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Castlevania is one of the most beloved series of all time, but has been allowed to lie in neglect for far too long. However, recent events have caused me to wonder if there is a chance to revive the series still. Nintendo worked with Konami to bring back Bomberman for the launch of the Nintendo Switch, which ended up as a major success for the two. This made me wonder if nowthat Bomberman has seen successful opening week numbers, Konami might try to work with Nintendo to revive Castlevania as well. However, there is still the issue that without IGA at Konami, a metroidvania take on the games wouldn’t be the same as before. After all, IGA is now working on Bloodstained, and I doubt he is on good terms with Konami still.

There are some possible good ways to revive the series, such as by licensing it out to Platinum Games.Hideki Kamiya and other developers there are major fans of the series, and a Castlevania game made by them would be an amazing action game, that would finally avert the nature of the 3D games to be lesser games in terms of quality. It could be the next successor to Bayonetta even, much like Bayonetta was the successor to Devil May Cry, which was influenced by Castlevania.

However, there option for who to make the game and it might be an even better choice. From Software’s Souls series is often considered the spiritual successor to the Castlevania games. In fact, it is considered the successor to both the classic and metroidvania games, and for them to get to work on the series itself would be a chance for a fresh new take on the series that would attract a new audience. From could give it a unique feel and identity,  one that merges the  feel of the souls series with the lore and feel of Castlevania. Plus they would be able to create a truly punishing game, similar to the NES games.

I feel this is a way to create a new Castlevania experience that doesn’t just retread past territory, and both of this paths offer a bold direction for the series. Either a strong action series, or a atmospheric and challenging game. This could be what Castlevania needs and I hope Nintendo and Konami agree to do something like this. It is our best hope for the series’ future.

 

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The above was the opinion solely of the author and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of ROG or its staff.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 24 May, 2017 At 04:54 PM | Categorized As Animation, News, ROG News, Television, Videos | With 0 Comments

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Netflix and Konami have released the first trailer for the upcoming animated Castlevania series. The series debuts on July 7 of this year.

 

The series looks dark and violent and like a Castlevania series should. Check out the trailer below

 

 

 

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 Apr, 2017 At 04:00 AM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarHere is some unexpected news that I doubt anyone saw coming.

Konami has announced Super Bomberman R is going to get some Gradius, Castlevania and Silent Hill-themed characters in a future DLC update.  These include the Belmont Bomber, Vic Viper Bomber and Pyramid Head Bomber.

 

This is really cool DLC, especially for old school fans.  Konami did say they would look at this game and how it performs, to determine more series revivals. This DLC is definitely a good sign for that.

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 28 Dec, 2016 At 09:52 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Nintendo 3DS, Portable/Mobile Gaming, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Castlevania Dracula X was originally going to come out last week, but it has been rescheduled for tomorrow, December 29 2016.

The game was derided in the past as a inferior port of Rondo of Blood, but it has gained defenders in recent years who now praise its challenge and difficulty and like what it brings to the series.

After rising from his eternal sleep, Count Dracula summons his dark minions–Cerberus, Minaurus and the Salamander–to bring a reign of terror on the land. In order to lure the latest Belmont descendant, Dracula kidnaps Annette Renard and her sister Maria as bait.

Gear up as Richter Belmont, equipped with the legendary Vampire Killer, in his strife to save his beloved. Battling against the monsters that lurk in the shadows, strategically using magical tomes, mystical power-ups and titanic weapons and discovering secret bonus levels. Unfold another chapter in the Belmont family’s lineage, with over 7 stages of grim encounters and a myriad of possibilities depending on the choices that you make.

This game is only playable in 2D.

Will you be buying the game tomorrow?

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 23 Dec, 2016 At 01:12 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Nintendo 3DS, Portable/Mobile Gaming, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Castlevania Dracula X was supposed to come to the 3DS virtual console but has not come out yet. The reason for the delay is not yet known and we are still waiting to find out when it will come. We will keep you updated on this and will let you know when the virtual console release has a new date. In the meantime however, the game can be purchased on the Wii U virtual console

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 23 Nov, 2016 At 07:07 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Koji Igarashi recently sat down for a discussion with Glixel about Bloodstained. During the interview, which touched on a number of subjects, the metroidvania genre was brought up a few times leading to this interesting exchange

So the term ‘IGAvania’ has begun to gain currency, as another way to say ‘Metroidvania.’ I’ve always wondered why Nintendo never teamed up with you and Konami to create a new 2D Metroid.
Nintendo is very careful about protecting their IPs and making any changes to their games. Around the time that I was proving that I could do multiple titles and do them well, Nintendo had shifted to Metroid Prime and they were having success turning their 2D games into 3D. So they probably decided from that point on that Metroid was going to be a 3D game series, and by that rationale, my style of games didn’t really fit their criteria. That would be my guess.

