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Romier S

Konami announces Anniversary Collections (Castlevania, Contra, Arcade, etc) (PS4, PC, Switch, XB1)

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Guesses on the 4 slots for Contra:

 

Contra (NES)

Contra Hard Corps (Genesis)

Contra Force (NES)

Operation C (GBj

 

Castlevania:

 

Castlevania II Simon’s Quest (NES)

Castlevania Bloodlines (Genesis)

The Castlevania Adventure (GB)

Castlevania Chronicles (PSX)

 

Alternately, it would be great to see Castlevania Rebirth and Contra Rebirth in each package. Both are gone now that the Wii VC is dead. Note that the Castlevania page states it’s “the first collection” which means more on the way.

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Wish they’d use box art for Contra too. But they probably used title screens to match the arcade ones. Still buying that so fast though. 

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It has been way too long since I’ve played the original Contra for NES. Amazingly, it’s never appeared on the Virtual Console for either Wii or Wii U. 

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Vulcan Venture AND Salamander? Nemesis actually called Nemesis rather than Gradius? Unless they get this horribly wrong I'm in.

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If Castlevania is a "vol 1", then I suppose that means things like SOTN night be in a later package.  It'd be good to have the GBA ones collected as well.  Think Rondo of Blood will be on the first collection?

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1 hour ago, ChrisBardon said:

If Castlevania is a "vol 1", then I suppose that means things like SOTN night be in a later package.  It'd be good to have the GBA ones collected as well.  Think Rondo of Blood will be on the first collection?

 

Possible but considering both SOTN and Rondo have their own collection in PS4 at the moment for $20? I have my doubts. A later collection? Sure.

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Really hope "Arcade" is just a Vol. 1 because I'll happily take the rest of the Gradius games as well as Gyruss, Yie Ar Kung Fu, Time Pilot, Commando, Gyruss and probably about half a dozen others.

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For clarity, Castlevania isn't the only collection coming in installments. Read the first sentence of the Arcade Collection announcement: "Konami starts its 50th anniversary celebration with this first installment....."

 

Also, if you take notice of the bottom of the page you'll see "Powered by Arcade Archives" which tells me that Hamster Corporation is working on these (the same folks behind the SNK stuff on the PS4/Xbox and Switch). Hamster isn't M2 but they do pretty solid emulation work overall.

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I wish Frank Cifaldi and his team were doing it. They have incredible skill at this sort of restoration work.

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2 hours ago, Romier S said:

Possible but considering both SOTN and Rondo have their own collection in PS4 at the moment for $20? I have my doubts. A later collection? Sure.

 

I suppose, but I'd like to have both of those on PC.  Maybe Rondo in vol1 with the "arcade" castlevanias, and SOTN with the GBA games as the "metroidvania collection"?

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On 3/20/2019 at 11:49 AM, ChrisBardon said:

 

I suppose, but I'd like to have both of those on PC.  Maybe Rondo in vol1 with the "arcade" castlevanias, and SOTN with the GBA games as the "metroidvania collection"?

 

There is classic Castlevania ("Arcade" Castlevania is "Haunted Castle" and its on the Arcade collection) of which there are numerous games and that alone can take up two collections. Then there's the "metroidvanias" or as fans call them "Igavanias". Which, yes I think we'll see an inevitable collection of. Including the GBA and DS titles. 

 

Rondo is certainly a possibility in collection 1 but I'll reiterate that said game and Symphony can be had on the PS4 today and those were PSP ports that Sony had a hand in creating (hence why its exclusive) so I have my doubts that either will appear off of the bat. I could be wrong as they could simply emulate the PC Engine release in Japanese ala the Wii Virtual Console which would differentiate it from the PS4 release which has a full English translation. Symphony is a similar situation as it has the newer English translation for the PS4 release. 

 

We'll see. 

