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Konami: Forget Everything You Know About Castlevania

Posted by Damien McFerran

"You've got to drive the series forward" says producer Dave Cox

With the release of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate looming on the horizon, Konami producer Dave Cox has given a little more insight into the game's storyline and how it fits within the twisted Castlevania canon.

Speaking to GameSpot, Cox stressed that although it's part of a long and proud line of games, fans should shelve their expectations before playing:

I'm probably going to get murdered for saying this, but like we said with Lords of Shadow, forget everything you know about Castlevania, because on the surface, it seems like a traditional 2D side-scrolling Castlevania game, but in many ways it's just a continuation of what we did with Lords of Shadow. If people really enjoyed Lords of Shadow , then they'll love Mirror of Fate. It's really like a squeezed-down version of that game.

Mirror of Fate - like Lords of Shadow before it - has come under attack from some Castlevania fans for taking liberties with the storyline. However, Cox made it clear that the series has to develop and evolve in order to remain successful, and explains how the 3DS version came into existence:

You've got a fan base that's dedicated to Castlevania, just as I was as a fan, but at the same time you've got to do something new. You've got to drive the series forward. You know, I don't want it to die. I want it to stay relevant and popular. Getting that balance right has been pretty tough, but at the same time with respect to Lords of Shadow, I think we took a risk.

Even when the game came out, we weren't sure if it was going to be successful or not. It's kind of why we went to handheld because we didn't know what the next step was going to be. We didn't know if the game was going to be popular, so we said, "Let's make a handheld game; you don't need much money." We could do something small in order to carry on the series if necessary. Luckily, the game was successful, and senior management said, "You need to make a sequel." That was great, but we already started the 3DS game, so it was like, "OK, right." Luckily, we had a very rough idea about the arc, but we didn't have the detail, if you know what I mean. So we've got the beginning, and we've got the end, so let's develop the ideas and make it fit within the arc. That's how Mirror of Fate came about.

He also added that although the game would stick to the combat-heavy template of Lords of Shadow, there's plenty of exploration involved - something which should go some way to appeasing "Metroidvania" fans:

I think we tried, particularly with Mirror of Fate, to meet some of those detractors a little bit further and meet their demands. We felt exploration wasn't as good as it could be in Lords of Shadow; we felt that was a weakness of the game. So when we were designing Mirror of Fate, exploration was much higher up on the list of things we wanted to achieve in terms of the final product. At the same time, we wanted to make sure the combat focus of the title, which is what Lords of Shadow was…we wanted to make sure that element was at the forefront. We don't want people who bought Lords of Shadow to suddenly get something different.

Mirror of Fate is certainly one of the most eagerly-awaited titles of 2013 in the Nintendo Life office - are you excited about the game? Let us know by posting a comment below.

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User Comments (22)



PinkSpider said:

Watched a recent video and while its not traditional castlevania it does look good with some of the best graphics on the 3ds.
I hope wayforward get a chance to make a castlevania game next



Bass_X0 said:

I'm not a "they changed it so it sucks" person. I am however, a "they changed it and its bad so it sucks" person. If they change it and its completely different but still good, then fine. There are good and bad ways to pushing a series forward.



Einherjar said:

And whats so good about "a squeezed down version of that game" ? Dont get me wrong, i really liked Lords of Shadow but marketing your new game with a sentence like that is pretty stupid.



naut said:

So in other words:




Phle said:

I'm really looking forward to this game. The graphics look really good from what I can tell, and I love games that really amaze with good graphics. Kid Icarus must be the game that has amazed me most on 3DS so far, I hope that this game will at least come close. Maybe it's a sign that it's out on my birthday. If so, it means buy this game day one (^_^)



gojiguy said:

if you're going to run the series into the ground at least release all of the classics on VC.

I want Bloodlines.



Spoony_Tech said:

Can't wait to try this out! Definitely looking like the best graphically out this year. Now if the game play matches that then we have a hit on our hands. So many games coming out for the 3ds and so little time too play them all.



aaronsullivan said:

The original Castlevania was a campy romp through all the old horror movie staples that was difficult and colorful and fun. It evolved into something more serious and moody, but, for me, it has just gone too far in that direction. It's just gross and depressing now. :-/

I'd prefer if they sort of kept a side Castlevania franchise going that keeps it more fun while they explore that stuff.



Tasuki said:

From what I have noticed all the people that say the LoS series sucks are just people who won't change with the times. I love how people sit here and say oh they need to move a series forward they need to change it up so its not so stale then when a company like Konami does with the Castlevania the people whine and complain on how it sucks and its nothing like the other Castlevanias. Come on people make your minds up do you or do you not want change?

ON that note I am looking very much forward to this game as I did enjoy LoS but thats cause I didnt compare it to the older Castelvanias. I approached it like it was its own title.



retro_player_22 said:

If the game sucks then I'll totally forget about the Castlevania series, we still got an awesome swansong game for DS at the least. I never had any interest in any of the 3D Castlevania games, they tend to bored me more than the 2D ones. If Konami wants to live longer as a gaming company, make more games like the GBA and DS trilogy of awesome 2D Castlevania title (heck even make more like in Castlevania Rebirth) cause getting waterdown version of a crappy 3D Castlevania game is just shameful.



Parfait said:

Nah, I'd rather forget all about MercurySteam and replay the IGA Castlevanias.



Parfait said:

@expa0 Just like Tameem really, they really think they're making these franchises better when all the fans know they're killing them.



KnightRider666 said:

I still have serious reservations about changing a perfect formula. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. However, I do understand where this guy is coming from. With that said, I will wait for reviews and a used copy to purchase from Gamestop.



Capt_N said:

Might try a demo of this, if one ever comes to the 3DS eShop. Don't know. Not a Castlvania fan.



DaemonSword said:

It was inevitable. I liked the old formula, but they seemed to be running out of ideas before LoS (Portrait Of Ruin was the last one that I liked, Order Of Ecclesia had some good things, but was a clusterF overall, and it didn't recover after that). I welcome the change and the update to more mature themes, which, unless the game was going to hire the late Leslie Nielsen to be Dracula, the camp was getting worse that what Joel Schumacher was doing with the Batman film franchise.



Windy said:

Im glad he explained alot and can appreciate all the information. But im going to skip it based on the information recieved. Ive hated the screenshots and artwork ive seen for the game all along. I will see what reviewers have to say.

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