Super Castlevania IV Retrospective

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Sut
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Re: Super Castlevania IV Retrospective

Postby Sut » October 24th, 2018, 3:23 pm

Hagane wrote:typical genesis fanboy having a dig at SNES games, it's a great game imo, one of the best in the series, better than the forgettable Blandlines.


Your trolling right ?

VicViper
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Re: Super Castlevania IV Retrospective

Postby VicViper » October 24th, 2018, 4:38 pm

JustLikeHeaven wrote:
Den wrote:The music is subpar?!? I consider it to be the single best video-game soundtrack I've ever heard!!!


Let me clarify my original statement. It has sub-par music for a Castlevania game. It's a series that is renown for it's legendary music. The three NES games, Rondo of Blood, Symphony of the Night etc... they all have incredible soundtracks that make Super Castlevania IV's seem bland by comparison (to me anyways).

Don't get me wrong, the main track, "Theme of Simon Belmont" is brilliant. It's a great song that gets stuck in your head for days on end. However, the rest of the soundtrack doesn't come close to that track's greatness IMO. And for as good as "Theme of Simon Belmont" is I don't think it holds a candle to "Vampire Killer" or "Bloody Tears" among others.


I kinda prefer Simon Belmont's theme in Bloodlines (though the SNES' outro is a killer), mostly because I find its version fits more its context than the SNES version, and it still sounds really great. It's too bad if you go fast you listen to about just 20 seconds of it.

Music in Castlevania IV is great, but not very memorable. The thing is that it's atmospheric music, and they are pretty... context sensitive? As in, they do serve their purpose, but outside of their context, they don't stand on their own.

Like, you can totally argue that Bloodlines' soundtrack has lower quality instruments, but its tracks stand on their own as compositions and are better constructed for repeated listens. Same argument can be made for the NES Castlevania games.

When I think of Castlevania IV's soundtrack, I think of those (outside of remixes and Simon's theme)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5lGm6Cne5c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z0bIidrXm0 (from 0:26 onwards, especially after 1:05 where it really kicks in)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7laVyX5sz0I

That's about all I remember.
I could count "The Submerged City", but it's more because I kept on dying over and over there. To be honest, I don't like some of the instruments used in this game.
Meanwhile I played Bloodlines for a grand total of... one time, five years ago, and I still remember half of the OST.

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ptdebate
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Re: Super Castlevania IV Retrospective

Postby ptdebate » October 24th, 2018, 5:49 pm

There's something weird about the SNES instruments that doesn't fit the aesthetic of Castlevania, which was renowned for its chiptune soundtrack. I'm not sure if it was the switch to samples or the emphasis on reverb and more "realistic" sounds.

The cold, sharp chiptunes of the NES transition well to the Genesis and the PC Engine. The SNES produces beautiful sound, it just doesn't sound like Castlevania. I don't know if it's more the fault of the game or the hardware itself.

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Stalvern
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Re: Super Castlevania IV Retrospective

Postby Stalvern » October 24th, 2018, 6:16 pm

I'm a little sad that you didn't mention my favorite song from Super Castlevania IV and one of my favorites in the series, "The Waterfalls". It sounds like Brian Eno! Perfectly fits the level's lovely visual atmosphere, too.

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Stalvern
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Re: Super Castlevania IV Retrospective

Postby Stalvern » October 24th, 2018, 9:44 pm

ptdebate wrote:There's something weird about the SNES instruments that doesn't fit the aesthetic of Castlevania, which was renowned for its chiptune soundtrack. I'm not sure if it was the switch to samples or the emphasis on reverb and more "realistic" sounds.

I think it's the sound effects. If I listen to the music on its own, it sounds excellent, but in the actual game, all the weird, echoing "blonks" and "crunkles" give the whole thing that muffled, farty character stereotypical for the SNES. Then again, Bloodlines has plenty of Genesis sproinginess itself, so it's six of one and half a dozen of the other, as far as I'm concerned.

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: Super Castlevania IV Retrospective

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » October 24th, 2018, 10:56 pm

It's a meditative game that opens the series to a wider audience. I'm not sure why it earns so much scorn these days, when there's always Vampire's Kiss and the X68000 game for those who need cheap deaths and artificial difficulty.

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Stalvern
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Re: Super Castlevania IV Retrospective

Postby Stalvern » October 25th, 2018, 2:54 pm

ThePixelatedGenocide wrote:I'm not sure why it earns so much scorn these days

Does it? This thread is probably the first time I've seen people put it down and definitely the first time I've seen people say that Bloodlines is better.

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: Super Castlevania IV Retrospective

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » October 26th, 2018, 1:16 pm

Check out the Sequilitis take on it, which has millions of views and a 50 to 1 like ratio. It expresses the view I usually see offered in retro gaming sites these days: He's disappointed that the alternate weapons only enhance your ability to inflict damage on the enemies rather than creating moments where the player's potentially screwed over because they didn't memorize the candle layout. He also feels that it's lazy not to create more environmental hazards to balance out the whip's new powers.

He basically wants a modern indie/rom hack approach.

And while that's a perfectly valid opinion, his view was far less common back in the days before cheap downloads and endless save states.

Me, personally, I prefer having a bit of variety. Between the SNES, Megadrive, and PC CD, it feels like there's a classic 16-bit Castlevania for every mood.

Sut
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Re: Super Castlevania IV Retrospective

Postby Sut » October 26th, 2018, 2:27 pm

ThePixelatedGenocide wrote: I prefer having a bit of variety. Between the SNES, Megadrive, and PC CD, it feels like there's a classic 16-bit Castlevania for every mood.


Yes I applaud Konami for producing 3 top notch games that all play to the host platforms strengths rather than making half assed ports.

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ptdebate
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Re: Super Castlevania IV Retrospective

Postby ptdebate » October 26th, 2018, 2:38 pm

Stalvern wrote:
ptdebate wrote:There's something weird about the SNES instruments that doesn't fit the aesthetic of Castlevania, which was renowned for its chiptune soundtrack. I'm not sure if it was the switch to samples or the emphasis on reverb and more "realistic" sounds.

I think it's the sound effects. If I listen to the music on its own, it sounds excellent, but in the actual game, all the weird, echoing "blonks" and "crunkles" give the whole thing that muffled, farty character stereotypical for the SNES. Then again, Bloodlines has plenty of Genesis sproinginess itself, so it's six of one and half a dozen of the other, as far as I'm concerned.


Your adjectives are on point man!

Overall I love the SNES's sound palette. Maybe you're right that the effects they use - not the music itself - create that - as you describe it - "farty" characteristic. I've gotten that impression from other games that lean into atmospheric sounds. There are some things the Genny does better.


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