Castlevania: Curse of Darkness
Could this 3D Castlevania finally be the one that gets it right?
Preview by Ken Horowitz (Email)
October 26th 2005
The Basics: After a myriad of installments pitting the Belmont clan against the Prince of Darkness, the latest Castlevania title goes off in a decidedly different direction. Instead of a whip-wielding vampire hunter, the protagonist of Curse of Darkness is one of Drac's own. Devil Forgemaster Hector leaves Dracula's service, after becoming disillusioned with his ideals, and heads out on his own. Three years after the count's defeat, another Forgemaster – Isaac – appears and holds his former comrade to blame for their master's undoing. He then has Hector's beloved tried as a witch. Now, an enraged Hector sets off for revenge across a dark and evil Europe. Set in the same 3D vein (no pun intended) as Lament of Innocence, Curse also retains the action/RPG elements that fans have come to know from the series. This new character Hector, being of the dark realm himself, possesses the power to summon allies, or "innocent devils," to aid in combat and puzzle solving (like the familiars in Symphony of the Night). An improved combo system has also been implemented, and Konami promises a ton of unlockables to keep things interesting.
What do we think? I honestly have to say that I'm still not entirely convinced that this is the 3D Castlevania that we've been longing for since the days of the N64. I really wanted to enjoy Lament, but found it too repetitive and uninspired. With the stellar release of Dawn of Sorrow for the Nintendo DS, it seems that Konami has their work cut out for them here. Fans have been arguing for years that the series should remain exclusively in 2D, and hopefully this latest release can put an end to that debate once and for all.
One thing that pleased me was the decision to show the Xbox some love this time around. I would love to see some Live features included, but nothing's been mentioned about that so far. Online coop monster hunting would be sweet, and I can only hope that Konami decides to take advantage of the Xbox's Live capabilities.
Castlevania: Curse of Darkness is also in development for the Xbox platform.