Vidjagame Apocalypse 131 – Konami’s Greatest Franchises

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This week’s strange will-they-won’t-they narrative about Konami possibly exiting the console-game business perked our ears, and while it looks fairly certain that the publisher doesn’t plan to exit the industry anytime soon, a fond look back at our five favorite Konami series still seems timely. With that out of the way, we stumble through Soma and other new releases, talk offhandedly about a possible voice-actor strike, and take a look at your favorite celebrity performances in games.

Question of the Week

What’s your favorite game by Konami?

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24 thoughts on “Vidjagame Apocalypse 131 – Konami’s Greatest Franchises

  1. Qotw: super castlevania 4 followed by castlevania belmonts revenge then lords of shadow 1.
    honorable mention to metal gear solid 1

    1. Woo! Lords of Shadow! Sadly, underrated and ignored. Folks complained its combat lacked subtlety and you could just spam the same attacks. The real secret to the game is to play it on the harder difficulty where the longer combos are a necessity. Then the game becomes itself. Swapping between dark and holy attacks is like somebody poured Ikaruga all over God of War. Nobody has good taste in action games anymore, Lords of Shadow’s failure is proof of that.

  2. Anything Metal Gear is an easy answer for me (Specifically PW, to be less topical) but I’m gonna go with Blades of Steel. HOCKEY

  3. QotW:

    Castlevania 3. The original Castlevania was under my tree in 88 along with my brand new NES and probably was the first game I ever played. I’ve always loved horror and so the theme was really attractive to me and the music was fantastic. I was disappointed when Castlevania 2 was not simply more of the same, but had weird obtuse puzzles. Castlevania 3 was exactly what I hoped for.

  4. I won’t saw exactly what it is for those who haven’t finished MGS5, but I recently saw that the cut mission 51 was included as a rough edit with the collectors edition is now on youtube, and I really wish they could have included it so the game would have a proper conclusion… then again it’ll probably just be paid DLC in a few months like everything is these days.

  5. QOTW:

    My gut response was Metal Gear Solid 2 because it’s such a freaking gut-punch, and a wonderful companion piece to GTA3, both releasing JUST after 9/11, and the public ironically favoring the freewheeling violence game instead of MGS2’s meta-meditation on media manipulation. Man, we blew that one in hindsight.

    Then, the question is Castlevania or Contra? Well, with apologies to Contra 3 and Neo Contra, the best Contra game is actually Gunstar Heroes, so we cross the Contra games off the list.

    That means Castlevania. Choosing SotN is too easy, and while I love it to death, it’s less of a game and more just a fact of life for people who play games.

    So, I choose Dracula X: Rondo of Blood! Thank the Wii’s ubiquity for letting this game surface finally in the west. While most action games are about fast-action, Dracula X is just a big-time truckin’ action-game. What a nice change of pace! All your attack animations are locked-in, so you gotta commit in this game, and be darn sure your whip or weapon is gonna get it done. The back-walk and air-flip are wonderful and subtle evade moves. I love Rondo of Blood’s weight.

    Finally, Rondo of Blood is linear, so to all of the Lords of Shadow haters, yes, Castlevania was once a dead-ahead affair prior to SotN, so all that ignorant complaining about Lords of Shadow dishonoring Castlevania’s legacy, well, a good game failed, and now there’s no more Konami. Bravo, jerks.

  6. Metal Gear and Silent Hill are a given but does anyone remember Rocket Knight Adventures? Vintage Genisis/Megadrive title that I’m surprised they never followed up into later generations or re-released in HD before the company [CENSORED BY KONAMI].

  7. Rob Paulsen (super famous voice actor, Animaniacs, etc) has talked many times about how much it sucks to work in video games and why he doesn’t do it.

  8. Picking your favorite Konami franchise is like picking your favorite kid! Castlevania, Contra and Gradius are hard to beat but i’ll go with some underdogs.
    I love Jackal for NES (someone tell Brett to fire up that soundtrack)
    Axelay for SNES,
    and of Legend of the Mystical Ninja for it’s adorable weirdness.

    and Cybernator! And Ninja Turtles!
    Oh man there are just too many!

  9. I guess it’s cliche to say Metal Gear Solid but that game did astonish me with its movie-like presentation, revolutionary stealth mechanics and memorable characters. But I’ll always love Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game, Super Castlevania IV, Contra III, Contra 4, the list goes on. Damn Konami made so many great games.

  10. There are few things in this world I want more than for Nintendo to just buy Konami’s console IP library.

    No other company cashes in on their nostalgia harder than Nintendo. They still have a ridiculous amount of banked money from the Wii.

