News Article

Konami: We Had To Take Risks With Castlevania To Prevent It Becoming Like Mega Man

Posted by Damien McFerran

Producer Dave Cox explains why throwing caution to the wind worked

MercurySteam's reboot of Castlevania in 2010 may have upset some hardcore fans of the series, but in terms of sales it was a triumph. Lords of Shadow became Konami's best selling game in North America for that year, and its second most successful European release. That's quite a turnaround for a series which was well and truly stuck in the mire commercially.

To producer Dave Cox, it's proof that tearing up the rulebook works. Speaking to EDGE magazine, Cox was unrepentant about his team's choice to drastically alter the storyline, characters and gameplay of the franchise:

We needed to make a change, so we did. The Castlevania series wasn't going anywhere, sales were dwindling and it was appealing to only a very small hardcore base of fans. That's how franchises die. The success of Lords of Shadow proved to everyone that there's life in the series yet and that people could accept us going in a new direction, and we can do that again. We have to take these risks if Castlevania is to survive, otherwise it's just going to be like Mega Man.

Some might call that dig at Capcom's beloved series a low-blow, but there's no denying that Mega Man is currently stuck in the doldrums. The hugely-anticipated Mega Man Legends 3 was cancelled in 2011 and it has recently been revealed that former Metroid Prime developers at Armature had been working on a radically different FPS take on the series — which was abandoned when Keiji Inafune left the company.

The Blue Bomber's 25th birthday is this year, yet Capcom has failed to mark the occasion in any meaningful manner — aside from a few accessories and custom-designed laptops.

Conversely, MecurySteam's Lords of Shadow sub-series has totally revived the fortunes of the Castlevania brand. The 360 / PS3 original was followed this year by the excellent Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate on the 3DS, and Lords of Shadow 2 is expected later in 2013 — although a Wii U release isn't currently on the cards, sadly.

Do you think Cox is correct in his comments? Should Capcom take a risk with Mega Man to make the series a mainstream proposition once more? Would you have liked to have seen Armature's FPS Mega Man make it to market? As ever, post a comment to tell us what you think.

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User Comments (82)

Pixel-Perfect

#1

Pixel-Perfect said:

Eh... I'm one of those 'hardcore fans' that hasn't been tempted by the reboots... the most recent Castlevania game I bought was The Adventure Rebirth.

At the same time, I'd be happy to give Mega Man 11 a go, as long as it's good.

Midnight3DS

#2

Midnight3DS said:

Booooo hisssssss

Call me a 'very small hardcore base fan' if you wish, but copying the God of War gameplay isn't an interesting risk at all. I like God of War because it's God of War. I liked Castlevania because it was Castlevania.

Thankfully I still have the originals, and can play Symphony of the Night over, and over, and over again and not tire of it.

200% completion every time. The only way to play.

DamoAdmin

#3

Damo said:

@Midnight3DS I'm as hardcore a CV fans as they come (CV4 for life) but I really enjoyed the LoS titles. You have to just accept that change is going to happen with a lot of established franchises - look at Metroid Prime, for example. Just because a company takes a fresh direction with a franchise doesn't mean that the fresh direction is a "bad" thing. LoS 2 is looking amazing, and IMO the rebooted story is a million times more interesting than the plots in previous CV games - let's be honest, only SotN had a storyline which was interesting.

BlatantlyHeroic

#4

BlatantlyHeroic said:

@Midnight3DS You are a "very small hardcore base fan."
He's also right, and the Wii U has the same problem as in pretty much only the hardcore fan base bought the Wii U.
If you don't want change, then play the NSMB series.

Einherjar

#5

Einherjar said:

To be honest, i really liked Lords of Shadows although im a big fan of the classics and the exploration games (hate the term metroidvania).
Mirror of Fate felt liek a mixed bag to me, it wasnt bad, but it wasnt that good either. It was a very solid, fun and well made experience but nothing spectacular.
And to compare mercurys 3D Castlevania to Konamis own attempts, Lords of Shadow wins hands down in my book. They have done the right thing if you ask me. They didnt overcomplicate it nor did they oversimplify the game. They made a good, linear action game, a good mix between the classics, the 3D titles and recend hack and slay games.
As much as i like nostalgia and retro games, you cant depend on that all the time. Nothing can compare to the classics, and trying to do so, will most likely result in disappointment. Look at MegaMan. 9 and 10 were perfectly fine games by any means and still, people call 2 and 4 the best of the series. My best guess is, that nostalgia is such a big factor in it, that you simply cannot emulate, so why trie it over and over ?

