Once upon a time during the era of Nintendo's mega-popular console, the NES, there was a company named Konami.

This company had a developer named Hideo Kojima, who became the main face for Konami's most popular games at the time. Castlevania, Metal Gear, Contra, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. All popular among gamers and all go on to have popular sequels.

Although they lay dormant (with the exception of a Castlevania and TMNT game) during Nintendo's godlike SNES days, they exploded onto the scene at maximum velocity on the PSX.

Along with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (highly acclaimed by fans and critics), they also released Metal Gear Solid, which revolutionized games by improving the concept of cinematic gaming beyond anything developers had done before (including SquareSoft). Along with these titles, Konami created many excellent series such as Winning Eleven, Dance Dance Revolution, Silent Hill, Suikoden, and Vandal Hearts.

However, it is even here that one can see the foreshadowing of Konami's future. On the N64, they released their first 3D Castlevania, but it turned out to be a failure. This failure was made all the more painful by the fact that their PSX Contra games were also failures.

Finally, with the arrival of the PS2, Konami unleased onto the world Metal Gear Solid 2...and it marked the beginning of the end. While a commercial success and received well by many critics, it was quickly realized that the success came from love of the original Metal Gear Solid on the PSX. This was made apparent when Metal Gear Solid 3 was released. It is all too obvious that your game is a failure when it sells for $10 to $20 on eBay while it is still $40 to $50 in stores.

The same situation occured for their other series, Silent Hill. Silent Hill 2 sold well due to timing and brand name, but Silent Hill 3 and Silent Hill 4 didn't fare nearly as well. In addition to these failures, there existed a problem of Konami continuously porting games a long time after they're already released (usually on PS2) on other consoles.

Now when you release a game, then it is good if you port it something like 4-5 or less months later. However, porting a game something like a year later is, surprisingly, not good. You see, by then, excitement over the game has died off. Also, if you plan on remaking an older game, you might want to try actually REMAKING it. See, Capcom's Resident Evil remake on the GameCube is a good idea of a remake. The graphics/gameplay/EVERYTHING changes somewhat. Taking a game, updating the graphics and adding changes from it's sequel doesn't constitute a good remake, unfortunately.

Also unfortunate is that Konami doesn't seem to be showing any indication of stopping. Some good news is that the new Castlevania on the PS2, which is 3D, is much better than the N64 one. In lieu of all the bad news, though, it doesn't seem to make much of a difference. Hopefully, Konami will clean up their act and improve their games, but for now, it seems like they're really depending on the Metal Gear Solid and Suikoden fanbase.
Konami: Long ago, they were one of the most consistently brilliant companies ever.
by BusinessMan April 17, 2005

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