Re: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow reviews starting to drip in
- From: GameJunkie <aa47@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2010 13:42:06 -0700 (PDT)
On Oct 16, 2:08 am, "Smitzor" <Smi...@xxxxxxx> wrote:
"Nick Soapdish, Jr." <JGordon...@xxxxxxx> wrote in messagenews:81a431f6-9733-42a0-b678-4d795b6e1824@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Gamesradar gives it a 9, Eurogamer an 8, OXM a 90%, PSM3 a 94, Edge an
8, etc. etc.
The impressions I get are that people with a 360 only will finally get
something that can compete with God of War (which was, IMO, sort of a
Castlevania (pre-Symphony of the Night, linear style) with a Greek
makeover).....except with a more likeable character, and from
everything I've read, a longer playtime. The Gamesradar review goes
in depth with the different aspects of the combat engine, to the
extent that it sounds a bit more elaborate than GoW- perhaps a hybrid
of GoW and Bayonetta?
This game is one of the big fall releases for me, having memories of
getting Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest in the late '80s, and playing a
used copy of Castlevania 3 from Funcoland (remember that name?) the
summer before my senior year of college. The loss of the
"Metroidvania" approach from SotN isn't as lamented by myself as it is
by younger gamers used to that style in a Castlevania game. Art
direction looks pretty damn good, and the variety in environments
looks awesome, although people are already complaining that there's
too many "non-castle" environments (perhaps they should play the older
Castlevania games before complaining about this- after all, Simon's
Quest barely featured castle environments at all, and you had to fight
through places like Atlantis, spooky old forests, and a frickin' ghost
ship in other installments).
The only question now is which version to get.
Get the PS3 version it looks better. 360 version comes on 2 discs. Both
games have the same content.
Here's the bottom line:
The game is great unfortunately it's not Castlevania. At least not the game
that I expected.
Last "epic" Castlevania was Symphony of the Night. The GBA games came close
but were too short or lacked content. Avoid Circle of the Moon at all costs.
The NDS games are good as well. And I really didn't mind the last 2 games in
3-D, it's C64 I hate to no end. I never got a chance to play the upgraded
version with the 2 other playable characters so that's probably why. It also
came out a year later.
I bought LoS and for the first 4 chapters I was drawn in. Well more like
anticipated recognizable elements to come later on. Environments are very
unique as well as the music. It's been produced by Kojimas MGS team so they
went ape shit on level design. Vastly detailed settings with ambient life
scurrying around. I've been through all the seasons thus far (Chapter 10 of
12). No two places look alike and for the first 6 chapters you're almost
The music you have come to know and love from the series is absent. Only one
familiar tune from prior installments can be heard in the style of a music
box in none other than the Music Box stage. But not to take away from the
quality of production as it is still really good.
Gameplay has changed dramatically. I assume they are trying to broaden the
audience by mashing up several of the better action/adventure platformers
out recently. Mainly Assassins Creed and Dante's Inferno. I have not played
Bayonetta to compare combat mechanics but they are fairly easy to get the
hang of. But the most notable things of the series have been severely dumbed
down or removed completely. Example: Customization. There is NONE. Magic
system has been changed. You have Light and Dark abilities that are used
separately and all of your combat moves under either of these abilities will
change. Like if you use a dagger in Light form it will have a different
affect in Dark form.
There are no save rooms either. The game relies whole heartedly on a
checkpoint system. Let me tell you what's wrong with that Konami. In the
event I manage to just barely make it to a checkpoint before a Boss fight
with 15% health, I don't want to play an entire stage over again to see if I
fare any better to have a bit more health to fight one of these
Not to mention each Boss fight is a freakin marathon. I won't get into too
much detail here but there is a fight where you have to use this jump move
that you cannot control or perfect to hit a small switch on the floor. There
is no way at all to time or aim the move to land precisely on the switch.
During the fight though you get several windows of about 3 seconds to hit
the switch to hurt the enemy. It's nearly impossible to do once and you have
to do it 3 or 4 times to win the fight. I'm playing on Knight (Hard, Paladin
is hardest) ) so this took me at least 30 tries and I finally got lucky.
Other Bosses you need to learn their patterns and have the timed block
maneuver mastered. For those playing on Knight, beware "Pan"!!! You'll most
likely destroy your controller or turn down the difficulty to continue.
They have also done away with the EXP system and all the intricate stat
categories like STR, LCK, AGL, CON and everything else, its GONE!. In it's
place is a weak coin system. Solve a puzzle and earn some coins. Beat a
level and earn some coins. Complete a challenge and earn some coins. All
these coins can be spent between levels on advanced combat moves. And that's
it. No more armor, capes, or accessories. No more rare drops from enemies..
All the nifty merch that made this game great has been removed. Now to raise
the cap of magic and health you find 5 gems of the same color tat are on
dead bodies throughout the game.
The story seems like it was slapped together. Did these people ever play
Castlevania 1-4? I seriously doubt it. Jean Luc... I mean Sir. Patrick
Stewart is a great story teller but the story contradicts itself too often
for me to overlook it. The voice acting is top tier and I feel Robert
Carlyle has the perfect voice for Gabriel Belmont. Stewart appears in the
game as the unfortunately named "Zobak" who fights along side you for all of
3 minutes and then he's the narrarator again. Many of the Bosses have strong
voices behind them and it gets better as the story continues.
All in all the game is fun and engaging. Too many changes for my liking to
give this game any better than a 7. Buy it on sale when you got nothing else
to play. It's at least 25 hours without walkthrus. Many of the puzzles are
trial and error and have an algorithm to them. Kinda like that golf tee game
with 9 pegs and 10 holes when you're at Cracker Barrel.
If you like Assassins Creed, Dante's Inferno, Shadow of the Colossus, the
PS2 remake of Rygar, or the hundreds of other adventure games this borrows
from, you'll like it. For fans of the series you are going to be upset. But
it looks amazing!
Bayonetta kicked ass
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