Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: October 2021

It’s A Very Castlevania Halloween!

~ Game Over ~

Tales of Arise (PS5) – Cleared all postgame activities and nabbed that plat.

Castlevania (NES) – I used to be okay at this game? But it’s even harder than I remember. Save states were basically compulsory for the last two stages.

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA) – The one GBA-vania I’ve never played more than about half an hour of. The first half was far too easy, and the second half was a brutal grind-fest. Maybe I was better off without??

Castlevania: The Adventure (GB) – Speaking of brutal! This game moves at about 10 frames per second at the best of times, never mind when there’s an enemy on the screen. Also suffers from a lot of cheap level design and way way way too many pixel-perfect jumps.

Akumajo Dracula (FC) – Did you know that the Japanese release of Castlevania included an easy mode? Because I didn’t! Turns out it’s a lot more fun when there’s no ridiculous knockback and you can deal just as much damage to bosses as they can to you.

Akumajo Densetsu (FC) – I’ve heard that the Japanese version of Castlevania III is more forgiving than the North American version. If that’s true, it’s imperceptible because Castlevania III is a merciless bastard no matter the region. Level 7 in particular is unreasonably sadistic.

Metroid Dread (Switch) – Lots to say about this one! I don’t know if I’m going to do a bigger write-up for it, but the most important takeaway is that it’s the best Metroid since Zero Mission. Maybe even the best Metroid?

Nosferatu: the Wrath of Malachi (PC) – Played about a third of it. Very ambitious, but also very jank. No plans at present to continue. Though this playthrough is highly entertaining.

Resident Evil 4 VR (Oculus) – This is… a very solid reason to buy an Oculus Quest 2. And if you already have one, a very solid validation of that hardware purchase. Guaranteed to be on my game of the year list.

Power Wash Simulator (PC) – I already beat this last month, yes, but I took some time in October to play through all eight new stages in the 5.0 and 6.0 updates.

Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (GB) – Better than the first, definitely. Level designs are much better, and much more varied. Boss fights are way better overall, but the final two bosses are unbelievably brutal. Like, “after 20 minutes (each!) of banging my head against them, save state every time I land a hit without taking a hit” brutal.

Super Castlevania IV (SNES) – Has a lot of fun improvements over the NES games, like being able to whip in multiple directions and jump onto stairs. However, to make up for it, there are insta-kill traps everywhere, tons of bottomless pits, and the last stage has four bosses, two of which are ludicrously difficult. It’s no surprise I’ve never finished this one before.

Until Dawn (PS4) – The annual playthrough. This time I got everyone dead!

~ Progress Notes ~

MediEvil (2019) (PS4) – A little more than halfway through?

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