The first thing that hardcore fans of a ?series might ask would be ?What Happened Castlevania?? To be perfectly honest, all of us asks this to ourselves. Looking at how Lords of Shadows 2 took off, it is safe to say that the series might be on its way down to its doom.
Seriously, Lords of Shadows 2 has not been well received at all. The battle system was praised as a standalone game on its own, but the Castlevania charm that it was supposed to have with its story and exploration is definitely missing. The game added a city to expand the game?s locations, but this didn?t contribute that much in giving that Castlevania exploration feel to it.
The original Lords of Shadows was quickly dubbed as a God of War clone, and not as a Castlevania game at all. For newcomers, this may not seem like a bad thing at all, but for old-timers who have grown accustomed to how a Castlevania game should feel, they are definitely going to miss a lot of things here.
Fortunately, Mirror of Fate was around to turn the tables for the declining state of the series. By featuring a 2D design in a semi-3D world, we got to see and feel the good-old nostalgic feel of the series. The only shortcomings that it had was the way the game was presented. It was too ?linear? when compared to iconic titles like Symphony of The Night.
A simple rule of ?thumb applies in this. Not all 2D games translate well into 3D. Games like Super Mario and Legend of Zelda is a clear exception to this rule, but Sonic, going from 2D to 3D suffered greatly in terms of overall gameplay mechanics and feel.
The last decent Castlevania game could easily be the PlayStation game, Symphony of The Night, and you might have wished that Konami didn?t release another one after that. The Nintendo 64 Castlevania game was one of the first 3D versions of the game and sad to say, it was outright horrendous. They have improved on this on the PlayStation 2 titles, but it still lacked the feel that we, fans of the series, look for. We have nothing against the Belmonts, but reverting back to the whip weapon didn?t cut it for Konami.
Fortunately, there were some saving graces for the series like Aria of Sorrow and Harmony of Dissonance. These games took direct inspiration from Symphony of The Night itself, but the only drawback was, they lacked a great music soundtrack. This can be overlooked, however because of the hardware they run on. Nintendo DS also had a fair share of the classic Castlevania action, but little by little, it started to look like the idea is just being recycled over and over again.
So how should Konami proceed with Castlevania now? A clean reboot might need to be in order. No need to focus on combos, stealth or being Dracula himself. A remake of Symphony of The Night is not a good idea as well as it may just anger some fans. Developing another title for the series, which revisits some of its core features might be the best thing to do right now in order to save a dying franchise before it?s too late.