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A demand for classic Castlevania games still exists with the fans

May 26, 2015

It's been a long time since those days hasn't it? The days of classic Castlevania that is. The last "MetroidVania" type game that came out was for the Nintendo DS back in 2008. I remember it like it was yesterday, and yet it was so long ago. It was Order of Ecclesia, and it is one of my personal favorite titles of all time next to a handful of others. Since that time only one other Castlevania game has managed to fit the bill of being close to a traditional title, and that is Harmony of Despair for the Virtual Console. Is that the end of the road for Konami though? I certainly hope not, and from what I've seen so far from the fans, they are aching badly for a new one to come out of the wood works.

While the first Lords of Shadow was somewhat of a success, the second game, Mirror of Fate didn't fair too well with the fans, and neither did Lords of Shadow 2 which even I from all the video footage and screen shots before its launch thought it was going to be a huge success. But looks can be deceiving, as you will find out in the end. So what happens at this point? Well, for starters, it's just that Kickstarter. Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi has taken it upon himself to do one of his own, in the traditional style that he always has, and thank heavens for him too.

While other projects that take after great hits like Symphony of the Night are on the table such as Time Spinner are not uncommon, it only goes to prove that there is still a massive demand for this type of game. Why? Because every time a new crowd funded project like this gets posted, it also gets funded multiple times over. The project Igarashi is working on as I write this has already met its funding goal well over FIVE TIMES over, with still more than two weeks to go before its campaign ends.

You see? The gaming world has evolved with different tastes, but often for a different generation of people, and those same people need only be introduced to this type of genre to fall in love with it as you and I have and still do. So what is the answer to all of this? Simple, make it clear to Konami that we still want games like this. Stop contracting out Castlevania to other companies, and if you do, that company had better have a damn good idea of how a real game is made. In the same style and tradition that made it great to begin with, or else the market for it will have been lost forever. Why don't we take a look at some of the best Castlevania games out there. The ones that should be used as a catalyst for future projects.


Castlevania - Symphony of the Night

The king of the hill when it comes to Castlevania games in my book. Symphony of the Night (SOTN) is regarded to be the grandfather of them all. It sets the ultimate stage for how a true title should be. If Konami should need a reference point to make another MetroidVania game again, this is it. A perfect 10 out of 10 from me.


Super Castlevania IV

How can I forget this one? When I first bought my Super Nintendo back in 1991, the first thing on my mind was getting a Castlevania game for it. So much I wanted it that I actually ended up trading two SNES games in for it. They were two that I had enough of and didn't really care for anymore mind you. When I got this sucker home and fired it up, it was the first time in gaming history that I was scared and creeped out at the same time. The opening sequence with Dracula's grave, accompanied with the eerie music soundtrack made for a title well worthy of the name "Super Castlevania IV".


Castlevania - Order of Ecclesia

I spent much time covering this one back in 2008 when it launched just before Halloween. For months I took to the Internet, scraping up any residue of screen shots and video footage of this new Castlevania game in action. When it came out, it proved to be the best Nintendo DS title ever made for the series. Also introducing for the first time in history a female heroin as the main protagonist character. Yes I know about Sophia Belmont and Maria Renard, but this time it was the MAIN character, and wow what a woman! Shanoa is the pinnacle of any fan's dream when it comes to Gothic looking women.


Castlevania - Rondo of Blood

Having been originally launched on the PC-Engine Super CD-Rom2 system in Japan, it wouldn't be until the late 2000s until Castlevania - Rondo of Blood saw the light of day again on both the Nintendo Virtual Console, and on the PSP (Playstation Portable) as a remake title. Quite a difficult game, this one stars Richter Belmont as the protagonist, and introduces Maria Renard as a small child and playable character who can wield the power of animals at her fingertips. Challenging and fun game play accompany a fantastic soundtrack with this one, so if you haven't yet tried it, you don't know what you're missing my friend.


Castlevania Chronicles (a.k.a. Akumajō Dracula x68000)

Having made its original debut on the Japanese Sharp x68000 computer system, Castlevania Chronicles which is also known as Akumajō Dracula (悪魔城ドラキュラ Akumajō Dorakyura, translated Devil's Castle Dracula) was also released on the Playstation 1 system, and then again on the Playstation Network. Very few people at the time had any idea what it was about, and many thought it was a brand new Castlevania game altogether. This is one of those lost in time gems that was rediscovered, and with the new generations of gamers out there should be discovered once again. Yet another example of how a true title should be made. Have I gotten through to anyone at this point?


After taking a closer look at five examples of the best of the best when it comes to how a true Gothic style looking game should feel and play like the reality of how a Castlevania game should be becomes crystal clear. Can I get a hell yeah? I thought so, and by all means let your frustrations and feelings be known in the comment section below. Perhaps in time, if our voices are loud enough Konami of Japan will listen and our favorite franchise will come back from Dracula's grave to give us another adventure once more.

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