Starring Sonia and Victor Belmont, Castlevania Resurrection originally made its first public debut at E3 1999, with attendees at the time given the opportunity to go hands-on with the 3D action platformer. For reasons unknown, publisher Konami eventually pulled the plug on the Castlevania project, despite the fact that it was in a near-complete state, never to revisit it, ultimately resigning the game's fate to something resembling mythical status.
While this version was never intended for public consumption, Laurent's showcase clearly shows that Sonia and Victor Belmont's shared adventure was, at the very least, in a playable state and would have had players control the former as she battled Dracula's usual retinue of supernatural monsters across five distinctly different locations. Having now documented and archived the ROM's files to ensure their permanence, Laurent has subsequently released the entire game as a publicly available download, giving fans of the IP the chance to experience a previously untold chapter in the Belmont family's generation-spanning history for the first time.
Chronologically, Castlevania Resurrection takes place before Simon Belmont's fateful encounter with Dracula as seen in the series' 1986 debut, though it's worth noting that due to the former's status as an unreleased product, its canon status remains unclear. While Sonia was already an established character in the fictional universe, having appeared in 1998's Castlevania Legends for Nintendo Game Boy, Victor did not appear in any official capacity until Mercury Steam reintroduced him in 2014's Lords of Shadow 2.
Castlevania Resurrection will forever remain in an unfinished state, then, but it serves to provide a fascinating insight into what could have been. With any luck, this won't be the last gamers will be hearing of the dormant franchise in the near future, either, as Konami is rumored to be in talks with third parties with the aim of creating a new installment in the Castlevania franchise. Until then, though, Netflix's well-received animated series will continue to serve as a solid stop-gap, with Season 4 due to arrive next month, May 13th, concluding Trevor, Sypha and Alucard's adventure.
A portmanteau between Metroid and Castlevania, "Metroidvania" games often take the core gameplay concepts from these two franchises. They often feature large, interconnected maps for players to explore with restricted areas that can only be unlocked once players have acquired powers or upgrades. Metroidvania games are typically sidescrolling platformers, and they place heavy emphasis on exploration as players will have to retrace their steps to discover secrets.
With the recent success of games like Hollow Knight, Dead Cells, and Ori and the Blind Forest, the Metroidvania genre has taken the industry by storm. Although its origins can be traced back as far as the 80s, the genre has seen a resurgence in the 2010s thanks to several critically acclaimed indie games. Along with the roguelike genre, Metroidvania games have become one of the biggest staples in the indie scene.
In particular, the original Metroid game from 1986 has often been cited as the most influential game for the Metroidvania genre. The game focused heavily on exploration as players would control Samus and look for powerups in order to reach previously inaccessible areas. Metroid was Nintendo's attempt to create a nonlinear adventure game that would distinguish it from other games at the time and was one of the first games to contain multiple endings.
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