Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Not your childrens Castlevania.
I've heard alot of people say this game isn't Castlevania. Well, that really depends on what generation you grew up in. Since I've been playing Castlevania since it came out for NES, I would disagree. It's got alot of the elements the older side scrolling games had. This game is in a class of it's own, and in my opinion doesn't copy any games on the market, since this game franchise is older then any games on the market. Pros - Great grafix, the sound is superb, the controls and combat system is really easy to get along with. There are four difficulty settings, 2 for casual gamers and 2 for hardcore, plus completing each level on the "trial" setting can offer more achievments. Also Patrick Stewart stars as Zobek, your right hand companion. Cons - Alot of backwards level playing, completing tedious levels over and over once you've gained the ability you need to access a secret area. Finding yourself in situations where one hit and you're dead and you might be in a boss fight, or just fighting regular monsters, but there is a lack of staying at max health / items like all other Castlevania games. You have no control over the camera, there is no free-look so it's easy to miss caches and hidden areas. Button mashing in cut scenes? Wow really, this is just silly, a cut-scene is your reward for going through 1hr+ boss fights, which I assure you on knight / paladin difficulty every boss fight is an hour or longer. The game has two discs, I could careless what the reason for this is, but it's 2011 and I can't remember having to switch discs on a console game since playstation 1. Either way, it's a great game, goes a little too quickly on easy / normal difficulty moves at a decent pace on knight / paladin difficulty.
Frustrating, Annoying, and BLAH at best.
First I have to say that the storyline isn't Horrible, but I'm saying this very tentatively because I have never played any of the other castlevanias so to a fan it may be the worst thing ever.
BUT, the storyline gets pushed aside when the frustration of not being able to control the point of view of the character takes over. I very much Hate when games do that. I find it lazy on the part of the game makers. Though I can get over it if the storyline Good & can distract me from that issue, like Dante's Inferno, which this game did Not do.
Coming in a close second in the frustrating part of this game is repetitive nature of it. Every battle, may it be small monsters on a level or the Boss, is basically the same. I can deal with button mashing games, like Dante's Inferno, but again Storyline has to be good...which this one is lack luster at best.
I am playing it now & honestly don't if I can finish it because it is That frustrating...and I'm the type to finish a game no matter what.
So, Don't waste your money.
This game is amazing.
The game itself has such a compelling storyline. Im playing through the game on the Knight, which is the hardest mode possible to play on without beating it first. The game is 2 discs and its really long which i love. Most games now-days end too quickly. I can see my self spending a LOT of time on this game. You finish a level and then it shows you that you've only completed 27% of it. There are a lot of secrets, upgrades, characters, everything! this game is very under priced for how good it is
Arise, Prince of Darkness...
God seemingly has lost faith in humanity and a spell has been cast to seperate the heavens and the earth. It is up to Gabriel Belmont to follow a prophecy to collect the peices of the Godmask to either save humanity or do with it as he wishes. The story pulls you ever deeper as you move from disc one to two. Perhaps the closest platforming to God of War as it gets, the Combat Cross and the Gauntlet you wear on your hand provide for a full book of combos and magical attacks. The gameplay looks repetitive, but never feels like it. The mythical beasts you encounter along the way prove worthy at any difficulty. While you watch Gabriel grow stronger, you begin to wonder just who really is the more evil at heart. The hero, or the villians?
Some reviews said this has nothing to do with Castlevania. They were wrong. The lead character is a Belmont. There ARE Vampires in it. You do have a form of whip. You get to use daggers and you can revisit places later on in the game when you have more powers ect. That being said. The graphics are amazing! The controls are pretty tight also. The musical scores shines in this game as brilliant as the vistas in many scenes. It is taking notes from God of War yes but is that a bad thing? I highly recommend this game to GOW fans AND Castlevania ones also!
Very Good Game!!
