Our initial impressions of Symphony of the Night! Background, basic movement and control, early combat, and exploring the first few areas through Underground Caverns.
Our next project is a beloved classic that gave its name to the now-familiar "Metroidvania" game genre. As an added twist, this the first game on Old Game Plus that none of the three hosts as played before!
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is available:
We will begin our discussion on Feb. 11! Because we're not familiar with the game, we can't give good guidance on exactly what our stopping point will be, but we will play for a few hours and discuss our experiences.
Many topics in our final episode on Final Fantasy Tactics: briefly revisiting the comparison to Into the Breach, the closing battles of Chapter 4, the ending, the resolution of the major characters, mentioning the side quests, and a bit about player-made challenges.
And, in a twist--announcing our next two games!
Brief discussion of the 2018 tactical game Into the Breach, then the bulk of Chapter 4--Limberry Castle and sealing Elmdor's gear, the brothers reunite at Igros Castle, and everyone proceeds towards a showdown at Mullonde. The Calculator, Samurai, and Ninja jobs, the pacing and encounter design of chapter 4 as a whole, some of the game's more obscure ways of obtaining items.
Meeting Rafa and Malak, diving into the events and battles at Riovanes Castle, and meeting up with the legendary fighter Orlandu. Also some discussion of the stats and mechanics of the game, and builds that overpower the late game.
Meeting a Zodiac Demon, meeting Cid, meeting Olan/Orran, and setting up our upcoming discussion of the dramatic but notorious sequence of battles at Riovanes Castle. Also some talk about the challenges of exploring the job system as a newcomer.
Ramza's face upon seeing the Aries stone speak to Wiegraf.
Twitter thread about game design choices that are hidden from players.
Chapter 2 brings some of the most memorable characters (Agrias and Mustadio), battles (Golgorand Execution Site), and mid-game jobs to discuss (Thief, Monk, Time Mage). Also, the Zodiac compatibility, and what happens when game developers copy and paste data.
Our next episode, in two weeks, will cover most of chapter 3 (up to, but not including, the notorious duel scene at Riovanes Castle).
Special note for anyone playing along--make sure you keep a separate save file before entering Riovanes Castle. This battle sequence is an infamous killer of FFT runs if you don't have a way to back out and change things.
We finish chapter 1, discussing the plot and themes of the story so far (the conflict between the classes and the relationship between Ramza and Delita), as well as some of the mechanics that emerge in the early game (Gained JP UP, and early jobs like Knight and Wizard).
We discuss the background of Final Fantasy Tactics, and the way a first-time player is introduced to the game's story and systems.
For our next game, we go to a much-loved PS1 classic: Final Fantasy Tactics!
For those wanting to play along:
You can play the original PS1 version on a PS1 or PS2, or download it from the online store for PS3, PSP, or Vita.
You can download a remaster from the online store for PSP or Vita.
You can also play the remaster on iOS.
Note: Due to the length of the game and complexity of the story, we may not cover the entire game in full detail. Further updates once we get through the first part of the game.