By Jeriaska . August 6, 2008 . 10:56am
The story of Castlevania Judgment revolves around a plot by the forces of darkness to destroy the Belmont bloodline by rewriting history. Characters from various chronological periods will be brought together for a vampire hunting battle royale, featuring interactive environments in and around Dracula's castle. While Judgment features very different gameplay from traditional titles, series producer Koji Igarashi says that the fighting game vibe given off by the screenshots can be misleading. The genre would be more accurately described as a 3D action game.
The character design and art direction this time around are by the manga artist Takeshi Obata. "We decided a new visual style was appropriate," says producer Koji Igarashi. "The illustrations complement the carnivalesque quality of all these personalities from different eras interacting in the same environment." The title includes fourteen playable characters, among them Alucard, Simon, Maria and Dracula. Shanoa of Order of Ecclesia will be making an appearance as well. Castlevania Judgment will be debuting in November, one month after the Nintendo DS title.
The art style of Judgment marks both a departure from previous renderings of the game world, while tying together assorted visual elements from the series history. "Obata’s art design has some gothic element, which are perfect for Castlevania series," Iga says. "He gave us suggestions on the kinds of details and textures needed to translate the artwork appropriately into three dimensions."
For some time players had been requesting a Wii game where they could use the remote as a whip. Because this gameplay feature might be fatiguing over an extended period, the developers decided that the three-round versus battles of a fighting game would work well. Characters can be moved around by using the analog stick on the nunchuck. The Z button is used for blocking, C is for jumping, and shaking the controller will cause your character to dodge. Holding down the B button while attacking implements a special move.
The sound of the game will also aim for a sense of a new take on the established Castlevania classics. "Musicians from outside Konami are responsible for the score," Iga says, "so I cannot go into too much depth at this time, but most of the songs are arrangement of classic themes corresponding to the origins of each character."
Upon starting the versus mode, you can select the character's color palette and subweapon, including such recognizable items from previous titles in the series as daggers, crosses and holy water. Two of the levels were on display at E3. In an open courtyard, zombies were seen wandering the grounds. The zombies cause damage to the player, and will leave a cloud of poisonous gas in their wake when defeated. However, these hazards can also be used to your advantage by driving your opponent into them. After clearing out the undead, hearts will be revealed that will fill the subweapon bar.
In the other level, a throne room, large candelabras could be interacted with. The objects behave differently depending on the character that encounters it. Simon can wrap his whip around the objects and sling them toward his opponent. Alucard, on the other hand, can smash the candelabras for a temporary weapon bonus. Other levels will have more interactive elements, drawing from the hazards and obstacles found in memorable locations of Dracula's castle throughout the series. Says the series producer, "Castlevania is known for its unique 2D side-scrolling action, but to expand the franchise, we need to keep ourselves open to new challenges."
Photo credit Jeriaska/Siliconera. Images courtesy of Konami.