Review by Vashcaflowne

"The origins of the legendary vampire-killers unfolds..."

Gameplay
For those who have played Rygar and Devil May Cry, Lament of Innocence uses elements from both games. Such as the whip, which is played in Rygar as a rope connected to a shield. As you progress throughout the game, combos can be earned depending on the requirements. You earn extra skills and combos by things such as defeating a certain amount of enemies, or defending against enemy attacks. The fighting is very fun, and keeps its quality when new skills are gained. Probably the worst perspective of the game by far is the camera angles. When engaged in a few battles, while running or walking, the camera angle becomes horrid and primarily focuses on one angle, which makes character’s perspective very limited. 8/10

Story
The story so far is a major lack in depth. The main plot is about a character that is driven to a castle in order to rescue his betrothed (fiancé). I think it lacks in the emotion and feeling that the main character is supposed to emphasize. The way he expresses himself makes it seem as though saving his betrothed is more like a chore instead of an act of love. Throughout the game you’ll notice that there isn’t much of a story going on. However, that is what makes Castlvania, Castlevania. The story wasn’t always a backbone to the game itself, but it was something that allowed the players to immerse themselves in the atmosphere they have imagined. Although, I was completely shocked after the credits rolled because it revealed something that Castlevania fans would recognize. 7/10

Graphics/Sound
First with graphics. The graphics during cut scenes play similar to those of many previous and present PS2 games. The character detail, in my opinion, is as those of Arc The Lad. The flaw in graphics is the repetitive level design. Rooms after rooms after rooms, they all look extremely similar. Upon entering a different room, you'll question yourself, ''Haven't I been here before?'' Which in fact, you haven't. That is because they all look alike. The levels get really boring, but the non-stop action takes you aside from the lack of detailed fighting environments. A bit of a change here. LOI changes the classic “explore the whole castle” idea and turns it into “explore separately each part of the castle.” By this I mean it lacks the feeling of exploration by setting rooms separated by portals. Secondly, the music. Oh my goodness... Michiru Yamane does a remarkable job here! The music is astounding! The amazing soundtrack that this game has to offer’ll blow you away. I think that w/o the terrific musical score here, I would've dropped the game a point. IMO, the music is superior to that of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. 9/10

Final Verdict
Okay I admit I was not completely mesmerized by the game. However, I think in many aspects it has reached the level of SotN. Many have complained about its undersized length, but I found it to be perfect. I completed the game with 100.00% map completion in a little less than 11 hours my first time through. However, as of now, mainly judging my experience with gameplay, story, graphics, and sound, I feel as though IGA has done exactly what he has intended to do. Create a totally different experience for players by bringing Castlevania to a new 3D format, changing some aspects of the game, yet maintaining bits of nostalgic classic gameplay of the previous Castlevania titles. This is a different game. I believe that it has done a great job of breaking away from its predecessors, while keeping the entertaining values that the predecessors have always known to have. And I can honestly say that this was a good start to the legacy which we've known to call Castlevania. 8/10


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/28/03


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