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View Full Version : New DS Castlevania is a sequel to Bloodlines!



GeckoYamori
04-21-2006, 09:24 PM
http://www.jeux-france.com/news15391_un-nouveau-castlevania-sur-nintendo-ds.html

At least, I'm pretty sure it is. The main character is Jonathan Morris and it's set during World War II.

16bitter
04-21-2006, 11:21 PM
This had better have levels. I'm sick to death of the repetitious, no-challenge Metroidvania bullshit.

j_factor
04-22-2006, 01:05 AM
A return to the pre-SOTN style would be very welcome indeed.

Joe Redifer
04-22-2006, 02:24 AM
I'll take it either way!

Melf
04-22-2006, 03:21 AM
A return to the pre-SOTN style would be very welcome indeed.

I agree 100%. I'm totally sick of the Metroidvanias. I want a good old fashioned Castlevania. It's about time they threw us a bone.

janus
04-22-2006, 04:17 AM
A true sequel to Bloodlines would be sweet. It has always been my favourite Castlevania (though I never played TCD Drac X). Not sure about this Charlotte though. WHERE'S ERIC LECARDE!?!?

Joe Redifer
04-22-2006, 06:37 AM
WHERE'S ERIC LECARDE!?!?

Dead and buried with no possible chance of resurrection, I hope.

j_factor
04-22-2006, 05:31 PM
He'd be an old geezer by WW2, if alive.

janus
04-22-2006, 05:39 PM
I know that all real men played as Morris, but I still liked Lecarde's lance thing.

Obviously
04-22-2006, 07:01 PM
I'm a veritable Metroid fanboy but I'd love an old school Castlevania for a change. Somehow I don't see that happening though.

j_factor
04-22-2006, 07:10 PM
Eric Lecarde ruled.

Russman
04-22-2006, 09:04 PM
I'm an old fart that thinks Castlevania III was the best thing that ever happened to the series. Unfortunately, too many fans of the series squirt jizz everytime they think of SotN and this is where the cash cow will remain. Sorry guys, I'd love to be wrong, but not a chance in hell does Konami dare release something as linear as Bloodlines was. The series has basically been SotN made over and over again, and people continue to be excited about the same backtracking game mechanix, so I don't see them deviating from this forumula.

Obviously
04-22-2006, 10:25 PM
I think Symphony of the Night was a fantastic idea that single handedly saved the Castlevania series from obscurity like so many other classic franchises when Sony was trying to phase out 2D gaming. It was a fantasy-style Super Metroid with RPG elements and the game was huge, entertaining and beautiful. I love SotN and I think it's one of the finest 2D adventures every made.

Unfortunately all the games to come afterwards have just been watered down versions of it and the Castlevania games to come before it have been generally ignored by the modern gaming crowd. I wonder if Konami is afraid of going back to the old school formula because of how successful the Metroid-RPG design has been working for them.

I think we'll probably have to accept that this is what Castlevania has evolved into and it's what most people now-a-days will expect... but I've learned to never say never.

16bitter
04-22-2006, 11:15 PM
I think Symphony of the Night was a fantastic idea that single handedly saved the Castlevania series from obscurity like so many other classic franchises when Sony was trying to phase out 2D gaming. It was a fantasy-style Super Metroid with RPG elements and the game was huge, entertaining and beautiful. I love SotN and I think it's one of the finest 2D adventures every made.

How can you say that it "saved" the series when it bombed upon release?

I'd guess that the nature of the series on handheld has more to do with the whims of the current producer than any type of corporate strategy.

It's certainly telling that Konami refuses to make another 2D Castlevania on peak-gen hardware.

Russman
04-23-2006, 11:10 AM
How can you say that it "saved" the series when it bombed upon release?

I'd guess that the nature of the series on handheld has more to do with the whims of the current producer than any type of corporate strategy.

It's certainly telling that Konami refuses to make another 2D Castlevania on peak-gen hardware.

I don't think it bombed, it did after all recieve a 'Greatest Hits' version for PS, and the criteria for getting GH packaging was at least selling 1 million units of the original game.

I wouldn't say it saved the series either. Rather it brought in an entirely different group of fans to the series, a group more rabid than Cujo himself, and that was the RPG/Final Fantasy crowd. And as far as that group is concerned, SotN is the First Castlevania game ever made, and the continuation of this style of Castlevania is simply 'keeping it real' for lack of a better term.

