I love the Castlevania
series, and I really mean it, I'm "that guy", the kind of who buys any game of the series without hesitation or thinking about it. There is just something about Castlevania
that makes me go on and on with every game that comes out. Besides that I'm a big platformer lover, it's the setting, which happens at the castle of Dracula and that you have to battle a army of minions that is as big as the army of the late Soviet Russia and that is just plain fun. Whatever if it is old school, metroidvania or 3D, I'm always excited for a new title of this great franchise.
Of course that it has its faults here and there as any series of games, because Castlevania
has been around for more than 20 years and trying to change something that already has been changed can be kinda hard for the team, since the saga was reinvented on 1997 with Symphony of the Night
. I'm actually worried that the series will lose its charm and many will stop to buy these games except for the "hardcore" fans. As the Retroforce
team said in their last episode, I don't wanna see my Castlevania
in the "another Symphony of the Night clone? Do not want"
way, so that's why I will give some ideas that maybe could help the franchise. I will write ideas for the old-school, metroidvania and 3D separately, so let's take a look, shall we?
Classic Castlevania: Controls:
The classic style doesn't need many changes since it only needs to be how it was done since the first Castlevania
for the NES
, just plain fun and challenging platform bliss. The only problem though is some minor issues with the controls and many have problems in controlling a Belmont during his adventure, like how stiff it is to move the character. The common complaint from many is that they can't change the direction in mid-jump. I know that it adds difficulty but I've known many people who are turned off from the game because of this. Besides of that, the other common problem is that the character is pushed back with each hit, and can get really frustrating for the new comers. Even though most of the "purists" don't have any problem with this, changing some of the control mechanism would help for the newer players if there is new classic style Castlevania, which leads me to...
New Classic Castlevania game:
I'm not just going to say "plz another old school Castlevania" here, but I really would love to see a new one. I can see why IGA doesn't do this, since he thinks that they are outdated and it would be unsuccessful. Here's my main complaint, many who still buys and plays these new Castlevania games have grown up with the earlier games, so there is a big demand for this style. I'm really worried if we won't see any other old-school Castlevania
again, since it would really work. A good example is The Dracula X Chronicles. It had the original and the re-enchanted version of Rondo of Blood, and both of them were really fun and at the same time they felt like different games. Again, many were turned of because of the difficulty, but that is something that can be helped easily with a Difficulty Setting. Please Castelvania team, bring us more new Classic Castlevania games.
Even though I really love the Metroidvania style of Castlevania
, this is where I will give more ideas how to change some games that could work, since all the GBA and DS Castlevanias have been all Metroidvania ones. Most of them have been trying to replicate of what was the legendary Symphony of the Night
and that's the main problem. Instead of just trying to get the same reaction as with SotN
by adding similar stuff it can get really repetitive. At the same time, there is something the late Castlevanias
doesn't have and need from Symphony
The Castle and Beyond:
In this part there are two kinds of people; one is that it shouldn't be that linear and the other is that it should. I'm the one of that thinks it should be a Castle more opened. Let's take Symphony
as an example once again. After getting the Blue Medallion to open the blue doors you have 3 options where to go; one could be The Royal Chapel
, the other could be The Underground Caverns
or you could try to go to The Clock Tower
without the Double Jump and just try to avoid the falling bridges as a Wolf. Where am I getting at you say? The sense of liberty, but at the same time the idea of opening new areas with new relics that Symphony
had was one of the main attractions of this game, and even though most of the new Castlevania
game are trying to be like Symphony
, they never tried to have a castle where you can wander almost wherever you want to, and I would love to see that back.
Another thing that could work is that there could be a overworld outside of Dracula's Castle. For this, I will use Simon's Quest
as an example. Having areas outside of the castle would make it a bigger game, visiting different mansions which ever one would like, giving the liberty of choice as I explained with Symphony
. This idea almost worked with Portrait of Ruin
, since besides the main castle, you had to go to different areas in the portals that the paintings had, but then again, the last four areas were just reused from the other 4 paintings, which was a big shame and it could have been better.
Graphics (Reused sprites):
In the last two Castlevania
for the NDS, most of the sprites and many enemies have been reused from the Symphony
, and it seems that some of the enemies in Order of Eclessia
will be too. More than a complaint, this is more of a "it could be nice.." thing. Yes, it could be nice if some of the common enemies (Skeletons, Medusa Heads, Bats, Merman, Axe Knight, Ectoplasm, etc etc..) would had different sprites than the ones from Symphony
. Also, how many times have we fought Legion
? Wouldn't be nice to fight a new boss like Cthulhu
instead of having him as a lesser enemy? (Cthulhu
is in these games, only that it was renamed as Malachi
). But it seems that there will be newer bosses in Order of Eclessia
and that really makes me happy.
