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Gamerforlife
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Re: Which version of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will you get?

by Gamerforlife Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:47 pm

Ack wrote:
Gamerforlife wrote:I'm gonna try the demo first though. I hope it's good. I liked Lament of Innocence and I want Castlevania to focus on 3D games. I absolutely love 2D Vania, but there's enough 2D Castlevania games to fill Noah's Ark and all they are doing is recycling Symphony of the Night over and over again. It's getting redundant, much like Mega Man 9, 10 and the inevitable Mega Man 11 are


I picked this up yesterday and have given it some solid time. It's not Lament of Innocence, not by a long shot. That's not to say it's bad, just different in terms of style. Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness felt very much like 3D attempts at the "Metroidvania" style Symphony of the Night popularized. But Lords of Shadow goes for a more episodic style that feels a lot more like it's going back to the 8-bit days. But the game does keep the backtracking to find further secrets in levels once you've upgraded your equipment, and you can access any previously played chapter and level via the world map. The game also tells you how much you've seen in any level, and I find quite often that I walk out with less than 20% completed in any given area.

Adding to the replay, completed levels also unlock a trial for the player to go back and try, and it tracks what difficulty each level has been finished in. I've beaten the trial and unlocked everything in one level, so all I have to do is go back and beat it on the higher difficulties (I'm playing normal right now). But that's one level out of the 20 or so I've played through.

The game does have more of a fantasy feel than a straight horror one, though there's been a few places that made me shudder (one of the mounts in particular grosses me out).

I have mixed feelings about the title. The music and sound effects have all been top notch, though there really haven't been any memorable tracks. The voice acting is solid, though I dislike some of the dialogue. The plot is...well, it's nothing stellar, at least as far as I've gotten, though it does have its moments. The ultimate fate of the psychic girl and her golem was quite unexpected.

The game does borrow heavily from other games, but I don't consider this a bad thing: what it takes from others, it does its best to implement well. Yes, Titan battles are like Shadow of the Colossus. Combat feels extremely similar to God of War. The plot carries undertones of Dante's Inferno. I even found a very misplaced reference to Portal in one of the notes. But aside from that last one, this game takes those pieces and fits them together in a build that I at least find entertaining. And new moves are unlocked via an experience system like in other games with this style, though I have to admit the 2D drawings that represent what a move will do is a nostalgic highlight.

Also, while I dislike quick-time events, these at least do a decent job of giving ample warning if you're expecting them. I do wish I could turn them off for scenes I've already witnessed though. I want to watch the death of the Werewolf Lord, not sit and wait to press a button. Some of the grabs on smaller critters will help the player get used to the quick-time system, and they're worth practicing on. For instance, executing a grab on a gremlin and then pulling off the quick-time event leads to kneeing him in the groin, which apparently causes gremlins to explode.

All in all, I'm enjoying the game so far. But I'm nowhere near being done yet, so my opinion may very well change.


That all sounds pretty good to me, except for the quick time events, which need to just die already(much like reality tv and cop procedurals and The Simpsons)
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Re: Which version of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will you get?

by Weekend_Warrior Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:42 pm

Gamerforlife wrote:That's the problem with reviewers today, lazy as hell. Covering version differences should be standard issue in any multi-platform review. That's why we have sites like digital foundry and lens of truth, because reviewers are useless.
Absolutely true.
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Re: Which version of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will you get?

by Niode Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:49 pm

I've just finished playing the demo. Wow. The graphics are seriously good, it's dripping in atmosphere, the combat is simple but effective. It reminded me very strongly of God of War which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The music is pretty mediocre but then again it's not a deal-breaker for me, I can live with it. So yeah, I'm definitely going to be getting this, but since Sony have massively pissed me off as of late, I'm going to buy it on 360 - frame rates be damned.
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Re: Which version of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will you get?

by jfe2 Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:22 pm

I just bought this last night. I'll post some thoughts once I get some decent play time in. :)
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Re: Which version of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will you get?

by AwesomeMonstar Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:03 am

Im on chapter 4.

I like this game a whole lot.


I'm gonna go play it some more.
Don't that just look oh so tasty?
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Re: Which version of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will you get?

by Gamerforlife Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:01 am

Started playing it today. I don't know. I haven't found anything about it particularly offensive yet, but I'm not blown away by it either. Too early to form an opinion I guess. The combat definitely copies God of War, but doesn't feel quite as fun....so far. There's still other moves to unlock, and other enemies for me to face. Wolverine Origins copied God of War and did it really well I think, to the point that I actually enjoyed it more. So I may be a bit biased.

I like the graphics and the music and the game seems to bend over backwards to make sure you understand how everything works which is nice or annoying depending on your point of view. As for level design, I played through a swamp level that was lame beyond description, but that's only one level. The boss fights so far are pretty decent and the lead character looks appropriately badass, for those of you tired of effeminate japanese designs
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Re: Which version of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will you get?

by AwesomeMonstar Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:12 pm

Gamerforlife wrote:Started playing it today. I don't know. I haven't found anything about it particularly offensive yet, but I'm not blown away by it either. Too early to form an opinion I guess. The combat definitely copies God of War, but doesn't feel quite as fun....so far. There's still other moves to unlock, and other enemies for me to face. Wolverine Origins copied God of War and did it really well I think, to the point that I actually enjoyed it more. So I may be a bit biased.

