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Castlevania - will it rise from the grave?

Castlevania – will it rise from the grave?

Excited by the prospect of the PC Engine Mini, a reader suggests ways Konami could bring back everything Silent Hill to Suikoden.

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who read my Sega Readers Feature and for their positive comments. I had a lot of fun writing it and when trying to think of a follow-up saw the news about the PC Engine Mini, which I was very pleased to see had a lot of interest surrounding it. Like many, Ive been disappointed with Konamis attitudes towards games in recent years, but have seen hope in their recent anniversary collections and the annoucement of Contra: Rogue Ops.

So heres my seven favourite franchises of theirs Id wish theyd bring back. And no, it doesnt include Metal Gear. For one because Im not sure its technically gone away, given that Metal Gear Survive wasnt that long ago, but mostly because Ive never really liked it. Sorry Hideo!

1. Castlevania

If you ignore Metal Gear this is the crown jewels of Konamis gaming line-up but despite it being very high profile at the moment, thanks to Netflix, Super Smash Bros., and the anniversary collection theres still no sign of a new game. But especially as weve just had Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night, I feel the only way forward for the series now is a big budget 3D game. More 2D games that are just the same old formula arent going to cut it.

The problem is Konami has tried 3D before, but it never really works. But theres a very clear lead to follow in Bloodborne, which is so close to what I imagine a modern Castlevania would be that I only wish FromSoftware could make the game. I assume thats impossible though so I would use it as inspiration, tone down the difficulty and existential dread a bit, and bingo: youve got your mainstream, modern, franchise all ready to go!

2. Contra

Obviously youve got Rogue Ops coming up but although Im hoping itll be fun its clearly very low budget and very backwards looking. I agree with GC and others that Gears Of War is what Contra should have evolved into, except with a sense of humour and more variety in enemies and set pieces. But I would love to see a third person, big budget game that didnt take itself seriously and still had the attitude of an 80s action film and an early 90s arcade game… you know, just like the early Contra games. I firmly believe that for all these games, as it is with the old Sega titles, you cannot just wallow in the past, youve got to push forward.

3. Gradius

This has the same problem as Thunder Force for Sega, in that theres no way to obviously move the genre forward without making it almost unrecognisable. For 2D spaceship shooters I think theres two obvious routes: a space combat simulator and something more in the mould of early Star Fox. For Gradius I think the simulator route is the way to go, as its weapon upgrade system always made it one of the most involved and tactical shooters out there and Id love to see the old weapons and enemies come back but in modern 3D. The whole biomechanical look for many of the games, especially Salamander, could also help differentiate it from other shooters, like my next pick…

4. Star Soldier

Only hardened shmup fans are going to know what this is but the PC Engine was stuffed to the gills with great shooters and the Star Soldier series, which includes Soldier Blade and is very similar to Blazing Lazers/Gunhed, was my personal favourite. Compared to Gradius Id make this the more hardcore game and try to update the old linear style of play with modern 3D graphics. Im imagining Star Fox 1 but harder and with more of a bullet hell approach. Theres nothing like that out there at the moment and thats got to be a good reason to give it a go.

5. Neutopia

Another game few have probably heard of (theyre both Hudson games, rather than original Konami titles) but for my money the two Neutopia games were the best Zelda clones around. The originals were super derivative but as we know, copying Zelda and getting anywhere close is actually really hard and this had everything including similar style dungeons and multiple items. Where theres an opportunity for Konami though is that if Nintendo are going to continue with the Breath Of The Wild style for a while then here is the opportunity to make a more Ocarina Of Time style game to serve those fans. Its be ballsy but I think KonamiRead More – Source