Dinosaurs

#6

Dinosaurs said:

I would really like another game in the style of The Adventure Rebirth for 3DS but that's not happening. I'll just be waiting for Castlevania iii on virtual console.

Midnight3DS

#7

Midnight3DS said:

@Damo

I've said this in the past, and I hold to it... Mirror of Fate is not a bad game at all. I own it, and am still trying to work my way through it. It's some sort of barrier that keeps me playing in very small doses. I'm trying to let it grow on me, because I like Castlevania that much.

Shiryu

#8

Shiryu said:

Konami is way, WAY behind the mastery they showed in the 16 bit age. Just take a look at their Super Nintendo works and compare them to nowadays. Those were the true "risk taking" days.

Midnight3DS

#9

Midnight3DS said:

@The_Joker @The_Joker

It's not so much about plain change, but how much, and what kind. I'm not one who constantly poo poos an updated version of a classic game. They are often major improvements, and I'm not blinded by nostalgia just for nostalgia sake. I don't feel the new Castlevania is an improvement. It's just... change.

banacheck

#10

banacheck said:

I like the classic's but as he pointed out there where not going anywhere and would have died-off, i think the reboot in Castlevania case turned out really well. Really looking forwards to Lords of Shadows2, and you can always download the classic's.

DarkCoolEdge

#11

DarkCoolEdge said:

I agree with Cox and as much as I like the DS CVs, Mirror of Fate has become my favorite in the series and if they fix some issues the first LoS had, MoF might be replaced by LoS2.

Thanks to change and innovation we get games like Mario 64, Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime...I'm tired of the fanboys who are always claiming for innovation and when they get it cry because they changed the franchise. It' really funny because the 'true' Castlevanias are the linear ones that came before Symphony of the Night (which btw I haven't played yet :( ).

hiptanaka

#12

hiptanaka said:

"It was appealing to only a very small hardcore base of fans. That's how franchises die."

Sad words. Why must every franchise appeal to the broadest possible audience, thereby losing the hardcore audience with the more specific needs? I think they could've kept the Metroidvania Castlevanias (and innovated within that formula) as a separate thread to the God of War clone Castlevania.

CountEkkiM

#13

CountEkkiM said:

well dave is right.. there is sadly more new fans that bought los.. retro castlevania never sold as many copies as los did.. but i like los series even i am a big retrovania fan.

Midnight3DS

#14

Midnight3DS said:

Also, am I alone in this, or do people find learning new moves at 'level-up' to be more fun than finding different sub weapons, secret main weapons and upgrades, different garb providing different boosts? Maybe it's old fashioned, but I feel that's an area that downgraded, and didn't improve.

KeeperBvK

#15

KeeperBvK said:

@Damo Metroid Prime is basically Metroid in 3D. Lords of Shadow isn't Castlevania in 3D, but rather a 3D action game with some allusions to the Castlevania brand. That's the difference.

Raycon

#16

Raycon said:

Well as others have pointed out, change can be good, bad, or neutral depending on how the company handles things.

As long as it's clear that the company cares about what they are doing and the games that they make are of generally good quality, I think most people are okay with change, even if they do ask for throwback games from time to time.

But that also brings up a point sort of like KeeperBvK mentioned. Games like Metroid Prime capture aspects of the original very well, specifically the world you explore, the creatures you fight, and the power ups you get. It's all very Metroid but still offers something new. I think that's the best route to go to find the most success with old fans as well as bringing in new ones. Games that stay true enough to their source material to be familiar, but change things enough to offer a new experience.

It seems that finding that balance is much easier said than done though.

Either way, if even other game companies are saying the Mega Man series is dead now, I find it pretty much undeniable that Capcom didn't screw up big with the series.

LDXD

#17

LDXD said:

@The_Joker change is good but when you copy a game that needed change to begin with doesn't make sense lets face it do we all want our timeless classics to become mindlessly easy button mashers?

