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Castlevania

Konami photo
Konami

Konami is asking what games we'd like to see come back


Seems like it forgot two key IPs...
Aug 21
// Joe Parlock
Everyone’s favourite publisher Konami has released a “heritage game survey”, asking players about some of its IPs (as seen in the image below) and how they feel about them. Importantly, it's asking what we&r...
Castlevania XXX photo
Castlevania XXX

New Castlevania pachinko game teased with 'erotic violence'


Somehow I'm not surprised
Jul 29
// Jed Whitaker
Pachinko is pretty popular in Japan, as it is used mostly as a form of gambling, and now it is about to have a new Castlevania-themed machine that somehow features "erotic violence." Yeah... gross. I'm all for scantily-clad ...
Dtoid Live Stream photo
Dtoid Live Stream

Check out Vanishing of Ethan Carter PS4, and Castlevania-like Odallus on our Twitch!


Ethan Carter remastered in UE 4!
Jul 14
// Jed Whitaker
[Update: All done! Look out for my review of Odallus today. Spoilers: I liked it.] I've got some games and can't possibly play them without someone watching me, so won't you? The PS4 version of The Vanishing of Eth...
Bloodstained: Ritual photo
Bloodstained: Ritual

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night cracks $4.5 million, gets Shovel Knight crossover


He's looking bulky
Jun 12
// Chris Carter
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is sticking it to the man, with $4.5 million raised, making it the most successful game on Kickstarter. But IGA and his team aren't resting on their laurels just yet, as even more conten...

1st Bloodstained footage photo
1st Bloodstained footage

Watch IGA play Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night


Creator shows off debut gameplay footage
Jun 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Well, here's something you don't see too often. Koji Igarashi and Inti Creates have let us peer into their world, sharing the first (albeit very early and off-screen) footage of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night in...
IGA the vampire murderer photo
IGA the vampire murderer

Igarashi is the world's greatest vampire hunter


Whip it good, with Mega64
Jun 05
// Jed Whitaker
Mega64 has partnered with the father of Castlevania, Koji Igarashi, to craft a brutal tale of vampire murder to help promote Iga's Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Kickstarter. Currently Bloodstained is just shy of the...
Bloodstained photo
Bloodstained

IGA's whip gets cracking on Bloodstained level design as Ayami Kojima joins project


$3M bucks later, development gets going
May 26
// Steven Hansen
What with all the excitement around Castlevania: Symphony of the Night assistant director and subsequent series producer Koji "IGA" Igarashi's Kickstarter project, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, it's easy to forget that ...
Bloodstained photo
Bloodstained

Bloodstained will now have a PC beta, similar to Mighty No. 9


$60 or more
May 20
// Chris Carter
If you backed Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, you may want to take a look at your contribution level. IGA and his team have just added another bonus to the $60 tier, which includes access to a PC beta by way of Steam. Whil...
Konami photo
Konami

What is your favorite Konami game of all time?


Man that's tough
May 15
// Chris Carter
With the new CEO of Konami focusing on the mobile arena, many people out there have called this a death knell for the publisher as we know it. Although it comes as a surprise for some, Konami has been experimenting with mobil...
Bloodstained photo
Bloodstained

Castlevania successor tops $1 million in under 24 hours


IGA need some new stretch goals
May 12
// Kyle MacGregor
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, the newly announced project from Castlevania veteran Koji Igarashi, has pulled in more than $1.3 million on Kickstarter since its unveiling yesterday. In doing so, it's proved (contrary to w...

Castlevania's IGA back with 'dream game' Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

