Posts Tagged ‘virtual console’

DKC2 Stage 3 commences, plus why I hate classic save systems

April 5, 2010

So I finally made progress in Donkey  Kong Country 2 over the weekend, but not a whole lot.  Made it up to stage three, defeated the pretty easy Stage 2 boss (a flying sword, really?), and at least hit the save point in Stage 3 before quitting for a bit yesterday.

As much as I like old games, man, I really, really hate the save system in games like Donkey Kong Country 2.  Especially the damn coin system in this game, but I’ll rail on that in a minute.  I guess with DKC2 there was a certain expectation for difficulty, even though I’m not sure where that came from, since I never found the original to be particularly difficult.

Maybe old age and newer games has made me a little soft, but going from a classic Castlevania game to this title, well, I kind of think DKC2 is actually harder than Rondo of Blood was.  Not something that I would have expected, but I’ve certainly encountered more game over screens here than I would have guessed.  Part of my frustration with that is the limited save spots in this game.  In DKC2, and pretty much DKC1,  you’ve got about 1 save spot per level, meaning that you get about three stages into a level before unlocking that spot.  This isn’t so awful, hell, New Super Mario Bros. used a similar set-up (but allowed quick saves), so my issue isn’t really with that. 

My biggest hang-up comes from not being able to save a second or third time, once I’ve exhausted that initial save.  Well, unless I want to spend some in-game currency.  The coins haven’t really been liberally placed either, there seems to be about one or two per stage, but as you advance in level, these get harder and harder to get.  Also, you can’t travel back to previous levels to stock up, because then you have to spend coins for that too. 

Basically, I’m saying that I really, really hate the coin system in this game.  Especially when it’s tied into the save system, which after your first save requires you to spend two coins to save again.  This means, if you don’t have or don’t want to spend coins, you need to make it all the way through the last half of the level you’re currently on, beat the boss, and then clear the first half of the next level before getting to the next free save spot.  This wouldn’t be so hard if I could have my extra lives carry over every time I boot up the game, but if I’m at 10 lives when I turn my system off, when I restart it I’m right back down to three. 

So yeah, not every aspect of older games is awesome, and the save system in DKC2 is a shining example of that.  I know, I’m probably just being a weaksauce gamer here, but I don’t have nearly as much time to sit down and tough it out over two or three hours a day with this game, so it’s a little maddening to sit down and play only to have your progress destroyed by one annoying game over screen.  Thank god for the ability to suspend state on Virtual Console, I’m not sure I’d have the patience to deal with it on the SNES at this point.

Rondo of Blood makes this week awesome.

March 16, 2010

Pretty nice surprise to wake up and find out Castlevania:  Rondo of Blood was finally hitting the Wii Virtual Console, eh? 

Trust me, I was suitably amped.  My only experience with the game stems from the remake and unlockable port from Dracula X Chronicles on PSP, and I’ve been pretty aware of the emulation problems that particular version has.  Being a fairly big Castlevania nerd, I had given some serious thought to picking up a TurboDuo at some point, and hunting down a copy of Rondo to go along with it, but man, that’s a pretty expensive venture. 

So, I’ll gladly fork over 900 points of Nintendo brand currency for the chance to play the definitive version of the game.

I didn’t have a lot of time to sit down and play it this evening, only making it to the end of Stage 2 before switching gears to other things (hello Yakuza), but I really, really like it.  Great animation, fantastic soundtrack, and it’s nice to play this on a big screen.  Pretty happy that I held off on that TurboDuo purchase at least.  This will probably be my retro-focused game this week, so expect another post or two on the game down the line. 

One thing I wanted to point out about this particular game that I miss in the Iga produced era of Metroidvania titles, is the familiarity of the castle grounds that carried over from the sidescrolling titles.  Whereas most of the games post Symphony of the Night change the layout of the castle and area surrounding it, there were generally familiar settings between all of the games produced during the 8 bit and 16 bit eras.  Rondo capitalizes on that early on, giving you the familiar outside castle grounds, the village from Castlevania 2, and the interior first area of Castlevania 1 (complete with zombies), automatically striking a chord in my old nostalgic heart. 

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to playing through this one then, and I’ll keep the updates coming.

Obviously this blog is a new thing for me, something I wanted to make and tie-in at the site that I write for ( www.Gaming-Age.com ), and this gives me an outlet for old retro stuff that I enjoy that doesn’t really fit in anywhere else.  I’ll probably touch on a thing or two outside of the old-school, but for the most part, expect the musings here to be pretty much focused on a time where 2D was king.