@Midnight3DS I agree with you 100%

gojiguy

#18

gojiguy said:

It's too bad "throwing caution to the wind" meant "let's ripoff God of War and ruin the franchise."

I seriously DO NOT LIKE any of the LoS games.

I'd love a new ReBirth game, though. Classicvania is where its at.

LDXD

#19

LDXD said:

Anyway I'm a huge castlevania fan ever since the first on nes if I threw out a top 20 list of my favorite games of all time I guarantee 3 castlevania games would make that list, to me los isn't even castlevania
Darksouls is my new castlevania, it feels more like castlevania anyway

KnightRider666

#20

KnightRider666 said:

I like the new Castlevania. I just wish it had more hidden goodies and different equipable weapons that you can pick up(like in SOTN). I would be happy as hell if Capcom continued to make more Mega Man games(11, 12, 13, and so on). If it ain't broken, don't fix it!:)

KnightRider666

#22

KnightRider666 said:

@hiptanaka: That's also a good idea, how could I forget the X series? Though I never played Mega Man X7 or X8, I'd love to see a 16-bit X9. My favorite MMX game was MMX 4, MMX 1 was a very close second. What about yours?

SF2010

#24

SF2010 said:

I'm not a big fan of Megaman franchise, but I love Megaman Legends and DOTB. I don't feel like I can be critic about Megaman fans if they ask for a Megaman12 release, because I don't get the point of their enjoyment. Maybe one day I'll get the point and be so hooked that I need new doses every year. Anyway, I don't feel like being annoying with them, telling them that ML is so cool (glorious PSX 3d!) and they're retro nerds that should shut it up and enjoy silently ML."You still want new rock'n'roll? Why? We have Rihanna!"

I loved the first and third Castlevania for NES, the gameboy releases, SNES games, Genesis (note that none of these is a metroidvania) Rondo of Blood is a wonderful game, SOTN is a fine sequel and its clones are fully enjoyable. "Metroidvania" big concept was just to take all the lineal stages of a Castlevania game, mix it together as different routes and adding hundreds of items that improve the arcade experience and makes you want to slash and advance more and more. Doesn't look like a bad evolution but logic and I'm a part of this small amount of people that love 2d games and will be more than happy to have a new downloable Castlevania every year, with Vanillaware graphic quality and a good price.

I don't care about reboots, if there is a new Castlevania racing game, that sells millions I'm not going to forget about the funny experiences I've had with the series. I'll buy it if I like the racing games, but just it. Not because it's called Castlevania or it even reminds me one. Right now the franchise is the copyright of a company and they can do whatever they want with the saga to sell more. They did it with PS2, two games that I didn't like because the experience was like a DMC downgrade. With LOS I had the same experience, a sluggish control GOW with annoying QTE and not a great story. And a rather ugly look altought HQ graphic motor, but this is just my point of view. I bought it and completed the whole game, that's the reason why I'm talking. The difference was that while you could wait for new 2d releases when the PS2 games were launched, this time the reboot has taken over the portatile, leaving with the sensation that the Castlevania arcades have been killed by Konami and Order of Ecclesia is the end of the run, and you should enjoy the GOW/Tomb Raider/Portal mixed mechanics because you like Castlevania logo, Belmonts and Draculas.
Maybe they could think about this "very small hardcore base of fans" and release low budget games (lower than a LOS) from time to time looking for a regular incoming of purchases, maybe not a big super-seller deal but a stable way of recovering the investment.

Mars_AltGr

#26

Mars_AltGr said:

I dont have any interest in the next megaman series. MegaMan should stay there where he belongs... the past. Same with Castlevania. If the series doesnt play like the older ones (i mean the RPG style of cardridge - Ecclesia i luv ya) i wont gain a copy, thats for sure. This is why i didnt buy a copy of the last Castlevania because its not the RPG like gameplay i miss and which this series its known for (Thank you Capcom for this step forward in Videogames). Well iam justa Metroidvania maniac.

DamoAdmin

#27

Damo said:

@KeeperBvK I think that's a bit of a stretch. Metroid Prime's combat was entirely different to previous games in the series, for starters. Yes, it had the hallmarks of Metroid and was arguably a close match than LoS is to "traditional" Castlevanias, but the Prime series was very much its own entity.

