Dracula x: nitm...talk about slowdown!

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fleemj

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I recently got a copy of Dracula X: Nocturne In The Moonlight, and, wow, I'm sort of let down. I was sort of hoping that it would be the definitive, ultimate version of SOTN (It has two new areas, and you can play as Richter or Maria from the start). It has the sweet new music, like the two renditions of Bloody Tears, but man, the game is absolutely laden with slowdown! What an unfortunate port, it'll even slow down when I'm walking along, when there are no enemies on the screen (unless all this slowdown is caused by my copy, for some reason).

Oh well, it's still pretty cool.
 

Hatecrime69

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I have the real version (not a burn) and it does get slow alot of times, sadly. they didn't really take the time to optimise it for the saturn
 

ExCyber

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Yeah, I imagine the project outline was on a post-it note and looked something like: "Taro and Hikaru, we need this game ported to Saturn to squeeze more money out of it, you guys have two weeks."

Somehow I can justify the slowdown in my mind, but what really kills me is that the loading from CD is utterly unoptimized. They really should have just removed the loading rooms in the Saturn version, because they serve no purpose. This in spite of the fact that Saturn's CD interface runs circles around PSX's...
 

fleemj

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My thoughts exactly, ShinJedah. Dracula X: NITM is yet another game that was never allowed to reach its full potential.
 

Twillinx

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I haven't experienced that much slowdowns... Not when you're alone at least. But they do appear when there are alot of enemies on screen.

Another letdown is the two other characters, Maria and Richter, I haven't even bothered to start the game playing as Richter but with Maria, no levelups no upgrades in weapon... or did I give it up to fast?

And what about the challange of the game. It's too simple! I mean even dracula just drew 22 in damage in his attacks, and when finally meeting him you have about 600+ in HP.

I still love the game and it lasts along time (about a day
) but no boss is a challange, I didn't even bother to move out of the way of there attacks after a while... seriously I just stood still, only moved if I was out of reach to slay the boss. zzz
 

fleemj

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Yeah, it would've been great if they had upped the difficulty a bit. Besides that, playing as Richter or Maria presents little in terms of new gameplay, like you say. As Richter, you can just rush through the game. It would've been perfect if they made it so that you had to gain abilties as Richter, like his uppercut and slide jump. Then you'd go through the game much like you do with Alucard, and it would provides a whole lot more gameplay.
 

ViperA2001

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hey, but the playing time of the original Castlevania series wasn't even supposed to take days... it was only supposed to take hours or so... no saving, etc...

if you were to compare it with other Castlevania games, it was one of the best (this is the most recent CV i've played), but if you compare it with today's games, yeah, you're right, it lacks so many things...
 

Twillinx

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hey, but the playing time of the original Castlevania series wasn't even supposed to take days... it was only supposed to take hours or so... no saving, etc...

if you were to compare it with other Castlevania games, it was one of the best (this is the most recent CV i've played),
I haven't played the MSX-version (Vampire Killer), nor the Castlevania III for the NES. But both Castlevania II and Super Castlevania IV had passwords, so you could start over at the level you've reached.

And I haven't even beaten the first Castlevania for the NES, haven't played it for more than 10 years either, but as I remember it; it was almost impossible. And I know it's alot thougher to beat than Dracula X.

Dracula X: 24 hours to beat

Castlevania: 15 years and still not beaten.


but if you compare it with today's games, yeah, you're right, it lacks so many things...
I've never said a thing like that. Todays games suck!
 

DBOY

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You can't really rush through the game with Richter or Maria. Well you can, but you'll never make 200% complete on the castles. I want to see you beat Galamoth with Richter. You can only do the item crash Holy Rain so many times since you max out of hearts way lower than Alucard who can actually level up. On top of that only three hits from Galamoth can kill Richter since he never levels up and Galamoth has way over 9999HP. The guy is hard to beat with Alucard and near impossible with Richter. At least with Maria you can use her spells which grant her a few seconds of invincibility while the attack is going on. Though even though the screen stops when she casts them, Galamoth can still move as the stop ahas the same effect as using the watch, which Galamoth can also move through, albeit slowly.

As for the slowdowns, the PSX had the same slowdown issue when there were a load of guys onscreen. The whole problem with the PSX->SAT ports was always that they just never did anything to optimize it for the new machine. That's why you see these same issues pop up again and again in Drac X, Rockman X3, Rockman X4, Rockman 8, etc etc etc. I have to agree, these ports seems like 2 week projects to squeeze more money out of the same game.

As for the new wings of the castle, they were obviously designed by someone other than whomever made most of the rest of th egame graphics. The enemies and layouts stick out like a sore thumb and have a very fakey/afterthought feel to them.

I liked the Saturn game well enough but yeah, it's a real shame they just didn't do more with it. At the very least they could have actually given Richter and Maria some form of story. A leveling system or a tech system would have been nice too. You could have had a new pattern of advancement through the castle if U,D,U+Attack was disabled till you learn it later.

As for beating Symponhy of the Night/Gekka no Yasoukyoku. I've clocked it with Alucard and if you know where to go, it's a six hour game to get through both castles. It's really not that much longer than Simon's Quest which in my opinion, was a far more challanging game. Jumps were far less forgiving in those das and enemys rebounded ou so hard it could send you off into the water. The original Akumajou Dracula was considerably easy. It only took a few hours to beat and didn't offer THAT much of a challange. But 3 was quite hard. The multiple paths also added a lot to the game for replay value. the original Dracula X on PC-Engine was an impressive game in that respect as well. I think playing as Maria and being able to throw birds was incredibly cool. She added a fresh control aspect to the game that Grant and Syphon just didn't manage in 3. The game also had loads of secrets, keys to find, people to free, hidden exits, etc. Finding everything in Drac X was way harder than the SotN sequel. And the fight with the Grim Reaper on the ship was even more annoying than Dracula.

Games today are missing the tight, unforgiving controls and timing they used to have. They can make them as long as they want with as pretty of graphics as they want, but it's just not there. There's nothing like jumping in a NES game and realizing it's a fixed distance and no matter how much you mash at the control pad, you're falling straight into that enemy who is going to knock you back into the pit. And then it hits you "I am soooooo dead". --GAME OVER--
 

E Nice

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Actually Galamoth can be beaten, maybe not easily, but not with that much difficulty using Richter. Go up to a ledge and wait for his head to come into view, then use dagger item crash. He'll die soon enough.
 

ExCyber

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only three hits from Galamoth can kill Richter since he never levels up
I might be mistaken (haven't played it in a while), but I think getting the HP Max up items does help this, though it's still not enough to accomodate a whole lot of damage
 

DBOY

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As I recall the HP up and Heart up items just refil richters life and hearts to max instead of actually increasing them.

As for Galamoth, I have tried the dagger item crash before and that just didn't cut it. I eventually be him using holy rain item crash and the U,HCF+Attack strike since with it's invincibility windo you can damage him while passing through his leg. You could hit that way to get between his legs, then do it again to get out, move up to the ledge and item crash, repeat. It took forever and a day though.
 

ExCyber

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As I recall the HP up and Heart up items just refil richters life and hearts to max instead of actually increasing them.
I know that it looks like it's only refilling it, but I think the life meter only gives you a relative indication of how much life you have.
 

DBOY

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I'll try to get around to testing that theory later this weekend. I'll play to castle 2 with no life ups and get whacked by a boss a few times, then do the same with life ups and see if the amount your meter decreases changes.
 
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