I too loved Simon's Quest. SOTN is, of course, a masterpiece.
To everyone yelling Symphony of the Night:
Im not saying its a good or bad game (since Ive not played it) but Castlevania was considered a classic series before that game was released. You just might be to young to remember.
I've played so many castlevanias 2D, 3D, handhelds, consoles, even mercury steam's trilogy (Didn't play like a castlevania games), it's one of my all time favourites franchises so I can really tell you that it has an atmosphere of it's own, with good enough and enjoyable game play, with great music to accompany that
10% great sprites
To everyone yelling Symphony of the Night:
I’m not saying it’s a good or bad game (since I’ve not played it) but Castlevania was considered a classic series before that game was released. You just might be to young to remember.
Well you asked why they're considered good, not classic. The whip is a classic Castlevania weapon, but it's not a weapon I particularly liked. Starting from SOTN they took a different direction, and every 2D Castlevania game ever produced after that point was based on SOTN.
Metal Gear was also a classic before Metal Gear Solid, but it wasn't until MGS that it's popularity and critical acclaim really exploded. I played Castlevania 1, 2 and 4 before SOTN, but they didn't really resonate with me. The elements I did like were the castle setting and music.
My two favorite Castlevania games are SOTN and Order of Ecclesia.
And they're pretty similar. You don't use a whip in either one of them. In the former you use swords, shields and staves along with a lot of transformations and special techniques. In the latter you used different types of magic that you could combine in interesting ways. In both games there was leveling up, different equipment, metroidvania map exploration, and a lot of attack and movement options. Things I love that were absent in the NES/SNES Castlevania games prior to SOTN.
I also really like the design of Shanoa and Alucard.
There were also spells to give you temporary stat boosts for more strategy.
Along with all the cool things you could do in them, between movement options and attacks, they felt leaps and bounds above the original Castlevania games, and were way more interesting to me.
Unfortunately some of them can't be considered good. Remember Castlevania 64?
Wasn't that 3D? Castlvania is 2D. Anything else is just Castlevania by name.
Because they are so good. My personal favourites are Circle of the Moon and Order of Ecclesia.
I think I never did a notable necrobump before, so, first time for everything, right? I feel the need to talk about Castlevania a bit.
I've been getting into the franchise recently. I think it was around the time when this thread was made that I got initially interested, and decided to give Symphony of the Night a shot, but I really just couldn't get into it. It just confused me, it felt like there was too much shit going on that I was supposed to be invested in or something but I didn't understand anything, so I just stopped.
But then about a couple weeks ago I decided to start back from the beginning, so I played Castlevania 1, and I loved it! Thought it was an amazing game, really challenging but also really fair (a rarity among NES titles), some great level design and bosses, the soundtrack was stellar, really there wasn't anything I didn't like about it (except that god damn water stage of course). I beat the game twice and so far it's still my favorite, but I'm going through them now.
Simon's Quest I played for like 10 minutes, didn't find it too horrible as people said but it was just kinda boring. I could tell it was only gonna get worse with time, so I moved on straight to Dracula's Curse, which I found to be incredibly overrated. That game is just brutally hard, way more so than the first one, but it's also brutally unfair. The stages are much, much longer than before but they only have about as many checkpoints, meaning you lose a lot more progress on each death and you'll die more often because there's more challenges you need to learn to overcome, yet for some reason you have fewer lives this time? I don't know, it was just way too frustrating for me and though I did beat it in the end I did abuse save states (which I hadn't used at all in the first game) because I just couldn't put up with the bullshit level design and enemy placement any more.
Then last night I started Super Castlevania IV, and... I already beat it! The game's so easy, I just blasted right through it, and... I don't really remember much. I think some people rate this one too highly as well. I mean sure, it's a good game, I had fun with it, but when only about 2 of your game's 12 stages pose any threat it's just a little lame. Also the soundtrack wasn't very good... I get that they tried to be more eerie and atmospheric, and sometimes it worked (rarely), but for the most part I just felt like I was casually playing some random game, which was never the case before - not only were the earlier games never easy, the music was also always intense so it put you right in the mood. So yeah, Castlevania IV, decent game but kinda whatever.
And now I've come full circle and tried Symphony of the Night again. I must say, coming off of the previous games, that opening really does have some serious impact, it just kicks ass. I played the game for about 30-40 minutes until I reached an area where I clearly shouldn't be in, but rather than back away I wanted to have some fun battling the crazy strong enemies, which of course ended with me dying, and then... I lost everything? I assume I missed some save points on the way but wow, that was frustrating as hell. The game is awesome though, so I am willing to do it all again soon and hopefully with a little more caution this time.
To the OP, we cant talk Castlevania if you havent beaten or tried at least, SotN. It was a classic series for me, ever since NES times. But I didnt like it that much until I got SotN. I played it until PS3, because I didnt have interest in it when I had PSX. After that, I have it in PS3, PSP, PSVita, PC (yes, emulated), and even on my cellphone, for when I have to wait too long in the bus for example. It has became kind of my way to escape reality whenever im bored to death.
It has even forced me to get all the others that I can get my hands on. I already got from Ebay, Castlevania Lamment of Innocence and Curse of Darkness, and got all of the PSN store that are available. Some of them are just crap (for me) but Im going to beat them all (at some point) in honor to SotN.
"We all make choices, but in the end, our choices make us" - Andrew Ryan, Bioshock.
SotN is really good. I love it to death with Crissaegrim in my hand, but Castlevania was more than that game alone. The NES games, the PC Engine game, the SNES and MegaDrive games were all of the highest quality you could get at the time. It was also somewhat the dark souls of it's time, with the artstyle and atmostphere and high difficulty. That said, Super Castlevania IV is still in my opinion one of the best traditional Castlevania's ever made.