There's quite a difference between the 8-bit Castlevanias and the GBA/DS ones, so it's not like the series hasn't already evolved before. I can't help but feel that people hate on LoS purely because it's coded by a western developer - lest we forget the dire Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness, both DMC/God of War style action titles?

Mahe

#28

Mahe said:

Yeah, I'm not giving Dave Cox's Castlevania the time of the night anymore. That sure 'worked' allright.

@Damo Curse of Darkness was actually good, with good music too. The Lords of Shadow games have just been bad.

Spankenstein

#30

Spankenstein said:

@Damo

I disliked the original LoS because it was just a mediocre action game with an above average story. Can't fault trying something different but when it is a rather large step backwards it seems a shame to carry on in that direction.

However, I am hopeful they can improve matters with a sequel because the developers seem to care about the Castlevania series.

Kevin

#31

Kevin said:

I never liked the Metroidvanias that much and have no interest in playing these God of Warvanias. Give me another 2D classic Castlevania game Konami! To me, those were the best.

hiptanaka

#32

hiptanaka said:

@KnightRider666 I will. I've heard from other sources as well it is the best one next to the first X. PSX, right?

@Kevin Castlevania: Rebirth for Wii was pretty good of what I played. I wouldn't say no to more stuff like that.

DamoAdmin

#34

Damo said:

@Mahe We clearly must have played a different game, then. Curse of Darkness was terrible - and that's coming from someone who adores the series.

accc

#36

accc said:

I'd rather have seen Castlevania die like Mega Man than see it turn into the joke that it's become.

KeeperBvK

#38

KeeperBvK said:

@Damo If people hated LoS for its Western developer, then they'd also hate Dead Rising 2, Metroid Prime (just the game you happened to bring up), Contra 4, Luigi's Mansion 2 and so on.
The reason, people (nearly) universally love Metroid Prime and are so split when it comes to LoS is that Metroid Prime was extremely faithful to the originals (it simply is the most natural way to bring Metroid to 3D), while LoS went its own route and ALSO wasn't nearly as good a game (or rather two of them already).

Dpullam

#39

Dpullam said:

I still haven't gotten the chance to play Castlevania Lords of Shadow yet. I have heard so many good things about but haven't gotten around to purchasing it yet. I enjoyed what I played of the demo though.

Midnight3DS

#40

Midnight3DS said:

@Dpullam

The demo was enough for me not to get the game.

BUT...

I truly believe people that say it's a great game experience with good challenge, and amazing sites to behold. In your case, I'm sure it's worth atleast trying out.

Dpishere

#41

Dpishere said:

@Dpullam I also have yet to play Lords of Shadow, but I plan to some time in the near future since I liked the way the game played when I tried the demo quite a bit ago.

Collision_Cat

#42

Collision_Cat said:

@Pixel-Perfect Castlevania Rebirth is fantastic! I'd love to see more games in the series like that! I'm sure they wouldn't require very much budget, so Konami could release them alongside the bigger budget Castlevania games designed to appeal to the mainstream, right...?

element187

#43

element187 said:

The die hard fans that think Megaman should remain an 8bit shooter are the ones that are killing the franchise.

The game would be actually really good as a FPS... I mean, look at what they did with Metroid Prime series.... but megaman fans moaned and complained and the title was thrown on ice.

DamoAdmin

#44

Damo said:

@KeeperBvK I'm not sure it's as simple as that. LoS reviewed very well and sold very well, too - so where is the basis for it being "not very good"? I think it's just too different for dedicated fans to really deal with. Myself, I've lived through Castlevania games which seemingly have no connection with one another, so it didn't bother me - I could accept it for what it was, a decent God of War clone which skilfully reboots the storyline. I honestly can't see why so many fans hate on it, but that's just me.

KeeperBvK

#45

KeeperBvK said:

Being rated very well and especially being sold very well don't necessarily mean that something truly is good. As for the whole "selling well" thing: Lots of great games bomb at retail and vice versa.
As for the "being rated well" thing: Just imagine an artist struggling to survive on his art for his whole life, because people don't appreciate his work. Then, after his passing away, twenty years later people suddenly start to realize how great his work truly had been.

