Dawn of… something

This morning on the bus to work I finally collected an Iron Golem soul to complete my 100% soul run in Dawn of Sorrow. I collected the Chaos Ring, forged some insane weapons and defeated Menace. Correction: I defeated Menace with a demon vacuum cleaner.

Unfortunately, that was such a mind-blowing feat that I feel alarmingly directionless now. I can’t think of anything else to do with my life that would be anywhere near as awesome as saving the world with an undead Electrolux.

By the way, I don’t care how nostalgic you may happen to be for Symphony of the Night or Dracula’s Curse. (Or Legends, if you were unfortunate enough to have been introduced to gaming with that sad excuse for a game and think it represents something akin to “quality.”) Objectively speaking, Dawn is absolutely the best Castlevania ever. I know you hate being wrong, so I’d recommend not disagreeing with this completely factual statement.

30 thoughts on “Dawn of… something

  1. My my, Toasty. Outright stating that Dawn of Sorrow is better than Symphony? It’s not that I disagree, but I’m beginning to think you actually enjoy the abuse.

  2. Hey, Symphony is the best, and I know I’m right. If being right is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Or… wrong. Or something.

  3. Don’t get me wrong, Symphony is still OMG AMAZING, and in terms of scope it’s definitely a step above pretty much any 2D platformer ever, including Dawn. Still, Dawn is much more refined, and it easily has the best gameplay balance and deepest set of skills and character customization. And unless you go all-out and get the Chaos Ring, it’s a pretty challenging experience from start to finish. So Dawn gets the nod.

  4. I agree, I’m just messing around. Actually, I kinda like them both equally. Castlevania is one of those series were enough of the games are awesome that I couldn’t pick a single one and name it “the best”.

  5. So I’m not the only one who whored-out the devil-Hoover? Nice. That was the first soul that made me go “HOLY SHIT MUST MAX OUT”… and really, the only one, now that I think back on about 5 playthroughs.
    …what? I only buy about one game every few months. I have to get as much playtime from it as I can. (This would explain why I keep buying and 100%ing the Battle Network games yearly.)

  6. But out of all the Metroidvania’s, Dawn is the best. You can’t beat Julius Mode.

  7. You don’t need to argue that Dawn beats SotN–that should be obvious to anyone. However, Super4 destroys all that came after. “Balance issues” be damned.

  8. I think the only thing that Symphony has on Dawn of Sorrow is in the music department. But that’s not really a fair comparison seeing as how Symphony had the benefit of being CD quality. But even still, I think the composition overall was better, but really that’s it. In the grand scheme of things, Dawn of Sorrow is the better game, hands down.

  9. Dawn is superior in terms of gameplay, and Symphony is superior in terms of aesthetics. It’s a trade-off.
    As for excuses to continue spending time with Dawn, have you completely filled in the bestiary, acquired every item and piece of equipment, and powered-up every soul to its maximum level?

  10. i’m sorry, tomm, but did you just say that Super Castlevania is better than all the others? you’re kidding, right?

    /btw, one of my JET friends here apparently worked with you on a game a long time ago–a short chinese girl named Wen-Chin Lee. i thought it was kinda surprising.

  11. I am so seriously behind on my Castlevania. Last thing I played was Harmony of Dissonence… at a friend’s house… for like five minutes.

    Portrait of Ruin looks pretty sweet though. Just even the possibility that maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to fight vampire Nazis, or even better, a vampire Hitler, makes it almost an insta-buy.

    I mean… what other reason would you set a game in WWII for if not to take out Der Fuehrer.

  12. Better than SotN? I know you’re not prone to overhyping, so I might have to check this out when I finally get around to purchasing a DS… I’m just kind of Metroidvania-ed out :

    P.S. Your blog thinks I’m trying to spam it :[ Now, I’d agree I know my comments have very little intellectual merit, but that’s a little harsh, Pivot!

  13. Me, I’m all about Dracula X: Rondo of Blood. But since that game’s still unreleased in the US, apparently that doesn’t count.

  14. I would certainly agree that Dawn is the deeper, more balanced and more solidly crafted game. But I still think Symphony is simply more fun. There’s a smoothness to the way it controls that is just delightful. And the game is full of useless but fun details, like the Secret Boots, or the Dodo bird, or the many different types of food you can find. And, of course, it looks and sounds much better, but that is to be expected.

  15. “You don’t need to argue that Dawn beats SotN–that should be obvious to anyone. However, Super4 destroys all that came after. “Balance issues” be damned.”

    Even after calling out Mega Man 2 for being broken because of the metal blades?

  16. I actually just finished getting 100% souls on monday (had to try out my new DSlite on something) and I think Dawn is way better than Aria I got less of a sense of satisfaction from getting my chaos ring. I think it was because in Aria Soma + Chaos Ring = God while in Dawn it seems a bit more balanced which I know is actually a good thing but still there was nothing funner than just letting loose with the Red Minotaur soul in Aria.

