Review by damien5314
"A little repetitive but sometimes, we can forgive."
Here it is, Castlevania: Lament of Innocence. The first 3D Castlevania ever. Now some of you have mixed feelings about this, what 3D will do to the series. But I write to you right now unbiased, as this is my first Castlevania game. Castlevania: LoI, is an action game, where you basically go around and fight monsters with your whip of alchemy. The monsters you fight are quite interesting, with very different attacks and a very wide bestiary.
It takes place awhile back, back when you owned land and a big mansion, and people spoke funny. The main character is a man named Leon Belmont, who had his “betrothed” stolen from him by a vampire. Leon travels to the vampire’s residence, where he meets a man, who explains that there is no turning back; once you start this vampire’s “game”, you must finish it. Leon must enter the castle, full of monsters, to fight this vampire. The man gives you a whip of alchemy and blesses your gauntlet to help you along. From there, it’s a long road ahead until you get to the heart of the castle. You must defeat five monsters, each with its own wing of the castle, before you can face the vamp himself. It may sound tedious, and it is, sometimes, but the boss battles are fun and break up the monotony of the trip.
Here’s where Castlevania: LoI, gets most of its points. I have not played other Castlevania titles, so I have nothing to compare this game to, but from what I have played, this game is a nice change from my RPG lifestyle.
You get a whip to fight off monsters, relics as special help to beat some of the toughest monsters, and subweapons as another choice, if you need to make big damage, fast. Your whip will be your main weapon, of course. You can use power blows to hit heavy damage and a wider range, and quick blows if you need a little space. Your relics use MP when activated, but can be very helpful in tight areas. MP is fairly easy to acquire, with your guard ability. You guard against enemies’ special attacks, and you gain MP for the activation of your relics. Your subweapons are very helpful, also. For example, if you are fighting fast moving enemies, your whip just won’t cut it. Use the sword subweapon that you find early on, and those pesky fiends will be eliminated in no time. Subweapons use hearts that you can find in jars around the castle pretty easily, so if you run out, don’t fret, they’re everywhere. You can only carry one subweapon at a time, unfortunately. As you progress through the game, Leon will gain new abilities through battle. These abilities make battles a lot easier. The more you fight, the better Leon gets. Its that simple.
Overall, this game is pretty easy. It may look a little hard from the videos you may have seen, with hoards of enemies coming after you, but it gives you enough HP to last you till the next save point, plus potions and other helpful items. This makes the game less stressful to play, and overall, more fun.
The castle you play through in the game, is…well…pretty repetitive. Many of the rooms look the same. EXACTLY the same. If you can play this game without a map, I envy you. That’s the only downside to this game; it’s a little repetitive. Once in awhile you’ll run into a cool room, but don’t buy this game if you only wanna look at it. If you wanna look at it at a positive perspective, you could say that there’s more uniqueness to these rooms than in .hack. That was a big turn off for me, but this game doesn’t bother me. The graphics are nothing special, even if the rooms are nicely detailed. Engine similar to DMC in appearance.
In the music department, however, this game ownz the competition. Maybe I’ve been playing too much DDR lately, but I absolutely love this game’s music. I guess its all about preference, though. I find that the trance in the game makes the game easier, and less scary, to play (yep, I’m a wuss). If you love heavy metal, but despise the synthesizer, mute this game while you’re playing it.
This game is shorter than what’s comfortable, but maybe its just from my high expectations from playing RPGs all this time. It was long enough for me, I’ll tell you that. But please don’t turn away yet. If you’re looking for something that will last you a long time, this game isn’t it. But if you really love it, you can always replay it with new unlockables. They’re nothing special, but a nice addition to keep some hardcore gamers coming back. I wasn’t impressed enough to give it a second run, but there are some people out there…
In conclusion, Castlevania: Lament of Innocence is a great action game. It gets repetitive sometimes, but you can be easily distracted by its amazing music, cool boss fights, decent story, detailed graphics, and somewhat addictive gameplay. This borderlines buy/rent line, but I rented it once, and I immediately fell in love, so I bought it. I urge you to do the same. Give it a rental, and if you’re pleased, dish out $50 for it. You won’t be disappointed.
Score – 9/10
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/01/03
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