 

My guess on how things shake out for collection 1 (classicvania) is:

Castlevania (NES)

Castlevania II Simon’s Quest (NES)

Castlevania III Dracula's Curse (NES) (with inclusion of Akumajou Densetsu, the Japanese version with the improved VRC6 music)

Super Castlevania IV (which is a remake of the original Castlevania)

Castlevania Chronicles (PSX) (which is another remake of the original Castlevania)

Castlevania Bloodlines (Genesis)

Castlevania Adventure (GB)

Castelvania II Belmont's Revenge (GB)

 

My guess for a second collection (classicvania):

 

Castlevania Rondo of Blood (PC Engine)

Castlevania Adventure Rebirth (Wii VC)

Castlevania: Dracula X (the NA adaptation of Rondo) (SNES) (this could be swapped into Collection 1 and Chronicles moved here)

Castlevania Legends (GB)

Vampire Killer (MSX version of the original game. You could put this on collection 1 and move Bloodlines here) (MSX)

Kid Dracula (GB)

Akumajo Special: Boku Dracula Kun (Famicom)

 

Third collection (Igavania):

 

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PSX)

Castlevania Circle of the Moon (GBA)

Castlevania Harmony of Dissonance (GBA)

Castlevania Aria of Sorrow (GBA)

Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow (NDS)

Castlevania Portrait of Ruin (NDS)

Castlevania Order of Ecclesia (NDS)

 

 

 

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The Arcade Collection releases today!

 

The Castlevania Collection officially releases May 16th. My guess at Collection 1 was pretty spot on.:) The only miss was Kid Dracula which is a great add!

 

https://blog.eu.playstation.com/2019/04/18/castlevania-anniversary-collection-comes-to-ps4-on-16th-may/#sf211238533

 

Castlevania
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
Castlevania II Belmont’s Revenge
Super Castlevania IV
Bloodlines
Kid Dracula
Castlevania the Adventure
Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest

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Just about the entire Castlevania discography has been made available through Spotify (as well as Apple Music and Google):

 

https://open.spotify.com/artist/5Nurpyl4Q3KHXmqf7QMcfB?si=I5pIl2ywTomikIu2JBIVxA

 

That includes all of the DS titles and much more.

 

The only thing missing are the 8-bit originals and some oddities here and there.

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Konami confirms that the Japanese versions of the games will be made available in a post-launch update for the Castlevania Collection!

 

 

Very cool!

 

Castlevania 3 with VRC6 music!

 

 

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Don't worry, I went to look at reviews for the Arcade one and the rest of the internet is predictably angry about everything. Chiefly because you only get one version of each title, not the choice to play the variants - so Nemesis is specifically Nemesis without Gradius there, Contra etc don't give you the choice of playing the much easier Japanese release rather than the US one. Also, none of the vertical-screen arcade titles have tate modes, which is a bit of a bugger on Switch.

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13 hours ago, iainl said:

Don't worry, I went to look at reviews for the Arcade one and the rest of the internet is predictably angry about everything. Chiefly because you only get one version of each title, not the choice to play the variants - so Nemesis is specifically Nemesis without Gradius there, Contra etc don't give you the choice of playing the much easier Japanese release rather than the US one. Also, none of the vertical-screen arcade titles have tate modes, which is a bit of a bugger on Switch.

 

They won’t have much to bitch about soon...

 

Quote

Arcade Classics: Adding ability to play compatible titles in vertical orientation on Nintendo Switch™ - also known as Tate mode


+ Arcade Classics / Castlevania / Contra: Adding the option to play Japanese ROMs of relevant titles on all platforms
+ Castlevania / Contra: Adding the ability to select between Japanese and English scans of the Bonus Book

 

You’re getting the Japanese roms and Tate mode on Switch. 

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I might almost be able to rustle up some excitement if they decided to announce they were going to have another go at doing a Silent Hill collection at this rate..... almost.

