Rejoice! For Castlevania is back, bigger and better than ever. Take that, you heathens, you who dared to doubt the powers that be at Konami. Shame on you!
Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls, just announced by Konami on its official website, is a mobile game exclusive to Japan. According to Gematsu, it's a new action game without a release date for now, but you can sign up for the Japanese closed beta test. Expect an email around mid-May if you do.
Grimoire of Souls' story is set in a future where Count Dracula has been completely destroyed. There was a peace, but a letter delivered to Genya Arikado has set the cat among the pigeons. Count Dracula will be resurrected, reads the letter. Oh no!
Genya Arikado is the protagonist, and Lucy plays the role of his support. You can also use characters from previous Castlevania games, such as Alucard, Simon, Charlotte, Shanoa and Maria, with an emphasis on "pairs".
Arikado is described as a mysterious character who belongs to a top-secret Japanese government agency. He's the only being with the power to fight against Dracula. And get this: "While he has unworldly good looks, he is unsociable and difficult to approach."
Lucy works for a research organisation that fights against Dracula. Here's her blurb:
"Despite her young age, she is a highly competent research magician and supports Arikado and company in battle through the Grimoire. Arikado and company are staying at her laboratory."
As for gameplay, there's real-time co-op "around the world", which suggests some sort of global release. Up to four players can play together. There's a four-versus-four competitive mode, too. Here are a handful of screenshots:
Konami has yet to confirm Grimoire of Souls will come out on these shores. We haven't heard a peep out of the once great action franchise since MercurySteam's disappointing Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 in 2014. But given there's a successful Netflix series on the go, maybe now's the time for a glorious return.