Friday Slide: A Compromise Called Castlevania Puzzle

Only two weeks ago, I praised 3G Studios’ for The Deep, an iPhone game with a heavy emphasis on gaining new powers and then backtracking to previously inaccessible areas. The Deep, I said, plays a lot like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the Playstation and Xbox Live Arcade– one of my favorite games of all time.

And this week, praise be to Slogra, I learned that Castlevania: Sympony of the Night is back! In iPhone form!

There’s just one teensy difference between the upcoming iPhone game and the game I fell in love with at the tail end of the ’90s: Konami is making this follow-up a puzzle game, not an adventure game. What is a man? A miserable little pile of colored blocks, apparently.

I’m still pretty excited for the epically-named Castelvania Puzzle: Encore of the Night. I’m lukewarm towards most puzzle games– even Tetris– but I’m easily distracted by a pretty setting. Match-three puzzle? Cool, I guess. Match-three puzzles that drop on Dracula’s head? Oh, hey!

Castlevania Puzzle: Encore of the Night stars Alucard, who just can’t seem to stick to that eternal sleep he’s been attempting all his life. Alucard re-visits Castlevania, faces off against old foes, and sends them spinning back into hell by matching up three puzzle pieces, a la Puzzle Quest and Dr. Mario. Equippable weapons boost damage dealt to enemies, and Alucard can even break out his magic spells for an extra kick.

Not a whole lot more is known about the game at this point, though word has it that Konami plans to loose it on the App Store sooner than later.

To repeat myself, I’m a big Castlevania fan: I’ll take Castlevania: Symphony of the Kitchen Sink over no Castlevania at all. But I’m still forced to wonder how Konami would tackle a real sequel to one of their most critically acclaimed games– especially if the company decided to put it on the iPhone or iPad.

The Nintendo DS is currently Konami’s go-to system for 2D Castlevania titles, and the results have been mostly excellent: Dawn of Sorrow, Portrait of Ruin, and Order of Ecclesia are all great games. Still, if Konami were to send Alucard back to Castlevania in another “Metroidvania”-style title, I’d buy that for a dollar. Maybe considerably more.

It wouldn’t take much to get me interested; Symphony of the Night’s gameplay still holds up well in these modern times, as do its graphics. Bring in Alucard. Shake up the castle, throw in some new bosses, maybe add some new areas and a few more gorgeously orchestrated tunes. Sell it to me for five bucks. I’d bite. Get Maria to show a little leg. That’ll encourage a few thousand more players to plunge into Dracula’s abode (kidding).

It’s a fun dream. Will anything come of it? I don’t know. In the meantime, I’ll just make do with Konami’s spooky puzzle time.

But enough talk! Have at you!

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