Tuesday, April 15, 2003

PS2 - Castlevania - Lament of Innocence review

Castlevania - Lament of Innocence


Developer : Komami

A.)Updated graphics in the sequel of a brillant game.

Publisher : Komami

B.) A lot of objectives.

Released August 2003

C.) This game that makes you thumb happy all the time. Seriously I haven't seen a time when this game will ever let up.

D.) A lot of cutscenes.

Type : Action

I was looking at many games at GameStop today including Midnight Club 2, Clock Tower 3, Rayman 3, Jak 2 and then the latest Castlevania (©2003) I liked the Symphony of the Night so I thought hmm, this looks good, I going to play it. Castlevania is probably the longest running franchise in the horror genre starting it's debut on the NES more then a decade ago. Most remember Castlevania for the Playstation. The 32-bit recreation of Symphony of the Night originally out for the Super Nintendo. All Castlevania besides the Playstation ports, of course, used orchestrated midi as the background music, and it wasn't bad a-tall. The 2D games always featured a vampire slayer, sometimes half vampire at birth. Komami's 1st 3D sequel of the Playstation port ofSymphony of the Night (Konami©1997). The game, reviewed by many, was thought to be the best flavor of Castlevania. The original game created the first horror action game. I believe the idea was created after Ghosts and Goblins (©1986 Capcom) for the NES was a must have. It had everything to make people scared, had simpified, but repeative gameplay. It was also hard when the hero wasn't well equipped or low on health. The game doesn't let up when your low on health. I read reviews on many Castlevania games, and none were forgiving. This game may be the most forgiving of any just how it was executed. I should know since I already own Sythomony of the Night. Some people may disagree with me, but I think it's great that Komani updated the franchise in full 3D in Dolby Digital Pro Logic II. Lament of Innocence isspecular in 3D with solid controls following the design of Capcom's Devil May Cry also for PS2. The game isn't so much hard as it is executing the commands. Your constantly hacking away at demons including zombies, ghosts, ghost dogs and all kinds of undead. My hands were getting tired after an hour of this.

I really wonder if Crystal Dynamics, who develops & markets Legacy of Kain (Soul Reaver ©1996 – Present), copied Castlevania's gameplay.

The game focused on Leon Belmont, a knight who comes to save a princess stolen from her castle by a vampire. I know, one of those, but as princesses are concerned, you don't go on this epic journey holding her handneither, like in the game ICO. Leon starts out walking in the forest and he walks in a paralleldimension

The graphics are beautiful despite the hardware limitations. Lament of Innocence is very clean, and looks the way a game should look on a 3 year old console. I think it's amongst the best looking PS2 games available. Once the LoI loads at the beginning, you'll never see another loadingscreen. The visuals are already above average on a aging platform such as Playstation 2. Best of all, Konami made it run at 30 frames per second all the time, no slow downs. Not that the PS2 can't handle 60 frames (the best you can get – silky smooth animation), just that any graphics acceleration doing 300 MHz is limited for anything better then 30. PS2 is less powerful, when comparing to Xbox clocking at 733 Mhz, doing 60 fps easily, 95% of the time. Lament has a lot of gothic detail, but it's also very lunar game. You'll play in a well designed castle dating back in the 11th century. The game was developed by Komani like the other Castlevanias so I really wished they used the Metal Gear Solid 2 engine. Maybe they did, I dunno, but MGS2 seemed to out class anything before it simply because no game can visually come that close. Gamecube and Xbox may have better looking games, but this game is exclusive to that of Sony. The game had it's two year developing cycle which should be enough time for any developer to make a decent game. Playstation 2 is known for it's games and in-game cutscenes. Leon stars in a lot ofcutscenes which add flavor and a solid storyline to the game. This game is a pussy cat compared to Resident Evil and Silent Hill, you'll see much less gore, just blood mostly. A lot of blood. This is the age of videogames where every game, to be ahead, needs decent voice acting with well donecinematics. Lament of Innocence does this, and is fairly good at it. The voice acting follows the footsteps of Final Fantasy X. Cutscenes with voice overs are abundant. Komani already makes cutting edge CGI video seen in Metal Gear Solid 2.

In my opinion, gameplay is solid. Komani knows how to execute gameplay, and they (the designers, coders, debuggers, and musicians) knew what is important in the game – the balance between the strength of good and evil. The result is second to none. I mean what is the main focus. Is it to do a lot of exploring? Is Leon going to be this guy who guards or will he put up a fight all the time? Will he be weak or strong in the gameplay? Some games like Metal Gear Solid will allow you to be stealthy, very difficult at times. This is why I think this game closely resembles a platform game. Leon performs a lot of moves including special attacks which he learns. When the time comes to execute one, they will be notice that makes a statement in the middle of the game. It also will feather advance in the game. I like this setup. I makes this game much less complicated in learning curve so I can focus killing demons. If I had a favorite action game, this game would be a difficult one to placeamongst my favorites. It has many exploring options, also in platform games, and your constantly picking a fight. Blood is cool. Unfortunately for my hands, action can not, and will not ever slow down. I stop because I get dizzy after 1.5 hours of going all out all the time. This is what the game is about, you'll be on the edge of your seat all the time.

The background music is repetitive, but it's worth listening too. Especially when it's music is enhanced with Dolby Digital Pro Logic II. This is a slight, but noticeable difference between Stereo, and DDPLII Stereo Surround. I know for a fact that one guitar solo in Castlevania 3 (©1992 Sega Genesis) called “The Devil's Lullaby was one of the best game music ever. Evidence of the original tune is present in Lament. It has the right amount of movie quality dark orchestrated music. The game doesn't have one kind of soundtrack, which is good, and I think that most reviewers over look this. A game like this is a good example of how variety in the game's music makes a difference! Every boss in this game has their own theme, which is awesome! The music doesn't disappoint.

Conclusion is this game is mainly a serious hack and slash title. If you are a big fan of Diablo, you might prefer this game over others. The music is great. There are a lot of cutscenes. The graphics are above average for PS2 and you'll get plenty to do. I can't really tell you how long it is. It's truly modeled after Legacy of Kain ( Soul Reaver.)

Posted by Ian on November 26, 2003 6:20PM CST

Summing up Castlevania : Lament of Innoeence









We seen this in Castlevania before. What the hell, the game's still fun.

Sound Effects





I don't know yet.

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