News Article

Round Table: Let's Talk About Castlevania

Posted by Nintendo Life Staff

Thomas Whitehead: Moving on from GBA, DS and Simon’s Quest remake dreams, let's look at the Wii titles. To start with Castlevania Judgement, due to this being a fighting game does it sit, in your view, within the series canon?

Damien McFerran: Judgement was a bad call by Konami, simple as that.

Christopher Ingram: I stayed far away from it.

Corbie Dillard: A cash-in title at best.

Dave Frear: Isn't that the game where the impractically dressed women stand around talking about their breasts?

Corbie Dillard: I think that's the new Pong Toss game.

Damien McFerran: It's just wrong on so many levels. The fighting isn't actually that bad, but the idea of bringing together characters from different time zones just smacks of desperation.

Corbie Dillard: I'm with Damo.

Damien McFerran: Plus, the designs were god-awful.

Dave Frear: Again, I don't think something different is necessarily bad, but not this.

Thomas Whitehead: Well, that was unanimous! Castlevania Rebirth, meanwhile, brought a retro-styled 2D game to WiiWare, what did you think of this?

Corbie Dillard: I loved it. I thought it offered up a lot of classic gameplay touches and some very nice visuals.

Damien McFerran: I'm ashamed to admit I've never played it, which is terrible when you consider it's exactly the kind of Castlevania I've been praying for Konami to make for years. Maybe one of our kind readers can gift it to me. Hint.

Corbie Dillard: Was it perfect? No. But it was solid.

Christopher Ingram: It was about time! Fantastic game and one of WiiWare’s best titles.

Dave Frear: I only purchased it quite recently but I think it’s a decent enough game. Quite newcomer-friendly too with the easier mode and adjustable life-count.

Thomas Whitehead: Indeed. Being a wimp at times, I was grateful for the option to turn off the 'classic' style of leaping backwards when hit. What a relief!

Corbie Dillard: A part of me still wishes they'd have built upon it and released it as a retail title.

Dave Frear: There's many other games from the series I'd rate higher but it's a solid entry with a variety of things for you to see. If anyone's looking to try out the series, this £7 (or regional equivalent) download would be a good starting point.

Corbie Dillard: It was a nice bone to toss us old-school Castlevania fans and we appreciate it.

Damien McFerran: Indeed.

Christopher Ingram: Exactly! Also a vast improvement on the GB original, on which it is based. A vast improvement.

Thomas Whitehead: Next up, what do you think is next for Castlevania on Nintendo, either 3DS or Wii U?

Corbie Dillard: I hope they go 3DS, because I think it's the perfect platform for a good 2D Castlevania game with the depth of 3D.

Dave Frear: Yeah a 2D style Castlevania with some fancy 3D effects could work really well.

Damien McFerran: I think Castlevania's 2D days are slowly coming to a close. Lords of Shadow has proven that there is a receptive audience for a 3D Castlevania, although ironically it's mostly people who have never played the 2D ones. I think we'll see a 3D Castlevania on the 3DS, and possibly one on the Wii U.

Christopher Ingram: 3DS please! Playing the Ambassador games just feels so right on the 3DS and I think it's a perfect fit for these types of game to transition to.

Corbie Dillard: Someone get me a petition.

Damien McFerran: With fries…

Christopher Ingram: I'll sign it!

Dave Frear: I agree, but there's no way Wii U will get a 2D Castlevania so I see 3DS as our only hope.

Damien McFerran: I wish Konami would do a proper collection of all the Castlevania games.

Dave Frear: The first three NES games were released on a PC disc with a couple of Contra games but it's strange there haven't been more collections.

Thomas Whitehead: I can see the 3DS, bizarrely, becoming a haven for 2D platformers with depth, long term. It could be a good way for Konami to produce a new Castlevania on a small budget.

Damien McFerran: True. I just think that Konami knows now that it can make a commercially and critically successful 3DS entry.

Corbie Dillard: Once I saw what Renegade Kid was doing with Mutant Mudds on 3DS, it really blew me away with the possibilities for 2D platformers in 3D depth.

