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Following Symphony of the Night on the PlayStation in 1997, Castlevania's next logical step seemed to be the realm of 3D. Unfortunately, the series' initial foray into third-dimensional space on the Nintendo 64 was a nightmare (as was the unnecessary, aptly titled sequel, Legacy of Darkness). Lament of Innocence smashes the perception that Castlevania and 3D don't mix: It's the best Belmont adventure in years and one that no fan of the series will want to miss.
FileFactory Games / Gameworld Network
Konami's first PS2 Castlevania outing deserves a standing ovation. Detail was given to every portion of the title, and this game will keep even the most jaded action fan happy for at least the 10 hours it takes to complete. An instant classic that should be in every gaming collection.
Having completed Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, I must say that this is one superb title. It's arguably the best action game of the year, so if you were really disappointed by Devil May Cry 2 earlier this year and are really in the mood for a deep and highly enjoyable beat 'em up game, Lament of Innocence is it. Developed by the Symphony of the Night team, it's no wonder that Castlevania: LOI stands out so well among the other Castlevania games. And despite being 3D, Konami's overseas team proves, once more, that they can make miracles happen. Rejoice, Castlevania fans, this is a 3D conversion done right.
Konami is back on form. After the execrable Castlevania on N64, Lament of Innocence is a superb return to the principles that made the franchise so cherished during the NES and SNES eras and culminated in the magnificent Symphony of the Night on PSone. The greatest compliment that can be paid is that, like Super Mario 64 and Metroid Prime, it has achieved the rare feat of translating a finely tuned and balanced 2D experience into 3D.
Gamers have been longing for the Castlevania series to evolve ever since PSone and Nintendo 64 led classic games into the third dimension. Their longing only led to lamentation when the first attempt to evolve the series failed, followed by the cancellation of all future Castlevania games (including one in development for Sega's last game console, the acclaimed Dreamcast).
Ah Castlevania, land of vampires, werewolves, whips & heroes. We all know what to expect, reasonable difficulty, beasties of various colors, tight game play & lots of spooky stuff. Again, our friends at Konami deliver. You take the controls as Leon Belmont, an 11th century baron. As usual, somebody goes missing, & being a good & faithful fiancé, Leon casts aside his royal title to find his intended. This one however shifts into rewind, so you can find out why & how the Belmont clan got roped into this job. Absolutely fascinating storyline, gorgeous graphics, wonderful sound, they even did a good job on the 3D translation.
In the over-populated world of videogames there are few franchises that have as much recognition and respect as the Castlevania series. Originally birthed in 1986 on the MSX home computer system, the Konami-developed Vampire Killer was an overwhelming success in both European and Japanese markets. Heralded for its state of the art graphics and undeniable level of difficulty, the game spawned an immediate remake on the Nintendo Entertainment System and was soon followed by several booming sequels on multiple platforms. In just a matter of years the upstart franchise had established itself as one of the premiere legacies in the entire industry, and had turned the words "Belmont" and "Castlevania" into household phrases.
In many ways, it’s stunning how the Castlevania franchise has evolved since the early days of the NES. What was once a straightforward action/platform game that was infamous for being tough as nails from beginning to end evolved into a Metroid-esque adventure game, most famously the PlayStation classic Symphony of the Night, that has become the standard for a Castlevania game. However, there was one small troublespot (unless you count Simon’s Quest, but that game rocked and you suck if you think otherwise), and those were the ill-fated 3D entries into a series that had never left the 2D element that made it famous. While neither Castlevania 64 nor Legacy of Darkness were bad games, they paled in comparison to such classics as Dracula X, Bloodlines, or SOTN. Another 3D CV game was in the making for Dreamcast (Ressurection), but that ended up never seeing the light of day.
Game Over Online
Even with these issues, Lament of Innocence is a great title for fans of the Castlevania series. Returning to the first family member that started the hunt of darkness was a novel idea, and one that paid off with an engaging plotline, solid graphics and good voice acting. If you’re a fan of action games or platform titles, or you’re just looking to battle against the forces of evil this Halloween, you really can’t go wrong with Castlevania: Lament of Innocence.
Those who worried that Castlevania: Lament of Innocence would be as much of a derailment to the series as the polarizing Castlevania 64 were put at ease. This is a far superior game with more forgiving controls and a camera system that won't cause you much unnecessary damage. It's a well-crafted game that proved how Castlevania can, and does, thrive while escaping the shackles of a sprite-based world.
Se priver de ce Castlevania serait comme bouder injustement un met divin offert avec le coeur. Les puristes seront éblouis de voir avec quelle efficacité cet opus en 3D se veut respectueux des différents épisodes produits par Igarashi. Les autres n'auront qu'une idée en tête après avoir terminé l'aventure : découvrir d'urgence les différents épisodes de la saga qui constituent chacun une clef de voûte du mythe de Castlevania.