May 11 // Steven Hansen
Bloodstained stars Miriam, an orphan stuck in the middle of "a classic tale of magic, or rather faith and belief, versus science," Igarashi told me through a translator. A group of alchemists, fearing its waning relevancy as science captures the 18th century setting, try to warn against the world losing faith. Start fucking loving science, they warn, and a bunch demons will take over. When that doesn't happen, egg on face, the alchemists start fusing demonic crystals into orphans to call the demons to earth, attempting to instigate a global annihilating "told ya so." The demon crystals have a, "natural inclination to expand, eat away at hosts' bodies," not unlike bad videogame companies, perhaps. "Stained glass" acts as an artistic motif reflected in the art style, but those pretty shades in characters' skin are also the basis of gameplay. Enemies drop materials, which are forged into gems, which can be formed into weapons. Rare materials can be forged into ability crystals that can be stuck in Miriam's body. They can also be combined in a number of ways, like adding a strength+ attribute crystal to a double jump for a double jump attack move. Igarashi explained the new system would be a little less repetitive than old Castlevania's, naming Aria of Sorrow specifically, where "you're just grinding on the same enemy to create the same thing." Why stained glass? "Stained glass is already cool-looking as it is, but stained glass weapons is badass." A recent walk through Grace Cathedral in San Francisco has me in agreement. Igarashi, "wanted to have a more colorful palette," and so on top of the stained glass, you have a blue-heavy protagonist, purple tinted key items (candles, keys), and an active blood orange sky in the background (thanks to parallax scrolling) inspired by an 18th century Icelandic volcano eruption that killed 23,000 Brits and bore a "bloody sun rising." All of this is framed by classic Gothic gray. If the mock up is any indication, it could look lovely. That's a "could," of course, because the game has not been made yet. Igarashi is someone you can likely depend on to make a Castlevania-style game. Inti Creates has been delivering for a long time. And Bloodstained isn't even held hostage by its Kickstarter, though it's meant to fund the last "20%" of development (and make for physical, pressed Xbox One and PS4 discs). Still, it's a way's out. Igarashi hasn't been gone from Konami much more than a year and shopping this proved difficult, hence last year's "hold." Igarashi "scoured the globe" and "pitched every major -- even minor -- publisher on this concept." "There was a ton of interest, but for various reasons, from, 'we do distribution for Konami and...don't want to anger them,' to 'Oh, this looks like a Japanese game.' But they didn't realize Igavania games sold better in America than any other territory." Incidentally, despite the widening popularity of the term "metroidvania," the team is eschewing the "castle" and "metroid," opting for the term "Igavania," explaining, "We want to make sure we don't anger Nintendo, and Igavania is a more accurate name." This project will likely irk someone at Konami regardless -- "Konami doesn't know about it," Igarashi said last month -- perhaps even more if it proves successful, like Mighty No. 9 or the recent not-Banjo-Kazooie platformer from ex-Rare folks, Yooka-Laylee. Given those examples (or Double Fine Adventure Game, or a number of others), it feels like a sure thing, but Igarashi does seem a bit more unsure after constant publisher rejection. "A lot of them were more interested in AAA stuff," he said. "There's a big disconnect between what the publishers are giving people and what the fans want." Inafune's success, specifically, "proved that the Western audience would put its money where its mouth is and support the creators that it loves." Igarashi doesn't expect he'll generate "anything close" to Mighty No. 9. He remains modest about the whole thing. "I spent the last year trying to make this work because I believe that's what the fans are telling me. And if the Kickstarter campaign shows that's not the case, then in the end the publishers were right and I was wrong." "From Iga-san's perspective," the translator, explains, "the most frustrating, saddening part is that he did his due diligence. He tried to work within the standard publisher model." It does seem surprising that Mr. Castlevania shops around a Castlevania and no one bites. Then again, why did Igarashi have to leave Konami in the first place to make this sort of game? "In the good old days, it used to be, as a producer you'd put your neck out on the line to make a game and if it's didn't work out, then you'd be done," Igarashi explained. Speaking specifically of Konami, at least as far as he left it a year ago (and somehow it was in a better state then), "Recently, there's more of a delicacy at [Konami] towards how they handle IP to the point where rather than maybe making new games, 'let's just not touch it'" becomes the mantra. "Or, 'we have to do it a bigger way." The 3D Castlevania, perhaps. Igarashi thinks it's "more risk averse" because someone used to, "pledge it would be okay, and it was their responsibility," but given that he would've have pledged on a new Castlevania, or Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima's likely ending relationship with the company, I'm not sure that's all of it. But Konami is in the past now. Inti Creates is making Bloodstained under Igarashi's direction. "We had several developers that were interested," he explained. "We needed a team that was both capable, but more importantly passionate. "They said, 'Listen, ever since becoming an independent studio, we've wanted to do three games.' One was a Mega Man type game, which they're now doing. The second was an Igavania game. And the third is a Zelda-type game, which they will probably never get a chance to do," Igarashi chuckled. Nintendo seems more open these days, though. Igarashi did dredge up some past, scoring the composer of Symphony of the Night, Michiru Yamane. "I basically tricked her into joining the campaign by getting her really drunk and making her promise she would help," Igarashi said. "You think that's a joke, but it's the truth." I believe it. And I believe Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night's campaign shouldn't have a problem, "proving that this is a concept that the fans really want." I mean, all you have to do is ask "Sword or whip?" and they flip.
IGA's metroidvania photo
Publishers wouldn't touch it
Last year, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night assistant director and subsequent series producer Koji "IGA" Igarashi left Konami after nearly 25 years with the company. At GDC that year, Igarashi ended his interesting Symphony...

