Castlevania DS Preview
Written by: Alexander Truong
This article was written before any information was known on Castlevania DS
In September 1986, a strange hero wielding a whip appeared in a game that featured many “movie monsters”. This game was titled Akumajou Dracula (“Castlevania” in USA). It’s been 18 years since the series started, now we are standing with a franchise containing over 20 titles. The series has gone through various producers with various game styles, and now the it’s in the hands of a man named Koji “IGA” Igarashi. His games are quite different from the previous Castlevania titles. In his 2D titles (Symphony of the Night, Harmony of Dissonance, and Aria of Sorrow), many ideas and gameplay aspects appeared that seemed to be inspired by Metroid and the series’ black sheep, Simon’s Quest. His 3D title, Lament of Innocence, seems to take inspiration from games such like Devil May Cry and Rygar and fuses it with ideas from his 2D games to provide a unique and fun game, although lacking in variety.
Now we have confirmation that there is a Castlevania title coming to the awaited Nintendo DS handheld console. In an issue of EGM, Koji Igarashi commented that he is planning to make a Castlevania for the DS with gameplay similar to Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow for the Gameboy Advance. Later on Nintendo confirmed that Castlevania, the series, is going towards the Nintendo DS.
But from this limited information, there’s two main possibilities for how Castlevania DS will be:
1) 2D successor to Symphony of the Night
Many people see Symphony of the Night, for the Sony Playstation console, as the best game in the series. The recent Gameboy Advance titles were working towards what SotN had set as a standard, but the Gameboy Advance was simply not powerful enough to handle a game like SotN. Some people believe there just wasn’t enough manpower or original ideas behind the games but that is not the case. Aria of Sorrow is one of the best titles on Gameboy Advance (according to reviews from the media and gamers) and it shares many gameplay features as Symphony of the Night. The Castlevania “trilogy” on Gameboy Advance has become must-haves in many groups. This new DS successor would have the ability to surpass SotN because of the system’s power and media. For the ones that didn’t play Symphony of the Night, it is an interesting mix between Castlevania: Simon’s Quest, a pinch of Super Metroid, and a dash of RPG elements. You play as Dracula’s Son, Alucard, who could weild knuckles, swords, and knives. You are free to explore the castle but some places require you to gain powerups, such as high jump or double jump, to proceed. They could create more weapons (with unleashes), beautiful music, and a huge castle. The touch screen could possibly be used for a real-time menu. But this is only a possibility, I can’t get into the minds of developers.
2) 3D sidegame to Lament of Innocence
In October 2003, Igarashi’s 3D Castlevania was released. Many loved the game, many hated the game. I enjoyed the game despite its major flaw, the lack of variety (mainly levels). This game featured some of the best controls and autoaiming I’ve used in any game. But it’s probably a matter of preference. This game was also like a 3D successor to Harmony of Dissonance (the second Gameboy Advance title). It seems to have all the features of the game, down to the bland and lacking variety, with a bit of additions to make the game survive in the 3D world. To get an idea on how Lament plays, think Castlevania: SotN in 3D with combos and not as much variety. Now since Lament was like a 3D Harmony. How would a 3D Aria of Sorrow be? I personally would like to see another 3D Castlevania from IGA. If the next 3D Castlevania could fix Lament’s flaws, this would work towards a huge step for the series. Again, the touchscreen’s features seem limited to menus and maps, but I cannot predict what Igarashi will do.
Either way, or even if the series takes another path, this installment towards the DS is worth watching. The Castlevania series has come a long way and it’s still climbing higher and higher. The Castlevania series has many thing almost every gamer could enjoy. It has Action, Adventure, and RPG elements. Just put a pin on this one.
This preview may appear on more than one site. All sites have the expressed agreement from it’s author.
In the modified words of Samuel L. Jackson: “Enough is enough! I have had it with these [monkey-fighting people] on th[ese] [monday to friday issues]!”
For as long as I had this blog or typed on the internet, I don’t speak politics that much. But this just peeves me. This concerns reactions and behaviors around the Judge Walker Decision on the California Prop 8 thing. Yes, I have read it. It was the silliest juggle of language I have encountered in the longest time. This suggests this, this suggests that. No particular solid facts for other sides.
See Tomorrow started out adopting a few ideas from here and there to build a Role Playing Game styled statistical way of doing things. A major influence to this system was the Fallout game series as well as the Dungeon & Dragons series of role playing games.
Some years after the world had felt the terrors of the outbreaks and battles, paper money has become less appealing across the barren and broken land.
To recap: Just read the last post! Just scroll down, it’s not so hard. Well… Let’s continue this tale.
Looks like 2009 is almost over. I cannot say that this year did not have it’s fill of interesting and life-changing events. I cannot turn my head and say good-bye to it quite yet as well. I’d like to revisit some events that stood out for me in this year. I’ll be going a few to reflect upon as a result of posting this on the blog, others will be able to read it too…