Games I Want to Play But Can't
3 9 01. Vampire Killer - MSX
Vampire Killer Game play
It's on the MSX. If that doesn't keep me from playing it, nothing will.
This is where the non-linear/RPG elements in Castlevania all got started. The second game in the series, it's gone largely unnoticed by Western audiences, having been released solely on the MSX computer system.
I'd love to play Vampire Killer, as it seems to be a wonderful example of classic CV platforming in the style that the series would go on to center around. It's curious how many complain about Symphony of the Night taking the series in a direction that's contrary to what it used to be about, considering this early game served as a precursor to SotN from the very beginning.
8 6.3 02. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest - Wii Virtual Console
Even when I get a Network Adapter so I can play WiiWare, Virtual Console and DSiWare games, I want to play the first Vampire Killer first for the sake of reviewing the SotN precursors with the proper order of things in mind.
This doesn't look as fun to me as Vampire Killer, but the fact that it has one big open world rather than independent Metroidvania levels will be refreshing once I finally play it. It has Simon Belmont in it, after all, and the challenge has been toned down from the original Castlevania, though I hear it's imbalanced in that some bosses are easier than they should be and the puzzles being too hard to figure out without a guide. The game has hubs, though, and a level-up system, things that Vampire Killer lacked which would affect future CV titles. I just want to play Vampire Killer first to have an idea of how the early CV Metroidvanias built off of one another.
3 7 03. Castlevania: Order of Shadows - PDA
Castlevania Order of Shadows Mobile Game Trailer - Thumbthug.com
I don't have a mobile phone.
Order of Shadows is, from what I hear, pretty linear though one can return to previously visited areas. It's not among the better Castlevania games either based on what I've been told. Still, I'd like to play and review it, and hey, maybe derive a little enjoyment out of mobile Castlevania. Though there are also two Sorrow ports for that.
0 0 04. Aria of Sorrow - Mobile
Official Konami Castlevania Aria of Sorrow Mobile Trailer
I don't have a mobile phone.
It might come across to some as just a watered-down version of a classic, but that's still pretty good by my standards. I also like that it's not an adaptation, but an alternate version with its own unique areas. The screen also gives an alternate point of view to the wide-screen Gamaboy Advance, by which the original was played.
2 7.5 05. Castlevania Puzzle: Encore of the Night - iPhone
[No video for this one. Apparently the boys over at Sony Music Entertainment are really draconian. Go figure.]
I don't have an iPhone.
This one certainly came as a surprise to me. While it doesn't have platforming elements to it, it fits the Metroidvania mold in its own unique way. I'd love to play it - it might be similarly refreshing as Kirby & the Amazing Mirror.
11 7 06. Castlevania: Harmony of Despair - Xbox 360 Live Arcade
E3 2010 - Castlevania Harmony of Despair trailer
It's on X-Box Live Arcade. I don't have an X-Box and at the moment I don't have any systems that go online.
Ever since was still working on beating Circle of the Moon - my very first Castlevania - I imagined in my head a Massively Multiplayer Online Action Role Playing Castlevania Metroidvania. This is sort of similar... It's multiplayer, six people at once being the maximum team amount. Apparently with this one, though, the team is almost necessary as alone the levels are hard, having been made for multiplayer.
I'm not sure what I think of reusing the DS graphics - on one hand, everything's familiar, but on another, it just seems like Team Iga could've created new designs specifically for the X-Box Live, as it has much greater graphical capabilities than the DS.
I don't mind that there are only five levels and five characters at the moment, since they've promised to add to it based on how well it sells. Still, being able to team up Soma, Alucard, Shanoa, Jonathan and Charlotte is pretty cool, as they represent most of the different fighting styles throughout the series. Maybe having Maxim, Eric LeCarde, and Yoko Belnades and Richter Belmont would work, but that all depends on this game's popularity. Which, if they're so concerned about, they'd better release it on PSN (as they've promised) and hopefully one day on a Nintendo console.
51 7.9 07. Shadow Complex - Xbox 360 Live Arcade
Shadow Complex - Official E3 Trailer
It's on X-Box Live Arcade. I don't have an X-Box and at the moment I don't have any systems that do online.
Though Tomba! was the first 2.5D Metroidvania and Spider-Man: Web of Shadows was the first dark 2.5D MV, this one looks like good fun. A Metroidvania with realistic areas, characters, and weapons has yet to be done. I've heard good things about it from most people, and the hype has been unavoidable. This in addition to Harmony of Despair will make me more likely to get an X-Box 360... That is, when the next generation of systems comes around and my brother and his grad school friends don't need it anymore.
3 7 08. Dark Void Zero - Nintendo DS
Dark Void Zero - Gamespot Gameplay Video 1
I don't have a DSi. I probably won't ever get one, but will instead buy the 3DS when it comes out.
This is one of the games on this list I'm think looks particularly awesome. I love the concept of a retro-style Metroidvania with a viewable map. As far as I know, before Super Metroid most MVs didn't allow the player to use maps, so this one is unique in that regard.
I do wonder if the twelve levels are interconnected or if there are twelve individual Metroidvania maps to explore. Either way, it seems to fit the MV bill just fine. [Editor's note: Apparently there are three large, unconnected levels. I look forward to getting this game on the 3DS.]
4 10 09. Shantae: Risky's Revenge - 3DS Virtual Console
Shantae Risky's Revenge Trailer
Even when I get a Network Adapter so I can play WiiWare, Virtual Console and DSiWare games, I want to play the first Shantae for the sake of reviewing them with the proper order of things in mind.