Christopher Ingram: I'm actually shocked we haven't seen more 2D titles on DSiWare. I hope that the eShop fares much better in this genre as I see it as a perfect place for developers to take the risk for publishing nostalgic games — worked wonders for WayForward!

Corbie Dillard: I just think Castlevania will always work best in 2D. At least for me, personally.

Damien McFerran: Me too.

Corbie Dillard: Some games just don't translate to 3D very well (ahem, Sonic).

Damien McFerran: Indeed. I think so much of Castlevania's appeal is the detailed 2D visuals.

Thomas Whitehead: Finally, of all your Nintendo experiences with the series, which is your favourite game? You have to pick one...

Corbie Dillard: I will always love Simon's Quest the most. To me, start to finish, it's the best overall Castlevania experience out there.

Thomas Whitehead: Interesting, Corbie!

Corbie Dillard: And I apologise to our esteemed News Editor, James Newton, for the Sonic comment!

Damien McFerran: Tough one. For me, it's a close run thing between Castlevania IV and Belmont's Revenge. If I was really pushed, I'd say Castlevania IV.

Christopher Ingram: Belmont's Revenge (Game Boy).

Thomas Whitehead: Castlevania IV for me too: I've been replaying it this week, it's just epic.

Dave Frear: Well I really like both Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse and Super Castlevania IV, but today I'm going to go with Rondo of Blood. It has a really impressive first level with things in flames, skeletons bursting through windows and giant rock monsters, and then it gets better.

Damien McFerran: I wish I'd played Rondo back in the day, I think I would have liked it more than I do now.

Dave Frear: I really liked the stage with the ships, and there's a great moment later on with a very long and crumbly bridge with huge bats attacking you. I love the music in it as well, the usual things like Vampire Killer. Track two sounds like it’s from a game show, but somehow it still works. Cracking game, cracking soundtrack.

Rondo of Blood — it has a really impressive first level with things in flames, skeletons bursting through windows and giant rock monsters, and then it gets better.

Christopher Ingram: Believe it or not, Aria of Sorrow follows a close second for me.

Damien McFerran: Aria is great, the best GBA one.

Corbie Dillard: I love Rondo and always will, but if I was going for second place it would be the original Casltevania on NES.

Damien McFerran: Wow, over Dracula's Curse?

Corbie Dillard: Yup.

Damien McFerran: If I could have picked any game, I think Bloodlines would have been in there with a shot. I wish Konami would release it on the Wii Virtual Console.

Corbie Dillard: I still love Bloodlines, but it has a very different feel to it. In a good way.

Christopher Ingram: Also, most people seem to not know that the original Castlevania is remade for PSone, called Castlevania Chronicles. It's fantastic! It plays exactly like the original, but the graphics have gotten an overhaul. Love it!

Damien McFerran: I'd just like to say before we finish that the Cloud Castle music in Belmont's Revenge makes me want to weep openly with joy.

Thomas Whitehead: On that point, I think we’ll bring this round table to a close.

Corbie Dillard: I'm going to go and start the "Remake Simon's Quest" petition.

So, as Corbie rushes off to begin his quest for a Castlevania II remake, the rest of us are going to enjoy some classic Castlevania gaming. We’d love to hear your memories of the series or thoughts on what’s been said in the comments below.

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User Comments (21)



ThomasBW84 said:

@Corbs - Indeed, it was fun

This round table made me realise that I need to track down a few of the games I've missed out on. It's time for a Castlevania-thon in my house!



Karakato said:

Great read guys, Castlevania is one of the most consistent series from Konami IMO (The 2D games as far as I'm concerned.) As a whole, I'd consider the metroidvania titles to be better than the classic ones, with the only exception of Rondo of Blood, which I believe was the series' peak. I just hope Konami continues the tradition of releasing 3 games for the 3DS.



Shiryu said:

Changed my life in making me see (hear?) what could be done with chiptune music. It is overall one of the franchises responsible for the way I love video games nowadays and probably why I really fell more entertained playing old 8 and 16 bit games instead of the new ones.



Omenapoika said:

Castlevania hasn't yet done the metroid into 3D. Following Primes would create another type of metroidvania

Judgement is a godawful game, but it gives a good laughter. It's totally ridiculous! Despite being barely playable, I played the whole thing through twice with out friends + vs. matches, which actually make it to about a 100hrs of playtime, and would sound like a loved game.

