With the help of fan love and 2D Metroid-vania enthusiasts, Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi smashed his Kickstarter goal ($500,000) for ‘Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night’ in less than a day. In fact, as of this writing it is clocking at 1.7 million with 30 days to go. Basically, Koji Igarashi is doing to Konami with this game what Keiji Inafune is doing to Capcom with Mighty No. 9. I would call it a very pointed taking-to-task over screwing up a beloved and well-respected series by creating what essentially amounts to a more worthy successor that follows in the footsteps that, in this case, both Castlevania and Mega Man should have been going all along, if only Konami and Capcom, respectively, would allow it.
Lifelong expert of classic video games, Vourbot, weighs in on this news…
Castlevania Rises From Another Of It’s Graves In These Crazy Modern Times (Where The Producer Of Castlevania’s Can’t Get A Job)
In Case you haven’t heard:
1. Kickstarters can do anything. Q. What’s the hipster’s greatest dilemma? A. Rent is due every month, but kickstarters take longer than that.
2. Video games are not peanut butter sandwiches, they don’t stay the same and last for ever and fly off the virtual shelves eternally. In fact,
A. The company that made my favorite video game, Dodonpachi Dai Ou Jou, and who just kept reiterating that same game ever before and since, recently went out of business. And it wasn’t because they got too old to make them.
B. Konami, one of the best video game companies ever, is totally moving on to mobile gaming. That’s an exaggeration, but It’s what this article is about.
So that brings us to here. Do you remember a certain “Castlevania” on the NES? It’s one of the best games ever made. Right at the top of the list. It’s got more style, artistic substance and playability in a square inch of it’s screen than most games can dream about. I just simply can’t say enough about how much I love this game. And It spawned a couple of sequels that are either, a. also fantastic, or b. the first one was so damn good, that any game made after it got the benefit of the doubt, just because it was THAT good. Those games are “Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest” and “Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse”. And I think I should also throw “Super Castlevania IV” in the mix as well. And, on that note, I should mention that 3 and 4 are fantastic, but 2 is less than, but it does have a very special thing going on: the villagers all lie to you. I’ve never played a game where you’re presence in the game is held with such disdain. It’s and RPG and they all lie. It’s just total chaos. You are literally stuck in Transylvania, just tortured by everyone. I thought that was very unique.
Castlevania was directed by Hitoshi Akamatsu. Number 2 and 3 were directed by Hitoshi Akamatsu. Number 4 was Masahiro Ueno. Hold the presses!!! My cut and paste of Japanese names has just revealed, in real time, that:
Hitoshi Akamatsu used pseudonyms, for some business/cultural reason.
HIM AND HIS TEAM MADE ALL THESE GAMES (minus number 4 on the super nintendo).
No one knows where he is! He’s disappeared, and many people have tried to find him!! He’s in Transylvania!! There’s no other way these games could have been so good, so real, if they weren’t autobiographical!
And BAM! I’ve gotten to just scratch the tip of the iceberg on expressing my love for these amazing games. But this article isn’t even about that! It’s about another Japanese name; a man named KOJI IGARASHI. This man has been carrying the torch for, well, Dracula (Hitoshi Akamatsu), for the last 17+ years. He made “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night” for the PlayStation 1, which is the sequel to “Rondo of Blood” on the PC Engine CD (which he also had a part in), and he perhaps proved that everyone knows what a “Symphony” is, but what the hell is a “Rondo”. And in case you’re wondering , “Rondo of Blood” is the much more sophisticated and greater template for “Dracula X”, which came out on the Super Nintendo, after “Super Castlevania IV”, which was secretly known as “Small Psychedelic Jazz Combo of Water Level”.
Symphony of the Night, while a million miles from the ORIGINAL, is so close in so many ways, that it’s super fun and highly regarded and it also spawned (or I’d guess more like “allowed Koji to do” countless reiterations– mostly on the Game Boy Advance.
On a side note, Symphony of the Night gets only two criticisms from me: 1. The difficulty levels are just a mess, and 2. If they would have just thrown in a few goddamn doors in there and spent 5 minutes on some new code, they could have included a “Castlevania” style boss-to-boss play through mode that would have KICKED ASS. Why didn’t they?????
But Symphony of the Night is very good, and the “Metroidvania” game style is great, and each and every Castlevania that came after it on the Game Boy Advance was better than the last. This guy kills it. It’s a crime that Gameboys are so puny. I always thought they should be honored with a big screen presentation.
In the way better done article than this one, that I read, with actual phone calls and everything, Mr. Igarashi describes how he has worked for Konami ever since college, and the pinnacle(s) of his career are when he got to make all those Castlevanias. He says that he’d be happy making them forever. He says he’s been waiting for the chance again ever since he made the last one, “Harmony of Despair” (which is a proper big screen, but really a left of center hashed-compilation of some of his previous work). When Konami shifted their focus to mobile platforms, he was right there trying to bring his skills to that arena, but eventually Konami wasn’t able to support him at all. He’s a normal guy, he can’t just sit there with no job. He took his resume around and couldn’t find anyone to take him in (unbelievably, for his reputation and work, but I guess believably, as a sign of the times), and so the thought occurred to him to just do it himself.
He’s got a kickstarter with a 500,000 dollar goal, and there are mock-up’s of his game, which I think everyone will assume will be another fine iteration of the concept. And better, too, as it will be unleashed from the Game Boy (It will be on the newest Xbox and PlayStation). And the game is called “Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night”. What? No musical narrative? He actually has hired on the composer for the tunes from “Symphony of the Night”, which is a great addition to the idea. Those tunes were a great part of that game.
And from what I understand from the internet, he’s raising the dough, greatly from American fans that he didn’t know he had, and it seems like he’s going to pull it off. And his art will continue with the infrastructures of old. And he’ll have a job.
Now, if he could only go back and put a boss-to-boss door system in “Symphony of the Night” for a Castlevania-esque play mode. SERIOUSLY!
Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night is in development for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.