But, let’s say the fans demanded Nintendo team up with you to make a Metroid game, and Nintendo actually approached you to make one, would you do it?
I would be incredibly honored.

I personally would love to see this happen. Metroid and IGA would be a match made in heaven and there is no doubt that he could take the series in a very interesting direction. I would imagine there are many others that would be interested in this as well.

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 10 Nov, 2016 At 01:40 AM | Categorized As News, News, NINTENDO, Otaku Music, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarMondo released the following tweet

 

Super Castlevania IV had some of the best music in the series as a whole, so this is very welcome. I think I will try and pick this up myself. What about you all?

By Jonathan Balofsky On 7 Sep, 2016 At 01:39 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Nintendo 3DS, Portable/Mobile Gaming, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarTomorrow’s VC game for the New 3DS has been revealed as Super Castlevania 4. The game is widely held to be one of the best games on the SNES and will be available when the eshop updates

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 19 Jul, 2016 At 02:13 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Indie Spotlight, Interviews, News, NINTENDO, Previews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarI recently had the chance to talk with Ezekiel Rage, developer of Citidale: Gate of Souls, and discuss the upcoming indie game. Please have a look at our conversation

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JB: Where/How did you get the idea to make your game Citadale – Gate of Souls?

ER: It actually started as a Castlevania fangame. I wanted to do a remake of Castlevania Legends. It was my first time using the engine I use and as such I figured creating a remake would teach me a lot about the program. And as development kept getting more complex and different from the original, I decided to make it its own thing instead of a remake.

JB: Obviously Citadale takes influence from the Castlevania series, but are there any other game series that Citadale was influenced by?

ER: There is a rather obscure NES game called Faxanadu that inspired me greatly. Another influence was the SNES game Demon’s Crest.

JB: Konami’s reputation has taken a beating over the last while. Do you think that will help you with promoting a game that is essentially a spiritual sequel to the classic Castlevania games?

ER: To be honest, I have no particular thoughts on that subject. I hope that the game will be doing well but whether the success of the game is influenced by Konami’s decisions or not is not something I am concerned about. I suppose this discussion would probably be worth having after the game has been released.

JB: You have some interesting ideas for this game, such as it being primarily played on the gamepad, while the TV screen shows a bigger map. What made you decide to do that?

ER: When I decided to port it to Wii U, which was in 2014, I thought that it would be an interesting way to play the game. Of course you can switch views at any given time or not use the GamePad at all, and we do support most input devices on Wii U. The main idea I had was a boss fight that would take up more vertical space than the TV can give you. I realized this boss fight in Stage 3, by the way.

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JB: Besides Castlevania, what were some of your favourite games growing up?

ER: I am a HUGE Zelda nerd. I have a Zelda shrine, so to speak. I own all the games with packages and manuals, lots of merchandise, and I even have a Zelda tattoo. There was also game on Super Nintendo (and Sega Genesis, but the SNES version was better) called Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow – I love this game. Terranigma and Lufia are among my favorite games, along with the aforementioned Faxanadu, the classic Mega Man series and of course the Metroid series.

JB: What Castlevania games influenced this game the most? That is, besides Legends, what other games inspired the design and gameplay?

ER: Well the very first NES Castlevania was not only hugely influential on this game, but also on my younger gaming self. I also took some inspiration from Dracula X on SNES (yes, I know, Rondo is better), in that you can’t upgrade your main weapon for example.

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JB: What were your favourite Castlevania games to play?

ER: Obviously I love Symphony of the Night. I am also very partial to Legacy of Darkness and Simon’s Quest. Super Castlevania 4 and Portrait of Ruin also rank among my favorites.

JB: With regards to the last question, what were some of your favourite game genres growing up?

ER: I love action adventure games, really. I like to explore interesting settings – be it old castles or intricate dungeons.

JB: Making this game focused on the Wii U could be considered risky at this time. What led you to that decision?

ER: I have been a huge Nintendo fan growing up. I always wanted to create a game for a Nintendo system so this was really an easy decision to make.

JB: What do you think of the indie scene on the Wii U?

ER: It is far bigger than most people think, and from what I can tell quite popular. Of course there are positive and negative examples but overall most Nindies are actually very good games.

JB: Do you have any plans to integrate Miiverse into this game?

ER: We actually do support Miiverse. We also have stamps in the game.

JB: What are your hopes for this game? Would you want to make a sequel if this does well?

ER: My hopes are that it does well enough to warrant a release of story DLC. I could do a sequel but I’d much rather release the continuation of the story as DLC – a sequel would use the same graphics and graphical style anyway, because I am a one man development team (well, one and a half, I have an amazingly talented programmer/publisher friend) and creating complex graphics is simply not within my field of expertise.

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JB: Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Real Otaku Gamer?

