Sunday, August 16, 2015
Note that Shanoa is just one of many characters you can play as in Castlevania Fighter Arcade
Before I write this review, have any of you played Mega Man Power Battles 1 or 2? Mega Man Power Battles actually came with the Mega Man Anniversary Collection for the Xbox (probably PS2 as well). In that game you can play either as Mega Man, Bass, or Protoman and each "level" consists of a boss fight from a previous Mega Man game usually chosen at random from previous games. After you beat all of the robot masters, there is one Wily Castle boss, and the end boss is none other than Dr Wily himself (much like how it is in Mega Man 1-10). Anyways, in Castlevania Fighter Arcade, you can choose from a whole host of characters to play as, such as Simon Belmont, Richter, Julius Belmont, Soma Cruz, Alucard, Shanoa, Death the Grim Reaper, and many others. Interestingly, you can also play as non castlevania characters such as Ronald McDonald (since when was he in a Castlevania game?) and several others. After choosing a character, you can choose a difficulty level (with beginner being the easiest mode and "nightmare" being the hardest) and then the ggame begins. Like Mega Man Power battles, each "level" consists of a boss fight from various Castlevania games (such as Circle of the Moon, Dawn of Sorrow, Portrait of Ruin, Dracula X Chronicles, Order of Ecclesia, and others). The boss fights chosen for each level is generally randomized (meaning you might fight different bosses in each play through) though there are definitely some recurring bosses you are likely to encounter in most if not all playthroughs. Of course like many Castlevani games (despite not being an official castlevania game) Count Dracula (the primary antagonist in the series) is back and serves as the game's final boss and his close associate, Death the Grim reaper marks the second to final boss in the game. Other noteworthy boss fights I have encountered includes:
- Giant bat
- Dario and Aguni (usually happens back to back of each other)
- Carmillia (from Circle of the Moon)
- Richter (plays out much like the SOTN version of Richter)
- Stella (from Portrait of Ruin)
- Brauner (one of the primary antagonists in Portrait of ruin, besides Dracula and Death).
- Barlowe from Order of Ecclesia
- Zephyr from Dawn of Sorrow
and many others.
Pros about Castlevania Fighter Arcade
- This game is definitely going to be a hit for long time Castlevania fans in my opinion. All of the boss fights in this game are pretty well known in the Castlevania franchise (especially for people who have played through the game).
- Multiple difficulty levels. If you think the game is too hard, I might recommend starting with beginner mode. Think the game is too easy, you might consider cranking up the diffiulty. By the way, some of the characters will have a better chance of beating the game than others.
- Characters come with both basic and advanced attacks and moves. By the way, at the Serbio website, it does list all of the characters as well as all of the moves they can perform.
- Follows the classic scheme of castlevania games. Boss music is very similar to the ones in previous games and changes for each boss fight. Also, this is definitely one of the few newer Castlevania games that features Dracula as the final boss. Not every new castlevania game features dracula as the final boss.
- Leveling up system. As you beat each boss you can use points to purchase potions, power ups, defense boosts, extra continues, etc from Renon (from Castlevania 64) by holding the start button (I have mine mapped to the enter key) after beating a level till the screen advances to the next level. Also, there is a unique trick where if you jump and catch orbs while attacking right after they appear, you can get bonus hit points, defense boosts, level ups, and possibly continues too (I haven't confirmed it yet).
- Bosses do have patterns they follow (much like their counterparts in the games they were in) so the game does get easier over time if you find yourself struggling. For example, Dracuala's first and 3rd form are very similar to those in Order of Ecclesia. Gergoth, Aguni, and Zephyr function much like themselves from Dawn of Sorrow. Some bosses are faster though (such as Brauner) and unpredictable too (such as Richter).
- With all of the difficulty modes and characters you can play through as, replay value is pretty high in my opinion. By the way, Dracula has 3 forms on Beginner Mode, and 4 forms in Normal to Nightmare Modes. Also some of the boss patterns changes by the change of difficulty.
- Multiple gameplay modes. Besides arcade mode, there is also a survival mode, vs mode (can be useful if your computer supports 2 players), co-op survival mode, and training mode where you can test out your character's moves before playing through the game.
Cons of Castlevania Fighter Arcade
- I might recommend checking the installation requirements before downloading. Also some versions do work better than others. By the way, I have encountered crashes of the game a few times too. It has gotten better for me over the months and seems to be rare, but it can happen.
- No save feature. Once you start a new game, it is recommended you have at least 1-2 hours to spare since there is no save feature. Also, you only get a limited amount of continues (sometimes you might not start with continues at all, especially early in the game) to work with and once they run out, game is over and you will have to start over. This can make the game extra challenging, especially as you get farther in the game and bosses get progressively harder to beat, and there are some recurring boss fights that will likely take multiple attempts to beat (some of the most challenging bosses I have encounted includes: Aguni, Stella, Brauner, Barlowe, Death, and Dracula).
- Controls can be a bit confusing at first. By the way, there is an app that lets you configure the controls. Also, some of the moves each character has are going to be easier to learn than others. Consequenlty, I might recommend starting with characters with less moves such as Simon Belmont or even Ronald McDonald (he can actually hold his own in the game and is suprisingly formidable to play as too).
