Konami has always been one of the PSP's strongest supporters, and nowhere is that more evident than in their upcoming remake/compilation release, Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles. We had the opportunity to speak with Konami's own Ken Ogasawara, longtime Castlevania localization producer who has been working side-by-side with Koji "Castlevania Mastermind" Igarashi in the production of this title. We came away with a few very interesting insights into the past, present, and future of the series.
GamesRadar: With this and Contra IV on DS, it seems like Konami really wants to start revisiting its fan-favorite hits of the past.
Ken Ogasawara: Well, when it comes down to it, that's where Konami's roots have always been. In some ways we're seeing a renaissance of classic action and arcade-style games, helped along by Live Arcade and Virtual Console. We've already put a lot of our older titles up on these services, and depending on how well they do, we'll take a look and see if we can possibly revisit them in the future.
Castlevania is a good example of this. Rondo of Blood was never released in the US.
GR: Well, it was released on SNES, but it was pretty butchered.
KO: That one doesn’t count. (laugh) So it's never really came to the US, but Igarashi decided rather than just doing emulation, he wanted to completely re-do the game with new artwork all the way through. So we're not only including the original Rondo of Blood, but since it's the "Dracula X Chronicles," we're also including Symphony of the Night as well.
Rondo of Blood takes place 5 years before Symphony of the Night, so Igarashi wanted to make it so that players could see the whole story arc with Richter unfold from the beginning.
GR: So what all's in here, as far as unlockable content goes?
KO: Well, of course, the original Rondo of Blood and SotN are both unlockable. There are some unlockable characters as well.
GR: Maria, right?
KO: Yep! When you replay the game, too, you'll find that there are multiple ways to go through each level. You may find that by taking a different route, you'll unlock something new. Just to see all the endings for the main Richter game, you would have to play at least twice through.