’ve been playing this a fair bit today, firstly in two-player with my wife, but then I went back to Challenge Mode and worked my way through the remaining few levels.
And I completed them! None of those left were especially hard (compared to Level 13, at any rate), although I only won the final one because it went to Sudden Death and the two remaining Boffins got drowned…
But that’s it complete – all single player modes and levels done, and all achievements gained!
Aaaaaaand done. Wow. That was amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever been so sucked into a game’s storyline. In fact, it isn’t a game. It’s a remarkable work of interactive fiction. Yeah, so it’s not “art”, and yeah, the dialogue could have done with some improvement, but the story wins out.
I can’t say much more, except the ending seemed to be a little, unfinished. I still have questions that need answers, and I need to know more about some of the links between characters. And why were there so many coincidences? I’ve put it down to the Wish room actually granting wishes, but that seems a bit too vague to me. Did Bradley arrange for everyone to be there? Where did Mila get the Hotel Dusk pamphlet? Surely she’d not hung onto it all that time.
What? Turtles? Eh? That’s right chums and chummettes – today’s XBLA download was the original 1989 TMNT arcade game. And look what I did! I downloaded it, and then completed it! Go me!
It was actually shorter than I expected, taking maybe 40 minutes to do in total. But then, how many people play a game in the arcade for longer than that?
Anyway, I played all the way through as Mikey (BECAUSE HE IS BEST), and now I can’t get “Cowabunga!”, “Shell shock!” and other sound-bites out of my head. If you’ve not got it already, GET IT NOW, for it is just 400 bargainlicious points.
What? Already? Yes indeed. I thought there was at least another world after 8, but no. And World 8 was somewhat shorter than previous ones too. The final boss battle was quite hard, until – yes – I got a Tornado power-up, and then after that there was another boss. I sort of expected it, as it seems to be the norm with Kirby games. You even get a weapon not unlike the Star Rod from Kirby’s Adventure.
I seem to have only 76 levels complete out of 120, however. I know I’ve missed three secret levels, but what about the rest, eh?
So it’s easier than Super Monkey Ball. That much is now very clear. But it’s not a totally fair comparison. Yeah, both games have you guiding balls through mazes, but Kororinpa is more about the vertical and the twisting and the almost-upside-downness of the mazes. And there’s the crystal collecting too. So it’s different enough to not be classed as a clone, in my opinion. Anyway.
I’ve finished Level 45, which it told me was the last one. Afterwards, there was the end of game sequence and the credits, and big letters that spelt out “THE END”, so I suspect that’s evidence enough to call the game complete.
However, there are still five squares remaining on the level select screen. I also have 9 of the 10 secret levels left to complete, and what looks like five more left to unlock. I’ve also just unlocked Mirror Mode, which I’m pretty sure is just the normal levels left-right mirrored.
I gave up on the Nest of Evil thing, and went back to the game proper. Decided it was time to actually learn to use the Vampire Killer, so set about killing Richiter Belmont. Yes, really. Well, a “memory” of him anyway. Bizarrely, the weapon I killed him with, was the Cream Pie. It dealt a fair amount of damage, and could be thrown at such an angle so as to be just out of reach of his whip.
So he was killed, I had the Vampire Killer, and it was off to kill Dracula and Death. And then Dracula again. One attempt and I died, and then the next attempt – kill0red!
After the credits and all, I found I’d unlocked two more modes – Richiter Mode and Sisters Mode. The former is just Richiter (and Maria) with a cut-down weapon set and no items. Played that for a bit. Sisters Mode is Loretta and Stella, controlled with the d-pad, and they attack using the stylus. It’s totally bizarre. Played that for a bit too.
Then I played online in co-op mode, which is basically Boss Rush (of a sort). The guy I was randomly paired up with was crap though.
Then I went through Boss Rush course 1 in just under two minutes. Go me!
Another day, another completed Castlevania! So this was a fair bit easier than the last one, although there was a tricky bit near the end with ropes that move up and down and then change direction, with the cogs on either end killing you.
The end-of-Dracula’s-castle boss wasn’t Dracula, but Solieyu Belmont, the son of the main character (Christopher Belmont). He was under Dracula’s power, or something, and was actually bloody hard to kill, what with his whip and stuff.
But kill him I did, and then it was the shortest of short levels before I had Dracula himself to kill. He was pretty easy, once I’d figured out you had to whip him in the face.
Oh my! Only four levels? Just as well as if there were any more, things may have been broken on purpose.
Level 3 is the real killer. The spikes are really rather hard to get past. Once you do, however, the rest of the game is pretty easy in comparison. The boss at the end of Level 3 was some sort of Harpy, who was easy to dodge, and then it was on to Level 4. It looked like there was going to be a SuckySuck(TM) bit, with all the previous bosses one after another, but thankfully it was just the first one. Again. And again. And again. I must have killed him about ten times on this level alone.
After some more spikey bits (which were actually pretty easy), I finally made it to Dracula. And killed him on my second attempt. He turns into a bat after you die, but thankfully he’s not too difficult.
So that’s the first Game Boy game I’ve completed in years, and the 9th game this year so far. And the 5th Castlevania title this year too. I’ve got the second Game Boy Castlevania lined up now too!
Well, it was actually several sessions play today, rather than just one long go, but I reached the end, defeated Dedede, and then beat Nightmare. Hurrah!
I noticed that the last level (the one in black and white) was actually some sort of medley of the levels from the original Game Boy Kirby game. I’d never realised that before. I just thought it was black and white for some sort of arty reason. It explains why you don’t get any power-ups from sucking in baddies, anyway.