Devs Play photo
Devs Play

Watch IGA play Symphony of the Night with Double Fine


#whip
May 08
// Jordan Devore
I hadn't really thought about it until now, but man, I would like to spend two hours today watching designer Koji Igarashi play Castlevania: Symphony of the Night alongside Double Fine senior gameplay programmer Anna Kipnis ...
#igavania photo
#igavania

We might learn more about IGA's next project on Monday


Or he might just be effing with us
May 07
// Darren Nakamura
Since Tuesday, I have been watching SwordOrWhip.com, the teaser site for former Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi's next project. Given the hashtag #igavania, the reference to iconic weaponry, and his previous comments ...

Legendary Castlevania producer 'IGA' seems to be teasing his next game

May 05 // Chris Carter
[embed]291576:58436:0[/embed]
IGA's new game? photo
That long-rumored project
Koji Igarashi (also known as "IGA") is one of the most talented developers out there, partially credited with the success of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and the continued rise of the franchise after that point. In 201...

Castle in the Darkness photo
Castle in the Darkness

Beard View: Castle in the Darkness


'Maybe I'm just good and you're not'
Mar 09
// Jed Whitaker
This weekend I was at PAX East and had been busy shooting some videos with our lovely bearded editor-in-chief when this was uploaded, so in case you missed it, check out the latest Beard View in which I show off one of my fa...
Girlvania photo
Girlvania

Warning: Girlvania is not a very good Metroidvania


More bits than bats
Nov 23
// Jonathan Holmes
When I see the faux suffix "vania" at the end of a word, I have a Pavlovian reaction. Visions of whipping flying decapitated Medusa heads in mid-air, exploring a Victorian mansion that defies all concepts of sound architectur...
Castlevania photo
Castlevania

The other two Castlevania GBA games are also coming to Wii U


Harmony of Dissonance and Aria of Sorrow Next hit next week
Oct 09
// Jordan Devore
As Chris reported this morning, Konami added Castlevania: Circle of the Moon to the Wii U Virtual Console today, priced at $7.99. This is good news, but it gets even better: the remaining two Castlevania titles for Game Boy A...
Deals photo
Deals

Konami PSN sale: Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania, Suikoden


I forgot Castlevania: HD existed!
Sep 30
// Jordan Devore
Tons of Metal Gear Solid games in this PlayStation Network sale. I was never going to grab Ground Zeroes at full price, but now we're talking. A few older gems in here, too: Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes (PS3) - $9.99 / $8...
Castlevania photo
Castlevania

We're getting Castlevania: Circle of the Moon on Wii U in October


Dracula X, too
Sep 25
// Jordan Devore
Hearing that Castlevania: Circle of the Moon was headed to the Wii U Virtual Console in Japan got me all worked up a couple weeks ago and I'm still eager to replay the Game Boy Advance title. Not much longer now, thankfully -...
IGA photo
IGA

Castlevania's Koji Igarashi has put his 'dream game' on hold


Disappointing, to say the least
Sep 19
// Jordan Devore
As a huge fan of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, it was exciting to hear that long-time series producer Koji Igarashi had left Konami to make the kind of games he wanted to make -- "the same kind I think fans of my past g...
NES Remix photo
NES Remix

Click your heels together and wish for SNES or GBA Remixes


Of COURSE we want additional games
Apr 23
// Brittany Vincent
When Nintendo feels like we get too close, it puts us right down. It's not the lover man that we want it to be, at least when it comes to fulfilling what can sometimes seem like lofty requests. For instance, remixes featuring...
GBA on Wii U photo
GBA on Wii U

Australia rates Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, F-Zero: GP Legend for Wii U


Thanks for the heads up
Apr 04
// Jordan Devore
I do love a good ratings board heads-up every now and then. The Australian Classification Board has listed Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and F-Zero: GP Legend as coming to the Wii U Virtual Console now that Game Boy Advance tit...

