2D gaming with Castlevania: PoR

Posted: Wed, 18 Apr 2007 22:37:44 PDT

Koji Igarashi’s….

One of the GDC Podcasts I downloaded was Koji Igarashi’s session: Light and Darkness of 2D Gaming. I’ve only gotten half way into the session, usually listening while I play Castlevania:PoR.

I’m really enjoying this Castlevania, creepy music,unique side quests, quirky attacks and magic spells like Toad Morph, and weird enemies. The number of secrets and unlockables, offers good replay value. Plus you can switch between characters(Jonathan and Charlotte) to control. It’s easy to just pick up and play…and keep playing until you uncover a save point. This is what makes Castlevania: PoR fun and entertaining.

The only thing that was lacking to me is the Co-op Wi-fi mode, which consists solely of Boss Rush mode. Now, don’t get me wrong, Boss Rush mode can be fun and somewhat addicting as well. While playing it the other night, I refused to stop playing until we defeated the 3rd boss. We did finally beat that boss, but with minimal HP left we
were no match for the next one. Co-op mode could be better improved with the added option of going through different areas instead of just the bosses – like the Final Fight One multi-player mode(GBA). A disadvantage of this is, of course, having to share HP/MP between both players. This can definitely put you at a disadvantage when the other player doesn’t have the same weapons or stats as you. But the advantage would be a longer survival time. We never got past 4 bosses in boss mode making the actual game time last mere minutes. Regardless, including a Co-op mode is just a little something extra for the game. It’s still an excellent game with or without the Wifi Co-op mode.

During Koji Igarashi’s GDC session he went on to talk about the differences between 2D and 3D games in terms of the gameplay and development, which got me thinking. Whether the game is 2D/3D isn’t the main reason I will play the game. Nor does it affect how much fun the game will be. Because 2D games are associated with old technology and 3D games associated with the latest, newest technologies, however, some may be quick to discount the worth of a 2D game. Some Companies state their preference for you to submit 3D game demos as opposed to 2D demos. And many would much rather play a 3D game because it’s 3D. But nowadays it’s no longer entirely about how the game looks(although Castlevania: PoR’s graphics are great!) but rather a number of different factors including, how it plays.

Koji Igarashi continues to make 2D games because he really likes them. In part, one of the reasons for Castlevania: PoR. There may be pluses and minuses to developing a 2D game, which he also discusses in the session but ultimately, games like Castlevania: PoR are real gems, worth taking the time to develop and to play.

Check out 1up’s interveiw with Koji Igarashi.

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