CGC Game 6: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA) [Console]

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PistolsAtDawn
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CGC Game 6: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA) [Console]

Unread post by PistolsAtDawn »

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Game info

Gameplay video
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, titled simply Castlevania in PAL regions, is a platform video game created by Konami for the Game Boy Advance. Published as a launch title in 2001, Circle of the Moon belongs to Konami's Castlevania video game series, the premise of which centers on the eternal conflict between the vampire hunters of the Belmont clan and the vampire Dracula. The game sold one million copies worldwide and was acclaimed by critics. The events of its plot were retconned by former Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi, a move which was met with some criticism.
From what I understand, this game is no longer considered to be part of the Castlevania canon. There are many such games under the Castlevania franchise though, and that doesn't make any of them any worse for play. I have played a little of this title in the past, and I thought it was a good handheld game in general and more fun than some of the other entries in the series.

Play however you'd like! The point is to enjoy and have fun, but if you would like to compete on high scores, please let us all know how you played (as in, with a arcade control panel, gamepad, etc.). We're on the honor system here for reporting high scores, so if you used cheats, fess up!

Please share with us your thoughts, jokes, frustrations or anything else related to this game that you may discover (i.e. if you discover the game itself was featured or visible in some other form of entertainment like a movie or TV show).
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Re: CGC Game 6: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA) [Console]

Unread post by charmless »

Cool! I have not played Circle of the Moon since it came out. Looking forward to checking it out again. The part about it not being considered canon anymore made me laugh. It's just funny to think about what the Castlevania canon really is.

"the premise of which centers on the eternal conflict between the vampire hunters of the Belmont clan and the vampire Dracula". That sounds like canon to me :D
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Re: CGC Game 6: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA) [Console]

Unread post by PistolsAtDawn »

I've been playing for only a few minutes, and already I'm enjoying it more than I have previously due to the nice extras MiSTer brings to the table - especially the display processing. This game was very dark on the original GBA screen and could be a little hard to see since the screen was not backlit.

I've got the LCD_Effect_08 (H/V) enabled with a little gamma correction on (I haven't decided which I think looks best).

I'm also cheating my way through so I don't lose interest like I have with every last playthrough I've attempted before now. I think that I always just wind up wanting to play Symphony of the Night while playing this one. So far I've only equipped good items using cheats to give me everything, but I will likely cheat more as I go. I don't often do this, but I'd actually like to finish the game thist time.
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Re: CGC Game 6: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA) [Console]

Unread post by charmless »

PistolsAtDawn wrote: Sat Sep 03, 2022 6:10 pm I've got the LCD_Effect_08 (H/V) enabled with a little gamma correction on (I haven't decided which I think looks best).
I've never found a video setting for GBA that I'm a 100% happy with. So I'm now going to try out the suggested setting from this thread viewtopic.php?t=5141
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Re: CGC Game 6: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA) [Console]

Unread post by PistolsAtDawn »

charmless wrote: Sat Sep 03, 2022 6:50 pm
PistolsAtDawn wrote: Sat Sep 03, 2022 6:10 pm I've got the LCD_Effect_08 (H/V) enabled with a little gamma correction on (I haven't decided which I think looks best).
I've never found a video setting for GBA that I'm a 100% happy with. So I'm now going to try out the suggested setting from this thread viewtopic.php?t=5141
Thank you. I will check those out soon. I switched to the handheld dot matrix preset in the standard options, and I actually think I like it as is.

Edit: Okay, so I added them to my SD card and gave the core-specific GBA filter a shot. It's very close to what I had initially selected on my own, and closer still to the standard handheld dot matrix preset. I think it's superior slightly, actually. I do remember the original GBA screen had a slightly visible grid to it, and the preset from Discord replicates that pretty well with the shadow mask option.

I also "finished" the game (in-game progress said 70ish percent last I looked) by cheating my ass off. I don't think that I would have found the time to play it legit this time, nor would I have had the patience. It is a good game. I think for an early 2000s handheld game it was very good, in fact. The design leans heavily upon what was done in Symphony of the Night, but the gameplay is a little less complicated. No spells to cast by inputting button combos, for instance. In place they had the DSS system with the cards you pick up. I will admit that I have never really cared for such a system in games, and in fact that's what soured my opinion of Final Fantasy VIII after my love affair with VII. Some people will find that ridiculous, I'm sure, but that's how my tastes run. Given that I basically ignored it and let the cheat codes do the heavy lifting.

