Lords Of Shadow Out With a Whimper, Can We Get SotN 2 Now?

When will developers realize that Castlevania has ALWAYS worked best in a 2D format?

This just needs to happen.

After the recently released Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 failed to impress (currently averaging in the mid-60s at Metacritic), I'm once again left with the hope that some designer somewhere will want to produce a true-blue sequel to the original PS1 classic, Symphony of the Night.

I'm aware that it wouldn't be a big-budget production. It'd probably be a digital-only game and it might even have to begin its life as a Kickstarter campaign. I don't really care, though, because I've long since concluded that this franchise belongs in the 2D realm.

I know, it sounds like I'm living in the past

Yes, I understand. Games have come a long way, and saying that any series should stay in an archaic format doesn't make any sense, right? But I'm not insane. Although I may always prefer the old-school 2D top-down format in the old Zelda titles, there's no denying just how great that franchise became in the N64 era. Same goes for Mario. However, that being said, I truly believe Castlevania is, for a variety of reasons, the one series that simply thrives in the 2D side-scrolling system.

It's not about living in the past. It's about acknowledging the situation.

If we were to rank the top Castlevania games of all time...

Doing so, in my mind, puts a bunch of 2D iterations at the top. Symphony of the Night is the easy #1, I think, but there are several others. Remember the trio of GBA titles (Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, Aria of Sorrow)? All of them were better than any 3D Castlevania released since in my estimation, and that includes the first Lords of Shadow. Let's not forget a few others, like Dawn of SorrowOrder of Ecclesia, and The Dracula X Chronicles.

Those are all relatively new; I'm not even counting the older 2D adventures on the earlier systems. Purists might even say all of those were better than any 3D Castlevania title. There's just something about this series that's begging to be part of a 2D side-scrolling universe.

You know, you can do a LOT with the SotN mechanic

That game was light years ahead of its time. It had the castle map, it had a full-fledged role-playing mechanic (complete with character stats, equipment, spells, enemy drops, etc.) and in short, it was much deeper than most people give it credit for. This means even a semi-talented developer could easily make a modern-day sequel that would A. Be respectful and pay proper homage to the original, and B. Still feel relatively slick and fresh in the digital realm.

We're seeing a lot of throwback titles these days (StriderDouble Dragon NeonNBA Jam, etc.), so now's the perfect time to produce the long-awaited sequel. This is one of those situations where everyone wants it, and that likely includes those who are partial to the Lords of Shadow games.

Just do it. Make it happen. Someone. Somehow. Please.

Featured Columnist

A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.

Published Mar. 7th 2014

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