Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jason Isaacs sells you a "Castlevania" game

"Castlevania: Lords of Shadow" is setting itself up to be 2010's other divisive direction-change for a longstanding NES-spawned franchise. Turning Castlevania 3D has never worked out very well, but Konami put some serious money and creative muscle into this attempt - which started out as a game "like" Castlevania that eventually got co-opted into a kind of reboot. In this trailer, actor Jason Isaacs - at this point probably best known to most as Lucius Malfoy - gives us a very thorough rundown:



Obviously, this'll have to come down to how it plays, but so far I like what I see. Yes, obviously, there's a HUGE amount of influence being drawn from other recent successes - most notably God of War and, of course, Shadow of The Colossus. On the GoW front, at least, it must be taken into account that Castlevania invented the use of whip-like and/or "tethered" weaponry in action games. But the design is gorgeous, the subtle but unmistakable references to series mainstays looks nicely done, and I'm really liking those moments where it looks like you're using the ubiquitous chain-whip like such weaponry is actually used (i.e. two-handed and "full body" style like Gogo Yubari in "Kill Bill" - most Castlevanias have had you using a chain whip like a "normal" leather whip.)

The question has always been "will it feel like Castlevania," and from this the answer looks like "yes!" to me - I see a vaugely medieval European setting, I see classic gothic-horror imagery, I see an improbably elaborate castle and I see a Belmont wailing on stuff with a whip - that's Castlevania, as far as I'm concerned. Assuming it plays well, the BIG "to do" among fans will be the design. From about 1997 on (re: "Symphony of The Night" on the PS1) the series has largely kept to a more starkly Manga-esque "neo-goth" look; while this one seems to be a conscious return to the Universal/Hammer Horror by way of Frank Frazetta art-design that the series boasted from the original up through Rondo of Blood. For me, this is what I've always wanted/hoped a 3D big-scale Castlevania would look like, but for folks who started at "Symphony" or after I imagine this must look a bit jarring.

11 comments:

Cador2004 said...

Completely unrelated, I'd just though I'd mention that CAPCOM ANNOUNCED MEGAMAN LEGENDS 3.
http://www.themmnetwork.com/2010/09/29/mega-man-legends-3-we-are-not-kidding/
http://www.capcom.co.jp/rockman/dash3/

Clayton said...

I don't buy marketing schemes. It doesn't even look like THAT much of a resemblance to the NES/SNES games.

A lot of other news from Nintendo got released today about the 3DS coming out in March for the US.

Drake Sigar said...

Let's hope it doesn't turn out like the N64 game.

beyrob said...

Hm intresting, i'lll keep an eye out for early reviews.

Jamazz said...

Looks like I may have to buy a PS3... I can avoid paying for heat this winter, right?

Kyle said...

Looks good to me. Some of the platforming looks very Prince of Persia. I'm definitely interested. :)

Kysafen said...

The most menial, dull, mindless, overhyped and redundant piece of shit game series ever to exist [, God of War] ≠ Castlevania. And it never, ever will be. Konami tried thrice already, and should've gotten the hint that they should stick to 2D. Don't get me wrong, I think that it's possible for Castlevania and 3D could mesh well (PSP's Dracula X Chronicles excluded because it's 2.5D), but A. It's by far much cheaper to produce another 2D Metroidvania than ANYTHING in 3D and B. God of War mechanics, in any respect or regard instantly a Castlevania game does not make.

And the reason this makes me so pissed off is that Konami throws out every Castlevania mythos in the book. And- should this title take off- Konami will stick to only making games LIKE Lords of Shadow, tossing out (after releasing some of the best games the series has to offer just recently) Castlevania's 2D roots. It's as if Konami said to their fans, "Hey thanks for supporting us for the past 20 years, to pay it back, we'll put a big budget on a 'Castlevania' game that kills everything you like about the series."

Perhaps I'm being paranoid that this will become a future trend in Castlevania, but my opinion stands that Lords of Shadow is as much a reboot to Castlevania as Episodes I, II, and III were to the original trilogy, as much as the CDi was to Zelda/Mario.

Anton said...

For you Castlevania N64 haters...the 3d attempt was perfect timing for the N64, the system was way ahead of its time. I loved both N64 Castlevania games they were very very hard(Demon's Souls of 1998-99). SotN is amazing and so are all the DS Castlevania but, its time to try again for a 3d version. LoI and CoD were ok to say the least but fell into the 6-8 hour mold of ps2 gen games(cough cough GoW 1&2 garbage). I'm glad to see Konami showing the balls to bring this out. I have my Collectors Edition reserved for Lords of Shadow, been waiting a looong time! Can't wait!!

Matthew said...

I have been a fan of the series since Circle of the Moon. I have played most of the games in the series, including the old-school ones. This game looks great, fuck the haters.

I've stuck through the series through some very low points, so I'm thrilled to see Konami actually throwing a AAA budget at the series for once. If this works out, the budgets and sales for the 2D entries may see a nice bump.

Leon' Bandeira said...

this game is a total RIPOFF from god of war and prince of persia... dont support it!

John Thyer said...

Looks awesome to me. Grapple mechanics tickle a very specific part of my brain that causes immense fun. It's why Bionic Commando is one of my favorite NES games, and combining it with Colossus climbs and Prince of Persia-style platforming sounds awesome.

My policy with ripping stuff off: rip off good stuff, rip it off well. If the Colossus climbs and platforming are still really fun, then I won't mind as much its lack of originality.