ER: Well, obviously I hope you check out my game and my upcoming projects. I would also like to thank you for taking the time for me and I wish you all the best 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview and good luck with the game.

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You can follow Ezekiel Rage on twitter here and check out his website here

By Jonathan Balofsky On 18 Feb, 2016 At 02:32 AM | Categorized As Featured, Indie Spotlight, Interviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatarlogo_500x500_transWelcome everyone to Indie Game Spotlight. Today we speak with Warren Smith, developer of Dark Flame. You can read the interview below.

JB: Obviously your game takes a lot of inspiration from Castlevania symphony of the night. What else inspires your game and what is it that sets your game apart and gives it uniqueness? As well, how do you deal with the criticism that Dark Flame looks too similar to SoTN?

WS: Dark Flame comes from a natural blend of my favorite games. There are quite a few inspirations, but some of the big ones are Castlevania for the art style and “metroidvania” playstyle, Dark Souls for the theme and difficult gameplay, and Diablo for stat allocation and cosmetic effects from equipment. This game has many cool features that sets it apart from its competitors. Some of them are the dialogue choices to affect storyline, magic creation and equipment system, weapon/armor equipment and enhancements, various NPC interactions, secrets, treasures and much more

Honestly, I don’t get much criticism anymore for how the game looks. I believe that when I first introduced Dark Flame publicly, the game’s theme and playstyle wasn’t as profound. I personally would like to think that the game’s art style is comparable to that of a larger company – as that is what I’m striving for. As far as the comparison between the two games – one is inspired from the other but they are both different… Anyways, to answer your question, I would read the criticism, shrug my shoulders, and keep working on Dark Flame.

JB: How did you get into game development? That is what made you interested in and pursue a career in the field?

WS: I don’t think there was an exact defining point when I ‘got into game development’. This project initially started as many different learning tutorials and exercises that were self-motivated. I’ve always been interested in video games and have played them since I can remember. I’ve always thought it would be great to make my own so I just dove into it. Dark Flame is my first project. I’ve been working at it for about three years now and I love everything about it!

JB: What were some of your favorite games growing up?

WS: Well, the first game I ever owned to my name was Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis. I played other games on the NES before that, but I was really into the Sonic series growing up. My absolute favorite game is Final Fantasy VII, as it was the first RPG I’ve ever played and I got totally sucked into the story. I’m also a big sucker for the Souls games and anything with a great story.

 

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JB: What is your main goal with Dark Flame?

WS: Initially, it was a learning experience for me. Now that I am where I am – I want to make the best possible game I can make. Something that is enjoyable and memorable. I want people who play it to have an experience than to just run through another game…

JB: Do you feel there is a healthy market for a game like yours in the industry today?

WS: I do. Then again, I’m incredibly biased towards metroidvanias. I’m not a marketing expert, but I do believe that if a game is good enough, then people will want to play it (as long as they know about it).

JB: What are some challenges you have faced as an indie dev?

WS: Ha! This question should be more like “What are some experiences you’ve had that were NOT a challenge?” Every day is a challenge. On top of just designing the game, I have to deal with multiple failures and struggles with stress on a daily basis. Though, this game wouldn’t be where it is right now if it weren’t for those failures. I have to have these failures to keep me working hard.

JB: The music in Dark Flame’s trailers have been amazing, who is the composer of the music?

WS: Bryan Delerson is the music composer for Dark Flame. He’s created some wonderful pieces for the playable demo that is out now. I’ve also heard some of the stuff that he has in mind for the future of production and it sounds completely wonderful!

 

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JB: The story of Dark Flame that you have revealed so far is very intriguing. What was your inspiration for it?

WS: The inspiration behind the Story of Dark Flame comes from a number of different games. As I said earlier, I love a game with a great story. I also like the dark themes of the Souls games. I’m not the best writer so I’ve sought out Brian Lee and Tom King to do much of the legwork in it. The story will be a great decision-based immersion that will cause you to think about your choices pretty hard… if you like dark stories, then you’ll love what Dark Flame will bring you!

JB: What advice do you have for other indie devs out there who are just getting into game development?

WS: Be prepared to be let down and put way too many hours into something in hopes that people will like it. Game development is something that you need to be absolutely passionate about to pursue. If it is, then listen to feedback from players and don’t give up!

JB: Do you have anything you would like to say to the readership of Real Otaku Gamer?

WS: Yeah – thanks for reading this! I’m really just making Dark Flame because I want to give you a fun and enjoyable game. If you think that Dark Flame might interest you and you love Castlevania and Dark Souls games, then you should play the demo for yourself! Also, I love to hear feedback on this project as well. Sometimes it’s hard for me to see what’s missing because I’m working on the same thing all day every day.

Here is the Kickstarter trailer.

I hope you all enjoyed this. You can visit the website for Dark Flame here and you can follow Warren on twitter @BorishDugdum.