Review by Myrdraal8
"God of Castlevania"
Concept: The defining 3D adventure in the Castlevania series. Gabriel Belmont seeks revenge against the Lords of Shadow for the murder of his wife. This Castlevania game is an exciting reimagining of the series that respects the great accomplishments of its self while simultaneously injecting new blood into it.
Graphics: Astounding and beautiful graphics. The characters and monsters are exquisitely detailed and wonderfully animated. All of the stages have dramatic backgrounds and settings, many paying homage to series history. Lightning and particle effects are done very well.
Sound: The orchestrated soundtrack is amazing, perhaps the best in the series. However it is disappointing that the Castlevania theme did not get an orchestrated make over. The voice acting, stared by Robert Carlyle and Patrick Stewart is perfect and captivating.
Control: The controls are tight, layered, and complicated. However the game develops Gabriel's abilities slowly over the course of the early stages to teach the player to be effective. The combos are beautiful and inspiring, but ineffective in boss battles compared to hit and run tactics.
Game Completion Time: 30 hours for a single play through.
As a fan of long time fan of the series I found this Castlevania both amazing and for a time disturbing. The graphics, sound, and game play are perfect. The stages capture all of the memorable places while bringing the series to the forefront of gaming in terms of graphical excellence. The orchestrated soundtrack and professional voice acting bring drama and emotion to the game. The game play is certainly inspired from God of War, but it fits the action of the series. A few weapons are missing, but the weapons that are included are implemented ideally.
The deep and twisting story of the game by Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear) both makes the game the best in the series while inviting controversy. For myself it left me feeling disappointed at first, but I came to like it with a second play through. Every monster in the game has a meaningful story, has a place in the world. Gabriel and the Lords of Shadow are fully developed characters that change and evolve in a classical Castlevania tale. However the game is a reimagining of the series that takes the series in a new and exciting direction, but not all fans will see it this way.
The backbreaking difficulty of the series is thankfully missing. However, the downloadable content and Paladin mode will satisfy those looking to exercise frustration. Over the course of fifty stages the difficulty is gradually increased, thus even casual players or new players to the series or action games can complete this quest.
Puzzles are introduced through out the game to break up the action. Some of the puzzles live up to the difficulty of Symphony of the Night while the rest match the Legend of Zelda. In the end the passing of the game is just right as the action does not get repetitive, nor do the puzzles take us outside of the story for too long.
Recommendation: This is the definitive 3D Castlevania game. However fans of the series will have to have an open mind to Hideo Kojimas' reimagining of the series to have fun. The story is amazing and a true Castlevania tale, but the series is also now set upon a new enjoyable path. Fans of action adventure games, especially God of War, and those that have never played a Castlevania game before will find Lords of Shadow a very satisfying game indeed.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/04/12
Game Release: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (US, 10/05/10)
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