Although it was originally supposed to come out this November, Konami's Castlevania: Resurrection has been pushed back to a first quarter 1999 release. Having played an early version at E3, we have to admit that this delay was definitely a smart move on Konami's part.
Castlevania: Resurrection takes place in a full 3D world, similar to the N64 Castlevania. The game stars Sonya Belmont, the very first known member of the Belmont clan and mother to Simon (she also starred in last year's Castlevania Legends for the Game Boy). Right now the game is so early, it's hard to get a feel for what it's going to be like, but at this point, it's not looking too hot. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that the game is being developed in America, rather than Japan (only one guy from the old Japanese games is involved in this project--an art guy from Castlevania IV).
We hope the game turns out to be great in the end, but surely you can understand why we have our doubts. Let's not forget about what Konami of America did to the once-awesome Contra franchise...
Download Castlevania: Resurrection
What you nearly played:
It's a fact: Hardcore gamers love Konami's Castlevania series (well, at least the 2D installments, anyway). And if nothing else, this once highly anticipated Dreamcast version was going to be the best-looking game in the series so far. Just look at these screenshots! Developed at Konami's U.S. studio, Resurrection was set in a completely 3D world, just like Castlevania on the N64. It featured Sonya Belmont--Simon's mom and the star of 1998's Castlevania Legends for the Game Boy--as its main character, but the game was so early when we played it that we never really got a feel for its gameplay. Resurrection was originally supposed to hit the Dreamcast in November 1999 but was delayed until the first quarter of 2000. It has since disappeared from release lists and been the subject of many it's-on-again, it's-off-again rumors. Trust us--Resurrection is dead.
Why you'll never play it:
Like we said, we only got to play an early version of Resurrection, but what we saw wasn't looking too hot. We chalk it up to the fact that only one team member from the older Castlevania games--an art guy from Castlevania IV--was involved in the project. And apparently, Konami was none too pleased with the game's progress, either. According to sources inside the company, Resurrection was handed off to Konami's Kobe, Japan, studio, the same developers responsible for several previous Castlevania releases, including the two N64 versions. Apparently, the Kobe team agreed that it would probably be easier to start from scratch than to work with the existing material. But, our sources are quick to point out, that is not to imply that the Kobe team is working on a new Castlevania for Dreamcast--or any other platform, for that matter--so don't get excited. Meanwhile, the Castlevania: Resurrection project just petered out and disappeared. End of story.
The Dreamcast gets its first taste of Dracula with Castievania Resurrection, the latest entry in Konami's long-running action series. Sonia Belmont (from Castievania: Legends for the Game Boy), the central figure in the 3D action, is brought back from the dead to battle the Count and a new enemy--the Countess of Castievania. Resurrection promises to retain all the trademark elements of the series: plenty of whip-snapping item collecting, along with familiar monsters to fight, including the mummy, werewolf, medusa, and others. RPG elements will be kept to a minimum: this game will emphasize fast-paced arcade action.
The graphics in the E3 preview version were very impressive--especially the light-sourcing and shading effects. Can the Dreamcast resurrect the Castlevania magic that was sorely missing from the Nintendo 64 game? Judging from the early screens shown here, the developers seem to be on the right track.