Oh well, this won't lead anywhere, anyway, so I'll leave it at that. Feel free to add something, but I'll remain quite from hereon. ^^

Andremario

#46

Andremario said:

I agree with damo I can't see how people don't like this game! You have to play with an open mind...note to all fans: castlevania wasn't always a metroidvania...maybe I'm showing my age so sue me but MOF is more similar to the original castlevanias on NES.

Raycon

#47

Raycon said:

@element187

Kindly get your facts straight before speaking in the future.

They didn't cancel Maverick Hunter because fans complained, that game was cancelled before fans even knew about it. There would be no possible way for fans to complain about something they didn't even know existed.

Also plenty of die hard fans have been asking for them to move on from the 8-bit games for a while now. However the footage shown from Maverick Hunter was very polarizing and there's plenty of reason for that too. Even Capcom themselves said that there was a lot of debate internally about going the direction they went, not because it was an FPS but because it was barely recognizable as a Mega Man game at all, and in reality probably wouldn't have been if it weren't for the name.

I think a Mega Man FPS style game could work, in the same sense that the Metroid Prime series worked, but only if they actually found that balance of respecting source material while also creating a new experience I mentioned earlier.

Bass_X0

#48

Bass_X0 said:

Konami should continue the traditional style games on the eShop as 3DSWare.

Yet people would complain because its not on a cartridge.

SparkOfSpirit

#49

SparkOfSpirit said:

Konami made two traditional Castlevania games in the last 20 years.

How is that anything like Mega Man?

Midnight3DS

#50

Midnight3DS said:

@Andremario

While the original Castlevanias may be great from a nostalgia perspective, I would argue the peak of Metroidvanias improved gameplay in every way I can think of.

Ernest_The_Crab

#51

Ernest_The_Crab said:

@Bass_X0 Didn't they already try something similar with DLCs on the 360 and PS3 (Harmony of Despair)? I heard that one only did decently well.

The combat in the 3DS game felt clunky and leveling to unlock moves only served to make things worse (since you didn't really start with that many attacks to begin with).

EDIT: spelling errors

LDXD

#52

LDXD said:

The main problem is Gow was already getting stale at this point and then instead of castlevania reinventing itself to be something completely different wound up copying an already stale game and it's not like it took just a few game play elements from Gow it completely copied it

Caryslan

#53

Caryslan said:

What about Lords of Shadows was not like Castlevania? You still had a warrior by the name of Belmont who used a whip-like weapon that fought off various creatures of darkness such as vampires, werewolves, skeletons, wargs(they were in SOTN), and zombies as he explored castles, abandoned towns, ruins, forests, snowy mountains and even the land of the dead. All the while, he gains access to various relics that increase his abilities, magic, and sub weapons such as silver throwing knives and holy water.

Now, where are the elements that aren't Castlevania in what I just typed?

And if anyone's answer is the gameplay, then you're wrong. The Metroidvania's are also a step away from the core of classic Castlevania. If you want "real" Castlevania, then it needs to be the style of games that were pre-SOTN. And tell me, why is LOS suddenly not a Castlevania game and the Metroidvania games are?

And I find it funny that some people mention Curse of Darkness since that game was a train wreck from start to finish. We have a direct sequel to Castlevania III, but Trevor Belmont in reduced to a supporting role while some unknown character shows up as the hero so they can play up a brand new gameplay system. Grant, Alucard, and Slyphia are all missing from the storyline, we have some nonsense about a time traveler, and we get one of the worst villains in the series in Issac. And the gameplay was a massive stepdown from what Lament of Innocence brought to the table.. Had they done COD right and focused on Trevor and made it a true sequel to Castlevania III, they could have expanded on LOI's gameplay and expanded on Trevor Belmont's storyline. Instead, we got a poor combat system that was only barely saved by the innocent devils and a hero in Hector was was pointless in the grand scheme of things. And I just love how most of the Metroidvania games go out of their way to make the Belmont clan look stupid, useless, or incapable of stopping a threat without the help of some random hero that appears. I thought they were the clan that is destined to destroy Dracula?

