You remember that new Castlevania trademark you heard about and thought was for Nintendo DS? Well, it's not called Harmony of Despair for nothing.
Castlevania: Harmony of Despair (aka Castlevania HD) is an Xbox Live Arcade mashup featuring all of your favorite past Castlevania protagonists, made to work together in full Metroidvania fashion. We have obtained the first screenshots from this amazingly different kind of Castlevania game, as well as some vague information regarding gameplay. Hit the jump for the full story.
From what little we've seen of Castlevania HD, it's difficult to describe exactly what kind of Castlevania game this is most akin to. As you can tell from the screenshots, it's a 2D game using sprites instead of 3D polygons and looks very similar to the post-Symphony of the Night style Metroidvania GBA\DS games. You load into a game and can play with up to 6 friends on a single map, all at the same time. You're given a boss target that you must reach and destroy, helping your friends along the way to the same goal. Known playable characters at this point are Soma Cruz, Alucard, Jonathan Morris, Shanoa and Charlotte Aulin. We've only seen Soma, but we imagine each character will have it's own special abilities (think classes, like Team Fortress 2).
It drops you in with a wide camera angle where you're able to see most of the target area. It's not huge, so there wasn't much of an exploration factor. Clicking the right stick will change the viewing angle to the entire map (where you will see a teeny little Soma in the bottom left), or to the standard, close angle that we're all used to.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to see more than a couple minutes of play, but what we did see got us incredibly excited.
6 people being able to get together and play a giant game of party-Castlevania? I knew Konami was a smart company, but it's like they hooked up a machine to me at night while I'm sleeping...so they can record my dreams.
Here we go.