I like the graphics and the music and the game seems to bend over backwards to make sure you understand how everything works which is nice or annoying depending on your point of view. As for level design, I played through a swamp level that was lame beyond description, but that's only one level. The boss fights so far are pretty decent and the lead character looks appropriately badass, for those of you tired of effeminate japanese designs

You may have to trudge through the start but once the game hits its stride, it's magnificent. Seriously, the game changes from tolerable to great around the second disc so keep going.
Don't that just look oh so tasty?
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Re: Which version of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will you get?

by Gamerforlife Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:52 pm

AwesomeMonstar wrote:
Gamerforlife wrote:Started playing it today. I don't know. I haven't found anything about it particularly offensive yet, but I'm not blown away by it either. Too early to form an opinion I guess. The combat definitely copies God of War, but doesn't feel quite as fun....so far. There's still other moves to unlock, and other enemies for me to face. Wolverine Origins copied God of War and did it really well I think, to the point that I actually enjoyed it more. So I may be a bit biased.

I like the graphics and the music and the game seems to bend over backwards to make sure you understand how everything works which is nice or annoying depending on your point of view. As for level design, I played through a swamp level that was lame beyond description, but that's only one level. The boss fights so far are pretty decent and the lead character looks appropriately badass, for those of you tired of effeminate japanese designs

You may have to trudge through the start but once the game hits its stride, it's magnificent. Seriously, the game changes from tolerable to great around the second disc so keep going.


Yeah, this definitely feels like a slow burner. On the plus side, I thought the Ice Titan battle was very well down. It's a Shadow of the Colossus rip-off, but if they're going to do it, at least they did it right. Also, the game's artistic direction is really awe inspiring in some places. I walked through a forest area and the camera zoomed back and I saw two blue birds sitting on something in the upper right corner of the screen. Then I started moving again, and see a white bird fly past. This stage really felt like a living, breathing place. I also liked seeing the snowflakes hit my screen in the Ice Titan stage. And of course, the animated sequences for showing the moves and combos are sweet

On the negative side, I'm not totally loving the combat system yet, though I find the light magic and focus systems interesting. It's just the enemies themselves I'm not loving so far. Those goblins with their cheap, poorly telegraphed bomb attacks in particular annoyed me. This actually reminds me of the bomb enemies in Castle Crashers. You received NO warning when they threw one. They didn't even bother to give them an animation for it. Just a guy walking towards you and suddenly a bomb comes out of him. The visual design of the regular enemies I've faced so far feels rather bland too. These are the most boring looking goblins and werewolves I've ever seen. The bosses and main characters look pretty great though and the cutscenes are top notch, very high budget.

I'm also finding the platforming a bit rough around the edges. It's not so much that it's BAD, just that after playing games like Tomb Raider, Prince of Persia or Uncharted the platforming here justs feels much less elegant by comparison I guess.

EDIT:That spider battle was fun. All the bosses so far are solid
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Re: Which version of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will you get?

by Gamerforlife Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:48 pm

You know I have to say, Gabriel Belmont is the most likeable action hero I've seen in a while. Characters like Dante are way over the top and larger than life. Ryu Hyabusa is a soulless killing machine. Kratos is a selfish prick. Belmont is just a guy trying to fight the good fight and find a way to bring back his girlfriend from the dead. He's humble, down to earth and he actually does the sign of the cross when he finds the bodies of his fallen comrades throughout the game

You know how many games there are where the protaganist simply loots the corpse and then moves on without a care in the world about the person whose life ended there. I was quite pleasantly surprised to see Belmont's respect for the dead and his fallen comrades. It's the littles details like this that impress me in my games.
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Re: Which version of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will you get?

by Rurouni_Fencer Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:34 am

Gamerforlife wrote:You know I have to say, Gabriel Belmont is the most likeable action hero I've seen in a while. Characters like Dante are way over the top and larger than life. Ryu Hyabusa is a soulless killing machine. Kratos is a selfish prick. Belmont is just a guy trying to fight the good fight and find a way to bring back his girlfriend from the dead. He's humble, down to earth and he actually does the sign of the cross when he finds the bodies of his fallen comrades throughout the game

You know how many games there are where the protaganist simply loots the corpse and then moves on without a care in the world about the person whose life ended there. I was quite pleasantly surprised to see Belmont's respect for the dead and his fallen comrades. It's the littles details like this that impress me in my games.


All I can say is - Just wait until you see the end.
One of the better and more WTF moments not just in Castlevania history, but in videogame history.. I can't wait to hear about your reaction!!

That being said, I definitely agree with your take on Gabriel. It really brings the focus of the origins of the Belmont family into the limelight. Previous to this, the extent of the Belmont family's portrayal was that of a vampire-hunting clan that was feared without explanation throughout all of Wallachia. Here, they do a great job of establishing the family's roots!
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