As for the Metroidvania elements, I really had fun running down the same corrdors in a given area. COD was a massive stepdown from LOI

if anything, LOS is what a 3D Castlevania should be, and its closer to the old pre-SOTN games then any of the previous attempts. You finally have some real platforming over bottomless pits, the game is difficult, the chapters are divided into separate levels, and you finally have a Belmont who brandishes a whip-like weapon as the main hero. No, its not a perfect game but it felt like it was closer to the spirit of classic Castlevania then many of the recent titles. The main issue it has is the fact that it rebooted the storyline, but things became a jumbled mess anyway as the old series went on. It felt like a Dracula resurrection was just shoved into the timeline to justify a new game being made. If we count all the games(including the ones that were cut out of IGA's timeline), how many times was Dracula resurrected in the 1800s alone? I thought he was only supposed to rise every 100 years?

As for the complaints that LOS plays too much like GOW, let's keep in mind that LOI and COD were often compared to Devil May Cry when they came out. Hell, one of the common complaints about those games was the fact that they were too close in style to DMC. And let's also keep in mind the fact that SOTN were very heavily influenced by Metroid.

LDXD

#54

LDXD said:

^ being a step away from the core gameplay is one thing being the exact same gameplay as Gow is another, its the same exact game different name different coat of paint that's it
The metrovania style castlevania games least had the basic foundations in gameplay as the earlier games and to me feels like castlevania, Los on the other hand feels just like god of war

P-Gamer-C

#55

P-Gamer-C said:

Fortune favors the bold nintendo should take heed and create a new great ip and im really sad about legends its one of my favorite series

Melkaticox

#56

Melkaticox said:

"The Castlevania series wasn't going anywhere, sales were dwindling and it was appealing to only a very small hardcore base of fans"

So he pretty much admitted he's aiming casuals. Or the typical 'OHHHHH BLOOD AND BOOBIES YUMMY!', ehem, 'fanbase'.
Mirror of Fate sucked. Screw that 'bold new direction' b/s, everything about it was wrong.

haniwa

#57

haniwa said:

Bah, I loved the Metroidvania games, Portrait of Ruin is one of my favorite DS games. Classicvania is good too, though some of its supporters go a little overboard with the Metroidvania hatred. I wish they'd pass the torch back to IGA so we can get a proper Metroidvania game on 3DS, but it doesn't sound like they're keen to let go of it.

P-Gamer-C

#58

P-Gamer-C said:

Who should he aim at all of you so called old hardcore fans haven't been buying there old stile games they made a change a good one in my opinion konami still makes great games did you forget the masterpiece that is mgs?

Midnight3DS

#59

Midnight3DS said:

Obviously they're different. That's what's in the article, and what Konami themselves are saying.

paburrows

#60

paburrows said:

THe only reason why Castlevania and Megaman haven't been selling is because they haven't even been making games in the last few years, if they would make a game then it would sell. I tried the new Castlevania at Wondercon and its horrible.

moroboshi

#61

moroboshi said:

I thought Lords of Shadow was at best a mediocre God of War clone with an abysmal camera, terrible frame rate, and a total lack of character and personality. In it's defense, it did at least look really good.

Why can't we just get a proper Castlevania game on a non portable console? Is it too much to ask?

Tasuki

#62

Tasuki said:

I have to say that I am probably the minority here but I rather enjoyed Mirror of Fate and I have been a big Castlevania fan since SotN. I have to say as reboots go this is one of the better ones and I think Konami did a great job on it.

Neram

#64

Neram said:

Mega Man going stagnant had nothing to do with the lack of risk-taking. In fact, it was misplaced risks that brought it to stagnation to begin with. This is of course my point of view, anyway. I think the reason Mega Man is where it is, is simply due to bad support by Capcom, and their lack of confidence in the franchise because of those misplaced risks. By that I mean the X games going sort of "gimmicky" in hopes of changing up the series to keep fans interested, which ended up degrading the lasting appeal of those games, (especially in contrast with the older titles, and the core Mega Man gameplay.) and Mega Man Legends being a risky new endeavor that lead to a niche audience. In my opinion, it was around the PSX times when Mega Man and Mega Man X started to become niche, probably due to Capcom trying too hard to keep it fresh by taking risks, straying too far from formula.

