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Castlevania DS Revealed

by Jonathan Metts - December 31, 2004, 10:00 pm PST
Total comments: 16 Source: EGM

Get ready for more 2D action from the Castlevania series.

The latest issue of Electronics Gaming Monthly reveals the first information on Konami's Castlevania sequel for the Nintendo DS. The game, which will probably receive a subtitle in the coming months, is due by fall 2005. It is a direct sequel to Aria of Sorrow, the last Castlevania title released for Game Boy Advance.

Castlevania DS retains the gameplay and graphical style of its predecessor; that is to say, it is a strictly 2D action game with level designs heavily influenced by the Metroid series. Konami is harnessing the sprite-pushing abilities of the DS, which the developer claims are superior to those of the original Playstation, where this style of Castlevania game got its start with Symphony of the Night.

The story of Castlevania DS takes place in 2036 A.D., one year after the events in Aria of Sorrow. The hero, Soma, is being pursued by a death cult who want him to embrace his supressed identity as Dracula. All of the supporting characters will return, including Arikado (Alucard, son of Dracula and star of Symphony of the Night).

The main action in Castlevania DS will take place on the lower screen, but the game will be controlled primarily with the face buttons. The stylus is only used during boss battles, in which the player must draw a certain symbol on the screen in order to finish off the boss. The top screen is used to display the castle map at all times, which should prove useful in a game with so much exploration and backtracking.

We'll have more information and screenshots of this highly anticipated game as soon as possible!


Dirk TemporoJanuary 02, 2005


Talk about lazy. They couldn't even think up a good use of the touch screen or the dual screens... *sighs*

TansunnJanuary 02, 2005

Just because it's there doesn't mean they have to use it. I'm actually kinda glad they're not going too far with the capabilities of the DS. I like the way Castlevania plays, and I'm not sure how much I'd like it if they screwed with the formula too much by making too much use of the extra screen and touch sensitivity.

thepogaJanuary 02, 2005

i think it would be neat if u could have the map on the touch screen and with the stylus, make a little box thing (like how u do it on your desktop with your mouse) and it could zoom in on that area. Yeah.

KDR_11kJanuary 02, 2005

Tansunn: Problem is recently we had too many announcements of devs using the second screen for a map or something and too few of devs doing something unexpected with it.

Spak-SpangJanuary 03, 2005

At least the map is on the top screen. Just because the only announced use of the touch screen is the "seal" magic of bosses doesn't mean that it is the only use. I can see drawing shapes as a means to use magic and such.

Lets be glad we are getting a new Castlevania that is more traditional than the company trying something new and screwing it up.

vuduJanuary 03, 2005


Originally posted by: thepoga
i think it would be neat if u could have the map on the touch screen and with the stylus, make a little box thing (like how u do it on your desktop with your mouse) and it could zoom in on that area. Yeah.
Expanding on your idea, I'd like to be able to mark the map and make notes so I know where to return once I've acquired power-ups.

RizeDavid Trammell, Staff AlumnusJanuary 03, 2005

I'm extremely dissappointed in this news. I'll take another Castlevania game any day of the week (in particular a direct sequel to the excellent Aria of Sorrow rather than some 3D crap) but wow, a MAP? Come on folks. It would have been a no brainer to make another game with two castles (ala Harmony of Dissonance) and put one on each screen and introduce some fresh gameplay centered around the idea. Instead they go and use the touch screen so you can draw cute pictures while you fight bosses. Egh.

ruby_onixJanuary 03, 2005


Problem is recently we had too many announcements of devs using the second screen for a map or something and too few of devs doing something unexpected with it.

This game is quite likely to be "the next Symphony of the Night". If that's not "innovative", then I'm okay with that.

When Nintendo first announced the DS, people thought "What can you put on the second screen? A map, for starters." And since then, that one choice has become "uncreative" and "obvious", and people want new ideas. But a map is the obvious choice for a reason. When you first though "second screen = map", what map in particular did you see in your head? For me, it was Symphony of the Night.

Anything more creative than a map most likely just wouldn't be as suitable and useful to this kind of game. IMO, there is a problem in that not enough people have come up with creative "killer apps" which justify all the features of the DS, but in the absense of those killer apps I'd rather have fully-competent games that aren't damaged by tacked-on gimmicky features.

That said, I think the spell-drawing thing is a gimmick. Also, I've seen some people, Castlevania fans, used to the religious/satanic imagery that plasters the walls of this series, who are somewhat uncomfortable on a religious level with the idea of "actively" drawing pentagrams and whatnot to provide the finishing blows on end bosses (and I can't entirely say that I'm not one of those people).

I think the drawing system should be nixed, or perhaps made "optional".

And I'll echo other people's thoughts in that the "main" gameplay screen should be switched over to the smudge-free fingerprint-free upper screen, and the map should be on the lower one.

Also, the map should be improved to become interactive. Perhaps you draw your own map. Perhaps you just trace your "progress". Maybe you make notes on it, about things to come back for. Maybe some zoom features. I dunno. But there is room for some small innovations there.

However, I've seen a number of developers progress blindly into mistakes that the entire interweb saw coming miles away, so I should probably just forget about those ideas right here and now, and try to enjoy the game however it turns out.

ib2kool4u912January 03, 2005

A map isn't a bad idea for the second screen of a Castlevania screen. Castlevania is the type of game where im always switching to the map anyway, i think its better then having some gimmick that might not work at all. I do however think that just throwing a map on the other screen in games like Mario Kart isn't a good idea.

KnowsNothingJanuary 03, 2005

[Q...}promise of Enemy Soul trading and the exchange of customised maps


Now, the action takes place on the bottom screen, so the map "customization" mentioned in this thread aint gonna happen......but then again, why would those be worth trading anyway? That implies that people will be able to make their own "worlds" or whatever, so upon finishing the game, you can trade with somebody to play it again with a different map. So there WILL be map customization, just in a different way than what has been brought up.

I've never played a Castlevania game more than 20 minutes, but I think I'd rather have this than being able to zoom in or label my map.

S-U-P-E-RTy Shughart, Staff AlumnusJanuary 03, 2005

I spent WAY too much time pausing to look at the map in SOTN and the GBA ones, so there's nothing I'd enjoy more than havinga separate map.

Also I like the idea of drawing pentagrams in chicken blood on my DS screen

soracloudtidusJanuary 05, 2005

Why do u guys complain so much? Remember this is the first generation of DS games and it's going to be hard for the devs to come up with something innovative at first. You all heard the saying if it aint broken dont fix it. Personally I think this is a greast idea, the first Castlevania DS to have some features is ok with me. Then the next Castlevania DS game should come up with some original stuff for the DS.

CHENJanuary 05, 2005

I guess this is doomed from the start with so many people being negative. face-icon-small-disgusted.gif

I feel sorry for Igarashi and Konami.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJanuary 05, 2005

I might get a DS afterall... This game better not be a piece of cake.

Ian SaneJanuary 05, 2005

Does anyone else notice a major disadvantage to having the map as a seperate screen? There are huge benefits to having to pause a game to look at a map. When I'm looking at the map I don't want some enemy to kick my ass because I'm concentrating on the map. Having to pause makes sense. It's like pulling over to the side of the road to look at a map instead of looking at a map and driving on the freeway at the same time. Now there are advantages to being able to see it as you go as well and if you can still see the map when paused then it's all fine. But if not I can see some problems in any game where enemies are on your ass the whole time.

Bill AurionJanuary 05, 2005

Well I'm sure the map will still be shown when you pause anyway...

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