Castlevania: the mega-interview

Thanks to Game Developers Conference taking place in San Francisco last week, we were able to score a rare chance to sit down with Koji "IGA" Igarashi, the current producer of the Castlevania series. Though he was more than prepared to discuss the upcomingCastlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles for the PSP, we managed to tease details on the future of the series, namely its next generation installment, out of him. Keep reading to find out the most comprehensive, up-to-dateCastlevania information on the web.

GamesRadar: Earlier at TGS we asked if you'd played God of War and you said that you'd like to challenge it and make an even better game than God of War. Another recent action game that's been really good, which isn't much like Castlevania, is Gears of War. Have you played them, and seen anything in either of those games that could benefit Castlevania?

Koji "IGA" Igarashi: Actually I purchased both of those games and I've been playing [them]. And I've learned a lot from those two games. I will not imitate, because I'm going to be following up these two games, but we'll try to be that good on future Castlevania.

GR: Let's talk a bit about Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles for PSP. What made this the right time to go back to [1993 classic] Dracula X: Rondo of Blood, finally, and remake it and bring it to a new audience?

KI: I have two major reasons to bring this back as a remake.

Number one is that many American fans love [1997 PlayStation classic] Symphony of the Night, but they never experienced the prequel to the game which is Rondo of Blood. So back with Symphony of the Night, the way it starts, is that you see the very end of Rondo of Blood, in the beginning of Symphony of the Night. But for US gamers, it's like, "What? What's that all about?" This Rondo of Blood story was never brought to the US, so we wanted to take this chance to introduce that there was another masterpiece aside from Symphony of the Night.

Among these press interviews that I get, pretty often I was asked about the possible game creation with 3D [character and background graphics] but 2D play. In the past we'd experienced a lot of struggles to overcome, to create 2D gameplay with 3D [character] models. But then again, we have solved major issues, that cleared recently, and we brought 3D models and 2D gameplay, with Rondo of Blood.

Let me add one more reason... one thought is that when we actually started this project, PSP Rondo of Blood, the PSP market was expanding. So we thought it was a good chance to deliver a Castlevania game over PSP.

GR: Are you happy with the performance of 2D gameplay and 3D graphics together? The way it looks, and the way it plays? Does it deliver the quality you expect?

KI: It's better than what I expected, actually. I'm very happy about the quality. Especially with the graphic quality. The PSP hardware system allows a very high resolution, but then again [using] 3D models gives more depth to the visuals so I'm very happy about this.