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Short and sweet - this collection isn’t to the standard that I personally hold for M2. I hate to say that but there are niggling issues that you just usually don’t see on their releases present here and it’s a bit surprising. From audio emulation problems to lack of certain options, etc. This feels a bit rushed. So that’s the bad news. 

 

The good old news is that this thing is one good patch or two away from being the definitive Classicvania collection we all hoped for. A few points:

 

1. The first game suffers from an annoying “beep” sound during the the playback of the seconds level music. It happens again later in level 4 when that same music is reused, unfortunately. It’s minor but sticks out as an issue.

2. The chip tunes music and some effects for the first three games sound a little harsh and too high pitched at times. These aren’t games I last played 20 years ago and my mind if filling in things I don’t remember. These are games I played in the last week or in the last few months on original hardware so the little stuff sticks out to me even if it’s nit picky. Castlevania 3 suffers the least here with relatively good quality audio emulation.

3. The first game hard crashed on me on level 5 and I hadn’t saved.:( NES experience indeed. 

4. All three original NES titles are oversaturated but that’s to be expected. The NES doesn’t have native RGB support so it’s color output is an estimation at best. It would have been great if M2 had allowed for color palette selection here for the NES games in the collection. (it’s the little things!)

4. Super Castlevania 4 is damn near perfect. 

5. The first GB game is a curiosity at best. It’s a piss poor Castlevania game on the handheld and it’s even worse here. The dot matrix screen filter is good stuff though it doesn’t looks like it’s properly integer scaled so the dots look to be different sizes causing some unsightly shimmering. The second game is MUCH better.

6. Bloodlines is also damn near perfect but appears a bit oversaturated. The music also sounds like it’s emulating a Model 2 Genesis with a heavy low pass filter and ladder effect. It doesn’t sound nearly as good as a Model 1 Genesis or my Mega SG properly calibrated to replicate the YM2612 in the original models. That’s more a taste/ preference thing though. Some folks like the YM3438 in the Model 2. They’ll be happy here.

7. Thank goodness they announced we’d get access to the Japanese roms cause if not, they got some balls using the VRC6 chip enhanced music from Castlevania 3 in Japan on the main game selection menu.;)

8. The games FEEL amazing. I can’t measure lag but every game I’ve played is super responsive and immediate. This isn’t the Megaman Collections here and lag seems very minimal. The only game I didn’t try yet was Kid Dracula and I’ll get to it soon.

 

So what needs to happen to make this the essential Classicvania Collection?

 

1. The audio bugs have to get fixed. I would also like to see M2 adjust the audio emulation so it’s a bit less harsh and more in line with the originals for the first three games but honestly, if they can squash the bugs (like the beeps) the audio here is pretty solid and it’s down to subjective opinion.

2. The lack of a true 4:3 display option without scanlines sucks. “Original” is a stretched 4:3 mode which is fine but it lacks an option to have the image hit the top and bottom of the screen like the scanline version. Original may be a 4.5x scale which is fine but more options are good.

3. On that note, the lack of an adjustable scanline filter without the shitty CRT blur effect sucks as well. I like a good scanline filter that attempts to mimic an RGB CRT and not the older consumer blur look. That needs to be added!

4. Only one save state slot? Really? That’s a bit silly given the year of our lord 2019. Fix that.

5. No Japanese versions. Thankfully that’s coming.

6. No button remapping and they go and swap a/b on the PS4 controller to match the Japanese layout. My brain! Let me remap this dammit!

 

If they can addres these issues in a patch or two? Yeah, this would be the definitive Castlevania Collection on newer generation consoles and one of the best ways to play these games outside of original hardware. We’ll see if Konami and M2 gets there. I believe in M2 so.....

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Glad to hear 'tate mode is coming; will pick the Arcade set up next time I'm buying a Switch game. Well, except that Wargroove is currently a higher priority because I'm terrified of what the Xbox version is doing to my OLED and Finn's fallen -hard- for that game. But after that, anyway.

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