Look, I've played SotN all the way, got my %200 and put it away on my shelf. It was beautiful, had good controls, and was long to finish. That doesn't make it the best game of all time. People call it Action and Adventure, but the word Adventure is a nicer version of the word Backtracking. Instead of giving you many many stages with many backgrounds like Castlevania use to do, here's SotN with half as many backgrounds, and you'll run through them over and over again and we'll call it exploring.

It's not a series for the Action fan anymore, it's become a series for the RPG gamer, and they spend more money apparently. So it is what it is. I don't think I'd call that 'saving' the series really, more like it was just re-invented for the RPG gamer to maximize sales. It's not even really Castlevania anymore. Starting with SotN, they could have called it something totally different and it would have sold like hotcakes.

Joe Redifer
04-23-2006, 06:39 PM
I don't think SotN had fewer backgrounds than any previous Castlevania games. All of the previous games were pretty short and could be beaten in one sitting. Except maybe for Castlevania 2, but that doesn't count as a real game.

16bitter
04-28-2006, 08:43 AM
I don't think it bombed, it did after all recieve a 'Greatest Hits' version for PS, and the criteria for getting GH packaging was at least selling 1 million units of the original game.

I remember that (the greatest hits moniker). At the same time I recall the game being released in relatively low numbers and a definite lack of demand.

Certainly if it reached a million -- and by the given or typical criteria of greatest hits (it is a million, right?) one would assume it did, I absolutely grant -- it seems so obvious that we would have seen another 2D Castlevania on a major console due to such success. After all, it would have proven the continued mainstream viability of 2D as a mainstream product.

All this is to say that I'm confused.

And, as luck would have it (is a quick internet search luck?), I found raw numbers on SOTN from MagicBox:

PSX Konami Castlevania: Symphony of the Night 477,000

Well under a million units, but not at all bad either. Though I don't know if those are franchise-saving numbers, and it pretty much answers the question of why Konami would not be so eager to release another 2D iteration on current/next-gen console(s).

Russman
04-28-2006, 12:31 PM
I remember that (the greatest hits moniker). At the same time I recall the game being released in relatively low numbers and a definite lack of demand.

Certainly if it reached a million -- and by the given or typical criteria of greatest hits (it is a million, right?) one would assume it did, I absolutely grant -- it seems so obvious that we would have seen another 2D Castlevania on a major console due to such success. After all, it would have proven the continued mainstream viability of 2D as a mainstream product.

All this is to say that I'm confused.

And, as luck would have it (is a quick internet search luck?), I found raw numbers on SOTN from MagicBox:

PSX Konami Castlevania: Symphony of the Night 477,000

Well under a million units, but not at all bad either. Though I don't know if those are franchise-saving numbers, and it pretty much answers the question of why Konami would not be so eager to release another 2D iteration on current/next-gen console(s).

I know why SotN got the greatest hits packaging. Apparently the criteria for this was changed multiple times by Sony.


All of the games in the "Greatest Hits" line-up have a suggested retail price of $19.99 and have successfully met Sony's criteria for making it into this elite categorization. When this program first started, a sell-through of one million units was required, this was later adjusted to 500,000, and now it's handled on a case-by-case basis.

Source: http://psx.ign.com/articles/091/091211p1.html

Obviously
04-28-2006, 12:36 PM
SotN was a sleeper hit on release, but it gained a lot of steam and popularity later in the Playstation's life where as the more action oriented (Although I blame the 3D more than the action) N64 titles sank into obscurity.

SotN ended up being one of those "rare" games that no one bought at release along with Final Fantasy Tactics that fans demanded later in the PSX's career which is why both ended up being reprinted, Xenogears also fits into this category along with a few others I can't think of right now.

It was pretty bad for collectors who sold their soul for copies of these games but it was great for everyone else.

j_factor
04-28-2006, 09:01 PM
PSX Konami Castlevania: Symphony of the Night 477,000

Well under a million units, but not at all bad either. Though I don't know if those are franchise-saving numbers, and it pretty much answers the question of why Konami would not be so eager to release another 2D iteration on current/next-gen console(s).

To me that raises the question rather than answers it. That number has got to be way higher than what Castlevania 64 sold. So shouldn't it follow that they should revert back to what sold better? Legacy of Darkness was also a total flop, and I don't think Lament of Innocence sold as much as 477k either.

