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The Daily Backlog 132

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It’s time to get back to my vanias and sing a symphony to my backlog!!

Vania Shaped Wrench

Happy Thursday backloggers!! So, since I spent all of my time recapping all of the games I completed while on vacation yesterday, I thought it was about time I go over what backlog shenanigans I’m currently working on!

If you’ve been keeping up with my Daily Backlog updates, you may recall that I challenged myself to play a set of Metroidvanias, specifically those that were inspired by Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and compare them using fun and arbitrary criteria. The first being Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, which I’ve already finished!! The next, Timespinner. A much bigger departure from Symphony of the Night, at least aesthetically, but still maintains a very similar gameplay loop. And finally, the game I’m playing right now, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night itself!! So far, this mission of mine has been going swimmingly!! I mean, I can’t complain about playing a group of games from one of my favorite genres!! 

Well, it was going swimmingly, until a Castlevania Requiem shaped wrench was thrown into the mix. You see, I had every intention to play Symphony of the Night immediately after I completed Bloodstained. But after having to listen to me complain about how I really need to replace my PS1 copy that’s full of rental stickers, how my PS2 controllers weren’t behaving correctly and that I really didn’t want to play the cutscene-less version found on the 360. My wife gifted me Castlevania Requiem on the PS4! Which happened to also come with Rondo of Blood! The oh so coveted Castlevania found on the PC Engine CD that we didn’t get in the west. Well, that’s not true, it did have a neutered port on the SNES and there was a remake on the PSP. Oh and the Wii did have a port of it on the Virtual Console as well, but that’s not the point dang it!! The point is, I never played it before, especially in its “unaltered state”, and with it being a prequel to Symphony of the Night, I would be remiss to not play it first. Right??? So, I did.

I mean, I wanted to see everything that lead up to that one scene we were teased, at the beginning of Symphony, where Richter finally defeats Dracula! That and I wanted to figure out who this Maria Renard character was as well, since she was just kinda haphazardly thrown in with no real context. Unless you played Rondo that is. Or the PSP version, which had an entire mode dedicated to her.

The Quintessential Vania

Boy am I glad that I decided to play it first! Because Castlevania: Rondo of Blood is quintessentially the culmination of all the Castlevanias that came before it! It was a refinement of the classic formula and it laid the groundwork for what is arguably the best game in the franchise, Symphony of the Night. It has everything you’d expect from a Castlevania like sub weapons, strikingly beautiful and grotesque bosses, a-hole bats/medusa heads and a whip wielding Belmont. But it also added so many more things that made it inherently better than its older siblings. Things like alternate hidden paths/ bosses, multiple playable characters to choose from, special moves, multiple endings and the cherry on top – it was fully voiced! 

Not to mention it was super fun to see the origin of many of the monsters and sections of the castle that we’d eventually run into in Symphony of the Night. Like the famous bout with Dracula in the final chapter. Honestly, if I never played Symphony of the Night, I would probably have to say something like “Rondo is a perfect Castlevania”. But because I did, I tend to miss the features they introduced there. Like being able to explore the castle front to back and back to the front again. Or maybe a character that doesn’t have lead in his feet. Oh, and the whole RPG leveling up/ equipping gear thing. But as a “classic” Castlevania, you really can’t get any better. It kinda makes me wonder what Konami could do with a shiny new Castlevania in that style. Though I guess Inti Creates already proved that it could be great, what with the stellar job they did with Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon. But that’s a whole other can of flea men.

Day One Hundred and Thirty Two

Well my friends, that’ll do it for today! I really am glad I was finally able to play Rondo of Blood, but now that I’m finished with it, I think it’s time to get back to business and play the game I came here for, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. I’m already drooling just thinking about it!!

Until next week my dear backloggers, have a great rest of your week and a wonderful weekend!!

Currently Playing

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PlayStation 4)

Marenian Tavern Story: Patty and the Hungry God (Nintendo Switch)

Total Backlogged Games: 727.5 … Rondo was well worth this weird half point thing going on here now.

Total Completed Games: 39.5  …the number of times my wife needs to hear me complain about something before she just buys me the thing to fix it.

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And you can keep tabs on my backlog by checking out the Backlog Odyssey Backloggery game list!