Monday, August 23, 2010

Castlevania and 3-D

So I was browsing Gamefaqs and I saw where the newest Castlevania entry is going to be hitting the stores in October. October has always been a great month for gaming. I remember last year in October I was waiting for Tekken 6 which came on somewhere around the 20th. 

There's alot of talk about this game finally doing Castlevania in 3D right. Well hold on a minute. I'll say it. The N64 Castlevanias were the best attempt at it thus far. I've heard all kinds of complaints about CV 64. Everything from poor graphics, to not enough enemies. While I will conceed that the camera can be a bit troublesome the game was very close to its 2D counterparts. Think about the old school Castlevania games. You walked from side to side opening doors, whipping enemies and dodging hazards. I found CV64's enemy placement to be spot on with the other games. Castlevania never really had you facing hordes of enemies at one time.  They even got the door opening cinemas right. Remember in the old game the door slapping open and you walking across it and seeing it slam shut again? The whole zoom to first person then show the door shut behind you thing was spot on.  We also need to think about the level design in CV64. Its a step by step, level by level romp through the castle. That's exactly what the old games were. Look at Castlevania Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness. Each one of them had level structure yes , but they more or less just dumped you in an area from a hub or from the last level. Lament of Innocence had you doing the go to each world and beat the boss thing, and Curse of Darkness had one level that was Castlevania. The rest of the levels are pointless dungeon crawling and weapon forging. Now we all enjoy a game of SMT or Persona every now and then, but Castlevania and dungeon crawling are not two things that go well together (Unless you're using a web browser to crawl The Castlevania Dungeon oh ho ho ) .

Now don't think I'm downing IGA or his games. I enjoyed Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness, but they were both rather bland (COD being the most bland of the two).  For Castlevania to move foward Konami needs to realize they are never going to be able to capture perfectly the magic of Symphony of the Night. Making metroidvania after metroidvania with a REVOLUTIONARY NEW BATTLE SYSTEM NO REALLY ITS DIFFERENT LOL every time will not do it.  Lords of Shadow is a step in the right direction, despite it being KINDA like GOW the game itself is something different. Its not Metroidvania, its not a dungeon crawler, its a new form of Castlevania. I hope the game will re-establish Castlevania as a big name title. Since its a series reboot there is plenty of room for change since I'm sure there will be a sequel.  Look at Mass Effect. They started a series one way and the second game cut out alot of fluff and refined the core elements that made everyone love the first game. If Konami does this with Castlevania it will almost surely become a household game name again. Instead of just trying to recreate the feeling of SOTN they need to refine. Metroidvania's a good concept , it really is, but its also a bit dusty.

- Torentsu


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