Drixxel
04-28-2006, 10:49 PM
The subsequent Castlevanias continuing the SOTN tradition have sold less than I expected, but apparantly Konami is pleased with the figures. They've sold better in North America than Japan.

North American sales figures:

Dawn of Sorrow... 164,000 sold as of November 2005
Aria of Sorrow... 158,000 sold
Harmony of Dissonance... 126,000 sold

From: http://www.rpgamer.com/editor/2006/q2/041706bb.html

Not sure about Circle of the Moon, but I'm assuming as a GBA launch title it's easily over 100,000. Still, these numbers are seemingly underwhelming.

16bitter
04-30-2006, 11:39 AM
Perhaps that goes against what I said earlier -- Metroidvania's nature may be a corporate strategy rather than an artistic pursuit.

Think about it. Develop a series of games that are designed in such a way that they welcome recycling of not only ideas but of base code -- thus limiting dev time considerably -- for hardware more than a generation behind the curve.

Combined, the ingredients give them an easy revenue flow from what amount to cheaply made yearly updates.

Thus the sales figures don't matter in a typical way thanks to the base audience they have for the product. They sell the same group of suckers a game they already own over and over again.

Madden's relatively poor old uncle.

Obviously
04-30-2006, 01:00 PM
It's a common strategy used by just about every franchise. Megaman for instance epitomizes it.

Russman
05-01-2006, 06:14 PM
Perhaps that goes against what I said earlier -- Metroidvania's nature may be a corporate strategy rather than an artistic pursuit.

Think about it. Develop a series of games that are designed in such a way that they welcome recycling of not only ideas but of base code -- thus limiting dev time considerably -- for hardware more than a generation behind the curve.

Combined, the ingredients give them an easy revenue flow from what amount to cheaply made yearly updates.

Thus the sales figures don't matter in a typical way thanks to the base audience they have for the product. They sell the same group of suckers a game they already own over and over again.

Madden's relatively poor old uncle.

Konami could have made Castlevania III style games over and over and I would have been very happy. Give me a game that plays the same, but with new story, levels and enemies and I'm good. Just don't make me go through the same screen 60 times.

SotN was catering to the RPG gamer. Japanese play more and have way more RPG's than the US market ever dreamed of. This was where the money was and has stayed unfortunately. Good business move by Konami, bad move for the series however.

Joe Redifer
05-01-2006, 09:36 PM
Japanese play more and have way more RPG's than the US market ever dreamed of. This was where the money was and has stayed unfortunately.
I completely agree. With the occasional exception like Shenmue (or a real Phantasy Star), I'm not too fond of story-based games. I think gameplay should come first. I felt that gameplay came first in SotN, though. I think what they were doing is 1) trying to extend the overall length and 2) "reinvent" the series to attract new players since it was on a system that was not in any way related to the 16-bit or 8-bit generations.

Obviously
05-02-2006, 10:27 AM
I agree as well, also I've noticed that J-RPG fans also tend to be anime fans or vice versa, which I guess makes sense since J-RPG stories are usually the same type of stories you find in anime.

That being said I also find the gameplay to be where the meat is in SotN. The story just seems tacked on and the RPG elements don't get in the way of Castlevania undead-slaying fun.

Drixxel
05-02-2006, 11:16 AM
As much as I enjoy the Metroid-infused gameplay of SotN and the recent handheld Castlevanias, there's one particular element solely missing from these games that for me defined the classic Castlevanias: challenge, in both gameplay and boss battles.

I'd love to see a blend of the two styles. Free-roaming exploration for the majority of the castle for item collection and stat development, but instead of boss battles taking place in a selected room to merely be stumbled upon, have them located at the end of a "classic" styled level that can be entered from a specific point in the castle, where the old Castlevania rules apply.

Obviously
05-02-2006, 11:28 AM
Circle of the Moon was pretty rough but maybe that's because I played it on an old GBA and couldn't see a thing.

janus
05-02-2006, 11:57 AM
Yeah, I played Circle of the Moon on my DS Lite the other day and the difference was incredible. Even Harmony of Dissonance, which I thought looked good on the GBA, was much better with a back-lit display.

16bitter
05-02-2006, 12:02 PM
As much as I enjoy the Metroid-infused gameplay of SotN and the recent handheld Castlevanias, there's one particular element solely missing from these games that for me defined the classic Castlevanias: challenge, in both gameplay and boss battles.

