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Dracula's castle crashes onto XBLA


Dracula's ethereal castle, Castlevania, has officially materialized on Xbox Live Arcade. Of course, we speak of the oft cited pinnacle of the Castlevania series, Symphony of the Night. The game will set you back 800 points and will cost you a few extra seconds than most XBLA games, thanks to its 90 MB size. There are also some other goodies available should you have any points left, including a 150 point theme and a 100 point picture pack. By the time you're done you might as well slap a Konami logo right onto your Xbox.

So, who's getting their Castlevania on?

Symphony of the Night whips XBLA next week


Wow. We never thought we'd say this, but Xbox Live Arcade is on a roll. Two weeks ago, we got Alien Hominid, last week was Worms, and TMNT dropped this week. That's three decent titles in a row. How in heaven could Microsoft keep this up? The answer is Symphony of the Night. Marked by many as the official game to whine about now that Worms is out, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night will arrive next Wednesday on Xbox Live Arcade. Most Castlevania fans agree that SOTN is the best in the series, so seeing it on Live Arcade is a real treat. The game provides many, many hours of action RPG gameplay and features either classic or "modernized" graphics and sound. Symphony of the Night will be available next Wednesday for 800 points.

Is Xbox Live Arcade finally coming into its own? Dare we dream?

GDC 07: Igarashi, "2D games will never die!"


Koji Igarashi, the producer of recent entries in the Castlevania series and assistant director of Symphony of the Night, gave a presentation on 2D games at GDC last week. Specifically, his presentation centered on the differences between developing 2D games and 3D games. Igarashi noted a few philosophical differences between 3D and 2D games, but also noted a few advantages that hadn't occurred to us. For instance, 2D games are easier to produce, faster to design, and faster to implement. Of course, all of this is generally cheaper than 3D production as well.

Continue reading GDC 07: Igarashi, "2D games will never die!"

Castlevania breaks 50MB Arcade limit [update 1]


GameSpot reports today that Castlevania: Symphony of the Night will be the first Xbox Live Arcade title to break the 50 MB size limit (we were wondering how the hell they got the voice acting and audio in there). The limit was imposed so that 360 owners could transfer Arcade games to memory card, allowing them to be played on another 360. Xbox Live's Greg Canessa told GameSpot that the cap is still in effect, but Microsoft can and will make certain exceptions. Citing SOTN as one of the "most popular games of all time," Cannessa felt that an exception was in order. He further notes, however, that the trial version will fit on a memory card.

We've blogged about the 50 MB limit before, and it will be interesting to see how (and if) Castlevania will affect future developments on Live Arcade.

Update: It looks like GameSpot got the trial version info wrong. MS informed us (and GameSpot) that it will not fit on a standard memory card.

Achievements for Worms, SOTN, and more!


X360A has come up with the achievements on 4 (count 'em 4) huge upcoming Live Arcade games. Achievements have been revealed for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Alien Hominid HD, Catan, and yes, Worms. We can only assume Catan is the shortened title for Settlers of Catan. Catan's achievements are fairly basic, of the "get X many points" variety. The SOTN achievements have a spoiler in them, so read at your own risk. The Worms achievements are centered around online play and will more than likely be unlocked by regular play. The Alien Hominid HD achievements range from funny to difficult. Some of them are downright evil (beat the final boss without using a continue -- 30 pts). So evil that you have to pronounce it "E-ville."

Hopefully this is a sign of these games releasing soon. We'll certainly welcome the fresh blood. Then again, how the hell will we pay for them all?

Castlevania on XBLA, hot whipping action


Oh, we have waited for this day. We present to you the first video footage of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for Xbox Live Arcade. Fresh from CES, the video shows off the opening scene of the game, in which you play out the prologue (and determine the main character's beginning stats). Worth noting is the fact that the video contains both the original music and voice acting from the Playstation version. If Konami has managed to squeeze the game and all of its (amazing) audio into 50MB, we'll be very impressed. The footage is unfortunately very shaky, but we'll take what we can get. And just for the record, we were not the ones playing. Because we would totally kick Dracula's ass, and, you know, actually hit him.

[Via Joystiq]

Symphony of the Night on XBLA!


Fans of androgynous vampires rejoice, 1UP reports that Castlevania: Symphony of the Night -- widely regarded as the best in the series, and frequently listed in various "greatest games of all time" lists -- is coming to Xbox Live Arcade. It is, unfortunately, the Playstation version which does not include the Saturn's bonus area. Still, this is incredible news for Castlevania fans and gamers everywhere -- enough to wash away the taste of the awful 3D Castlevanias perhaps? Oh, and Konami is planning quite a few more classics as well (Time Pilot, anyone?). Hit the read link for the whole story.

[Thanks Joe(dragonjoe) and Rivithed

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