    Plus, Snake, Simon Belmont, Bill Rizer, Goemon, all for Smash!

  11. I’ve played a ton of Konami classics in my day, but two the I probably played the most as a kid were Rocket Knight Adventures and it’s sequel, Sparkster. My stupid child self was able to beat both games on Hard in order to see the true endings. I was excited when Rocket Knight was announced back in 2009, only to be disappointed with the garbage 2.5d game that was shat upon the world in 2010. Thanks, Konami!

  12. I love the Ninja Turtle games, even Tournament Fighters for the SNES. The Genesis version was weird and I never played the NES version.

  13. Admittedly, I haven’t really played any Konami games until recently with MGS4, MGSV GZ, and MGSV Phantom Pain, but I have come to love every single one of these. I’ll give the props to MGS4 since my brother lent me his PS3 and that game. Being the first Metal Gear that I had ever played, it really has me hooked now on the series and I hope to be able to play the other titles sometime soon on my 360 or One. 21…, 45…, 2001………

  14. On this week’s installment of “Correcting LTN Hosts on Sports Facts,” I remind the crew that there are (of course) a large number of relevant, skilled white basketball players (Steve Nash, John Stockton, Kevin Love, etc.). Also, Larry Bird has not been exiled to Boston–he was the head coach of the Indiana Pacers for 3 years and is now their President of operations.

  15. Since everyone is going to say Metal Gear Solid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (and those would be my picks too) But I want to give a shout out to my favorite movie based games ever, Batman Returns for the SNES.

  16. Thanks for your interpretations of my name. I REALLY enjoy them.

    QOTW: Do companies Konami acquired and never resurrected count? I’m the most sad I’ll never see another Bomberman again. Saturn Bomberman and Bomberman 64 hold a great deal of nostalgia for me and I still feel the gameplay isn’t dated. With the current trend, I don’t see even a rerelease possibly conning.

  17. Avoiding MSG and C:SotN (because they’re such low hanging fruit), I guess I’d have to go with Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow on GBA. I spent an unholy amount of time playing it when it came out and still go back to it once or twice a year. It was the first Castlevania game I owned and I think it still holds up.

  18. Some how I almost said Cybernator on the SNES before I remembered my gaming addiction which was Dance dance revolution. I love the whole series for so many reasons. I discovered it a 16 during a 2 month summer break from school. A girl I really liked was into it just as much of me. It was such a new way of playing an arcade machine. I pumped pound after pound into that machine taking hour train journeys into London just to play it. DDR was one of the reasons I made the trip to Tokyo. I thought the music was cool at the time and still listen to some of it now.

    PS As you can guess I live in the UK, I got my coin last week, thanks guys.

  19. Hoo boy this is difficult. The easiest answer would be SotN but if I had to choose a deeper cut I would probably go with Neo Contra. I’ve never really been a huge fan of the series but when one gets it’s hooks in me it’s usually one of the more off beat games. If anything could be said of Neo Contra it’s that it’s off beat.

    A direct sequel to Sharted Soldier that plays nothing like it, but is still tough as nails and “totally radical”. It features bitchin’ Jim Lee box art, an opening video with some great music, over the top action set pieces (like conducting a firefight while running on top of spinning helicopter blades), and bosses that feel like they are having a laugh at the expense of another popular Konami stealth -action franchise. What’s not to love!

  20. I’m a huge Silent Hill fan, at least up until SH4, so that series is pretty high on my list. My number one though even though I’ve yet to be able to complete it is Zombies Ate My Neighbors. This was one of the only SNES games I purchsed with my own money. I saved up my allowance to get it. Took weeks when I got to the store I had no idea what to get. It was the new year and it just had come out. I was so excited to actually buy a game on release day. When i got home and put it in I was shown these awesome colors cool music and ridiculously hard gameplay that a 7 year old should have never come across. So many differnt subweapons and the option to pick a boy or girl was amazing to me for some reason. I had no idea there was a 2 player mode until i got home. I had to beg my mom to get me another controller since i was now broke. The amount of enemies was crazy and particularly the big chainsaw guy scared the hell out of me as a kid to the point that was the reason i couldn’t make it past stage 3 or 4 i think it was.

    To this day I’ve yet to beat it or even make it past stage 23 and the icing on the cake; the cart that I own is the same one I bought 22 years ago.

    Keep up the awesomeness guys!

  21. Wow What a Hard Question , Top 3 would have to be The Adventures of Bayou Billy , Simon’s Quest , Or Blades Of Steel. Would Get My buddies together and play that stupid game all night long. Thanks For Making the Work Day Go By A little bit faster each week !!!

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