DGC Ep 169: Super Castlevania IV (part two)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we are in our second discussion of Super Castlevania IV. We talk about the difficulty of the game and "fairness," Mode 7 shenanigans, and how the game quickly teaches things and moves on. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
To/through Stage VIII

Issues covered: the Myst-like rabbit-hole, leaning into the affordances of the SNES Classic, difficulty of Stage IV, the question of fairness and difficulty, throwing a lot at you, ramping up difficulty quickly, not a lot of soft landings or player help, play style, how to double jump across two spinning platforms, hard failures vs safe failures, having to put a game in its time, hard games in their time, challenge as fun, having release valves for difficulty, lacking time to explore with a timer game, getting into the designer's head, the world disappearing when you can't see it, finding every bit of memory or performance, having the hardware for less time, boldly leaning into Mode 7, the swinging chandeliers, slowly moving the character while the level rotates, letting the player deal with small issues and compromises, the Golem boss and shrinking the character, a great moment with the enemy design, learning how much time various actions take, being punished for slow reactions, multiple enemy states, wanting more helpful pickups, secondary/sub-weapons, moving up in levels, the navigation challenge of the stairs, analog stick vs d-pad, sticky surfaces in cover games, ladders in late 90s/early 00s games, bad publishing deals, physical game production, walking backwards up stairs, being able to think about the game when you're not playing it, genre death and rebirth, tension and boss placement.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Myst III: Exile, Obduction, Riven: The Sequel to Myst, The Book of Atrus, Warcraft, SNES Classic, Braid, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Mortal Kombat II, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Dark Souls, The Six Million Dollar Man, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Legend of Zelda, Nintendo Switch, Kingdom Hearts, Nicholas McCormick, Robyn Miller, Cyan Worlds, David Brevik, Diablo, Blizzard, LucasArts, Daron Stinnett, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sega, Zimmy Finger, Mike Vogt, Radiohead, Bohemian Rhapsody, Return of the Obra Dinn, Lucas Pope, Papers Please, Unreal Engine, Presto Studios, The Journeyman Project, Disney's Haunted Mansion, Ready Player One, The Shining.

Next time:
Finish the game!

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub