Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 – Truly A Castlevania Game

By Jack . March 8, 2014 . 9:30am

It’s no secret that the 3D Castlevania games have had a past as dark and troubled as Dracula himself. From its Nintendo 64 outing to that strange Death Note-ish arena fighter, Castlevania was long considered to be one of those series that just doesn’t work in three dimensions. That changed with the release of Lords of Shadow, which despite what your feelings may be on it, is considered to be the most successful game in the entire franchise.

 

Despite its success, though, it felt like a game with a bit of an identity crisis, like it was missing something to make it truly worthy of the Castlevania name. Lords of Shadow 2 just might be the missing ingredient.

 

In a surprising twist, Lords of Shadow 2 focuses on Prince of Darkness himself, Dracula, rather than the usual families of vampire hunters. Taking place long after the events of the first game, Dracula has awoken from a long slumber and needs to stop the revival of Satan and resulting enslavement of the world. The setting shifts back and forth between a (relatively) modern-day city and Dracula’s infamous castle. Seeing Dracula walk around city sidewalks is a little surreal in itself, but it gets even stranger when he starts fighting robots with jetpacks.

 

While the concept is bizarre, the mechanics that drives the game are very familiar. Combat is similar to action games like God of War, meaning that Dracula has wide-reaching attacks with whips created through some kind of vaguely defined blood magic. Controlling Dracula is more fluid than the previous game, as he has more mobility options like turning into mist and dashes that make him feel swift. There’s a basic array of combos and attacks at Dracula’s disposal, but the real meat of the game is based around dodging and countering enemy attacks.

 

What really sets Lords of Shadow’s combat apart is its balance between Void and Chaos magic. In addition to his whip, Dracula can also summon an ice sword or fire claws on the fly. These weapons are limited by two meters at the bottom of the screen. Avoiding damage while dishing it out fills up a Focus Meter, and once Dracula is fully focused, enemies will drop absorbable magic with every hit landed.

 

Balancing your magic supply adds a surprising amount of strategy to the game, as the two weapons have unique benefits. The Void Sword can freeze enemies and give Dracula health back for every hit, while the Chaos Claws do an immense amount of damage and burn through enemy defenses. Choosing which weapon to focus on is a great way to customize your play style, as players who get hit often can favor the Void Sword while more experienced players are likely to opt for the Chaos Claws.

 

The only blight during bouts comes from an overabundance of enemies on-screen at once. Enemies attack aggressively in Lords of Shadow 2, so when there’s a cluster of them all attacking at once, it becomes extremely difficult to get out of the way, let alone comprehend what’s happening on-screen. It doesn’t happen extremely often thankfully, as otherwise the combat is by far the strongest aspect of the game.

 

However, fighting isn’t all there is to Lords of Shadow 2. One of the most bizarre aspects of the game is that it feels like a dozen ideas were thrown into it and none of them were finished.

 

The most notable diversions are the stealth segments. At first, they seemed like a fairly harmless if underwhelming addition. They work more like puzzles than games of hide and seek, requiring you to distract the correct guard and possess enemies to get through security doors. If he gets spotted or needs to get through a small space, Dracula can also transform into a rat (Dratula, if you will). There isn’t much to these sections, but at the very least they show off some of Dracula’s cool vampire powers.

 

Unfortunately, the stealth reaches its breaking point in more complicated situations, one in particular being a section where Dracula is being hunted by a boss character. Basically, Dracula has to navigate a through a maze-like area full of leaves that give away your position when stepped on, and one wrong move kills you near instantly. Initially, this seemed like a huge difficulty spike. However, I eventually realized that Dracula’s ability to turn into mist allowed me to avoid the instant kill, which then made the section brokenly easy. With one simple maneuver, I essentially skipped through the entirety of the overly elaborate level design, wondering what exactly the “correct” way to complete the section was.

 

Other half-baked ideas include a short-lived cooperative platforming section with an AI partner, switch pulling puzzles, swinging platform mechanics, and the entire game taking place in two connected overworlds. None of these aspects are as blatantly broken as the stealth segments, but taken together it makes the game feel less than complete. It’s underdeveloped padding, which is a shame because some of these concepts have potential.

