E3 2010: KONAMI Booth Tour - Castlevania, SAW, More

Castlevania - Game Trailer

The venerable publisher Konami brought with them some fresh titles and a bunch of new looks at classic franchises to E2 2010. We had a tour of their booth, with hands-on demos and developer walkthrough previews of several upcoming games.

Hard Corps: Uprising (working title)

This 2.5D side scrolling shooter looks to combine the best of the Contra, Metal Slug and Gunstar Heroes franchises in one.  This PSN and XBL title (due Winter 2010, price TBD) fills the screen with colorful enemies but tempers the difficulty with fixed, free and strafe fire modes available on the fly, a health bar and a button to block and reflect minor attacks.  Play is solo or co-op either live on online.  It is also notable for its cut scenes by Japan’s 4(degree) anime studio (Steamboy).

Saw II

The moody, gruesome M-rated visuals (the demo starts with do-it-yourself emergency ocular surgery) and painful puzzle solving returns in Saw II, this time featuring the voice and face of series heavy Tobin Bell as Jigsaw.  The game, which takes place between the first and second movies, has a new lead, the son of the first film’s Detective Tapp whose relationship to his father and his own drug problem makes him the perfect candidate for Saw-type mayhem.  The game promises a revamped combat system and fall 2010 release date for the PS3 and 360.

Rush ‘n Attack

The oft-mispronounced NES classic gets the digital download (XBL/PSN) remake treatment this fall, price undetermined.  The original’s all out action has been replaced by a new, though technically optional, stealth mechanic, as the new game’s story is one of a prison break behind enemy lines.  Knife work is still the order of the day as you hide in shadows and occasionally in the 2.5D background, but the original’s pure left-to-right action has been replaced with just a hair of the ‘Metroidvania’ exploration style.  Currently the original game is not going to be an unlockable feature of the new title.

Lost In Shadow

This high concept title for Wii, to be released in the fall of 2010, seeks to make gamers rethink the way they’ve been playing platformers all their lives.  A boy has had his body taken from him and now exists only as a shadow of himself, and can interact with other shadows, including and especially the ground he walks on, which itself is just the shadow cast of the physical world.  Navigating the shadow world takes a bit of getting used to as a simple fence becomes a spiked pit when it’s shadow is cast beneath the boy’s feet.  Training your mind to just look in the right place as you play is almost as important as using the Wii-mote to twist foreground objects to create shadows of stairs, or in the later stages when the forces behind your situation return to finish the job.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

The greatly anticipated Castlevania reboot has an early build on display.  The action/adventure series has shifted to pure combat, as a new Belmont, in the brief demo, wielded a chain whip built into a cross to make sweeping attacks against werewolves of varying sizes. The similarities to the combat and the character development in Dante’s Inferno (itself derivative of God of War), from the combo/new attack unlock system to the heath restoring fountains, is notable.  Visually, during a nighttime defense of a small village, the rain-soaked environment shows off some interesting particle effects that appear with the goal to reduce visibility to enhance the sense of danger.  Another segment of the demo was a (magical) horse riding sequence where the larger werewolves are trying to knock you off and engage in hand-to-claw combat.  

Notes:

•    The Turbographix 16 mascot Bonk returns, as does Bomberman.

•    On the singing front there are games for each taste, from a Karaoke Revolution:  Glee, to DefJam Rapstar.

•    Microsoft’s new Kinect accessory gets Adrenaline Misfits, a collection of extreme sports minigames to shake your whole body to.

•    Konami is releasing apps for the Apple iPad: Frogger (the orginal ‘pad’ game) an entry into the Metal Gear Solid series and a Castlevania themed puzzler.

Want more from Konami? Click here for their E3 2010 Press Briefing and see what surprises they held back!

Konami's going for variety- Which of their offerings excite you the most?

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