Saturday, November 18, 2017

Five Konami Series That Are Sorely Missed


I was watching Silent Hill: Revelation the other night and I started thinking about Konami. Konami was once a great company, and they've released a ton of great classic games that are still cherished to this day. But you know, Konami hasn't really done a whole lot this generation...


Konami used to release so many games that they had to form a second company to get around Nintendo restricting the amount of games a publisher could release on the NES within a year. Imagine Konami of all companies doing that. Because now, what does Konami release? Pro Evolution Soccer and occasionally Metal Gear. That's about it.

Think back to the NES. Think about the Konami and Ultra Games releases on the NES. Track & Field, Rush'n Attack, Double Dribble, Top Gun, Goonies 2, Jackal, Skate or Die, Blades of Steel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles... I could go on. Basically, the chances are great that you've played a Konami game.

I am not including throwaway mobile games in this article as the last game released in the series, though that's probably where the last game was actually released for at least one of these. Nor am I going to include any bizarre pachinko machines Konami seems so fond of nowadays. Instead, the game I list as the last one released in the series will be a game that appeared on a console or handheld.

Castlevania
Last game released in this series: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (2014)

This is the biggest loss to me. I'm a huge fan of the series and I have been ever since the original game came out on the NES. From 1986 up to 2010 there was a Castlevania game released almost every year. The series has appeared on a vast variety of systems, and the majority of the games are actually great. The series kind of got locked into the "Metroidvania" style of play towards the end, but I personally really enjoy that style of gameplay.

Contra
Last game released in this series: Hard Corps: Uprising (2011)

I'd say Contra is the most well known run and gun game of all time. Sure people know Metal Slug, but Contra is the one I think more people have experience with. It's a series that has been around since 1987 and has probably been played by everyone who grew up playing the NES. When I say "Konami code," you probably immediately think of Contra. It's an action packed series that is just begging to come back bigger than ever.

Gradius
Last game released in this series: Gradius ReBirth (2009)

I love shooters, and Gradius has been a force of the genre since the 80s. With the recent resurgence and reimagining of classic 80s and 90s properties, you'd think one of the most popular shooters of the day would be a no-brainer to resurrect. Yet here we are, eight years since the last release. And it was a WiiWare game, too. How many people are still playing their Wii? Exactly.

Silent Hill
Last game released in this series: Silent Hill: Book of Memories (2012)

Silent Hill has more atmosphere than you can handle. It relies on unsettling imagery and situations rather than jump scares like some other series. The fact that the last true Silent Hill game was Downpour in 2012 is a real shame. What Konami could do with the series now would be incredibly intense. I can't even imagine what a Silent Hill game would be like on PlayStation 4. Oh, wait a minute. Yeah I can.

Suikoden
Last game released in this series: Suikoden Tierkreis (2008)

Square Enix has put out like 20+ games with the Final Fantasy name attached to it since Suikoden Tierkreis came out in 2008. That's insane. Not only because there's an over saturation of Final Fantasy, but because Konami hasn't made a single Suikoden game in nearly a decade. There was a period of time where Konami was cranking out Suikoden games on PlayStation 2 left and right. They released four games for the system in four years. Things have been quiet since.

There are of course many other series Konami put out that haven't seen a release in some time. The five I picked are just the first five that came to mind. Are there any other series from Konami that you'd like to see come back?