I’m slightly late to the party – not having a computer and spending most of your time chasing your tail trying to tend to basic matters causes that sort of thing – but there’s something folks might want to know about.
I love Castlevania. Well, I used to; from my first foray into Dracula’s castle back on the NES, through the numerous iterations, up to the glorious rebirth and new style that marked Symphony of the Night, onward to the crowning glory (and my personal favorite), Curse of Darkness. It hangs out with Metal Gear and Silent Hill in my hall of amazing game series, ones that will almost always inspire me to say “Shut up and take my money!”
There was, at one point, during the late PS2/early PS3 era, a trailer for something that looked an awful lot like a direct sequel to Curse of Darkness; it featured someone who looked much like Trevor/Ralph Belmont, another resembling Hector the Devil Forgemaster, and someone who just about had to be Alucard. My fangasm was nearing; this would be epic! Then IGA (the mastermind behind the series for much of its more successful years) quietly faded away. The trailers and concept art drifted away. News was scant. And then some other game I’d heard of and seen trailers for but was not nearly as excited for suddenly got rebranded as a Castlevania. That was Lords of Shadow.
Now, don’t get me wrong, here. Lords of Shadow was a fairly competent game; it just wasn’t what I wanted. Where was my exploration? My RPG Grindy-ness? My androgyne bishi protagonists and antaonists? The passel of weapons and spells and awesome monsters I’d come to love and expect? All gone. Instead we got a God of War knockoff with some amazing voice acting, an incredibly thin plot, and devil penis. Not as bad as appeared in Dante’s Inferno, but it was still there. And the ending speech was awful. Still, it was an okay way to spend a weekend.
Then they gave us Mirror of Fate, which tried to take the elements of the previous “Metroidvania” games that I adored and cram it into the series’ reboot. That was less than successful. Weapons and monster design were still missing, how they crammed Alucard in was awful, and the level design was a sad imitation of greats like Symphony or Dawn of Sorrow. But still amusing, at least for a little bit.
And then came Lords of Shadow 2. Which was utter shite. I don’t understand how they borked that one so badly. But they did. It’s not like I was expecting something that would knock me on my ass, saying “whoa!” like Castlevania III, Symphony, Curse or Order of Ecclesia did – though I would have welcomed the surprise – but a semi-competent “Like Rygar but…” sequel to Lords would have been fine for my $40.
Konami seems intent on setting up a scorched earth policy for their fan favorite series. I find it amusing that they’re also my three favorite series of all time. Silent Hill? Went byebye. Metal Gear? Well, after Solid 5 drops later this year, Kojima’s walking away from Konami and the future remains murky (or doomed to endless, pointless sequels. Really no hope for my Boss-centric WWII game that I was promised ages ago, or Revengeance 2). And they staked Castlevania with Lords 2.
But there’s hope. A shining ray in the darkness. Or maybe that’s a ray of darkness in the blinding light. Iga, may all the higher and lower powers love him, is off doing his own thing over on Kickstarter. It’s called Bloodstained.
You have about three weeks as of today’s writing. So, if you have any love in your cold, dead hearts for Iga and Castlevania back in the PS1/DS era.. click s this link, now. You will be made happy. I promise.
Also, I apologize for the bad formatting, lack of images or embedded videos, and the link not opening in a new window. The WordPress app quite frankly sucks for creating content on mobile. Alas.