So I received a hot tip on Monday night (aka I saw someone tweet about it) that the “release” of the Castlevania Resurrection E3 demo has happened!
This is the final Holy Grail of unreleased games (IMO) to finally have been released for folks to try out. I will not say where you can find it (Google works well), but I will say this – OH MY GOD IT’S HAPPENING!!!!!!! (video link at the bottom of 45+ minutes of gameplay)
For the longest time, the two unreleased games that I have always wanted to get my hands on were Resident Evil 1.5 and Castlevania Resurrection. While the former I was able to get after it had finally been released and compiled into a playable form, the latter was always thought to have been that one game that never had a playable build somehow procured. It wasn’t until earlier this month where we learned that there was, indeed, a playable build of Castlevania Resurrection out there. After a bit of a situation with regards to this demo being pulled from an ebay auction, it almost seemed as if this would never see the light of day. Then there was a notification on the fact that this demo was in fact, going to be dumped and “released” sometime soon.
It seems like “soon” turned out to be late night on the 27th of April.
I tracked down a copy to try out, and I did a bit of a playthrough of it on my Twitch channel. Even hours after the fact, I still cannot believe I finally played the one Holy Grail title that I thought would never have been released. Here’s a brief rundown of my thoughts (was played on an emulator, I may try to burn a copy and see how it works on my real hardware):
- The camera is incredibly rough. It can be unbearable to a degree, with how slow it moves and how poor angles can be (with no proper way of maneuvering it into a manageable state from what I have seen)
- There are enemies you can kill, as well as damage you will take )and some cheese and meat hidden in candles).
- About a half dozen different portions of the game you can see. Sometimes you can transition from one area to the other via doorways, but most often you will need to hit Start and select a new area.
- There is a boss fight against Medusa – a two phase fight!
- Sub weapons are accessible in this playable E3 build. Axes, daggers and a boomerang (which felt really out of place) are available to pick up, as well as a whip strengthening power up.
- (Naturally) It is a bit buggy, where you can clip through some walls. One area you can miss the jump off the bridge and take a bit of a walk around the outside area, then come up underneath the area you were supposed to walk on.
- There’s a chase scene that I won’t say too much about (either watch the video I made or play it yourself to see). Had this game been released and this portion been fleshed out better, this could have been to the Castlevania franchise what the killer whale chasing Sonic in Sonic Adventures was to the Sonic franchise. It would have been a memorable and epic portion of the game, and still mentioned to this day.
- There quite a few enemies to take on throughout each area.
Final thoughts – if Konami stayed the course and kept working on Castlevania Resurrection, do I think it would have turned out well? Sadly, I think it wouldn’t have worked unless there were significant adjustments to the camera system. Maybe if L and R allowed players to swing the camera around at will, things would have shaped up much better, but as is, if there were little to no camera work done before a final release, I could see this as not being viewed very favorably by players whatsoever. I think it would have been, to an extent, more enjoyable than the Nintendo 64 Castlevania titles, but that’s not saying much. What was in this demo gave a glimpse into where the team was with the game at that time, and who’s to really say if they would have or wouldn’t have worked on the camera situation a bit more. But as is, if this were finished with the camera this problematic, it wouldn’t have been remembered so fondly.
Check out 45+ minutes of gameplay from an impromptu Twitch stream I had a few hours ago – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Uz7CS7jaPM – What do you folks think of what you saw, or have you played it as well? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to see how everyone reacts to this milestone release!