    Also I would like Symphony of the Night way more if it wasn’t for the second castle. Just flipping the game upside down with out changing any of the platforming? Lame.

  17. I love Dawn of Sorrow and I will gladly die for it, but it didn’t blow me away like Symphony (or even Aria). I think a lot of that has to do with re-visiting the same locations I’d conquered in the previous games. I’m just getting a bit too … “familiar” with the standard Gardens of Whatever and Labratories of Evil Jerks. The repetition was especially disappointing in Dawn because the game didn’t take place in Dracula’s castle. At least Aria had that excuse.

  18. Not that I would disrespect Dawn, but Aria of Sorrow is really the gold standard for the Metrovania games at the moment. Unless you count Cave Story and actual Metroid games in Metrovania. But let’s not talk about definitions of fake words.

    Dawn’s level designs seems far too vanilla for my tastes, and it really is the same game as Aria, just without a plot. I beat the game a few days ago on Hard, and I just felt empty when I was done. Super Metroid, Symphony, Aria all felt like they were epic stories instead of games, and getting to the credits was to set in stone history. Dawn of Sorrow is just a game to me. An excellent game, to be sure, but one without the ROCK OPERA feel of its ancestors. I actually like Curse of Darkness more than Dawn, which makes me feel as if I am living in sin.

    I’m looking forward to Portrait of Ruin. I think the current Castlevania design, though incredibly good, needs a break while Iga’s dark power recharges. You get the feeling that he’s looking for something else, something different, but the guy hasn’t found it yet. The promise of a post-Dracula Castlevania is exciting, but…he doesn’t seem ready to deal with it. Yet.

  19. Chi no Rondo is Castlevania at its peak. Symphony of the Night was an incredible gaiden, but every subsequent installment further exposes IGA’s genuine lack of talent. The handheld titles have stagnated, doing their “best” to re-achieve the “greatness” (mileage may vary) of Symphony by treading and re-treading old ground (read: Zebes). And, while Aria and Dawn are marked improvements over the ludicrous Harmony of Dissonance, they are not significant enough improvements over Symphony to justify IGA’s team’s continued deathgrip on the franchise… and that’s without even taking their laughable PS2 installments into consideration (I love how IGA shit-talked Castlevania 64 and later turned around to provide two 3D Castlevanias that were actually worse).
    No one ever seems to get tired of playing the same garbage, though, so I’m sure IGA will be wrecking this fallen franchise for many iterations to come. Lucky!

  20. Megaman 2 is the finest Mega Man. Metal Blades be damned (they were even broken in the Worlds of Power version, written by master scribe FX Nine).

    Shivam! Say hello to Wenchin for me. You must not have known I used to head up a video game design team.

  21. Naming your favorite Castlevania is like saying which of your children is your favorite. So gauche.

  22. Though at least a few months ago, you were a little more partial towards Mega Man 3.

    Anyhoo, the notion that Igarashi may be a hack isn’t all that unfounded at the moment. One trick pony may be a more apt description though. He still has yet to do something successful that isn’t a Metroidvania.

  23. I would say that IGA’s games are a better example of triteness than the claim that he’s tapped out and should be replaced. He hasn’t provided a compelling game for a home console in almost a decade and he is milking his one great victory bone dry. I mean, come on. There are tons of people who could make great Metroid rip-offs if you gave them a team of programmers, an artist and a composer.

  24. Dawn of Sorrow being the best Castlevania ever? Yes. I can dig it, so to speak. It easily rates as my favorite Castlevania game, and my second favorite DS game.
    My favorite DS game? Sonic Rush, I’m afraid. I grew up on the Sega side of the tracks, as unfortunate or fortunate as that might strike you. Old obsessions never truly die.

  25. I’m going to step out and say, I pretty much loved them both, about equally. I also appreciate the lack of negative-castle or whatever in both Sorrow games. Progress! But, I do think the level’s visual design & layout in SotN was better, and ends up being more fun to play through over and over for that reason alone. In this situation, I think the Aerosmith::Final Fantasy VII thing from the Crazy Buffet you linked up back a bit.

    Going retro, Super Castlevania IV did bring one thing that Dawn of Sorrow was lacking: 8-directional whipping. You complained that the Belmont doesn’t fit in with modern gaming, but I think they should dump the mostly useless brandishing, and bring this back for Julius. He’d have been much, much more fun that way.

    Oh, and I still like Castlevania 1 the most. Childhood + challenge = fun. After beating it a few years back, i’ve started playing through it every week or two. It may be dated and supposedly flawed, but it’s still fun as hell. Isn’t that what matters?

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