I think the only way for Mega Man, or any old franchise, to truly survive is for the developers to continue where they left off before things went wrong. By this I mean for them to make a new Mega Man, utilizing today's technology, but keeping the core gameplay formula as close to the original as possible. Look as far back as Mega Man 8, things had evolved nicely up to that point. If they could continue that innovation, and have full confidence to make it great, I think that would be the key right there. Not this Mega Man 9 throwback stuff, which I liked, but it was indeed merely a throwback to the "golden age" of the series.

Sorry Dave Cox, but drastic changes in creative direction, complete reboots, or throwback titles aren't the answer to a game surviving the test of time. The answer lies in staying true to the core concept of a game.

ecco6t9

#65

ecco6t9 said:

Mega Man died when Capcom saw that they could "Pokemon" the franchise. It helped short term sales but damaged the brand in the long run.

On Castlevania, Konami should of left Iga and the Classic/Metroid styles on handhelds and let Mercurysteam have their own storyline and God of War style games on consoles.

Furthermore did Mirror of Fate outsell the previous handheld games?

kkslider5552000

#66

kkslider5552000 said:

@CanisWolfred Pretty much. I appreciate doing new things with your franchise, but it kinda defeats the purpose when you're just making a sub-part ripoff of other action games. But hey, it's the most relevent Castlevania's been since SotN, can't blame them for continuing the series.

SetupDisk

#67

SetupDisk said:

@Damo
I've been playing Castlevania since then NES so I'm "hardcore" as them come with series. I still loved Lords of Shadow on my PS3 and Mirror of Fate on my 3DS however.
The metroidvania formula had gotten stale. The wiiware rebirth game showed there wasn't much more to do in that direction. This seemed the logical way to go. As for all the GOW complaints, I personally can't stand the GOW series and far enjoy it's rip offs (apparently any 3D game with combat this gen) like Dante's inferno and Darksiders much more.

Caryslan

#69

Caryslan said:

@LDXD While I won't argue that LOS borrowed the core gameplay from GOW, I disagree with you on the game not feeling like Castlevania. Out of all the recent games, LOS reminded me of the older Castlevania games, especially the NES trilogy. Hell, there were a few times where I felt like I was playing a game that took some of its cues from Simon's Quest. And I have played both God of War and LOS, and there are major differences between the two games. LOS adds sub-weapons to the mix and the magic system is based more on enhancing Gabirel's stats rather than unleashing a powerful spell.

GOW also seems to focus more on juggling opponents and getting insane combos, while Castlevania tended to focus more on reading an oppoent and reacting properly. Not to mention, GOW also puts a major focus on giving Kratos new weapons as the game goes on and even features a system that allows him to switch mid-combo. GOW puts a major focus on using Kratos' weapons and spells to create insane combos in battle. LOS puts more focus on using magic to enhance Gabirel's abilities and using it to your advantage in combat.

I can understand how many people come to the conclusion that LOS is just like GOW. Both games share common elements such as rideable monsters, long-range chain weapons, and quick time events. But there are some noticeable differences between GOW and LOS.

Plus, I should note that Castlevania had already done two games that were action titles. LOI and COD were both inspired by Devil May Cry's gameplay. Now, why aren't those games bashed to no end? But that raises another question.

How can LOS have no relation to the gameplay of previous Castlevania games when there were already two Action-Genre titles in the series? In many ways, LOS plays like a more refined version of LOI.

Caryslan

#70

Caryslan said:

@SetupDisk

Well, LOS is my second favorite game in the series after SOTN. I just honestly feel LOS gets alot of unfair hate. It's a solid game, and it felt like a spiritual successor to the older Castelvania games.

If anything, it felt like a modern version of Castlevania II and III in terms of the areas you explore and the emphasis that you're not bound to a single castle(A major problem with many on the Metroidvania games)

MajorBritten

#71

MajorBritten said:

I really enjoyed LoS but I do prefer the GBA and DS games. I can understand why they would want to shake things up a bit but I dont see why we cant have both styles of games that would keep everyone happy. Nintendo have been doing this with the NSMB series and the main 3D marios. Have the LoS type action games every few years and have a more traditional style 2D Castlevania digital release in-between.

