Monday, November 02, 2009

Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth - Classic Gaming Returns

Konami's newest Castlevania is coming to Nintendo Wii, and it's a real surprise for us oldskool gamers.  Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth points back to the first of three Gameboy titles from 1989.  That game was one of Gameboy's real standouts; I can't tell you how frustrated I was that Atari Lynx had nothing that could compete.

This Castlevania is a pure throwback to the original NES and Super NES titles, which is a terrific thrill.  Castlevania once defined retro games - atmospheric, visually dazzling, unforgettable music, and devilishly hard.  Video games were generally much harder back then, and Konami took special joy in punishing us kids.  Heh heh.

It's a bit ironic that the Castlevania series ran out of steam, only to be spectacularly revived with Symphony of the Night.  Since then, every title in the series - six games on Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS - has simply rehashed the formula, until the formula became stale once again.  Now Konami is bringing the series back to its arcade roots.

Castlevania needs to be cool again.  Maybe it's time for a retro rebirth.  I'm just happy to be playing classic action-centered Castlevania again.  And I expect the game to be hard, brutally hard.  All of the post-Symphony games were so easy it was embarrassing.  You shouldn't be expected to just walk through one end of Dracula's castle to the next without breaking a sweat.  The "hard mode" on Days of Ruin (the first DS title and the handheld's best) was genuinely tough at times, but you still had to waltz through normal mode first.

It really doesn't appear that Castlevania Rebirth is a direct remake of the original Gameboy Castlevania.  The one thing that's retained are the fireballs that you hurl from your whip.  I always liked that feature, although it could make things too easy.  I do hope the designers have spent quality time with the classic Castlevanias and learn what made them great.

Everything looks and sounds great so far.  All I ask is that it's not too easy nor too short.  I want a hard game.  Oh, and after this is finished, Konami should work on remaking Simon's Quest.  Heh heh.  Keep your eyes open for this one, kids.

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