Author Topic: Post-SotN Playthrough no.????? Thoughts  (Read 313 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Alucard

  • Scholar of the Occult
  • Administrator
  • Fledgling
  • *****
  • Posts: 27
  • #1 SotN Yaoi Truther
    • Personal Site
Post-SotN Playthrough no.????? Thoughts
« on: July 17, 2023, 07:17:50 PM »
I recently finished playing through Symphony of the Night for the....... I-don't-even-know-th time. Here's some of the stuff that crossed my mind throughout the game:
  • The knockback in this game is even worse than I remembered. So many enemies send you flying, which makes it really hard to recover when you're being attacked by even just two or three enemies. And the stuff that doesn't shoot you halfway across the room still stuns you juuust long enough for some enemies (THOSE DAMN FROGS!!!) to wind up another hit and stun you again. Thankfully, most enemies deal dust for damage unless you're way underleveled (which rarely ever happens), so you can soak up hits until you're able to regain your footing, but I feel like there should be better combat strategy options than "just don't get hit lol"
  • I think that the way music works in this game is very much a Trojan Horse of a flaw— The fact that the background music resets every time you enter a save or fast travel room feels like a minor annoyance at first, but once you get to areas like the Inverted Castle, where Finale Toccata is a very slow song with a very long introduction (and is way too overplayed), it ends up becoming one of the most grating and painfully noticeable issues in the game.
  • The music itself, though, is absolutely amazing. I listen to the soundtrack all the time, but there's something about hearing the music in-game that just makes it sound so much better. All of the tracks fit perfectly with their respective areas, and evoke the exact "gothic vampire" atmosphere that's become synonymous with the Castlevania series at this point.
  • Alucard moves like...... five percent too slow in this game. Not just walking, either. His attacks feel super sluggish and leave him way too open to enemy attacks. Again, it's not that big of a deal in the beginning, but once the game starts to slow down you really feel it. And I know that you can dash around in wolf form, or use Wing Smash in bat form, or even just backdash to move faster, but I'd rather my base walking speed not feel like I'm treading through molasses.
  • There's something about SotN's pixel art that really sets it apart from most other games in the series. It feels a lot more....... I dunno, "lived-in"? As in, you can really imagine Alucard actually walking down the halls of Dracula's Castle and interacting with the world around him. I think it might have something to do with the fact that the characters don't have distinct outlines, like Juste's glowing blue aura in Harmony of Dissonance and the black borders around the DSvania protagonists. That and the overall color scheme of the game really help everything blend together in a good way.
  • This game really could've done with maybe two or three more warp rooms. The map isn't exactly massive to an overwhelming point, but as is there's just the slightest bit too much backtracking. Also, let me choose which area of the castle I want to travel to! The method of rotating through every single warp room is annoying and a total waste of time.
  • I really love how open the exploration in this game is. Once you get the Jewel of Open you're free to either go up through the Royal Chapel, or down into the Waterfall Caverns. (Personally, I like to do a bit of leveling up in the caverns before going through the chapel) Even after playing the game dozens of times, I don't feel like there's a certain order that I have to follow to clear through all of the areas. Hell, I've taken to clearing through the Clock Tower backwards recently just because I can!
  • Honestly, I don't think that the voice acting in SotN is as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It's definitely not good from an objective level of talent, but it's got a certain corny charm to it that just works. Maybe it's got something to do with the reverb? Either way, I love it. Plus, Robert Belgrade still has the definitive Alucard voice to this day, no contest.
  • The spells in this game kind of suck. I'm not sure whose idea it was to tie spells to specific button inputs, but it's a bad one. Trying to use spells is super unwieldy in combat, aka what they're primarily meant for, so I almost never use them beyond rod spells. Seriously, why would I bother attempting to pull of a healing spell like Dark Metamorphosis or Soul Steal when I could easily use a potion or some food instead? Or use an offensive spell when I could just keep attacking the enemy and almost certainly deal more damage in the same amount of time? What a waste.
  • I'm in love with the little details in this game. Stuff like the fountain in Olrox's Quarters that starts spewing blood, the bird in the Outer Wall who raises a family as you progress through the game, silly items like the Secret Boots, the way Alucard eats peanuts by tossing them in the air and...... attempting to catch them, the way that equipping all of the Alucart items changes your name to Alucart in the menu, and more that I'm probably forgetting. It really shows how much love went into this game and it makes me smile.
  • I know it's kind of a dead horse topic, but it really can't be understated just how underbaked the Inverted Castle feels. The repetitive music, the lack of plot progression, the rehashing of the exact same castle we just finished going through....... It's so incredibly boring, and it only gets worse with every playthrough. I know that the dev team probably had a plan for it that had to be cut due to time/budget constraints, but as it is, it should've been cut out altogether.
  • I don't care what anyone says, I am the Wind is a good song, goddammit! It fits the mood of the ending perfectly, and it makes me want to start belting the lyrics. Or do that group hand-waving thing they do at concerts. Or both. It's so ridiculously earnest, and in an era where the biggest project tied to Castlevania is a soulless "gritty" TV adaptation, it feels like a breath of fresh air.

Honestly I don't have much of a "conclusion" for this post........ Symphony of the Night is still my favorite game in the series, even if it frustrates me to no end sometimes. I think that it does most of what it sets out to do really well, enough that I'm willing to look past even my biggest of gripes. All I can really say it that it's managed to keep its status as a beloved game for so long for a reason.
On the internet, nobody knows that you're a wizard!

wygolvillage

  • Shanoa
  • Fledgling
  • *
  • Posts: 19
  • Gender: Female
  • SHALAURA YURI FOREVER!!!!!!!!
    • Wygol Village
Re: Post-SotN Playthrough no.????? Thoughts
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2023, 08:26:55 AM »
I agree with all of this, especially the point about sincerity- I've always unironically liked I Am The Wind even though that style of 90's ballad pop usually doesn't do it for me. I also unironically like the voice acting, it feels more "stage play" than "television/movie", and I think that hightened level of performance really suits the tone of the series.

It's not my most played CV game if only because I only own the android port (that honor goes to Portrait of Ruin, surprisingly), but SOTN has always left a huge impression on me and I'm glad it was my first exposure to the series.


Alucard

  • Scholar of the Occult
  • Administrator
  • Fledgling
  • *****
  • Posts: 27
  • #1 SotN Yaoi Truther
    • Personal Site
Re: Post-SotN Playthrough no.????? Thoughts
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2023, 01:23:18 PM »
I also unironically like the voice acting, it feels more "stage play" than "television/movie",

Absolutely! I've seen people describe certain aspects of Symphony of the Night as "Shakespearean" before, and I'm inclined to agree— the dialogue feels a lot more "dramatized" than what you typically see in other Castlevania games. Not in a way that makes it feel comparatively fictional, but rather it gives the story a sense of grandiosity. I think it makes perfect sense for the game, given how important the events of Symphony of the Night are in explaining the next 200 years in the Castlevania story.
On the internet, nobody knows that you're a wizard!

wygolvillage

  • Shanoa
  • Fledgling
  • *
  • Posts: 19
  • Gender: Female
  • SHALAURA YURI FOREVER!!!!!!!!
    • Wygol Village
Re: Post-SotN Playthrough no.????? Thoughts
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2023, 08:20:46 PM »
 Having recently seen a Shakespeare performance at the reconstructed Globe theatre... Yes, absolutely. Whoever dod the localized script really leaned into it too. After SOTN the games' english voicework ended up more like dubbed anime, which is charming but not quite the same :P

This is making me want to replay SOTN again sometime for real