So I’m 81% done. Most of the secrets I know how to get (I failed to reach them, or went past the entrance to them before realising what I’d done), so I should be able to get 100% if I want.
Oh, and a Bad Thing: Rainbow Resort (world 7) has a level with a SuckySuck(TM) bit in it. They’re not a load of end-of-world bosses, but there is a run of about 8 mid-level bosses one after another. Rubbish.
Amazing scenes. I found a warp to Star World (yeah, I’ve played SMW a few times before…) and worked my way around that, finding all the secret exits and ending up at Bowser’s front door. Chose route 4 and route 5 through his castle, and reached him without getting hit.
Then it was time to kill Bowser himself, who was the easiest thing ever, ever, and I didn’t get hit there either. Game over, win!
So I went rummaging around for three books that Mina suggested I might need. I actually had one already, and the other two were found pretty easily once I’d taken a good look at the map. I found another boss (Legion) who was alarmingly easy to kill, and then got another soul or three.
After all that, I had the books required, and the three souls it was suggested I equip (Flame Armour, Succabus, and Giant Bat – all traits of Dracula, if you think about it…), so I set them all up and went after Graham again. He was even easier to kill than last time! Not least because the Succabus soul gives you HP each time you get a hit in. Oh, and I was on Level 39 instead of 32 or something too.
Then a thing happened that I won’t say as it’s a spoiler, and then instead of the game being over, I could carry on playing. Got another soul and some better armour from the room just past Graham, then set off to the black mist door (with the floating garden baddies now complete walkovers – even the huge Devil which previously took a billion hits), where I had to fight Julius. He wasn’t easy at all, as it turned out, and I used just about all my potions on him. Managed it though, then retreated back to Hammer to get more supplies, saved my game, then stepped into the Quantum Leap acceleratorwarp to Chaos and vanished.
Soma awoke to find himself trapped in the pastin a twisted version of the castle, where going from one room to another seemed to warp him around the various areas I’d previously been through. It almost became a SuckySuck(TM) bit, as there were loads of previous bosses, but since they’re all really weak now, or I could just skip them (flying bat powaz FTW), I won’t complain.
Then Chaos came. And he was easy. Like, realy easy. OK – not as easy as Dracula at the end of Harmony of Dissonance, but still pretty simple to beat. And the game was over – properly this time, with the happy ending and everything!
Well. After getting a couple of keys, I was able to get around pretty much the entire map. Picked up the Griffin’s Wing and Crush Boots too, so I then could get round the entire map, and killed a few more bosses on the way and collected fahsands more power-ups and some well ace armour. I reached Level 48 or so, and my DEF stat was so high that almost no enemy could deal out more than a couple of damage to me. Even some of the bosses that were left barely scratched me. Excellent.
Then I found, right at the very top of the map, part of Dracula’s body. This opened a passageway – and I knew it was the blocked hole in the floor near the middle of the map. So, I set off down there, bought loads of Potions and High Potions, and saved next to the hole before jumping in to kill…
Maxim? What, no Dracula? Well, I was expecting Maxim then Dracula, but no – just Maxim. Who was easy. And then it was game over and I’d won. Sort of. Not the proper ending, methinks.
A quick search of the internet, and it seems I needed to be in Castle B, not Castle A for the proper ending (and have some specific items equipped). So off I went, only to find the hole in the floor sealed. I didn’t have all the parts of Dracula, apparently. Eventually found his missing eye (nice), and tried again. Hurrah! I was in!
Then there was Maxim to kill again (he was even easier then), and finally Dracula. Well, not Dracula as such, a Dracula Wraith (who was so easy I didn’t even get hit), followed by a second Dracula form. Who was also easy. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Dracula was in fact the easiest boss in the entire game. Tch. So much for my millions of High Potions…
And that was the REAL actual proper happy ending! Completed!
After trying several times to kill Dracula, I gave up. The final boss has two phases: one where he appears and disappears, and has three attacks – poison clouds, laser beam, and meteor strike, and after that he flies around a lot, then turns into a load of bats and a giant eyeball. The first phase was easy, especially if I used the DSS card combo that effectively grants you double energy. The second, however, was not.
Dodging Dracula flying around was simple enough – just use Roc’s Feather to stay at the top of the screen – but the bats and eye was a real pain. I could use Poison Cloud myself to kill most of the bats off, and get a hit or two in with the eye, but most of the time it was unreachable, or a bat somehow dodged the cloud and hit me.
So I left it for a bit, and wandered off to find the card needed for Summons. It was in the hall where I’d previously killed the Golum boss (GameFAQs helped here with it’s Card FAQ), and after a bit more exploring of the castle, gaining another level and some more upgrades, I set about killing Dracula again.
Summoning Thunderbird to get the eyeball worked a treat! I just needed four Summons, and he was dead! The game was over, the credits came up, and I unlocked Magician Mode (where you start will all the cards). Aces!
It was waaaaaaay harder than I remember it from 12 or so years ago, but today I conquered the game. Excellent.
Dracula took 8 attempts (although I’d tried yesterday about 20 or 30 times), but in fact, his final “form” was much easier than his first few. I managed to force myself to only get a hit in when it was safe, concentrating on avoiding projectiles rather that smacking him in the face. This really helped. Getting my health back up to full twice during the fight helped too.
Yes, I am well aware that it’s one of those goes-on-forever games, but the thing is, it has 12 Achievements. And I Achieved the last two of them today: get over 100,000 points (which for some reason isn’t listed on my score table, even though the achievement itself is – bizarre) and Complete Stage 16. So I’ve never managed to “do” all of the achievements on any 360 games before, and then I do two in three days. Ace.