David Wesst

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Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS1)

The Details

Gameplay: 4

Platforming mechanics mashed up with RPG mechanics works really well. It explains why people love "Metroidvania" experiences and this is the point that really helped polish the genre (assuming you call it that).

Controls: 3

Platforming feels good, much better than NES style Castlevania (i.e. controlling jumps in air). Didn't like that the attack animation couldn't be cancelled and the backslide felt a bit odd at the beginning as I would hit back and triangle, only to slide into my enemy instead of away. Something that could be fixed with practice, but didn't feel right.

Story: 3

It's a B-rate horror/thriller story complete the a B-rate voice acting performance. It is exactly what it needs to be.

Puzzles: 2

Only came across one of these, and it was�fine. Needed to use an item to make it work, and I figured it out a little too late as the reward was weaker than the weapon I earned defeating the first boss.

Co-op Style: None

This is a single player experience, straight up. Don't even think couch co-op would do it, but wouldn't hurt.

The Hook

Exploration times a thousand. As you level up, gain items, and skills, more and more of the castle will become open to you.

The Fun

Exploration. That castle seems to have a lot of backtracking, secrets, and areas that will only be accessible with new skills and items. Classic Metroidvania style gameplay, and you get rewarded for it. Plus, tacky voice acting to the max.

The Less Fun

The controls a bit, but really the "less fun" part was that there wasn't anything that blew me away when playing it for the first time. Maybe it was just the hype, or maybe it's just not what I'm looking for�but Simon's Quest seems more interesting to me than this.