Review by CardigansFan

"Great for Castlevania fans with some problems"

I call myself a Castlevania fan, but I've only played the three NES ones and SOTN. I wanted to get Lament of Innocence, but somehow never got to it. Then I saw this game. I bought it a week or two after it came out, and was only slightly disappointed by it; otherwise, it's a great game.

Story (9/10):
Your wife (or girlfriend) is killed by what used to be your friend, Issac. You (Hector) and your ex-friend Issac are both devil forgemasters, with the ability to forge devils that help you. You were also right-hand men to Dracula when he was alive. You pick up the game where you start the pursuit of Issac in an abandoned castle. Pretty good, pretty original.

Gameplay (5/10):
Here's where I found some problems. I'll break the game up for you here:
50% Walking
30% Fighting
5% Bosses
5% Cutscenes
5% Combining stuff
5% Restarting the game
Walking - Yes, that's right, walking, not running. The speed you go in the game is as fast as the character can move. There are many areas with long hallways, or areas that you have to return to, and there is just about no way to getting to your destination any faster. I walk that speed in my daily life. Fighting - A big part of the game, you will have to gain experience for you and your Innocent Devils (kind of like Familars in SOTN, they help you or attack enemies). There are little good places to gain experience, so you hope for large groups of enemies to appear sometimes. Bosses - The boss fights aren't very spectacular, they are more annoying than hard, only because most bosses only have specific times at which they can be attacked. Cutscenes - The cutscenes aren't too bad, but they're very wordy and long. Most cutscenes could have been made in less than half the length they are. Combining - Don't get me wrong, the combining system is really great, but it has some flaws. You don't know until later in the game what materials are rare, and by then, you've used up items you though would appear often. Sometimes you end up with weapons or armor that is worse than what you started with, which is what really pisses me off. This leads into: Restarting - When you don't get the weapon or armor you were hoping for with that rare material, you have no choice but to restart and try your other choices with that material, or just leave it as it is. Other - The enemies are unbalanced. One place may have a large group of tough enemies, while the next may have one or two basic enemies. The camera angles can become annoying, especially when you're trying to target one enemy. The armor and helmets create no physical difference in Hector, which was kind of disappointing after having the ability to change cape color for example in SOTN. But putting aside all of those minor problems, the storyline and the gameplay is fluid and somewhat addictive.

Graphics (9/10):
Not bad, but the backgrounds are a bit redundant, and the rooms in one area are pretty much the same for the rest of the area, or at least a large part of the area.

Sound (8/10):
Also not bad, but again, redundant. If you want good music to listen to, then go with doom and power metal bands (Rain Fell Within, Edguy, Symphony X, Poisonblack, and Blind Guardian are great for this game). The sound effects for some weapons are cool, and others are comical.

Replay (9/10):
After beating the game, you'll probably want to at least play as Trevor and get that original Castlevania feeling. And if you're up for it, you might like the high-leveled enemies that give you little experience or items in Crazy mode. But just normal play becomes very easy after beating the game once.

All in all, you'd probably want to rent before buy, because this game may be more disappointing to others.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 10/23/06

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