Review by SamuraiJosh

"Brand Spankin' New!"

Introduction:

Here it is-the long awaited, much anticipated-CASTLEVANIA:LAMENT OF INNOCENCE. I pledge to give an unbiased, fair, blah blah blah review of this game. Ok-now that that's done on to the good stuff.
I rented this game because I'm too cheap to plop down 50 bucks on a game before I've had a chance to preview it. After a long sleepless week(I like to be thorough) of playing this game, I can honestly say I was impressed. I didn't feel that way after a 1/2 hour, but we'll get to that. Before I forget-to all you ''It's not Symphony of the Night, Aria of Sorrow'' people: GET OVER IT! Now that that's over, here we go-

GRAPHICS: GOOD/10

This game really comes through in the graphics arena. Of course, with expectations being so high for next gen games, and this game's namesake, you would expect as much. The lighting in save rooms alone is beautiful. In the ghostly theatre, the carpet steps and good ole warm vampire castle feel really help set the mood for the game. My only dissappointment in the graphics area is the lack of detail. Of course, I'm spoiled by Devil May Cry, but a few more details here and there wouldn't have hurt.

SOUND: GREAT/10

There are some that say this game's sound is dull and terrible. I would offer to purchase them a hearring aid. The sound was fitting for the game, and I'm not one to look for a game soundtrack, but I wouldn't mind one for this. From the fast paced tones to the creepy ones, LOI offers a great variety of vampire killing tunes. Anyone who has braved the long, descending staircase knows what I mean when I say ''I'M FRICKIN' CREEPED OUT!'' That said-play this game with the volume up. Way up.

GAMEPLAY: DECENT/10

This part of the game was ok. I like it because it took me back to the them good ole days when Simon Belmont was in the hero's seat. It was simple, straightforward, and fun. The only thing it was lacking was excitement. You can chain together some pretty attacks with little skill. I'm all about the skill. You have a variety of subweapons to use, all of which can be upgraded. Even your whip ca...well we'll leave that one alone.
There was some platforming, which I found kind of annoying. It seemed like it was only there for effect. A little more platforming would have made it feel more even. Overall the gameplay was a good start for a ''revamped'' series. GRRR. I hate puns.

STORY: GREAT/10

This is what changed my opinion of the game. Before I start on this, I have some words for the people that mock the story: It's good. Deal with it. It's not that it's new, or that it's innovative-it's the fact that it's a great prequel to the Belmont saga. All those of us who have been with the Belmonts since Simon picked up the whip will agree that this makes you go ''Oooohh thats's why!'' It's entertaining, and only gets better the farther you get in the game. I will admit it's dry at first, but then when you find out about the vampires, your fiancee, and the whip itself-not to mention the ending cutscenes, it completes a story that never really had a base before.
I won't spoil things for you, but you finally find out why death is the only character in every game!

TILT: 8/10

The thing that really helps this game is the animations. They are very nice, and also help the overall mood. Sound helps big time, and like I've said, the story does too.

CLOSING:

So like I started saying, after a 1/2 hour of play I regretted renting the game. After a few hours of playing, I was singing it's praises. It is a true member of the Castlevania line, and looks to be a great start for many more to come. Rent or buy? If you like to play every mode and unlock all characters, then buy this. If you just wanna see if it's a castlevania and want a straight run through, rent it. It can be beaten in under 10 hours.
You'll hear the same complaints about it from all the nay sayers. I don't think they've played it all the way through, or even half way through. Most of these issues fix themselves.
A few myths:
1. The camera angles are horrible.
NOT TRUE! It didn't affect gameplay that much.
2. The music is crappy.
NOT TRUE! Already answered that
3. It's not as good as it could be cuz it's not like SOTN/Metroid.
NOT TRUE! Not everyone wants to search for a bajillion items that have no worth, or get upgrades whose only purpose is to grant you access to another area.
The dialogue is crappy.
TRUE! OK, so thats not a myth.
I recommend playing it yourself and deciding. WHAT DOES I GIVE IT?? 8/10!! GO PLAY IT!!


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/04/03


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