E3 - The Konami Presentation: New Castlevania!

E3 - The Konami Presentation

Konami held the last press conference of the show this year, bringing journalists together off the show floor for one last time. Thanks to Hideo Kojima, they already had announcements at both Microsoft and Sony’s press conferences, with new chapters in the Metal Gear franchise coming to home consoles and the PSP. They did have something new up their sleeve for their own conference though, in the form of a new game in a beloved franchise.

The theater was overbooked, showing that even more than halfway through the expo, Konami could still draw a crowd. “Konami is Legendary” was the bold statement that led off their trailer. Metal Gear, UEFA, Silent Hill, Saw, the music titles, and some new IPs were featured in the trailer.

The Executive VP for Konami started the show by introducing some of the other Konami bigwigs that were in attendance. He then thanked the Media for coming and promised “you will not leave here disappointed with what you’ve seen.” Tooting their horn, he brought up last year’s hit Metal Gear Solid 4, which is being added to the PS3 Greatest Hits line on June 16th, 2009.

Kojima Productions was the first featured trailer, starting with the now familiar cloudy scene from their website. Hideo Kojima came up to talk about his group’s new titles. After joking that even though Swine Flu is a big problem, he wanted to come to LA to present FOUR new titles. Aki Saito, International Product Senior Manager came to translate for him.

First up was Metal Gear Arcade, a game for coin ops. It is a translation of PS3’s Metal Gear Online, being brought to arcades. The game will feature 3D goggles to enhance the experience. It will be released in Japan this year and worldwide soon.

Next, the Stormy scene was seen again, followed by a young picture of Solid Snake. The second title was shown in trailer form first. Live action footage of soldiers looking at nuclear explosions was overlaid by narration describing the Cold War. The trailer showed a highly detailed Costa Rican jungle and military facilities, showing off more of the PSP game announced yesterday at Sony’s conference. The game, a “missing link” in the series, takes place in the Outer Heaven conflict, often referenced in the series. Four Snakes were shown fighting side by side against a massive Metal Gear in Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker. As their trailers often do, it ended in a little comedy, with two Snakes getting into one of their signature boxes. The main character is Naked Snake (aka Big Boss), though there will be other clones around as well. Kojima reiterated that he and the team from MGS4 were working on the game, making it a true Metal Gear Solid.

Once again, the stormy sequence brought out a face, this time Raiden’s. The game initially announced at Microsoft’s press conference, Metal Gear Solid: Rising, was shown, this time with the PlayStation and Xbox logos. The game will be coming to both systems, Kojima confirmed. It’s a stealth action game, but this is now following Raiden’s story. The development is different for Kojima Productions than what they’re used to, as they’re creating new technology to back it. The PSN and Xbox LIVE logos were also shown, implying a multiplayer online component to the game. A PC version was also confirmed.

“I have one little surprise for you,” Kojima said, revealing what the Mask on the Kojima website represents. Mercury Steam is also involved. Patrick Stewart’s name and voice appeared alongside a man holding a cross. Robert Carlyle was the next famous voice and name shown. Jason Isaacs followed, as the trailer revealed the main character, Gabriel, more fully. A third person action game along the lines of the God of War franchise was shown, with enormous bosses. The charcter has a whip chain that he uses as his weapon. “The Mask is a powerful device,” “Can it really bring the dead back?” It’s New Castlevania!!! Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is coming to PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2010. The crowd, myself included, went absolutely nuts with this new announcement.

The game’s producer, Dave Cox, came out to talk about the “fresh and radical reimagining” of the series. The game world goes across snowy mountain ranges, gothic castles, and more. Mercurysteam is the Spanish-based studio developing the title, working together with Kojima Productions on the much-loved IP. The game also featured the PSN and LIVE logos on screen.

Kojima mentioned he thought the project should be done with a worldwide mind rather than strictly in Japan, in order to facilitate a fresh look at the franchise. He also talked about how he thinks Mercurysteam is a great developer, and how excited he and everyone involved are about the title. Kojima’s role is more of a support, background hand in the title’s production, rather than being directly involved on a day in, day out basis. More from the title will be shown in the near future.

Cox closed out with a short speech, hoping “this surprises and satisfies all your expectations.”

Kojima took over again, saying the stormy imagery he’s been using recently is a reflection of the stormy economic conditions of the world, and encouraged those in the entertainment industry to help clear away the storm clouds.

The next presentation went into some of Konami’s already announced other projects. A longer trailer for Saw was shown. The title looks truly gruesome and disturbing, and comes out on Halloween of 2009. Tobin Bell took the stage, mentioning that he’s enjoyed developing the character of Jigsaw over the past several years. He said there’s “ongoing conversation” about how much video gaming is going on in his household between him and his child, and the kid has been winning the argument. Speaking of the larger phenomenon of SAW, he focused on how the “texture of the films permeates” into the game. “The traps, the tricks, the surprises, and the fear” of Saw the movie is the heart of Saw the game. After ruminating on the franchise and how he’s excited to be involved in the game, he introduced Mark Berg.

Berg mentioned he really only wanted to make his money back when they made the first movie, and again mentioned his kids are more excited about the game than the movies.

John Williamson, producer of the game, was next up. He talked about Jigsaw’s tests and other smaller puzzles that will be involved in the game. He shared character designs of some of the people you’ll come in contact with in Jigsaw’s Asylum. The game is coming to Xbox 360, PS3, and as a download for PC.

Karaoke Revolution features 50 songs, up to 16 player singing, and in depth character creation. The game is coming to all three current gen consoles. Master tracks and videos were touted. You can build your own sets for the first time, as well. DLC will role out every week after release, and the game is backwards compatible with all the older tracks from previous games.

Dance Dance Revolution showed through a somewhat bizarre trailer that showed no actual gameplay. Gorillaz, Rihanna, Kiss, Jordin Sparks, Black Eyed Peas, Moby, NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP, yup, we just got Rick Rolled, and many other master tracks are coming to the 900th installment of the game. A Playstation 2 new game is coming out, designed specifically for the system because it “still has a lot of users.” The Wii DDR will now use the balance board will allow you to use your hips to dance, along with punching with the Wiimote or Nunchuck.

A new DS IP called Wireway was shown. It’s another DS adventure game that uses touch to fling the main character using wires. It comes out this fall.

Deca Sports 2 for Wii will include Dodgeball, Kendo, Synchronized Swimming, and more new sports, coming this fall.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is a reimagining of the first game in the series for the Wii. The game is designed to “terrify” the player. Stay tuned for more on the game with our hands-on and interview later this week. The extended trailer for the game looked seriously creepy; it comes out this fall, with versions on the PSP and PS2, as well.

One more surprise was promised to keep people in their seats. It wound up just being that with the first DDR for PS3 this fall, the new mat will have 8 directions.

But hey… CASTLEVANIA!

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