In its most recent issue, Electronic Gaming Monthly has obtained some initial info on the new Castlevania title that
was announced for the Playstation 2 back in February. Apparently, the new game will be created by most of the original
members of the Symphony of the Night team. However, this game will not be a direct sequel to Symphony of the Night and
will instead take players back to the 11th century. As far as the Castlevania timeline goes, this will place the
newest game as a prequel to the rest of the series. In addition, it will also feature a new Belmont hero, wielding
both a whip and a sword, to fill the lead role.
More important than story details, however, the article also reveals the play and graphical styles of the upcoming
title. Contrary to what many fans had hoped, the next installment will be neither a graphically improved 2D scroller,
nor a hybrid 2D scroller with 3D characters. In fact, the producer of the game, Koji Igarashi, was quoted as saying,
"When you try to simply deliver the 2D experience in 3D, it doesn't translate well. So the challenge for us is to make
Castlevania fun as a true 3D game." However, to allay the fears of fans, Igarashi went on to say that the game will
attempt to learn from the Castlevania titles released on the Nintendo 64 and avoid many of the mistakes those games made.
This new title will also take a new look at the classic Castlevania combat mechanisms and is planning to reinvent them
somewhat for the move to Playstation 2 and 3D. It is expected to include a heightened emphasis on combos,
in a change seeming somewhat reminiscent of the Devil May Cry titles. However, it is also expected to include a
substantial exploration element, which was one of Symphony of the Night's hallmarks, but will try to avoid the pitfalls
of the survival horror genre, which Igarashi regards as "not fun to fight enemies" in.
As of yet, a subtitle for the game has not been chosen. However, Igarashi did hint that it would probably follow the convention
of musical references ("Harmony of Dissonance", "Symphony of the Night"), which has been prevalent in recent chapters of the series.
Despite this lack of a name, a soft release date of Fall 2003 has been announced.