Symphony of the Night came together by ignoring past Castlevania games

Mar 21 // Steven Hansen
 Aside from eliminating frustration and changing controls, the team wanted to extend the life of the game. "In Japan, there were tons of action games sold at used games shops the same day the games came out," Igarashi explained. "With stage-based action games...there were a lot of games you could clear in about two hours." Just upping the difficulty didn't make it fun. They considered a few other options, like not allowing players to play on easy mode in the second half, but ultimately sought other ways to extend the length without making it more frustrating. "One of the games that popped up in our heads was The Legend of Zelda," which they were all "huge fans of." When they took Zelda's approach to exploration to a 2D plane, it ended up like Metroid.  "We used 'collect' and 'complete' as our key words," Igarashi said. "With maps, it was marking where you'd been and seeing the map completion rate." With with the monster gallery, "our goal was to trigger the feeling of wanting to complete the collection." Then came a host of other changes, starting with the art style and narrative. The team wanted a bigger main character, but that caused issues with the whip extending to the end of the screen. "We weren't the franchise owners," Igarashi emphasized.  "Does the main character even need to carry a whip? Does it even have to be a human character? We looked back at the older titles and, what do you know, we had non human players and it possessed transformation abilities. That's how we landed on the main character. And while we were at it we ended up making the enemies into whip crackers." "What about the timeline and the history? Do I have to worry about that? I said, 'Oh well, let's not worry about that too much.'" Blowing out the existing canon led to the new story. "All men have a mother complex," Igarashi jokes, explaining Symphony of the Night's story. By that same logic came the new, Gothic, rosey art style. "Going back to the point of us not being the franchise owners again, we said to ourselves, 'let's go head and change the art style, too.'" They went to a local bookstore, picked up all the reference books they could find, and contacted a publisher to get in contact with an artist who had a style they liked. The PS1 influenced the art style as well, including flirting with the idea of doing a polygonal game. "Of course we were thinking about going in that direction, too," Igarashi said, but, "we were far from calling ourselves experienced with 3D technology." Combined with the scope needed to do an exploration game (and all the new assets it would require), Symphony of the Night stayed 2D. "And we also had two genius 2D designers, so we didn't really have any other choice." Reusing certain aspects from console development at a different pixel width also gave the castle stairs a slightly stretched out look which Iragashi loved as he felt small, steep staircases didn't feel at home in the castle environment. Metroidvanias seem to be back in vogue. A good chunk of emails I get are for small Metroidvania projects. Iragashi learned of the term two years ago when it began cropping up on his Facebook page. He was honored to have the series he's become known for portmanteau'd with Metroid. When they started, before that genre name crystalized, the team called it, "2D exploration action game." Lacks a little finesse.  Igarashi hasn't been away from Konami long, so right now there are no concrete plans for him to make a new game, but he is going to. We'll see how soon. "We're seeing less of these types of games [Metroidvania] and many fans are waiting for next one. Now that I've gone indie, I'm able to create things as I wish," he said. As opposed to what, "the company wishes."
SotN director on game photo
Originally inspired by Legend of Zelda, not Metroid
Symphony of the Night assistant director and subsequent series producer Koji Igarashi just left Konami to become an independent developer. When Igarashi and the rest of his team began working on Symphony of the Night, they ha...

Alucard photo
Alucard

Alucard scowls a lot in this new Lords of Shadow 2 DLC trailer


You get one half smirk though
Mar 21
// Chris Carter
Alucard is all set to star in an all new DLC campaign for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, and you can get a taste of his dual sword action in this new video. For the most part he kind of just stands there looking cool, but t...
Lords of Shadow photo
Lords of Shadow

Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow Mirror of Fate HD coming to Steam


Perfect for a Steam sale
Mar 17
// Chris Carter
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow -- Mirror of Fate HD has made its way to consoles, and now it's heading to Steam later this month, Konami has announced. No pricing scheme has been announced, but it'll probably be inline with the...
IGA leaves Konami photo
Aims to 'make the kinds of games [he] really wants to make'
A few years ago, Keiji Inafune left Capcom to pursue independent game development. Following in those footsteps, Koji Igarashi worked his last day at Konami this past Saturday, March 15. Igarashi has been synonymous with the&...

Contest: Win The Art of Castlevania

Mar 12 // mrandydixon
From the publisher: Combining concept art, game stills and promotional images from both Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and Lords of Shadow 2, the book will take readers on a visual guide through the supernatural worlds and dimensions of Castlevania, following the Belmont family’s everlasting struggle against the forces of darkness.
 photo
Three US and two UK copies up for grabs
[Update: Contest over! Winners have been notified.] Our friends at Titan Books have passed down five copies of The Art of Castlevania through the Destructoid bloodlines, and we're giving them away to you sexy Dtoiders! This b...

Alucard DLC photo
Alucard DLC

Konami reveals Alucard Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 DLC


Out on March 25th
Mar 07
// Chris Carter
Although rumors have been floating around for a short while, Konami has officially confirmed the first DLC pack for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. It's called Revelations, and features Alucard. The add-on takes place within ...
 photo

Live Show: Playing through Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2


What is a stream?
Mar 03
// Phil
Some of you may be aware that last week a major change happened over on our live channel. Our beloved leader Rick "King Foom" (it's his birthday today, so wish him a happy birthday, will you?) stepped down and passed the meta...
Castlevania photo
Castlevania

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2's development was troubled


Ex-developers cast blame on MercurySteam's managment and culture
Feb 28
// Alessandro Fillari
Well, this is awkward. Not only did Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 review fairly poorly across the board, now we're seeing former developers step into the light and call out Spanish development studio, MercurySteam, for poor ...

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