Review by Naru2005

"Hm?"

Introduction

I've always been a fan of Konami games, and I keep up to date with them about upcoming releases. Usually some games I wait for a price drop before I make a choice about buying them. This is one of them. Castlevania is a popular franchise from Konami, apart from Silent Hill, Metal Gear, and Suikoden. One of the top selling franchises of all time falls with this title. So I bought this game, and I thought about getting Symphony of the Night as the fans said that one was the best of all the Castlevania games. I went along with their opinion and decide to find a copy of it, but couldn't. At least I kept this one..

Konami decided to bring a Castlevania game to the PlayStation 2 Computer Entertainment System by naming it Lament of Innocence, and this time it's in full 3-D! This game was brought to you from the creators of the critically acclaimed Castlevania: Symphony of the Night!!

Dawn of the Hunter

You play as Leon Belmont, who is an 11-century nobleman and knight of the clergy. His betrothed, named Sara, was captured. Leon's mission is to search and rescue her at all costs. I wont go into any more of the story here, as much will be spoiled, so play along to find out what it's all about...

Gameplay

The gameplay, which is the most important aspect of a game, plays very much like Devil May Cry.. However, the system is somewhat different. It incorporates a dynamic attack system that allows damaging combo attacks, magnificent spell effects and intense offensive/defensive moves. Instead of a sword, which Leon threw away, he gets a whip, which he already has starting experience with. You attack enemies with that whip. If you attack enough, you gain new skills for more damaging combos to be executed. Reminds like Devil May Cry, doesn't it? Yes, it's very much the same, except we are talking vampires instead of demons. And not to mention the addition of RPG elements into this game. That mean you'll be having recovery items such a potions and Magic Power recovery. Quite a interesting aspect, but we've already seen that before.

However, the movement system is quite interesting. The odd thing is that Leon moves like Dante from Devil May Cry 2. The camera pans onto you the whole time and kinda moves away like in Devil May Cry 2. You can run, walk, etc.. You can jump, cling, and all the things that we've seen before in Devil May Cry, except that this is Leon's version, with more. Also, accessing items may be different. You don't select from the menu. Konami's main style is real time, so you'll be using your refreshments through a real time window. Enemies can still attack you while you're in this window, but you can move around.

In this game you move around a castle. You go room by room which takes one second to load each one. And not to mention, there are a LOT of rooms to explore. Some may be repetitive than others, but otherwise, it's a fun place to go around. Save points are minimal, as you will need to save often.

Graphics

When we talk graphics, we talk backgrounds, character models, or even CG. This game takes place in a castle just like Devil May Cry. As in Silent Hill 3, this game has unparalleled graphics that are top-notch. The thing is that there is no CG in this game. Konami moves on to real time which in my opinion looks better. That's their main style of making scenes, to have a person actually do it instead of using computer generated images. Still, the game looks good, as Konami tries to dig in the PS2's power to get as much out of it as possible. The thing is you'll probably be looking at the backgrounds rather than fighting for the first time through. Every character model and background are well done.

Sound/Music

Michiru Yamane has done the music as she does the music for a number of other Castlevania games. When I listened to the music for the first time through, I was astonished by the sound and music. I guess I was right about Konami being the master of sound. Some people may not like the music in this game, but I do!! The voice acting is another thing, as sometimes Leon sounds like he's a bad boy or something, but nonetheless the voice acting is good.

Is this game Hard?

Well, on your first time, yes, it can be quite difficult. Some of you may find it boring but meh, it's okay. I would say this game is as hard as Devil May Cry, but kind of less hard compared to Chaos Legion. Really, some of the bosses may be quite a pain in the ass, but they can always be beaten...

Controls/Camera

Responsive. VERY responsive. It's as easy as Devil May Cry, where one button is to attack, another to attack, another to jump and such. Only the Left Analog Stick can be able to move Leon, as it's not that bad. Also, the camera can be quite bad, but it will always focus on you and there's no way to put it back behind you, which is a pain. Otherwise, you can get use to it, as it always shows the door when you're near it and such.

Replay Value

A lot. First of all, if you liked the game, you'll know you need to come back for more. There are a lot of secrets you can unlock after completing the game once. So you'll be dying to get everything done... This game can last about 8-10 hours on your first time through, and much less with additional playthroughs. With more playable characters to unlock, there's a reason to come back for it.

Final Rating

9/10. The tricky camera angles didn't cut it for me. Everything else is fine.

Rent or Buy

It's cheap now, at 30 bucks. Go buy it. You'll love it. If you're not sure, go rent it then. This is a game that must be in your PS2 collection.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 02/01/04


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