Post by Nester the Lark on Mar 17, 2014 17:37:13 GMT -5
So, Koji Igarashi, the former producer of the Castlevania series, has left Konami and intends to start his own studio. (Source)
Frankly, I'm happy to hear this. I was playing a bunch of Castlevania games last year, and I was still impressed with the level of detail and depth in his games. Since Konami wasn't letting him produce games anymore, I was hoping he would go indie. Igarashi said he wants the freedom to make the kinds of games he wants to make, which he thinks are also the kinds of games his fans want him to make. I assume that means metroidvania-style games, and even if that means a blatant Castlevania rip-off, I'm totally OK with that.
Plus, it's a chance to start from a clean slate, a la Mighty No. 9. The main problem with his Castlevania games is that the continuity was getting saturated.
Speaking of Mighty No. 9, I wonder if he'll go the Kickstarter route.
Post by Nester the Lark on Mar 17, 2014 18:48:37 GMT -5
He produced both Castlevania: Harmony of Despair and Otomedius Excellent in 2011, the latter of which surprisingly got a Western release. But last I heard, he had been given the proverbial "window seat," so Konami seemingly had no intention of letting him do anything else.
Oh yeah, and I forgot Castlevania Judgment ('08) and ReBirth ('09), both for the Wii.
Either way, it's clear that Konami wasn't interested in having him work on the future of Castlevania. The funny thing about this is that most Castlevania characters are in the public domain, so he really could make a pseudo Castlevania without any trouble.
Post by Nester the Lark on Mar 18, 2014 13:13:35 GMT -5
Here's an interview Igarashi did with Kotaku where he says that he was indeed inspired by Keiji Inafune and Mighty No. 9:
"I was really inspired by the reaction that Keiji Inafune got with Mighty No. 9," said Iga. "It showed me that if you have the fans, you can provide them the games they want."
"Are you going to do a Kickstarter?" I asked.
"That's an option," Iga said, taking a sip of coffee. "There are many options, such as venture capital."
He's also asked about his feelings on the Lords of Shadow games:
I asked Iga why he wasn't in charge of Lords of Shadow. "We made two 3D Castlevania games," he said. "And to be honest, they didn't turn out so well. Mercury Steam is very skilled at creating beautiful 3D images, so they were brought in to develop the game."
In 2010, Konami didn't quite yet have its own game engine that could handle Castlevania. Remember, this was years before the Fox Engine.
"Couldn't you still have been in charge?" I asked.
"It would've been difficult, with them in Europe and me in Japan," he said. "And since the quality for our 3D Castlevania games wasn't that high, it wasn't really our place to tell them how to do one. They had that expertise."
"Were you depressed when you were no longer in charge of Castlevania?" I asked.
"Yes, of course, I was depressed," he replied, grinning. "But, I am a huge Castlevania fan. I want there to be Castlevania games for the next one hundred years. I want them to continue making those games."
"Were you bitter?" I asked.
"Certainly not. I didn't create the franchise. It was something I worked on."
"But you made it your own."
"Well, this is the next phase of Castlevania," said Iga. "I have a lot to be grateful for because of Castlevania."
I really am happy for IGA that he decided to do this. He was a little controversial among some Castlevania fans who thought he played it a little too safe, but at the end of the day, he made some pretty great games. I want to see him continue to make games.
"It's a bit of an emotional rollercoaster," IGA says. "There are no guarantees for the future, and so my leaving the company could not work out, and I could be left without a leg to stand on. That being said, the last couple years I haven't been able to do what I really wanted to do, anyway."
"That magic, the excitement of being able to create again, the chains have come off, and now I'll have the opportunity," he adds. "No one knows what will happen in the future. You never know until you take the jump."
"The more hardcore the game... the less suitable it is for the casual market," Igarashi told Polygon in an interview at this week's Game Developers Conference. "Unfortunately, I'm good at making core experiences, so it was two years of making a game that leaned too 'hardcore' for the social market. So it was canceled. Then I'd try again and be canceled. And again and be canceled.
"That happened several times, more because my natural style is more akin to a hardcore game."
. . .
When asked to expand on his future game plans, Igarashi said, "If you just look at my strengths, most likely it will be an action game. Of course, fans would like a 2D exploration sort of game, a Metroidvania-type game. That's definitely something i'm interested in to make them happy.
"But, probably much to fans' chagrin, I'm frustrated that I have been unable to make a really good 3D game as well. That's something I want to eventually truly conquer, because it has continually defeated me."
USG: How much influence has the success of your colleague's Kickstarters had on your decision and plans? Between Keiji Inafune's Mighty No. 9 and Yasumi Matsuno's Unsung Story, there have been some high-profile developers striking out on their own to make the games they want to create, but which publishers won't support.
IGA: In order to make a jump like this, a person has lots of different inspirations. It's never just one idea or one thing that gets them to do it. That being said, certainly Might No. 9 and watching it – it wasn't the money, it was seeing the sheer number of fans that wanted that sort of a game that were willing to put forth money in order to make it happen. So I realized that, yeah, I have a lot of fans that want me to make a certain kind of game. And those fans, they're power. They're energy. They're motivation to get you to move forward and take that risk.
Iga is scheduled to talk about the design of metroidvania-type games at GDC tomorrow. That should be interesting to check out.
Ah, yes... Bloodlines for the Genesis. I have all the Castlevania games that are available in Wii Shop... including the ReBirth one and Rondo of Blood. For a long time, I waited for this game to be available on Wii Virtual Console and it never happened. The last Genesis game for Wii Virtual Console, I believe, was the wonderful Japan-only game Monster World IV. Hopefully it will be available on Wii U eShop.
What?! So no Symphony of the Night? Or Aria/Dawn of Sorrow? Oh man...you're doing yourself a disservice by living without experiencing at least Symphony.
I remember I actually did give Symphony of the Night a shot at some point... I think I just checked it out on an emulator real quick with no intention of going to play through it that time.
All I really remember is that Alucard moved slow as hell and that it was impossible to kill stuff with that dinky knife of his after his awesome shit gets taken (WHAT!). And I really didn't feel like grinding monsters for levels/better weapons. I already wasted enough months in old MMO games doing that.
After years of running around the pre-Brinstar area I eventually plowed through Super Metroid and that game ended up in my list of favourites so I should probably give Symphony another shot sometime. My backlog of games I need to finish is already huuuuuge though...
The beginning is kind of dumpy, I agree, but it's not much grinding before you can take on the first boss. After that, there's little need to ever grind unless you want a specific sort of equipment. So yeah, give it a go. It's a really good game.