 

The two overworlds (the city and Dracula’s castle) were especially interesting as they seemed like a fantastic way to make the world feel more coherent. In theory it’s a great concept: two explorable maps that are reminiscent of the exploration-focused Symphony of the Night-era Castlevanias. In practice, it becomes a chore to traverse due to constant loading screens (not so subtly woven into the game by waiting forever for doors to open) and the lack of clear connections between the areas. Traveling off the main route quickly became an exercise in tedium.

 

Even when on the main path, getting around can be a pain, however. One issue that occasionally crept up in the original Lords of Shadow is that the environments were so vast that it was hard to find the correct way to proceed, a trait that the sequel shares. Far too often, the pace was stopped dead by moments where I was just wandering around in a room looking for some obscure ledge to jump on. It’s never more than a few minutes at a time, but it happens so often that it would sour any enthusiasm I had for reaching the next part of the game.

 

It’s a strange problem, as normally objects and ledges are highlighted to indicate interactivity. I hate to say it, but the obvious glowing hints just don’t stand out well enough to serve their purpose. Especially ridiculous is when they put a golden glow on an object that’s already gold, making you wonder if it’s an object you interact with or if it’s just supposed to look that way. When your crutch for unclear level design is just as ineffective in its own design, something is wrong.

 

Despite its failings, Lords of Shadow 2 feels more respectable than its predecessor. The original game was competent but very safe and lacking in personality. In contrast, the sequel improves upon the core tenants of the original while boldly taking it to new and interesting places, both setting and design-wise. While the game trips over itself when it strains its secondary ideas, it’s a more refreshing variety than what the first game had to offer.

 

Lords of Shadow 2’s biggest victory is successfully fitting its universe into the Castlevania lineage. Not literally, of course, as the Lords of Shadow games are still in a separate universe, but one that mirrors the original in intriguing ways. Maybe it’s just the act of playing as Dracula, but lurking around his castle felt exactly how a 3D Castlevania game should, with lots of platforming, monsters, and secrets to be found.

 

Narrative-wise, the focus on Dracua’s character works as a personal examination of the most prominent villain in all of Castlevania. I’m not going to claim the story is fantastic, but the mix of a modern day apocalypse and Dracula’s personal struggles in his castle is certainly interesting. It ties into the previous game’s plot in all the right ways, re-contextualizing the original story’s events to effectively identify the Lords of Shadow universe as Castlevania.

 

That’s really what Lords of Shadow 2 is—a pay-off to the original game. It improves the combat and story set up by the first game while driving towards its conclusion. Thanks to this game’s efforts, the Lords of Shadow universe now feels like a successor to the original Castlevania mythos. Its missteps are ironically the new ideas that it brings to the table. These drag the game down but are not completely irredeemable. Ultimately, Lords of Shadow 2 isn’t a perfect sequel, but it is a Castlevania game.

 

Food for Thought:

 

1. The back of the box says “Blood is everything,” and I think Lords of Shadow 2 took that as its mantra. Dracula is slitting himself for blood sacrifice animations every few minutes in order to unlock doors and hidden items. The poor guy loses more pints to himself than any of the monsters trying to kill him.

 

2. Don’t worry if you skipped Mirror of Fate, the interquel between the Lords of Shadow games. While its events are important to the story, they’re summarized fairly early on in a cutscene.

 

3. Lords of Shadow 2 not only has some cool monster designs, but presents them in some spectacularly disturbing ways. That goes for Dracula himself too, as sometimes his brutality can be downright appalling. There was always something kind of silly about the way monsters were portrayed in previous Castlevanias, but in this game they are creatures to be feared.


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  • Kristoffer Brandberg

    Sorry, but I find it hard to call this a Castlevania-game. What we have learned of Castlevania in the past is that Dracula is an force of pure evil and yet here he’s depicted way too much as a tragic and sympathetic character, much so than how he’s portrayed in Symphony of the Night and Lament of Innocence. It’s almost like they’re trying to make him into another Twilight-character (and I only wrote that out of sarcasm).

    • Nanaki

      This Dracula a Twilight character? No….Just, no.

      • Ferrick

        not exactly a twilight character, more like they tried too hard to write him off as an “anti-hero” but what came from that was just a sad confused twat who has no idea on what he’s doing thus far

        • Kaihedgie

          What

          • Ferrick

            it is just as i said, he’s just a badly written character in LoS2

          • Nice Boat Quatro

            It’s kind of weird. In the first hours he spends the game without remembering what was he fighting for. After Alucard appears, Dracula reveals his real motives and a reason for being the hero

          • Ferrick

            while betraying everyone else in the process :P

          • Nice Boat Quatro

            Yeah, I was really confused who he was working for. Still, in one of the early scenes he feeds on a couple which makes it really hard to care for the vampire. It’s not Kratos’ level of douche but it’s still douche.

          • Ferrick

            yeahhhh that part kinda made me cringe, considering that later on he could feed even on monsters for health, his son really isn’t that bright

    • Kaihedgie

      Stopped reading at “Twilight”

      It sounds like you’ve never even played the other LoS games to even understand anything

      • Kristoffer Brandberg

        And I’m glad I didn’t play the other LoS-titles. A tragic and sympathetic Dracula is no Dracula at all.

        • Nice Boat Quatro

          I’m pretty sure that in the end of Symphony of the Night Dracula was sympathetic.

          • Kristoffer Brandberg

            That is actually true but he is still evil to the core.

          • Nice Boat Quatro

            Just like this LoS Dracula who refers to himself as evil all the time

          • Kaihedgie

            And he has reason to be. You have played Lament of Innocence, yes?

          • Kristoffer Brandberg

            Of course you would sympathize him at that point, but that’s entirely different reasons. He turned evil as an act against god for taking his wife’s life and then justified it further when his human lover was killed. He spent the entire franchise as the epitome of evil. And what did he do In LoS? What reasons did he turned completely evil? Bad writing, that’s what.

          • Kaihedgie

            He turned evil for the exact same reasons as he did in the original continuity: the permanent loss of his wife. After not only defeating Death but even destroying Satan himself, he discovers that the artifacts that he literally went to Hell for could not revive his dearly beloved.

            Prior to that, the organization he worked for and devoted his life to were in fact the very source of the evil he had sworn to kill. Then the DLC expands this further after Satan’s demise which shows him not only drinking blood from a vampire to defeat an even greater evil, but because of the blood he drank, he started falling further and further into darkness. It was only after defeating this great evil and absorbing his power was his transformation complete. As a sign of renouncing his humanity and replacing it with his opposition to God, he destroys the Combat Cross/Vampire Killer. In short, Gabriel becomes Dracula because God was pretty much a dick. He was his most devout follower and after all he did and went through, he was rewarded with nothing but misery and death.

            Dracula’s hatred for humanity and God only spiked further when the Brotherhood sent his own son to kill him and only realized too late who he had just slain.

            It’s not a matter of bad writing so much as it is you being willfully ignorant because you’d rather Dracula be a one dimensional cliche villain.

          • Arz

            I’m starting to think you didn’t play LoS. It’s a damn good reason for me he became Dracula.

          • Nice Boat Quatro

            Even OnePunch Man agrees. This is awesome

          • Ephidiel

            didnt Matthias only become dracula in the original series because his first wife was murdered and he wanted revenge? and then his second wife was murdered as well while he already was dracula but not hunting humans and only after this point started to go after Humanity as a whole

          • Dark Lord Ash

            His first wife died because of an illness. He went mad from grief and some time after being bed ridden he devised that scheme that set the whole plot in Lament of Innocence in motion. This and what happens in LoS pull quite a bit inspiration from the Francis Ford Coppola movie which also gave Dracula a tragic side to him.

        • Kaihedgie

          So what do you call the Dracula from SoTN that actually asks for forgiveness for his dead wife just before keeling over? I mean, you DO know that Dracula in the original continuity had a capacity for love, yes? Why do you think Alucard is the way he is?

          • Umar

            This times 1000000000

        • megaten666

          You just said Hellsing’s Alucard is a phony.
          lol whatever

        • http://gamgambit.tumblr.com/ Thespian Thief ♢

          *cough* Symphony of the Night. *cough*
          *cough* Lament of Innocence. *cough*

      • Atwa

        He wasn’t Dracula in the other game.