I like the map layout much less than SotN as it involves a lot more dead ends and back tracking. SotN's map is more interconnected than this. I also haven't yet explored the inverted castle apparently (or whatever it is in this game). I just looked up the 100% completion map, and I most definitely did not open up all that. I will likely come back to it in the future just because I enjoy the exploration.

The music was good. It's not the best in the series, but again for a handheld game it's high quality. The graphics were pretty good too, made to look even better with the preset filters on the MiSTer.

Overall I think Wave's assessment of a flawed but interesting game is dead on. Definitely one of the best in the GBA library I'd say even though it doesn't meet my personal tastes as well as SotN.
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Re: CGC Game 6: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA) [Console]

Unread post by Hetzen »

Instructions for this game can be found here..
https://www.thegameisafootarcade.com/wp ... Manual.pdf
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Re: CGC Game 6: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA) [Console]

Unread post by Hetzen »

charmless wrote: Sat Sep 03, 2022 6:50 pm
PistolsAtDawn wrote: Sat Sep 03, 2022 6:10 pm I've got the LCD_Effect_08 (H/V) enabled with a little gamma correction on (I haven't decided which I think looks best).
I've never found a video setting for GBA that I'm a 100% happy with. So I'm now going to try out the suggested setting from this thread viewtopic.php?t=5141
Got this running on a PVM and it's look really good.
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Re: CGC Game 6: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA) [Console]

Unread post by C-R-T »

Funny, this is the first game I played through when I first got my mister.

There’s an “always run” cheat that makes it a lot more enjoyable. It’s virtually unplayable to me without it. Sadly this cheat is not in the update all cheat download so it has to be added manually which is not an easy task.
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Re: CGC Game 6: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA) [Console]

Unread post by charmless »

I've played a few hours of Circle of the Moon now and it's easy to tell that it's an early game for the GBA. The controls are not great, it all feels a bit stiff. The music is fantastic but it suffers a bit from being on the GBA. Honestly, playing Circle of the Moon just makes me want to play Aria of Sorrow instead, or Symphony of the Night. So I think I'll do just that. :)
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Re: CGC Game 6: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA) [Console]

Unread post by Chakan4ever »

Never played GBA before so this was something new. I’ve recently started playing SOTN so this is a very simple game in comparison but it was fun. Hated the snake/worm things until I figured out how to swing my whip around!
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Re: CGC Game 6: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA) [Console]

Unread post by charmless »

Haha! Took me a few minutes til I remembered he could spin the whip. If you like Symphony you should give Aria of Sorrow a go. It's a real gem.
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Re: CGC Game 6: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA) [Console]

Unread post by PistolsAtDawn »

charmless wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 7:48 pm Haha! Took me a few minutes til I remembered he could spin the whip. If you like Symphony you should give Aria of Sorrow a go. It's a real gem.
I will take your recommendation! It seems a lot closer to SotN than this entry.
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Re: CGC Game 6: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA) [Console]

Unread post by mister_fan »

If I could make a proposal- could we include quality of life romhacks with each new game?

For example running is just annoying in this game but it doesn't have to be https://www.romhacking.net/games/2443/

Cause I feel like people complain about quality of life stuff in these older games (and I agree) but check out romhacking.net and many of your problems can be solved. This is a pretty big deal as many people give up on older titles because of crusty controls, which is a waste IMHO. Totally optional too. Just check your cheats first as the solution might be there already.

Agreed Aria is definitely better. But Circle does have this nice dark atmosphere to it.
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Re: CGC Game 6: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA) [Console]

Unread post by PistolsAtDawn »

mister_fan wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:00 pm If I could make a proposal- could we include quality of life romhacks with each new game?
I think that is already cool if that's how people want to play. We purposefully kept the rules loose. QoL romhacks fall under "play as you'd like," though if the hacks can affect a score or clear time, etc. then that player should at least disclose that if they're competing.
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