I never really enjoyed Devil May Cry because it never felt there was much of a plot. Instead, it seemed more like an excuse to run around and beat up monsters. I have found, in my old age, that I need a good story to make sure my interest stays piqued in a game. Lament of Innocence does an excellent job of delivering DMC’s action and style with a plot that is both engaging and fun. Most stores are selling this gem for $20 or less, so it’s a pretty worthy investment for any fan of the action genre.
Overall, the game is superbly done and boasts excellent audio and visual effects as well as a very intuitive and advanced combat system. The game has definitely broken the curse of 3D Castlevania and has a lot of replay value, allowing you to unlock secret items or even replay the game at different difficulty or characters. The only downside is the fact that the game is easily beatable in eight hours or less, but I'm sure Castlevania fans will invest a lot more time than that. I would love to see what Konami has up their sleeves for the next installment, as this game is almost perfect.
Als Castlevania-Fan (besonders Symphony of the Night hat es mir angetan) bin ich hin- und hergerissen. Denn im Kern sind alle wesentlichen Elemente der Klassiker vorhanden: Unkomplizierte und spannende Kämpfe, eine stimmige Grafik, einer der besten Soundtracks seit Jahren und fordernde Sprungeinlagen lassen sofort ein angenehm bekanntes Spielgefühl entstehen. Doch vor allem der letzte Punkt birgt einige Tücken: Denn so ausgereift wie in den zweidimensionalen Vampirjagden ist das Sprung- und Kollisionsabfragesystem bei weitem nicht. Immer wieder kommt es zu unnötigen Frustmomenten, die am Spielspaß nagen. Zudem werden hartgesottene Castlevania-Fans das lieb gewonnene RPG-System vermissen, das hier durch automatisch hinzu kommende Kombos sowie Gesundheits- und Magieboosts ersetzt wurde. Allerdings wird so wiederum eine ausgefeiltere Spielbalance ermöglicht und das gnadenlose Überpowern der Hauptfigur verhindert.
Castlevania-vampyyrimetsästykset tuovat mukavia väreitä veteraanien selkäpiihin. Sarjan ensimmäinen peli ilmestyi MSX-tietokoneille jo vuonna 1986, mutta todellisen comebackin Castlevania teki kolmella laadukkaalla Gameboy Advance -julkaisulla. Lament of Innocencen takana on juuri sama tuottaja kuin GBA-hittien: Koji Igarashi.
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault)
The new format will certainly take some getting used to for long-standing Castlevania fans, but is well worth the effort to see the beginning of the Belmonts’ conflict with evil. With a wide array of competent enemies and an appreciable moves list, Castlevania: Lament of Innocence offers a fine 3D action experience with an abundance of style. Devil May Cry fans may find this title similar on many levels, though Leon’s sub-weapons don’t integrate quite as intimately with the melee combat as Dante’s dual-handguns do. However, both stand nearly toe-to-toe, just on slightly different merits, as this title has a much broader selection of weapons and enemies, not to mention a much better setup to simply roam around and tear it up. The biggest failing here is in longevity. However, there are a lot of items to collect that you can go back for, and if you don’t mind running through the whole castle a second time, the alternate modes can extend the life of this offering significantly.
Wer Devil May Cry mochte, wird auch an Konamis neuem Peitschenschwinger seine Freude haben. Mit einer tolle Atmosphäre, vielen einfallsreichen Gegnern, ein paar Geschicklichkeitseinlagen und einem kleinen RPG Part hält auch dieser Teil alte Castlevania-Tugenden hoch. Das alles verpackt in einem stylishen 3D-Kostüm und einem gut gelösten Interface - Vampirjäger was willst du mehr? Die eher langweilige Story, der kurze Umfang und kleinere Kameraprobleme verhindern dennoch eine uneingeschränkte Empfehlung.
Det är alltså en tekniskt och spelmässigt komplett produkt som Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo och Koji Igarashi presenterar. Men jag saknar fortfarande den otroliga detaljrikedom som fanns i Symphony of the Night, och även i tidigare spel. 3D-perspektivet skadar inte spelet på något sätt, och öppnar faktiskt en del nya möjligheter. Som sagt, jag väntar på en ännu bättre uppföljare, men Castlevania är definitivt inte dåligt.
Super Play (Sweden)
Trots knepiga hopp och begränsad hållbarhet är Lament of Innocence en triumf. Att återbesöka det hemsökta slottet fem år efter dess första tredimensionella inkarnation känns som att äntligen få komma hem, samtidigt som det blir en resa full av nya intryck. Med hjälp av några av sina mest trogna vapendragare visar Igarashi att Castlevania-konceptet definitivt har en framtid. Debatten om huruvida det passar i 3D slutar här.
