As fans of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow we'll enthusiastically tell you it's one of the better entries in the series over the last few years and a damn fine example of the character action genre at its best. But the truth is that the MercurySteam developed reboot was Konami's black sheep.
Lords of Shadow started off as a new IP with no connection to the Castlevania series, supposedly this was a planned decision made in order to avoid diverting attention away from the horrendous Castlevania Judgement, and at the same time keep a lid on plans to hit the reset button on the long-running series.
But actually we think it was more likely because Konami just didn't have much confidence in it. And why would they have? Up until that point all attempts at creating a fully 3D Castlevania were spectacular failures and MercurySteam's previous project was Clive Barker's Jericho, the less said about that mess the better.
At one point Lords of Shadow was dead in the water, but Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima dove in and rescued it, signed up as a producer and drafted in a crack team of KojiPro staffers to lend a helping hand.
The result was a stellar - if flawed - experience that MercurySteam could tweak and refine into something really special, if given the opportunity. We didn't think it would happen but here we are with fresh, convincing Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 rumours and also talk of a new 2D Castlevania game for Nintendo 3DS.
We've got a few bright ideas for the Lords of Shadow 2 that we'd like to throw out there and, as always, we'd like to hear what you want from a sequel, so tell us in the comments below.
Let's deal with the technical stuff straight away. One of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow's biggest flaws was its frequently shambolic framerate.
During the platforming and puzzle solving portions of the game it managed to suck its belly long enough to keep itself presentable and playable. However, the moment players were required to engage in a spot of monster slaying it bursted open at the seams, and given how combat-heavy Lords of Shadow was that happened far too often to be excusable.
It irked us that the dodgy framerate wasn't spotted and fixed by Kojima Productions or MercurySteam before release but given the chaotic, slapdash development cycle we're not surprised it slipped through the cracks, or was even relegated to bottom of the to-do list.
MercurySteam has shown itself to be a capable studio and Lords of Shadow has established itself as an IP worthy of top billing. Konami seems like it's throwing its weight behind the sequel, so this time we'd like these kinds of technical hitches to be ironed out before release. No excuses.