Oh Konami, when will you learn? How many times have you guys tried to take Castlevania from its classic 2D origins and bring it into the 3D realm now? I've seriously lost count. It never works. That doesn't stop them from trying, though.
Yesterday, at the company's press conference, they unveiled the latest attempt: Castlevania: Lords of Shadows. I get the feeling this is probably Konami's most serious attempt to finally branch out beyond the successful Nintendo DS "Metroid-Vania" styled games. They've lined up an impressive voice cast (Patrick Stewart, Robert Carlyle, Natasha McElhone) and the real kicker is that the project is being overseen by Konami's golden boy Hideo Kojima (and it should be noted that he's overseeing—Kojima Productions is not producing the actual game).
I was going to start off this story by saying that it was bad news for the fans of the whip-wielding, vampire-slaying Belmont clan, but I'm not entirely convinced that news stating the planned live action adaptation of Konami's wildly popular Castlevania series is dead is a particularly bad thing.
Castlevania: Curse of Darkness is the newest game in the venerable Castlevania series, and it leaps forth in another bid to bring the dark world of Dracula into three dimensions. It obviously builds upon the foundations set by Lament of Innocence, while addressing lessons learned there—particularly that Lament was far too short. Curse of Darkness attempts to give the modern gamer something he can really sink his teeth into.
Game Description: Castlevania: Curse of Darkness delivers an entirely new storyline and main character to the classic game world. In Castlevania the story always revolved around the Belmont family and Dracula, but now there's a new character with new abilities: Hector, a Devil Forgemaster who once refined his skills under Dracula. Fueled by revenge for the murder of his girlfriend, Hector sets off to confront the evil forces of the night. Armed with the powerful skill of Devil Forgery, he must find his way back to the ruins of Dracula's castle and uncover an intricate web of deception—completely unaware that it is all a sinister play, orchestrated to lure him home.
The GBA games were high-quality titles, and on the DS, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is no exception. I definitely agree with Brad in this regard. Yet, for all the quality of the work, I feel Castlevania has finally—for now—run out of steam.
Game Description: Continuing the storyline from the critically-acclaimed Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow follows Soma Cruz who finds himself at the center of a mysterious cult's plan to resurrect their evil lord and master, Dracula. Players will find themselves in the role of Soma, the game's protagonist, as they infiltrate the enemy's lair, a towering replica of Dracula's castle, and battle against gruesome creatures and the franchise's signature oversized bosses. Drawing inspiration from the past Castlevania titles and their role playing roots, players can, through an enhanced Tactical Soul System, collect more souls than ever before to upgrade abilities and skills. Completing this compelling gaming experience are its stunning graphics, special effects as well as an all-new musical score.
The latest entry, Dawn of Sorrow, comes courtesy of the Nintendo DS. For those not familiar with the games (what, all four of you?) the action consists of taking the current main character, Soma Cruz, and exploring a large, intricate castle. Along the way, Soma collects various weapons and items, steadily gaining in strength and ability. Presented in glorious 2D, its colorful and attractive graphics are a good match for the handheld.
Game Description:Castlevania: Lament of Innocence propels you ten centuries into the past and into the role of Leon Belmont, the forefather of the legendary Belmont Clan and the first in the the family's long line of vampire hunters. Your mission is only one, to find the love of your life who has disappeared.
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