        • Kaihedgie

          He becomes Dracula at the end of the DLC campaign of the first game. Mirror of Fate takes place after, showing his reign as the Prince of Darkness with Simon and Trevor/Alucard taking his place as the player character

  • Ren Yuumei

    Space marines

    • http://s1.zetaboards.com/Espada_of_Alexandria/index/ konpon568

      Do you kiss your loved ones with that mouth? Watch your language!

  • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 禍津水樹 (MagatsuMizuki)

    I didn’t enjoy the demo at all, however I enjoyed the first game

    • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

      I think the opening section/demo is kind of misleading and one of the worst designed parts of the game, for what it’s worth. It’s a different feel to the first game in that it’s faster paced and more focused in its environments, but if you enjoyed the gameplay of the first(specifically the combat) this is just a more refined version of that with a more character-focused narrative.

      • Ferrick

        not exactly misleading when it comes up again at endgame (the titan fight concept)

        • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

          That’s kind of what I mean though, it’s a very small part of the game in the grand scheme of things.

          • Ferrick

            but to hide the most frustrating parts of the game post tutorial and put it at the final boss pretty much killed the mood

          • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

            Yeah I dunno, it’s not great but I don’t think the final boss is as bad as the first part. Even then, both parts are short and can be mastered pretty easily, it’s just unintuitive design for your first go at them. That’s really the thing with most of LOS 2′s low points: yeah this secondary mechanic isn’t great but it doesn’t last that long and it can be completed with a little practice. Whether that’s game ruining is up to the player, but I was pretty alright with it. I don’t think LOS 2 is a pinnacle of game design in any way, but it’s entertaining for what it is.

          • Ferrick

            more or less, apart from the story and the weird stealth mode

  • XiaomuArisu

    Game is ok but…it misses something. They tried to much. They try to make Dracula a monster, hero, sympathic, asshole etc. How should that work. And the idea of Dracula in the modern world could be used much better. Worst thing is that the game thinks you’re stupid. They never let you figure things out alone. They always pause the game and give you an explanation. Its weird when Dracula and enemies stop fighting and stand there awkwardly while “press L2 for voidsword” is displayed for 30 seconds. All in All its a game with flaws. Still enjoyable but not as good as the 2D Castlevanias

    • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

      Yeah I think that’s a fair assessment, flawed but enjoyable. I think Dracula is supposed to be kind of a muddled guy, though. People in general can be nice to some but a monster to others. Dracula’s characterization is just that but inbetween the supernatural context of a warring God and Satan who both screwed him over. I think what bothered me more about his character is the amount of dumb crap he puts up with, like not only freeing the Chupacabra but actively paying him in Castlevania-brand orb currency.

      THOSE HINTS THOUGH. I turned them off in the menu as soon as possible and it still would pull the camera away to show me something I just did. It gets less annoying once you’ve got most of your tools, but yeah the beginning gets hurt by tutorials. Especially that incredibly tacky tutorial right at the beginning where the soldiers break into Dracula’s throne room. What a great concept ruined by glowy text telling you what to do.

      • XiaomuArisu

        You mean the beginning?
        Dracula stands up of his throne….slowly walks toward the gate……PLEASE ATTACK AND JUMP!…..and the badass scene was ruined XD

  • No No

    Found it very easy even on the hardest difficulty, they have a lot of options for the combat but you honestly don’t need to utilize them at all, I found that the whip was sufficient enough and the Mastery thing was interesting at first but I think they didn’t balance it enough it was way to easy to master you weapons and then they become super powerful. Also the upgrades felt like copy-cats with just one being ice/normal/fire minus a few exceptions, it didn’t make me want to upgrade during the playthrough. Increasing difficulty only changed damage you take and doesn’t change enemy tactics, if it did change tactics and forced you to come up with new strategies it would have been a lot more enjoyable for me.

    Didn’t hate the game, had a lot of nice things and exploration was done really well rewarding you quite early on for backtracking but also the game is very hand-holding even with hints turned off. Alucard DLC looks to be interesting.

  • Boebie

    For me, personally, the storyline in the Castlevania series was never that important, it was the exploration and the music. The first LoS was severely lacking in both of these and everything I’ve heard about LoS 2 hasn’t exactly filled me with hope.

    • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

      Well there IS more exploration in this game. The entire thing takes place between two completely explorable maps that you can switch between, kind of like the two castles featured in some of the Igavanias. Lots of hidden things to collect, maps spots to fill up. The problem is that there’s so much loading that it just feels kind of tedious if you don’t hang around in the same area for long.

      Music is definitely different, but I can’t say I’m too brokenhearted about it in this situation. While fantastic, Castlevania’s soundtrack are some of the most recycled pieces of music in video game history. The orchestral score of LOS2 isn’t quite a successor to it, but I think it fits the game well.

  • eilegz

    konami bring back iga and let him do the 1999 castlevania please

    • Kaihedgie

      Why

      • Arcana Drill

        Cause konami already said that this is the end of the lord of shadows saga and last game developed by Mercury steam, so the next game would be cool if was the 1999 war, cause is one of the biggest mysteries of the franchise. But again, the franchise was rebooted, so no one knows what is the future of this series.

        http://www.usgamer.net/articles/mercurysteam-not-developing-next-castlevania

        • Kaihedgie

          It’s not gonna be the 1999 game and I really don’t see there’s a reason for there to be a game based on that particular point in time for several reasons, most pressing of all is that it wouldn’t really reveal anything that we already didn’t know.

          • Landale

            We know the what, we don’t know the how. There’s plenty it can reveal.

          • Kaihedgie

            Such as?

          • Landale

            If one could explain the how of the event, we wouldn’t need the game.

          • Kaihedgie

            Is the how even important if it’s not even used? You have the ability to fight Dracula again as Julius and nothing is spoken of how they permanently killed him or Soma.

          • Landale

            So, your argument is that because they didn’t show it, there’s no need to show it? So, which Castlevanias were important then? Because they weren’t shown until they were shown.

          • Kaihedgie

            If the how was so important that it would warrant a game, don’t you think they’d try to use it again or at least recreate it for this alternate route? I fail to see why Konami or Iga should bother making that game if no one is going to even give a good reason why they should

          • Landale

            No good reasons to make it? It’s an important event, yet it lacks any details beyond the time and result, and a decent portion of the fanbase wants to know exactly what the hell happened.
            Giving your customers what they want to keep them happy is a pretty damn good reason to do almost anything.

          • Kaihedgie

            Well fans also want to know how or why a castle located in Transylvania would for one specific instance show up in Japan yet they don’t get an answer for that..

            Well that’s just the thing. In my experience, fanbases don’t even know what the heck they want half the time and even if they do get what they want, they’ll find some way to whine about it, anyway. And besides, the people who want this aren’t in the majority, not to mention Konami doesn’t even want to make such a game. And from a purely gameplay perspective, what would this game even do differently from others that hasn’t already been done before?

            Both the fanbase and the original continuity are a bit of a mess as it is. Sure, they could make this game, but what about the rest of the fanbase who either didn’t ask for or even opposed the decision to make this?

          • Amine Hsu Nekuchan

            See, there is basically two fan bases.
            One likes Metroidvania style games in the IGA created universe.
            The other likes Lord of Shadows and probably wants more games like.

            Despite the fact that both these fanbases would claim to be Castlevania fans, they are actually two separate markets.

            They could continue making LoS games following the formula set out, AND start making new 2D Metroidvania style games in the IGA universe again and they would have no meaningful effect on each other.

          • landlock

            There is a market for both why not LOS type games on the consoles and metrovania type games on the 3DS/Vita. keeps everyone happy.

            For me that would be perfect since I love both and I’d get heap loads of CV.

          • XiaomuArisu

            Symphony of the Night
            “Dracula´s Castle is like his Lord a beign of Shadow. Changing apearence and location at will!”
            They explained it

          • XiaomuArisu

            Not gonna be the 1999 game? You can see the future!?!?
            They told use “Julius is so badass he killed Dracula forever!”
            I
            NEED
            TO
            PLAY
            THAT!
            2D Castlevania HD!

          • Arcana Drill

            AND there was a war!, remember the soldiers skeletons in aria of sorrow? in extra material it reveals that there was a war in dracula castle and these are the fallen bodies of the soldiers. So not everything was revealed, there can be story for more than one game, for that i wouldnt even mind in 3D.