LDXD

#72

LDXD said:

The thing is guys/gals is that castlevania could have done its own thing completely not copy something else almost to the tee
Yes the combos are different yes the enemies and the story is different big deal its still a blatant rip off of Gow take away the name and the whip (combat cross) and it's almost the same game
And Im not saying its a bad game by any means but to me its just not castlevania, like I said before... I get a better castlevania feel when I play dark/demon souls than I ever did playing Los.

jamiljamtheman

#74

jamiljamtheman said:

I'm really happy with the change they made. As my first Castlevania game after playing Rondo of Blood (both remake and original) and Symphony of the Night(Drac X Chronicles was my first CV game) Portrait of Ruin was really underwhelming. The cryptic crap was out of hand, half the enemy sprites were like 10 years old, as a Metroidvania it's not as great as SoTN, and MOST OF ALL, the final boss is a broken test of endurance to tedium and annoyance(my only motivation to beat it was that I'd get to play as Richter). Portrait of Ruin was a pretty good game, and I had fun playing it, but definitely my least favorite Castlevania game. Mirror of Fate is truly a breath of fresh air from that and takes its own unique identity among 2D Castlevania games and I really love it. Now, I haven't played any of the other DS Castlevanias(Dawn of Sorrow looks more fun than Portrait was) and am playing through Harmony of Dissonance for the first time on GBA(it is actually really awesome, I really like it :D), and I get that the portable Metroidvanias are definitely good(some of them great) games, but Dave Cox I thank you and your team for getting portable Castlevania unstuck from the 90s. :D Mirror of Fate is wonderful.

MrL1193

#75

MrL1193 said:

I honestly don't see why Capcom needs to choose between traditional and new approaches with the Mega Man games. The franchise has so many spinoff series that they should easily be able to find one they can use to make "modern" games while keeping the more traditional approach with others. They just need to bother to actually make the games.

Zeldalover

#76

Zeldalover said:

Rondo of Blood is the best. I think the level of difficulty is just perfect for a Traditionalvania game. And it has some of the most amazing and unique environments out of the entire franchise. Plus the CD-quality soundtrack gives you goosebumps while playing. My 2nd favorite is Symphony of the Night. Never played any of the GBA or DS titles, so I wouldn't know if they're close to SotN in terms of originality in gameplay and level design.

The one that stands out most for innovation would be Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (prequel to the first, branching paths, multiple characters - each with their own unique abilities).

retro_player_22

#77

retro_player_22 said:

Ha they talk about Castlevania and comparing it to Mega Man and how they don't want it to be dead like that series yet they failed to realize they had five dead franchises (Goemon, Contra, Bomberman, Vandal Hearts, & Suikoden) that also needs revival.

satya

#78

satya said:

so in other words.....the basis of this game being a hit from day one and the support that certain fans have given this title means love all...fu konami if this is the way your gonna go on 3ds then im gonna do my voting with my wallet and not buy your poop.

Imagine that they ADMIT to selling people out that have supported this title for a long time with a "new" audience.

scrubbyscum999

#80

scrubbyscum999 said:

I don't like this new direction, not because its new. I've seen series I liked make big changes I was OK with. The problem is they lost the essence of Castlevania. It doesn't have the same feel. I wanted a new direction, but not like this. As for Mega Man, its a cheap blow and with Konami's franchises they shouldn't be talking (Bomberman anyone?). Capcom needs to actually MAKE a MM game first before they evolve the series though. I don't want these franchises going sour, or dying off all together.

Henmii

#81

Henmii said:

Lords of shadows may have been a succes, but is this also the case with Mirror of Fate?!

Anyway, I really liked Mirror of Fate! I liked the gameplay, I liked the graphics, I liked the music! A pity that it was so short though!

Since I am not a Castlevania purist I luckily could enjoy the game! But if you are a purist, I can understand that you have some troubles! I am a Zelda purist, and therefore found a lot to complain about Skyward sword, though I had still fun with it!

Nightingale

#82

Nightingale said:

Taking risks is great, and I like new gameplay experiences - certainly I'm not some kinda purist - but those experiences have to WORK.

I also don't get how "taking risks" equates to "making a God of War clone." That seems like a different kind of playing it safe to me, though certainly a sales-conscious one ;)

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