First of all, I know it's a 2D platformer, and some rules shouldn't be changed, but how about the battle mechanism? Sometimes just doing the same attack again and again can be bothersome to many, so why not trying something different? One common idea would be to add attack/combo chains, differing the attack of one sword with different buttons and even trying some aerial combos to mix up a little bit. Many would like the idea and many don't, but, doing it correctly it can work and can make the battle even more fun than before, specially with bosses where they can even try to counter you easily. Just a simple idea, again, this is one of those "it would be nice..". Something that changed a bit this was Dawn of Sorrow
with the Doppelganger soul, where you could change your equipments and weapons with the press of a button, and I would like to see that back.
The Belmonts, we need one:
Even though you could play as Juste Belmont
on Harmony of Dissonance
, there has been a lack of them as the main character on the Metroidvania games, they just appear as secondary unlockable overpowered characters (see Julius and Richter Belmont). Again, I can see why IGA does this. He rather to have the Belmonts as the main character in a Classic style game, with their stiff controls and basic moves, you can just see how Juste
was controlled in Harmony
, it felt weird to control a stiff character on a Metroidvania Castlevania for some reason. His vision must be that others should have the opportunities as main characters leaving the Belmonts only as an addition. IGA, it wouldn't hurt to have a Belmont once again in action, and even more if it had slick moves as Alucard
, it would still work.
3D Castlevania: The 3D Castlevanias
...many consider them as the black sheep of the family, or as the annoying cousin who likes to punch you in the nads. Either way, most of them weren't that good, with the almost exception of Curse of Darkness
. Again, IGA says that the 3D Castlevanias haven't met so much demand, which is again false, I'm sure that he's just a bit concerned on doing a new 3D one without failing again, though, he already admitted that he will try again and that he knows that the other attempts where just failure. One thing though, I'm going to talk about the PS2 games, since they are pursuing more for that kind of style than the N64 games.
Don't try to be like Devil May Cry:
IGA said this about the first Devil May Cry; "This is how Castlevania should have been in 3D.."
. After that, the Castlevania Team
have attempted to do something like that, which was a big mistake. First of all, the aerial combo style is broken, really broken. It's hard to try to pull out one just to look "rad" for the sake of it. Even though Lament of Innocence
had a decent ground combo move set, in Curse of Darkness
almost all the weapons feels as the same. It could have helped a lot if they had different move set, combo maneuvers and hidden abilities. I suggest to try a different format of 3D for Castlevania
. One could be the whole open castle in as in previous 3D games, just changing some mechanisms in the battle system and a good ability system, like creating weapons, which was actually a really great idea in Curse of Darkness
. The other way is to create a 2.5D game a la Rondo of Blood. Personally, I think the latest would work better, since it's a setting that the Castlevania Team
are used to and it would work wonderfully as a Metroidvania game and for a console.
Better AI for the enemies:
Something that really bothered me in the PS2 Castlevania games is that the enemies are waiting for you to attack, in other words, it had even less difficulty than the Metroidvania
games. Making the enemies a bit more nastier with you would give more challenge and being more fun rather than just hack 'n slash all the way like in a Dynasty Warriors
game (yes, I went there). For the next 3D one, do some more programming in the enemies AI, it would really work to make you fight to get to the next area.
This is more of stuff that could help to any kind of Castlevania
game, more rather, to help to create the story of it.
Story and Timeline:
I don't know you, but I think the Castlevania
franchise can actually have a great story. There are a couple that had the "OH SNAP!" moments in the games, like Lament of Innocence
or in Aria of Sorrow
. The games have the potential to have a good story, or to create new ones, like how did Dracula get some many minions and other demons that are even more powerful than him. The story that many fans are waiting for is the Demon Wars
in 1999 when Julius Belmont sealed the castle in a eclipse. There could also be a Castlevania
where the main character is Dracula himself, where he has to defeat other monsters to take them as minions.
And the timeline..the timeline is really F'd up. Many games are out of the timeline like Castlevania Legends
and Circle of the Moon
. There are two reasons why the timeline is so awkward and why it should be changed; One, is that the novel Dracula
by Bram Stoker
is on the timeline, all dandy right? No. Because of this, there is a huge hole, like for example that John
, the son of Quincey Morris
, witnessed when his father died. That can't be, because if all the time is correct, John would only have 2 years in that moment. There are other many other holes in the timeline and it wouldn't hurt to change it again. For more information about this topic, go to the best Castlevania
fan page, Castlevania Dungeon
, here. Final comment:
Wow, it feels kinda weird to criticize so much the franchise I love, now I can see why Rev. Anthony did this. It was fun to do this and even though I know most of this changes won't occur, but I still have hope on the Castlevania team.
Leave any comment, thoughts or criticism. Did you like the ideas? Why not? I hope you enjoyed reading this.