I hope 3DS gets something as awesome as Dawn of Sorrow was for the DS... My favorites are the unlinear DSvanias.



Omenapoika said:

@6 me, whoops, I completely forgot the Lords of Shadow which is a pretty nice 3D castlevania! Although lacks a lot of original atmosphere with epic themes and loss of groovy synth music



ueI said:

I think I'm more likely to replay the newer games because they are huge! With all the content and options, no two experiences will feel the same. I think I would get tired of repeatedly playing the same level in one of the older games.



RudysaurusRex said:

I've put 70 hours into Portrait of Ruin total, most of it is leveling up weapons and finding all the drop items, but it is one of my favorite DS games.



pikku said:

I'm playing through Aria of Sorrow now, and I've gotta say, amazing game. Incredible. I love collecting souls and experimenting with different weapons.



ogo79 said:

beautiful feature!
thanks for showing the series love.
im close to finishing my Castlevania collection. ive got a few people collecting them as well. got to love that



Link79 said:

I've been playing all the games in chronological order this whole month. My first experience was with the original Nes game. It was hard as hell but that awesome music kept me coming back for more! I was always a big horror fan so the Vampire theme drew me in. Once i got into it I couldn't stop playing!

I wish Konami would hurry up and announce something new for the series. I'm starting to think they have run out of ideas. Releasing the Gameboy games on 3DS would be a step in the right direction. Or How about some Bloodlines on Wii VC?
I think we've waited long enough.



SwerdMurd said:

amazing game in an amazing series. The more Castlevania-themed articles, the merrier imo. Doing another run of CV Rebirth, Classic Control, on Hard mode in honor of last year's run. This year? 3 lives intead of 9



FluttershyGuy said:

Great round table, guys! Nicely summed up what was great about the earliest games. IMO, the dark, brooding theme with skeletons and dripping blood everywhere is the best representation of Castlevania. One I thought was perfected with IV!

And I do greatly enjoy the Metroidvanias. But, I too am far more likely to pick up the straight playthrough Castlevanias. It's true that they're just easier to get into. I think it's kind of symbolic of the earlier video games period being better by way of being simpler. I firmly believe that the more complicated games are made, the less enjoyable they are. It would be wonderful to hear news of any form of 2D Castlevania.

However, as I'm worried about the future of the franchise, like I am Mega Man, I'd be happy to hear Konami announce any Castlevania title. There hasn't been a peep (that I know of) of a new one anytime soon. It really feels like Konami doesn't know what to do with the series after the "reboot". Konami itself seems to be in a serious state of decline.

Back to 2D, it's sad to think of never seeing the traditional Castlevania format winding down. Even handheld game systems becoming so powerful has me concerned about the future of gaming, Castlevania and otherwise. I'm afraid the day will come when video games are nothing more than interactive movies, because there's this push for fancy 3D visuals over gameplay. To a degree, Lords of Shadow felt like that (or what I've played... I've not finished it). Simply pushing the right buttons at the right times.



XD375 said:

Count me in as a guest if you ever do a Mega Man discussion? :3

I really need to play more Rondo...



alLabouTandroiD said:

Great round table 'bout a great series.
Of course i played a lot of these games so far (starting with Castlevania I or III on the NES ... can't remember). And while i love the graphics, sound and gameplay (liking the story elements, but they're not that that important to me) i can't remember much from 'em.
Of course it would be really great to both have brand-new games on the 3DS, Wii and Wii U as well as more VC releases on the Wii(U) and 3DS. Imagine what Retro could do with this franchise.
Especially if they're more classic-oriented than the Metroidvania games. I mean i like 'em but they're getting a bit stale after six in a row.



Steamboat_Willie said:

The platforming, music graphics and challenge have always been the reason why I love this series.

As far as story is concerned? It has never mattered to me. For me it's just: You're a Belmont and it's your job to go into Dracula's castle and kick his butt. That's it.

And finally, I also prefer the old school games over the Metroid style ones for the same reasons that Damien said at the end. I still enjoy the newer ones, though. =)

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