Castlevania is one of the longest-running and most recognizable video game franchises of all time, but it has struggled to live up to its own name for much of the 21st century. Since 1997’s Symphony of the Night, which rightfully sits on many “Greatest of All Time” lists, the series has had several questionable forays into things like 3D (Castlevania 64), multiplayer (Harmony of Despair), fighting games (Judgement), and God of War impersonation (Lords of Shadow). Titles like Dawn of Sorrow and Order of Ecclesia have retained the unholy magic of the series, and these gems have largely adhered to the classic 2D side-scrolling formula (there’s a reason there’s a “-vania” at the end of “Metroidvania”), but they’ve mostly been relegated to handhelds.
Fans have waited more than two decades for Castlevania to reclaim its former glory, and with the Nintendo Switch out in the world, the time has never been better. That dream may just have to stay slumbering with Dracula, though, because the next Castlevania title will be releasing on iOS.
Developed by Konami, Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls has no release date as of now, but it looks ambitious in its pursuits. While styled as a classic 2D side-scroller, the game seems to revolve around player-versus-player and player-versus-enemy multiplayer. You can find the announcement translated in full by Gematsu here, which features buzzwords and phrases like “exhilarating battles where up to four players can cooperate,” “four-player co-op boss rush,” and “four-versus-four competitive mode.” The plot follows newly introduced characters Genya Arikado and Lucy, who are in the process of thwarting the attempted resurrection of Dracula, and their paths will apparently cross with former series protagonists like Simon, Alucard, and Shanoa—all available for multiplayer combat.
Aside from screenshots and vague new mechanics like “Soul Resurrection,” not much else is known about Grimoire of Souls. It’s certainly not what many Castlevania fans were hoping for, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s destined to disappoint… although the last time Konami took a stab at a mobile Castlevania, the results left something to be desired. For now, wait for more details and catch up on some of the DS releases—or check out the Netflix anime. It’s not bad.