(more will be added over time)
Over all, I thought that Castlevania fighter arcade was a pretty fun game to play through. It certainly is challenging and might not necessarily be for everyone, but I definitely recommend it to the many long time castlevania fans out there (at least if you have a good computer to play it on). Sure fighting boss after boss can get repetitive and might be a turn off for some people and devoting time to play through the entire game will likely be challenging for some people, but it is definitely one of the best fan made castlevania games I have played through. You probably won't beat the game as every character, and you will likely find yourself having better luck with some characters than others.
If you are curious, you can check out the game at http://serio.piiym.net/cvbla/. The game is currently free to download.
General gameplay tips (based on my experiences with the game):
- I might recommend starting the game on beginner mode (at least for your first several times through). It can seem easy, but it lets you get familar with the game, how each boss fight plays out and it is a little more forgiving than the higher modes. I would advise against "nightmare" mode until you are fully confident as the enemies get tougher to defeat the higher the difficulty.
- Whenever you defeat a boss, red orb will appear that you can collect to beat the stage. Interestingly, the game has an interesting reward where if you jump and hit the attack button right after the orb appears and get the orb at the same time, the game offers bonus health, strength, hp upgrades, defense upgrades and other bonuses (possibly extra continues as well, though unconfirmed). If you see the video near the beginning of this post, you can see what I mean (it actually works best with whip users like Simon), but if you do it correctly, you should see a good, excellent or great message when done right. It can take several tries, but it is very useful when you get it down.
- Each boss has his or her own unique pattern of moves and attacks. Familiarizing yourself with the enemies' attack patterns can be very useful for your success. By the way, many of them follow the same patterns as they do in their original games. Dracula's pattern (at least the first and 3rd form) is very similar to that in Order of Ecclesia. In his second form, he is very much like his demon form from Circle of the Moon. Aguni (one boss fight that will likely be a challenge for some) has several patterns. He can swoop in one or more directions, try to swat your player, shoot fire at the player, and even try to divebomb the player (much like how he does in Dawn of Sorrow). Dario behaves much like he does in Dawn of Sorrow (same with Zephyr). Brauner's attacks are very similar to that in Portrait of Ruin, though he seems to be somewhat faster and some of his attacks can be harder to dodge (especially the poison attack), and he can also try to suck the player's blood too (which doesn't happen in the original game). I will post more detailed tips on the boss fights (at least ones I have seen) in a future post.
Monday, March 30, 2009
I have played video games since the days when the regular Nintendo came out, and there are plenty of boss fights that I have been through. In this list, I will show off the biggest, baddest, and boss fights that I have done. Warning: this post contains spoilers, since this commentary assumes that you have played through the games I mention and have seen it. If you haven't played these games and want to be surprised, then don't read this post. Note: this blog is based on my own opinion, and so you are free to agree or disagree with me, and feel free to add your own experiences here in your comments. Also, this post will be added to over time.
1. Dr. Robotnik and Mecha Sonic in Sonic the Hedghog 2 -
at the end of Sonic 2 for the Sega Genisis, Sonic boards the Death Egg and first fights Metal Sonic (which is an epic battle), and later Dr. Robotnik in his big Mecha suit. The only downside to this final showdown is that unless if you were cheating, you will not have any rings in this level, and so one hit and you are dead (that can be somewhat frustrating if you had played through all 10 previous zones and are on your last continue and you die at Death Egg). When you fight Eggman, his only weakpoint is on the machines's body and you have to avoid the spikes or jet pack to hit him without getting killed. Eggman's most deadly attacks in this fight are the ones where he flies up, crashes down and tries to shoot you with his spiky arms (or bombs if you wind up behind him).
2. Ganondorf and Gannon in Zelda 64: Ocarina of Time
I recently beat the game, Zelda 64: Ocarina of time (I don't have a Game Cube, though I do have a N64, along with an Xbox/Xbox 360 and a PS2), and thought that the battle with Ganon and Ganondorf was pretty cool. First, Ganondorf has his own castle, and you have to fight your way through is castle to get through to him, and as you get closer to the boss door, you will hear Ganondorf playing his theme music (seems to be his signature theme). The battle is a 3 fold one. First, you fight him as Ganondor, and you are on top of the castle and so it can be easy to fall down, but to beat him, he will try to hit you with his energy spark shots, and you have to try to deflect them back at Ganondorf. Then he gets stunned, and you have a short window to hit him with a light arrow and beat the crap out of him. Eventually he goes down and taunts your guy before dying. After he dies, he tries to collapse the castle on you and you have to follow Zelda out of the castle under a 3 minute time limit. Once you leave the castle and after the castle collapses, you face Ganondorf again, and he turns into the evil Gannon, which is a cross between a demonic dragon and a pig, and he is pretty big. Although the battle is not too difficult, it is a pretty epic struggle, as you have to try to hit him on his tail, and he tries to whack you with his 2 big swords. Interstingly whenever Ganon hits you, Zelda screams, and eventually, when you have hit him enough, you get to finish him off by delivering a head blow with the Master Sword (you fight him with the biggorn sword at first), and when you beat him, he gets sent to the abyss and cures you, Zelda, and the Sages and vows his revenge before he disappears. Afterwards, Zelda sends Link back to his childhood time and the people around the world that Link met on his journey have a huge celebration in response to Link's victory.
