Welcome to The Ten Reasons, where I discuss ten reasons why I like or dislike a game. This month, I’m finishing my discussion of the Game Boy Advance game Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. If you remember last month, I shared my theory that, in this game, Hugh is secretly having an affair with Dracula.
Boy, did that open up a can of worms. I’ve gotten tons of e-mails about that article, and I thought I’d share a few with you.
Way to talk about the Hugh-Dracula man-on-vampire love action! Gay pride forever!
How can you say that I am secretly gay for Hugh? Hugh is vhiny baby, and besides, Dracula is all about the ladies. Except perhaps zat Buffy ze vampire slayer—she and I haff had some bad fights in ze past.
And without any further ado, let’s get started with this month’s ten reasons!
Reasons Why I Like Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
1. Summoning Monsters
Perhaps the most useful move in this game is the ability to summon a monster who can beat up all the onscreen enemies for ten seconds. It’s awesome, and it’s one of the best ways to fight bosses in the game.
Although, now that I think about it, that’s kinda weird. The whole point of the game is that someone summoned Dracula, so now you have to kill him, right? And you have to do it by summoning more –monsters? Is it me, or is it totally bass-ackwards to go “Oh no! A monster has been summoned! I know! I’ll make things better by summoning another monster!”
Speaking of which, how confusing would it be if Dracula was one of the monsters that Nathan could summon?
SCENE: Final boss fight. Dracula and Nathan are squaring off.
Dracula: I am going to kill you!
Nathan: Oh no you won’t! I’m going to summon a monster to stop you!
(Nathan summons Dracula)
Dracula: I’ll kill you, Dracula! Nobody hurts Nathan!
Dracula: WTF? I’m going to kill Nathan!
Dracula: No, I’m going to save Nathan! Wait, what?
Dracula: Which one of us is which again?
Dracula: I have no idea.
(Ash from Pokémon hears all the talk about summoning monsters and jumps onto the scene)
Ash: Don’t worry! I’ll save the day by summoning Pikachu!
(Dracula and Dracula kill Ash, then head inside to watch their DVD of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season two)
2. Jumping Twice in Midair
One of the moves in this game is the Double Jump, which allows you to make a second jump in midair, sort of like the Tanooki suit in Super Mario Bros. 3. That’s a cool move, and it’s also incredibly useful in a game like this, where you have to do a lot of jumping.
The mummies in this game are cool looking. They pop out of floating caskets, three at a time, and walk across the screen in a group. That looks cool. In fact, it kinda looks like they were hired to dance in a music video. Good for them. Glad to see that, even though they’re dead, they’re still employed. Just like Larry King.
4. Dragon Zombies
Ooo, the dragon zombie boss fight…the coolest boss fight in the game, because it’s the only one where you have to fight two enemies at the same time.
I just thought about it for a while (which is a never a good thing), and I wonder…how are these guys zombies? I mean, they look and act like normal dragons. What makes them dragon zombies? Do they grunt and moan a lot? ‘Cause maybe it’s just early in the morning, and they haven’t had their coffee yet.
Note to self: Stop overanalyzing everything.
Note to self: Wait, how could I overanalyze everything? I mean, there have to be things out there that I don’t know of and, therefore, don’t overanalyze.
Note to self: Shut up, Michael.
There are two enemies called “Shades” in this game, and, as you can see, they’re exactly the same, except that they’re different colors.
I thought it was really cool that, near the end of the game, you see both Shades onscreen at the same time. That’s almost like Konami is admitting they just copy/pasted the enemy design because they were lazy. But instead of feeling ashamed, they’re flaunting their laziness. Gutsy move, Konami. I like it.
6. Kyrie Eleison
The background music for the game’s title screens is a woman singing “Kyrie eleison” in mournful tunes. What’s “Kyrie eleison”? Well, since I graduated with a degree in Greek and Latin, I can tell you: “Kyrie eleison” is Greek for “Lord, have mercy.” It’s a standard part of every Christian mass.
Now what do you think about that? That’s a nifty little reference to Christianity, isn’t it? References to my personal Lord and Savior get you an automatic 5,000 Jesus points in my book! And by “my book,” I mean Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants. That books rocks.
7. Mudman Enemies
One of the monsters in this game is the Mudman, who pops out of the mud and jumps at you. I like this enemy, simply because it reminds me of the song “Monsters of Mud” by They Might Be Giants, a weird song that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where Mud Men have taken over everything and forced everyone to become muddy.
Yeah, kind of a weird song. But I like it, so I like the Mudman enemy in this game for reminding me of it.
Reasons Why I Dislike Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
8. The Item Menu
The item menu in this game was poorly constructed. It doesn’t look so bad in the picture, but by the end of the game, you have over twenty different items, so it’s nearly impossible to find the item you’re looking for. Also, as you can see, the item descriptions don’t help you at all, AND the stats meter is misleading—it looks like putting on the gold armor will lower your defense by 40 points, when, in fact, the gold armor actually raises your defense. By how many points? The game doesn’t say—all it says is that it’s 40 points less than the Steel Armor raises your defense by.
Also, near the end of the game, you’ll have about 60 pieces of useless equipment that you can’t get rid of in any way. In the second Castlevania GBA game, they tried to remedy the situation by putting a salesman in the game, so it’s good to know that Konami understood that the item menu in the game needed to be redone.
9. Bloody Swords
Bloody swords. Kyrie eleison, I hate those bloody swords. These enemies dart around the screen at high speeds, and float in circles so they’re impossible to hit. And there’s always a group of four or five of them together, so they cut you to pieces and you can’t defend yourself.
Also, sometimes the bloody swords curse you—that is, if they hit you, you aren’t able to attack for the next thirty seconds. Great! They’re nearly impossible to kill normally, so you can imagine how much harder they are to kill when you can’t even attack them!
10. Iron Golem
The Iron Golem is a monstrously unfair boss fight. Not only do his two moves look identical (so you don’t know which move he’s about to use, making it impossible to dodge), but he can also heal himself.
Look at that picture. Each 5 stands for healed health. So in the second the picture was taken, Iron Golem was healed by 20 HP. In the next second, he healed by another 20 HP, and so on for about four seconds.
That is total crap! Enemies should not be allowed to heal themselves at will, especially not at a speed that’s twenty times faster than the main character’s healing speed. That’s just ridiculously unfair, and all it does is artificially extend the length of the boss fight. Lame.
Well, that’s it for this month! Boy, this column keeps getting weirder and weirder, doesn’t it? See you next time, folks!