Okay to begin with, Castlevania Lords of Shadow is very different from the rest of the Castelvania series. It's not a 2D pixel graphic game, it's a 3D, third person adventure game. Konami had wanted to go back to the original feel of being a lone warrior, slaying monsters with your whip. The actual feel of the game reminds me of God of War, or Devil May Cry. It's cinematic, stylish combat and Puzzle Platforming offers much challenge on an epic 2 disc story. The Trials offer lasting fun, and multiple playthroughs, followed up by the secrets, and adventuring. Honestly, I believed the story to be a LARGE stp up from the recent Castlevania's which were basically "Hey let's go kill Dracula!" Gabriel Belmonts wife was recently murdered by an evil force that rules the land. So, Gabriel set's out on the quest to defeat the Lords of Shadow, and collect fragments of a mask powerful enough to bring the dead back. And so the adventure begins! I would reccomend this to anyone looking for deep story, well-done combat, and fun platforming. Thanks, Bye!
Looks and Sound Amazing!!!
This Castlevania has a great story to it! The fight seqences in it are fun and the music is great too! I haven't played through all of the game yet but the game sucks you in from the very beginning! The graphics in my opinion are also great too! If you like a good story game and you love to play Castlevania games then please don't hesitate to buy this game as soon as possible!
Castlevania Meets New Generation
Any classic gamer knows of the whip lashing, monster slaying Castlevania series. Classic 2D sidescroling action at its finest. Many thought it impossible to make Castlevania into a decent 3D game ( Castlevania 64 and Castlevania Curse of Darkness were failures). However, Castlevania Lords Of Shadow shows its worth on the next generation consoles. From the graphics, to the whips, its all here, with a good familiar style of gameplay. At first, you may think youre playing God Of War, but the second you pick up a secondary Knife weapon, youll give a smirk and say "Oh yeah, this is Castlevania." Good fresh gameplay, superb graphics, and truly stays true to the classic Castlevania, this game is worth the 59.99. The only sma complaint is that it may feel a bit to similar to god of war, but hey, what 3D explorer doesnt?
Castlevania: Lords of Shadows (from here on out, Castlevania) is not the most original of games. It's combat is heavily borrowed from God of War, but don't take that as a bad sign. There's been a lot done in gaming over the years that make original forms of combat or item management hard to innovate. So, borrowing ideas or methods from other games becomes the norms. As long as you borrow and add your own twist, things are ok in my book. And that is what Castlevania does, it borrows the combat (namely the whip like attack vs. Kratos' chains) and builds upon it.
The combat in Castlevania is one of the biggest draws and something you'll be doing a lot, so thankfully it works well. You hit one button to do normal attacks, while another does a weaker area attack. After slaying enemies, you'll earn experience and can unlock additional moves. Health is earned by finding gems to put in an amulet. When you have 5, you get an upgrade. You also get two forms of magic that you can switch on during battle. This gets a little confusing but bare with me. As you attack people, you build up concentration. When your concentration is at max, enemies begin to drop orbs. If you are hit, you lose concentration and have to start over (usually 5 hits or so build up concentration to max.) You collect orbs by pressing R3 or L3. R3 builds up your shadow magic which makes your weapons do more damage. L3 builds up Light magic which gives you health for every hit you perform (invaluable in my opinion). You switch on the magics by hitting the bumper buttons when you have the bars filled. You can turn them off when you want so the game gives you incentive for not getting hit, you are your own health pack. I really like this feature and it works well. This goes hand in hand with the "building your own upon an existing idea." The combat is very God of War-esque, but this adds a little flavor on top to make it their own.
The game is not entirely about combat though. You will have other obstacles you will need to overcome on your way to the end of the game. Puzzles are placed throughout the game which have you turning levers and moving things. I'm not a big puzzle gamer, but I did enjoy the ones so far. They aren't too tough (at least not yet) and the option to forgo experience in lieu of getting the answer is a nice feature. I've only had to use that once on a crank puzzle that had me at wits end. If you have the internet handy though, the puzzles are all online somewhere.
