In the February 2005 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine, Konami reveals several details regarding their latest entry into the Castlevania series. This game, tentatively titled Castlevania, will be a direct sequel to 2003's Aria of Sorrow, released for Game Boy Advance.
The hero from Aria of Sorrow, Soma Cruz, reprises his role in the Nintendo DS sequel along with all of the surviving characters from Aria of Sorrow. The story of the game begins one year after the events of the previous game. The founder of the cult that believes their god to be perfect, Celia Fortner, is out to kill Soma because he didn't realize his destiny of becoming the reincarnation of Dracula. Using the element of surprise, Soma decides to preempt Celia's move by going to the cult's headquarters first and confronting his hunters there.
As far as game play and mechanics are concerned, Konami explains in the magazine that the top screen will display a map of the current area as well as important status information regarding Soma. All of the action will take place on the bottom screen.
The game will play as a 2D side-scrolling adventure, similar to most of the other games in the series. Also, the Enemy Soul system from Aria will make a return in this game along with the ability to trade souls with other players via the DS's wireless function.
Furthermore, players will be able to create customized maps in the game for wireless trading as well. What purpose these self-made maps will serve is currently unknown.
Below is an excerpt from an interview EGM magazine had with Castlevania producer, Koji Igarashi, who explains how the DS's touch screen will be utilized in the game.
"This time, killing bosses requires more than just steady attacks: Once you drain the enemy's hit points to zero, the Magic Seal entry screen pops up. You then use the stylus to draw a certain shape on the screen and 'seal' the enemy. If the shape is drawn incorrectly, the enemy regains some of its energy and the fight continues."
Igarashi goes on to explain that because the game is so action-driven, he didn't want players to have to switch between using the regular buttons and using the stylus throughout the game, thus interrupting the flow of game play. He says that players will only have to use the stylus during boss battles, to draw the Magic Seal; the rest of the game will require only the use of regular buttons.
While no announcement of a Japanese release date was made, Americans can expect to see Castlevania on store shelves in the fall of 2005. RPGamer will keep you updated as further details surface. In the meantime, these scans, taken from the EGM article, show a first glimpse of the game.