I'd love to see a blend of the two styles. Free-roaming exploration for the majority of the castle for item collection and stat development, but instead of boss battles taking place in a selected room to merely be stumbled upon, have them located at the end of a "classic" styled level that can be entered from a specific point in the castle, where the old Castlevania rules apply.

But what would be the point of stat development at all?

Make the castle easy 90% of the time, only to dump that whenever you're supposed to face a boss? Then what were you building your stats for in the first place?

Old school Castlevania is, like most games of its era, about the challenge. Today's Castlevania is absolutely hostile to challenge.

I don't think you can mix the two styles effectively -- not when they are so diametrically opposed.

16bitter
05-02-2006, 12:41 PM
Konami could have made Castlevania III style games over and over and I would have been very happy. Give me a game that plays the same, but with new story, levels and enemies and I'm good. Just don't make me go through the same screen 60 times.

But that's the key in my thesis -- the recycled nature of the game(s). That's the reason they exist. Because of the ease in development; brisk and relatively lacking in new content. Year after year.

Which is also why they continue with the insolated castle structure in my view.

Consider how similar all the Metroidvanias are to each other. Then look at, say, Super Castlevania IV as opposed to Bloodlines. Notice something?


SotN was catering to the RPG gamer. Japanese play more and have way more RPG's than the US market ever dreamed of. This was where the money was and has stayed unfortunately. Good business move by Konami, bad move for the series however.

Compare many genres and/or franchises (as, I agree with you, we see certain brand names remaining even while they shift their focus of gameplay) as they are today to what they were 10 or 15 years ago.

Doom versus Doom 3. Super Mario Sunshine versus Super Mario Bros. 3 (and the shift came before 3D; look at Yoshi's Island). Castlevania III versus Dawn of Sorrow.

The shift in the above examples is away from adrenaline-driven gameplay to various tones of exploration -- and in each case, I think it's a crashing failure in contrast to what preceded.

I feel more generally favorable towards the NES/Genesis/SNES era or eras because of this. Sometimes I think it's because I'm a fogey, but it's truthfully more because of the change in design focus. And that design focus seems to be shifting, or "maturing", with the industry's age and the age of its audience.

Though I can't figure why an 8 year old or a 25 year old would be more attuned to what amounts to a sedation of design, what we see is prevalency of games that want the gamer to hunt for 500 blue coins rather than to simply and only find a way to survive for one more level.

Games should be at least somewhat difficult to beat -- they should not be interactive comic books or movies, and they should not be considered difficult only because of how drawn out they have become in the artificial length that stems from this new mindset of area exploration in place of survival.

It's like a lowering of standards in our public schools. "We want everybody to graduate."

Implementing difficulty and requiring skill in response is looked down upon by many in the industry as an impediment to better sales figures. Perhaps video games, like so much else in our culture, are slowly being feminized.

This is what it means for games to become ever-more mainstream. You're "hardcore" if you want a game that challenges you and provides a thrill in its mandatory need for good reflexes.

Video games, as they used to be, were not the most universal of entertainments because of baseline skill requirement. If you were inherently uncoordinated then you were shit out of luck.

But this is not a comfortable, over-arcing sales plan. And I think we're seeing the response from the industry.

With bigger companies and bigger stakes, the more the problem deepens.

Drixxel
05-02-2006, 03:36 PM
But what would be the point of stat development at all?

Make the castle easy 90% of the time, only to dump that whenever you're supposed to face a boss? Then what were you building your stats for in the first place?

Old school Castlevania is, like most games of its era, about the challenge. Today's Castlevania is absolutely hostile to challenge.

I don't think you can mix the two styles effectively -- not when they are so diametrically opposed.

Obviously I haven't thought about this to the degree of a game developer, but the idea is that you'd carry your equipment and beefed-up stats into the sidescrolling platform stages. Maybe limit your control over stats to found equipment, and have the boss battles reward you with increased hit points or attack power to keep you from becoming over-levelled before boss fights. Maybe even drop the "levelling up" and experience collecting aspect completely, or at least make some changes to it to allow for a smoother transition from exploration to platforming.

Anyways, point being, I think if Konami thought hard enough about it, they'd be able to combine the two Castlevanias.

j_factor
05-02-2006, 09:55 PM
Circle of the Moon looks fantastic on a Game Boy Player. Really, try it out.