Com a perda dos elementos de plataforma e exploração, um sistema de combate bem mais robusto e um fator de rejogabilidade drasticamente reduzido, "Lament of Innocence" é provavelmente uma obra muito diferente do que os fãs esperavam. Mas apesar de seus defeitos, o jogo se prova um título competente para o console da Sony.
Game Informer Magazine
The Castlevania franchise finds itself in an interesting predicament. Although Lament of Innocence is a prequel that explores some of the series’ untold past, it once again must try to propel itself into the future. Castlevania tried moving into the third dimension before (starting with the self-titled adventure for the N64), with spectacularly bad results. Away from its beginnings as a top-notch two-dimensional, side-scrolling franchise, Castlevania must not only contend with overcoming the mistakes of the past, but it must also grapple with action series that have been born, bred, and highly successful on the PlayStation 2, such as Devil May Cry. What is a Belmont to do?
In summary, the game is very good. It is really enjoyable to play through, the enemies are fantastic and are very satisfying to kill. There are some neat puzzles that are challenging but not frustrating, and the platform sections are great too, with only the occasional issue from the previously mentioned camera system to dent the armour. This is a great addition to the long running series, and another release worthy of your game collection.
This holds for the entire game, actually. Of all the things it does well, Lament of Innocence is best at making players imagine the full potential of Castlevania in 3D. If Konami addresses all of Lament's issues, the next CV game should be unbelievable. Proof, in my opinion, that polygons can be friendly. Actually, no. LoI is proof of that. It does what many believed impossible: it takes the fast, atmospheric action from one of gaming's legendary series and updates it for the current generation. Lament of Innocence is a new beginning. Revive the battle against the undead, all over again.
Lament of Innocence n'est pas révolutionnaire, mais c'est quand même l'éclat’ch totale ! Graphiquement certains décors sont aussi vides que le cerveau de Tahiti Bob, alors que d'autres sont un hymne aux atmosphères vampiriques. Quelques lacunes graphiques sont à déplorer (rien de bien méchant je vous rassure) mais c'est quand même le meilleur épisode depuis Symphony of Night sur PSone. Bon on peut regretter qu'il soit un peu trop viré dans l'action, les amateurs de jeux a la Devil May Cry apprécieront, tandis que les autres devront bien reconnaître qu’il s’agit du meilleur Castlevania depuis longtemps.
There can be no doubt that this is a very good addition to the classic Castlevania series. Longstanding fans of the series will probably wish that the RPG elements from previous Castlevania games had remained and some might think that the dozen or so hours it takes to play through the game is a little short. Indeed I would normally agree that it is a short game but when you factor in the hidden locations and the unlockable character that you can play as, then it's value for money becomes unquestionable. Fans of the Castlevania series and indeed of action games in general should definitely give this one a look.
Digital Press - Classic Video Games
In closing, I really hope you take my word for it and try this game. Its only drawback is how quickly it is over, but that’s not really a complaint. A veteran gamer will likely finish the game in 8 to 12 hours. It ultimately depends on how many secrets you wish to discover along the way. Whips, armor, and relics are scattered throughout secret areas of the castle.
To my mind, Lament of Innocence certainly did not cure the lame subtitle condition facing today's Castlevania titles, but it does manage to stand impressively on its own two feet, something I have not seen from a representative of the series in awhile. Make no mistake: this is no Circle of the Moon or other shameful shadow of SOTN's almost anamalous greatness (which in fairness, would probably dull any subsequent 2D effort, all but necessitating the switching of gears to 3D). Old school fans and SOTN fans need not despair about 3D mangling their precious--trust that Lament feels the same, but thankfully, it's not at all the same. Everything old is new again.
You should be able to finish Lament of Innocence somewhere in the vicinity of 10 hours or less, so it isn't that long. There are no multiplayer options, but the game does have a couple of substantial extra features, including an alternate playable character who's quite different from Leon and a "crazy" difficulty mode. Plus, the game itself has enough secrets to keep players involved and exploring every room of the castle. All this is nice, but the actual gameplay of Lament of Innocence is really what's best about it (or is it the soundtrack?). This just feels like Castlevania, meaning it's fast and good looking, rewards precision and timing, and puts you up against a slew of undead cohorts. Lament of Innocence does lack the sheer breadth built up in the GBA Castlevania titles, which have drawn on elements from one another over the years, so one can only hope that this will be another starting point for the series.
If you want to be scared, play Resident Evil 4 or Silent Hill 4! If you want chills up your spine with a romantic twist of plot play Castlevania: Lament of Innocence. It may not be top notch with the graphics and all, but it provides some good hours of fun gameplay and well-dosed action. It's not the best installment in the series, but it's certainly one of the top 3 titles. Fans will love it, the curios gamers will embrace it without having too much to criticize.
