Review by Van Ruyn

"A great game for Castlevania fans"

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence is a lot better than most people are making it out to be. This game is really well done once you look past the few things that everyone complains about. Each complaint will be explained when I reach that part of the review.

Graphics - 9/10
The graphics in this game are really good. Nice textures, animations, and lighting effects during the game. Shadows were done really nice also. The only think that one could have a problem with is those little "jagged edges" that almost EVERY game has. Anyway, the graphics are really well done and no one should have a problem with those. One of the few complaints everyone has here is that the game is very repetitive. It's true. You will see the same room quite a few times, but it is part of the theme in each area you go into. Most of the rooms in Symphony of the Night looked the same but no one complained. It may just take a second or two to get used to the rooms.

Sound - 9/10
Sound Effects - The sound effects are really good. Nice sound of the whip cracking and swinging all over the place. Doors, hits, sub items, they all sound really nice. Knives, crystals, holy water, and other sub items sound great.
Music - Excellent. I love the soundtrack almost as much or more than Symphony of the Night. The House of Sacred Remains may be my favorite area just because of the music. If the loved the music in Symphony of the Night, I don't see why you wouldn't like the music in this game.
Voice Acting - Great! It's is a lot better than Symphony of the Night because there is quite a bit more emotion put into the acting. Castlevania: Lament of Innocence has some really great lines also ("I'll kill you AND the night!"). There was one complaint here and that is that people didn't like the voice acting. Well, there are 2 solutions. One, change it to Japanese. If that isn't your thing and you don't like the English voices, mute your TV during the talking scenes. There are subtitles.

Controls - 8/10
The controls aren't much different from Symphony of the Night. X jumps, square is light attack, triangle is strong attack, etc. These shouldn't be a problem for anyone. The only thing I didn't like was having to use the joysticks to open the "Real Time Menu" to heal. It isn't bad but a little difficult at the start of the game. After a floor or two in one of the areas, you will get used to it quickly.

Game play - 8/10
The game play in this game was great. It is really fun, fast, and action packed (one would hope so). You gather new whips, orbs (which change the sub items and make some really cool attacks depending on which orb and item you use), artifacts which give you special abilities like running around with a fire trail behind you, and several other items. There are also a few that you can go and buy. Also something that I really liked was that you can sell your other items that you don't need anymore. As you play, you will also learn new combo attacks which get rather neat. It's got a bit of exploring to it but it isn't as deep as Symphony of the Night or Aria of Sorrow. The camera angles are one of the biggest complaints I hear about this game. True sometimes they get annoying but they aren't too bad. The camera angles in this game are pretty much the same as the camera angles that are in Devil May Cry. The only real bad thing about the game play was that the game is a little short. I beat it in about 10-15 hours. I'm going to assume that's short since most games these days are well over 20+ hours. Also, there is no leveling up. This game's action returned to the roots back in the days of the NES. Just kill stuff and have fun.

Story - 9/10
I'm not going to spoil anything here. All I'll tell you is that this is the first Castlevania "adventure" in the story. Back before Trevor and Sophia. I loved the story in this game. If you have been following the story and would like to know how the Belmont Clan got started and other things such as where Vampire Killer came from, you SHOULD play this game. It is very, very good!

Rent or Buy? If you don't trust me on this review, you can rent it and get the same amount of enjoyment out of it. I rented it myself, beat it (played it everyday), and still went out and bought it. I really enjoy this game. If you are a big Castlevania fan, I recommend it. If not, just rent it and see how you feel about it. Thank you for taking your time to read this. Hope it has been helpful.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/21/04

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