Last fall, the reboot of Shinobi 3DS was one of the few original, truly intriguing releases to hit Nintendo’s handheld since its original launch. While the big N seemed content with relaunching old titles like Ocarina of Time and Star Fox 64, developer Griptonite Games was busy reviving one of Sega’s best forgotten franchises, intricately paying tribute to the enemies, attacks, and sidescrolling gameplay of the originals. But more than anything, Shinobi 3DS brought us a rejuvenating refresher that has been lacking in games for years in the form of classic, unforgiving, skill-testing, balls-hard difficulty.
Now, it appears that a couple of folks from Griptonite Games are bringing that vintage philosophy with them, as they work away on their brand new game, Volkarr the Viking. Artist Kristofor Durrschmidt and programmer Taron Millet, known together as Crazy Viking Games, have posted a Kickstarter for this retro-centric, 16-bit adventure inspired by satisfying yet notoriously difficult classics like the original Castlevania, Super Ghouls N’ Ghosts, and Rastan. They preach the gospel of “the golden era of arcades,” and “the balance of simple, easy-to-learn controls with a high level of challenge that’s also fair”–a type of difficulty that just isn’t really available with a lot of modern games. If you check out the video, you’ll see that it already appears to bear all the visual markings of a vintage Genesis/arcade tribute, with the only real dissonance being the swelling and epic-styled soundtrack by composer and sound designer Kochun Hu.
Perhaps the coolest hook for us Sega fans is the gorgeous, Genesis-style case and dummy cartridge that comes as part of the $150 or more Collector’s Edition pledge. It’s detailed beautifully, right down to the 90s-style rating in the corner that reads “RATED B-A FOR BADASS.” Hit the jump to see this thing in all its glory.
There’s no denying that this kind of difficulty-based gameplay needs to grace us a bit more these days, so it’s not surprising that the Kickstarter has already reached $14,160 of their $18,000 goal. There’s still 26 days to go, so if this sounds like your kind of thing, you’ve got some time to voice your approval with your moneys. It’s projects like this that make up for some of the crap on Kickstarter.