Welcome to your crash course in mythical beast slaying with the regulation ‘combat cross’, issued to select brotherhood members if embarking on a particularly important pilgrimage.
The direct attack is your primary choice of attack, located on the left face button these high damage whip cracks fly straight forward of Gabriel but can easily hit multiple targets if you can nudge them in that direction.
Whip swings that cover a large area, these swings are found by pressing the top face button. Their best application is against lesser enemies that attack in large numbers and tend to surround Gabriel. Due to its lower attack power, area attacks don’t tend to stun enemies as much as direct attacks, reducing their effectiveness against groups of tougher enemies.
Blocking & Parrying
Using the left trigger you can block and parry the vast majority of attacks in the game, landing a parry is simply a case of hitting the block at the moment of an attack.
It’s vital that you lean on this move, especially when surrounded by enemies, as a parry opens up enemies for a flurry of attacks. In many respects the most effective way to parry is to mash the trigger quickly when you know an attack is on the way, this will often work.
When blocking with the left trigger you can roll in any direction using the left stick. Unlike recent action games however, dodging is not an all purpose avoidance, rolling backwards if an enemy uses a straight tremor will still damage Gabriel for instance. As a general rule of thumb, always dodge to the side.
Using the right trigger you can grab any enemy. This said if an enemy is taller than Gabriel’s waist then you will not be able to grab an enemy until they glow white. Smaller enemies, on the other hand, are often most effectively dispatched by a quick grab.
Quick Time Events or QTEs
All action games have them, but Castlevania only has two varieties, the Circle QTE and the Button QTE. The Circle QTE has a static circle, and one that starts large and shrinks into the small one, the aim here is to press any face button when the large circle is inside the small one.
DO NOT try and predict it, aim to press it after the big circle is inside. Button QTEs are simply a case of mashing the appropriate face button, it’s pretty hard to fail these and you’re not penalized for pressing the wrong button at first.