I wouldn't say I'm as hyped about this as I am about Dark Void Zero, but it looks fun. It doesn't look too different from the first one gameplay-wise, but the graphics are pretty and the level design looks to have been taken up a notch. As with the rest, I'm always interested in a good Metroidvania.
11 7.4 010. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I - WiiWare
Splash Hill Trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I
It's on WiiWare, and I've been having trouble getting my Wi-Fi adapter to work.
The Sonic the Hedgehog series hasn't shined in a long time - since Sonic Adventure 2, in my opinion. While I know a lot of people like the Sonic Advance and Rush series, I'm not into them. I like the characters Cream and Amy Rose, their 2D playable debuts, the boss fights in SA2 (except for the Hand-Slap-of-Death one), and the team dynamic in SA3, but other than that, I feel as if the games fell short. The level designs weren't very creative, and starting with Sonic Advance 2 they seemed like they belonged in a platform racing game rather than a speed-based sidescroller. (There's a difference, I swear!) All this became too over-emphasized with the Sonic Rush series.
But this game along and Sonic Colors seem to be two good steps in the right direction - Sonic Colors for its amusement park atmosphere and use of colors to give the characters new abilities that interact with the levels, and this one for its classic gameplay. The levels look as if much thought was put into keeping the player busy throughout, as opposed to how the recent 2D titles require only that the player hold right on the directional pad, jump here or there, and push a button to boost if they're just that impatient. There are very interactive environments in this one, and it appears very classic.
The classic level designs will work for Episode 1 to showcase Sega's willingness to appease veteran gamers and produce a quality platformer, but it won't do for Episode 2. For that one, they're going to have to throw in a couple more characters (two come to mind right away?) and some fresh level designs.
28 6.9 011. Aquaria - PC Games
I don't have access to any computers fit for PC gaming. Plus I'd like to play Eternal Daughter first since it was Derek Yu's first Metroidvania and I always like to have a chronological experience with games I intend to review. [Editor's note: I'll be getting new insurance soon, so I'll be able to buy myself a nice computer for college. Then you can expect me to finally get into Eternal Daughter and Aquaria.]
This one looks seriously killer. It may potentially cause me to make room for another spot on my list of best Metroidvanias ever (alongside Super Metroid, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Kirby & the Amazing Mirror).
The thing is, I've always been mostly a handheld game freak. It's probably just a pattern I developed from a young age since my older brothers used to dominate the TV and thus the consoles. If I was playing, they'd say "Get off," and I'd drop everything duly. It actually wasn't that bad - I did enjoy watching them play. But as they've stopped being hardcore gamers and moved off to college, giving me the whole upstairs of the house to myself, I begun to have more freedom in my console gaming. Though I'd played some Sonic the Hedgehog collections, the Konami Contra/Castlevania anthology and a few MMORPGs on the PC, at this point I've never truly delved into strictly computer video game purchasables.
It's also probably because I prefer to use a keyboard to type, and a controller to play video games. But when the game's made to be played using a mouse and keyboard, I think I can make an exception. The thing is, none of the computers at the house are very useful for such a thing. My labtop's crap, the downstairs computer's pretty slow, and the upstairs computer I mainly use doesn't have sound. Aquaria is supposed to have fantastic music, so I'm definitely not playing it without sound. I'll wait till I get my college computer (though I'm taking college classes, I'm doing so at the high school I attended - thus, why I haven't received a full-blown college labtop yet).
1 0 012. Grokion - iPhone
Grokion developed with Unity3D
I don't have an iPhone.
Grokion looks like a totally Metroid-inspired kind of game, and in specific ways rather than just by following the Metroidvania format. It appears as if a lot of attention and care went into it - especially considering it was developed by three (known) developers. The trailer above shows quite a bit of puzzle platforming and some fun bosses, so it should be a thinker, and a version of Samus's Grapple Beam and a similarly familiar sprite, so it shouldn't be too new to gamers. The overall level design, save for the boss fights surrounded by rock and lava, seems to be a lot brighter than that of the Metroid and Castlevania series' dark and gloomy locales, which should give fans of those series a nice break.
I recently found out that an iPod Touch doesn't cost that much and internet access is free so long as there's a Wi-Fi adapter (which I have) involved, so maybe in a year or two I'll get the system for this game, Encore of the Night, the Mobile Castlevanias, and other iPhone store items.
12 7 013. Monster Tale - Nintendo DS
It isn't out yet.
Like Aquaria, I think this has the potential to be a 5/5 stars Metroidvania. The graphics look very bright and cheery, a nice contrast to how Metroidvanias usually go - think the Castlevania and Metroid series and the Griptonite MVs. That certainly helps, though the concept is what I have in mind when I say it could achieve greatness.
The mix of platform gaming with a virtual pet is an inventive concept, and complements the DS's touch and dual screens wonderfully where other games haven't. I used to love playing with my Pikachu virtual pet, though I didn't know at first that shaking the device is how more points are earned. Also, I was very into my VMU and having interactivity with Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2. This game is to have interactivity of its own kind between the platform game and the virtual pet raising, but in a way that is more fundamental to its premise than taking care of Chaos in the Sonic games, which is decidedly set apart from the core gameplay.
The fact that taking care of Chomp in one certain way makes him have different strengths and weaknesses is promising, and should add to the replay value. But for the time being I just want to play this game for the first time.
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