            Just the story of dracula final death (How julius was able to do it, Alucard involvement, The shrine significance) and the war.

          • Kaihedgie

            Soldiers always storm Dracula’s castle. I don’t see why pointing out the corpses of would-be heroes would make any difference. And besides, how Dracula was killed off for good never actually makes any impact in the Sorrow games.

          • Arcana Drill

            yes, you dont see the point, but many fans want that, and who decides is the developers, so you cant affirm nothing, like Xiaomu said, you cant see the future, neither us, so any possibility can happen.

            And you argument can apply to all castlevanias, Belmont enters castle, kills demons, kill dracula, rescue people, dracula says that he will come back, Castle crumbles, END. Without doing any impact in the next game, So 1999 its all that plus war and Death of dracula.

            And how 1999 doesnt have a great impact? Now the dracula is reincarnated and you are him, it haves more impact to the lore than any game.

            And i think its best end this talk, its obvious that you wont accept any arguments and i know that you think that you are always right and your opinions is that matters. So why have a endless talk?

          • Kaihedgie

            Many, but not the majority.

            However, you’re talking about a very specific point in time regarding an already established Belmont whom we already know about. What is there to expound on with Julius? Just because there was a war? Wars are a common thing in the Castlevania series and whatever Julius did to permanently kill off Dracula isn’t ever mentioned or brought up in the Sorrow games. Not even when you fight Dracula!Soma in the alternate scenario. Again, there’s nothing we didn’t know about what happened in ’99 and you haven’t said or speculated as to what we could possibly discover in that game. Your only argument was “Skeletons and bones!”. Kinda forgetting that we already have plenty enemies like those roaming about in nearly every Castlevania game.

            But you wanna know the real reason why there will be no ’99 game? Simply because Iga/Konami doesn’t want to do it. You’ll just have to get over it. If Iga or Konami was actually interested in doing this game, they’d have done it a long time ago. But obviously it’s not worth the effort for them. From a gameplay standpoint, what could they possibly do to distinguish Juilius from the other Belmonts, heck, any of the player characters in the entire series? You’d just be asking for another run of the mill Metroidvania with another run of the mill Belmont. and a number of fans are already tired of that formula.

          • XiaomuArisu

            Of course it needs to live up to the hype,wish I hope

          • http://gamgambit.tumblr.com/ Thespian Thief ♢

            *cough*
            He killed Dracula because the Hakuba clan made it easy for him. If you ask me he’s okayish in the Sorrow games compared to other Belmont :V

          • XiaomuArisu

            Well they say he got old in Sorrow
            *Destroys an entire room* “Im too old for this shit!”

  • Arcana Drill

    Now i wonder what will be the future of castlevania, will Konami neglect it like the many others IPS? will they continue the reboot history? will they retcon the reboot? will they continue the 3d castlevania or come back to the 2d? Will they develop or outsource the project? Really curious.

  • Zer0faith

    A shame really but Castlevania LoS 2, for all its pros and cons, took a bad shot in the dark in its attempt to show Dracula in a different light from the proud magnificent evil bastard many Castlevania fans hold him as.

  • Mind0105A

    *Looking at the shining sword*
    Alright, I’m already sold.

  • Thom

    A positive review of LoS2 that doesn’t heap piles of scorn for it existing? What sorcery is this??

    Good to know the few broken mechanics can be broken further to make the game more enjoyable. I must have a high tolerance for that kind of thing. Deadly Premonition didn’t bother me one bit.

  • Crevox

    This is God of War featuring Dracula

  • leingod

    Can’t say I agree. Even if the LOS games are pretty good, they never felt like Castlevanias to me. Dunno, Castlevanias have a distinct feel, music direction… it’s kinda difficult to explain but these games lacked that.

    I for one, am glad LOS is done. I’d love a Igarashi Metroidvania in HD.

    • Kaihedgie

      I think the problem is that Iga has done nothing but Metroidvanias.

      • leingod

        Well, he did that Rondo of Blood remake, which is a regular Vania… and also that other, uhm, fighting game thingy.

        • Kaihedgie

          The only problem I see with Judgment is the character redesigns.

          • leingod

            The only character redesigns that bothered me were Maria Renard and Eric Lecarde. Other than that, the gameplay was what made me avoid the game. Wiimote wagging fighting game? NoThx. Fighting games are made for precise, regular controls.

    • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

      Yeah, it’s one of those vague things that are probably subjective to everyone. But I mean, if you think about it, how would you make a 3D Castlevania? Other than not making one at all, of course haha. I think it would end up looking pretty similar to this, as the God of War-y engine allows for impressive monster combat, large explorable environments, platforming, and great aesthetics. I think LOS2 nails everything but the music, but even then the orchestral music works fine with the game.

      But you know, I’m glad it’s done too. The LOS games are fine and LOS2 closes it out respectably. I don’t think I need to see more of this specific universe, it worked for what it was. I’d love an HD Igavania too, remember when that Alucard game was announced a few years back? Still sad that didn’t see the light of day.

  • karasuKumo

    I’ve never played a Castlevania game but am really interested in getting into the series, what game would you guys recommend to play first?

    • Kaihedgie

      That’s a bit hard to determine. Most people would recommend you play a Metroidvania game before ever touching anything else. but I say, go for whatever you think looks good enough to try out

    • http://gamgambit.tumblr.com/ Thespian Thief ♢

      Try these first:

      Super Castlevania IV – (SNES)
      - Good ol’ sidescrolling action and pretty hard too. This one among it’s predecesors are not too plot driven but they are more like a classic, challeging fun!
      - If you wind up liking it check out the classic games like Castlevania I – II and III for the NES.
      - There’s also Dracula X for the SNES and Dracula X Chronicles for the PSP that includes the remade and original game of Dracula X Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night.

      Castlevania: Symphony of the Night – (PSOne – Sega Saturn – PSP)
      - If you played Metroid before then this is pretty much like it except with
      melee weapons and RPG elements in it such as equipment, level up,
      skills, etc.
      - A quite addictive fun and the most prefered style of Catlevania games among Castlevania fans!
      - If you wind up liking this style then check out the Castlevania games for the Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS, they are quite many to mention em all!

      Castlevania 64 – (N64)
      - The very first 3D action Castlevania game. This one is kinda like the black sheep of the series due ankward camera and other conflicting elements but eh! You never know, you might find some fun in it.
      Other 3D Castlevania games are Lament of Innocence for the PS2 and Lord of Shadows for the PS3.
      - Haven’t tried these tho so can’t say but I can tell ya they are pretty diferent depite these being 3D heh.

      • karasuKumo

        Really helpful, thanks! I’ll start with Super Castlevania IV I think.

        • http://gamgambit.tumblr.com/ Thespian Thief ♢

          Have fun!

  • Amine Hsu Nekuchan

    Your title had me intrigued but you lost me at :”Combat is similar to action games like God of War”

    I’m not the absolute measure of what a Castlevania game is, but Stylistic Combo Fighter, for me, isn’t it.

  • Rafael Budzinski

    …the main problem with the classics Castlevanias is that they weren’t as profitable as the LoS series. I love the series, but we have to be realistic instead of just aking for a new 2D Metroidvania (and this is the worst. I’m a great fan of the series, but it seems people know only SotN and beyond. I always wonder if at least half of the “fanbase” at least played the games before Rondo of Blood) non-stop…

  • Göran Isacson

    Reading this is interesting. The combat seems like they’ve took the best parts from the actual FUN battles in the original, the fights against Pan’s armored form or against Lucifer and the Golem, and then made the whole game revolve around the balance you had to strike instead of giving you an unecessarily large movelist when most of the game could be beat by just spamming the same attacks over and over. So that sounds a bit better… but I am AGRESSIVELY uninterested in Gabriel Belmont. He just never grabbed me during the original game OR Mirror Of Fate, soo yeah. Not sure what to think about this one. Whether to try it, or not…

  • Valtiel Ikari

    I have to admit, I disliked the first one, felt like “God of War: Castlevania edition”, but this one, I actuelly feel the Castlevania vibe from it, the combat have much more identity to it than just a GoW rippoff, still not perfect, but a hell lot better than the first try, and the respect for the source material is there (unlike lets say DmC), all in all, good game.
    It does feel like some of the ideas are left unfinished, which is sad, would have like they had more time to actually apply every thing they where aiming to apply.

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