Besides puzzles, the other game mechanic you will run into are Titan battles. Titan's are basically humongous enemies that require you to memorize a path up their body to destroy weakpoints before tumbling the beasts to the ground. They are graphically impressive, but that's about all. I found myself loathing the second one I hit because it's not all that fun. You just memorize a path up the body and then hit X repeatedly as you bash the weak spot. When they try to whack you off, you move out of the way. If hit, you have the repeat everything (except the smashing since you already did it) and continue up the body to the head where the final weak spot is. It's not bad, it's just not that great. I've done two and I'm not sure if there are any more coming since the previous one I bested was considered "the last Titan." Hopefully that's true.
The story in Castlevania is actually quite good so far. You play as Gabriel Belmont, a warrior of Light who is tasked with bringing down the Lords of Shadow. Recently, Gabriel's wife was killed by the forces of evil so he is fueled by not only righteous fury but cold hearted revenge. You'll begin the journey in a small village being attacked by Lycans (werewolves) and make your way through a forest to meet the old god Pan. Pan will set you on your journey to destroy the Lords of Shadows and your tasks begins. I'm almost finished the first disc (Xbox 360 version comes on two discs, PS3 has one blu-ray) and the story is very good. Some big plot events are taking place and the pace of the game is great. Story buffs, you won't be disappointed.
Something that adds to the story and makes it more believable is the excellent voice work. Konami has spared no expense in getting amazing voice talent. Gabriel, the main character, is voiced by Robert Carlyle, whom you may know from Trainspotting and the Full Monty. Another character in the story, Zobek, is voiced by Patrick Steward of Star Trek fame. The rest of the cast may not be as familiar by Hollywood's standards, but they are all fantastic in their own right. From the gruff voices of the Lycan lords to the seductive vampires, it just works. You'll be thoroughly engrossed in the story thanks to their roles.
Another high point of the game is the graphics. You will see some truly breathtaking vista's and painstakingly detailed rooms on your journeys to defeat the Lords of Shadow. I played both the PS3 and the 360 version of the game and didn't notice anything that would separate the two. I didn't investigate down to the pixel, only through playing.
So, suffice to say the game is a blast based on all the positive's I've listed above. It is, but don't get me wrong, it has it's hangups too. As any action game, the combat can get repetitive. You'll be killing enemies in one area only to move to another and have to kill another horde before moving on. This is just the nature of these types of games and if you aren't into the constant battles in action games, this game isn't going to sway you with any new features. Sure, it has the magic that I spoke of earlier but that's not a game selling point, just a nice bonus.
Another downside to the game is that it's a Castlevania game in name only. This game could have been called Vampire Hunter and been fine. The Castlevania name only depicts that the franchise is going in a different direction. So far, I think it's succeeding and with the announcement of the sequel in the works, we'll be seeing more.
Well, there you have it. My first impressions of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. I'm impressed by the game so far and I'm having a blast playing it. It's a very long game too, coming in just short of 20 hours with most people that complete it. Your enjoyment of it will be directly linked to how much you like action games and the supernatural (vampires and werewolves, not so much aliens). So, if have already played the game or are thinking of picking it up, let me know. Also, ask away if you have any questions.
$40 Game, $60 price tag
One thing is imminently obvious from the very beginning of play: this is a God of War / Dante's inferno type game. You've got a long chain weapon and two basic types of attack: weak, wide area crowd control, and strong, linear direct attack. If you've played God of War or Dante's Inferno, this should be old hat (Inferno a bit more than GoW, actually). This isn't necessarily a bad thing... just indicative of the game type. Outside of combat, it's somewhat similar as well... platforming using your weapon as a tool and the occasional puzzle. That's all well and good. Is it something that, in retrospect, I'd be happy to pay $60 for? Nope. Add in the pre-order bonus shirt, and I'm happy with it, but unless you're a major fan of Castlevania, or the GoW gametype, wait for the price to drop a little.