3. Dracula - Castlevania Curse of Darkness
In most (if not all Castlevanie games), Dracula is the main villian that you fight at the end of most Castlevania (though in some of the newer ones, you will fight a different bad guy, such as Walter and Death in LOI, Graham in Ariel of Sorrow, etc), and of all Dracula fights, the one that I liked the most waas the one against Dracula in Curse of Darkness. Unlike other ones, Komnai gets a little creative on the fight with some interesting changes, such as the first form doing more than just telportin around the room and shooting fireballs, the battle is fully 3d with good graphics, and there are nifty cut scenes both before and after the fight. When you play the game as Hector, upon entering the Dracula's boss door at Dracula's castle, Hector tries to get on Dracula's good side, but Dracula simply accuses him as a traitor for aligning himself with the humans, and tries to kill Hector, and hence the battle begins. After the first form is defeated, Dracula morphs into this huge gargoyle like demon and you wind up on a plat form and Dracula charges at Hector, tries to splat him with his hands, shoots huge lasers at Hector, and even taunts Hector. Eventually, Dracula goes down and Hector saves the day.
4. Ursula in Kingdom Hearts (particularly her 2nd form) -
In the Kingdom of Hearts series, you play as a boy named Sora who gets swept into the Disney universe after the heartless strike his home world at Destiny Islands and getting separated separated from both Rikku and Kairi, and later pairs up with both Goofy and Donald not long after arriving in Tranvers city. While the Heartless and Ansem (also known as Xenhort, if have played Kingdom Hearts II) are the real villians in Kingdom Hearts I, classic Disney Villians (including Oogie Boogie, Captin Hook, Malificent, Usela, etc) lead by Malificent are the chief cronies of Ansem and as you play through the game, you will confront each of those Disney villians in quests at other worlds. When you visit Alantica, you enter the world of Ariel, the Little Mermaid, and the main villian you fight there is Ursela. The first part of the battle is not real spetacular, but the second part was awsome, since Ursela turns into a huge giantess and it almost feels as if she is one of the final bosses in the game. Of course, the second part is much more challenging than her first form as she has much more attacks, taunts you more and takes more hits to beat. Her only weak spot is her face, and you have to get close enough to hit her with your keyblade. Of course, she has quite a bit of attacks at her disposal, including energy
beams she shoots at you, trying to bite your head off, and plenty of other attacks.
5. Dr. Robotnik in Sonic and Knuckles (in the Death Egg / Doomsday Zone)
Of all of the Dr Robotnik fights in Sonic 3/Sonic and Knuckles, I though that the final confrontation with Dr Robotnik at the end of the Death Egg Zone wa the best. It was a pretty epic battle with multiple phases:
1) Dr Robotnik first uses this orb like badnik to try and kill you and to defeat the robot, you have to hit him with debris around the room that you can launch at it by using the gravity chambers.
2) The second phase is the real fight. After you beat Eggman's orb robot, he runs and gets in this huge battle mech (much bigger than the one in Sonic 2) and a huge battle occurs. First, Eggman tries to squash Sonic like a bug, and you have to defeat his fingers (that try to crush you) and Eggman in his battle suit is quite huge and stares at the player during this phase. After destroying Eggman's battle mech fingers, Eggman tries to chase sonic in his machine and to beat him, you have to hit Eggman's mech in the nose once and then hit the huge Emerald in Eggman's machine before shooting off a big laser, and after that phase, the mech gets destroyed and Eggman tries to flee in his Eggmobile, but the tables have turned and you simply chase eggman and whack him to death.
3) (this assumes that you have gotten all 7 chaos emeralds) After you have beaten Eggman's mech and all, you will go to the "Dooms Day Zone", where Eggman builds another Battlemech and tries to fly off with the master emerald, and Sonic morphs into Super Sonic (or hyper sonic if you got all of the chaos emerads in both Sonic 3 and the Sonic and Knuckles stages) and you get to destroy Eggman's ship and then chase after and defeat Eggman's reconstructed mech and bea the game.
(more details will be added to these following ones over time)
4. Xemnas in KOH 2
5. Sigma in Mega Man X4
6. Sigma in Mega Man X7
7. Vile in Mega Man X8
8. Super Shredder in TMNT 4
9. Darth Malak in Starwars Knights of the Old Republic
10. Bastilla in Star Wars KOTR
11. Malificent in KOH
12. Pete in KOH 2
13. Ansem in KOH
15. Walter and Death in Castlevania Lamment of Innocence
16. Shack and Dracula in Castlevania Symphony of Darkness
17. Jack of Blades in Fable: The Lost Chapters
18. Red Falcon in Contra III
19. Perfect Chaos in Sonic Adventure
20. Seven Force in Gun Star Heroes