Since they’re going to be in Smash Bros, I figured I’d ramble a bit about the franchise Simon and Richter Belmont come from: Castlevania.
Not the Netflix show. That’s really good, but that’s for another day.
I have fond memories of this franchise. Most of them involving lots of frustration and screaming. But considering that most of my life can be described as frustrating and full of screaming, that still means good things.
Out of all the games in the Castlevania franchise, there are two games that I am particularly nostalgic for. The first is the original NES game. Or as I like to call it: the game that made me realize I have a fetish for masochism.
This was the first game I can remember that kicked my ass. Seriously, I never got past the third level. To this day, I’ve never beaten this game. As hard as I ever tried, I never even saw Dracula. But you know what I did see?
Medusa heads. In my fucking nightmares. To this day.
The other was the one I actually finished: Symphony of the Night. Or as I like to call it… literally just Metroid. Right down to the main protagonist being a hot blonde that I may or may not want to fuck.
Don’t judge me.
Symphony of the Night takes two things I love and sandwiches them together: Metroid style exploring and power-up collecting and monsters of the night, such as the titular Dracula and other such monsters. Together, they make a game that screams ‘love me’ straight into my face.
While I don’t approve of it breaching my personal bubble, I will indeed love it.
While Castelvania 1 gripped a younger me due to it’s addictive gameplay and incredible challenge (that ultimately beat me down), Symphony gripped me with it’s familiar but different gameplay. Again: it’s basically a Metroid game with swords, magic, and fighting the creatures of the night.
And thus, Metroidvania as a genre was born. Y’know, one of the most popular genres developed on the indie scene. Not a big deal or anything.
I know there are tons of other Castelvania games, many of them being really good (like really good) but I don’t have the same nostalgia for them as I do these two. While some of them did kick the shit out of me (cough cough Dracula’s Curse) and others consumed dozens to hundreds of hours of my life like Symphony (literally every GBA game), I lack the same nostalgia for all of them.
And then there’s the new ones which… no. Just… no.
I’m really happy to see the characters in these games (those being Simon, Richter and my favorite-man-to-salivate-over-even-though-I’m-straight Alucard) show up in Smash Bros. Mainly because Konami has ignored Castlevania almost as much as they’ve ignored Silent Hill.
Well… at least we haven’t gotten Castlevania Survive.