The Next Level
Lament does have quite a bit of replay value and there’s certainly no shortage of killing to get done. If only it started harder and had more varied rooms to help distinguish the areas this would have been a classic. As is it’s a good action game that can make for a potent battle experience but you’ve got to work to get it there. It stands as a good beginning for 3D Castlevanias (unlike a certain prior attempt) and as long as the few problems get fixed and those Legos get taken out in favor of real levels the next one could be something incredible.
While this game will not appeal to everyone, it is definitely a must for action adventure fans. Comparisons to games such as Devil May Cry and Rygar is a given, and it’s certainly not bad company to be in. The game takes many aspects from the original Castlevania titles and revamps them, and though it doesn’t have the RPG aspects that I’ve grown so fond of, it does live up to the name Castlevania. Though flawed somewhat, the game does accomplish what it set out to, and is the perfect starting point for a new generation of Castlevania titles. Does that mean the end of the 2D versions? I hope not, because personally I think they should make both. So rent the game and give it a shot.
Looking back, it's hard not to admit that my expectations for Lament of Innocence were surely sky-high - too high. Taking into consideration that this is the first Castlevania game for the PS2 and little content from previous Castlevania games could really be re-used, I can only hope that this rushed title will serve as a platform for fuller, better and truer Castlevanias of the future. I still believe in the series, and for what it's worth, despite LoI's shortcomings, taking a few hours to rekindle old memories did leave me with a warm and fuzzy for an hour or two. Viva le bloodsucking!
This game is dedicated to those who love Devil May Cry and the Castlevania franchises. Heck, there are plenty of such people out there, so the game will sell well. However, it isn’t “the most enriching Castlevania experience ever” as Konami brags. Castlevania: Lament of Innocence is most certainly not the franchise installment that beats the legend of Symphony of the Night.
Updating a classic 2D franchise into 3D is something of a minefield for even the most experienced and talented development studio. Unless they cheat like hell and create some kind of 2.5D game, designers find themselves faced with the tricky task of working out what exactly defined the success and lasting appeal of the 2D original, and distilling those elements into a new 3D framework. Sometimes they get it spectacularly right, like in Mario 64 or Metroid Prime. Sometimes, well, it doesn't work so well - the disappointing 3D update of Defender being an example that springs readily to mind.
If I had to sum this up in a very brief way to get across to you exactly what i thought, it would be that, if you've missed the last 5 to 8 years of game development then this will appeal to you. If you're a big gamer and love Devil May Cry, Final Fantasy, LOTR then its really not going to hold your attention for long.
The reason a game like Shenmue works is because it was designed from the ground up to be a 3D game, taking full advantage of both the strengths and weaknesses of the medium. The same is true for Metroid Prime and Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid and (the recent) Zeldas. Sports, flying and racing games also tend to fare better in the current era than they did yesteryear, largely because long before polygons were available to home consoles, designers were attempting to simulate the very effects that are now at their disposal. Lament of Innocence, on the other hand, plays more like a paean to the sobering days of 32-bit games, not sure of what it can do, and consequently not certain of what it should. It remains a fun but unexceptional game, possessed of an average replay value, that I for one do not regret not owning, but do on occasion think of fondly. Recommended for fans of the genre and the aesthetic.
When IGA set out to re-envision the Castlevania series in 3D, I'm sure it was a daunting task. Bringing the feel of the series intact to the PlayStation 2 is something that was definitely accomplished by Lament of Innocence; it's a subtle, attractive, and intelligently crafted game. In fact, it's truly the best-made game I've recently played. Unfortunately, none of that mitigates how, aside from the nine or so boss battles, it's consistently dull. Running through these mazelike, empty, boxy rooms just isn't engaging. The combat periodically livens things up, but when you've killed a couple groups of each type of enemies, you've seen all there is to see.
On the whole the game plays fairly well, but it feels like something you need to sit down and get into - not a quick fix, but the long haul. The gameplay and gaming environment is perfectly respectable, but I feel the major shortcoming is that this is something you really need to get into. As this is part of a series, I’m sure that there will be an existing fanbase who would disagree with me, and love the involved nature of the game, but for me, there are many other games that are much more satisfying.
The Video Game Critic
I find it amusing how certain video game magazines are forced to give this mediocre game a high score after shamelessly hyping it for months (serves them right). The Castlevania series has a long, proud 2D tradition, but it has yet to excel in the 3D realm, and Lament continues its descent into mediocrity. Sure, the two Nintendo 64 Castlevania games were in 3D, but those failed to convey the gorgeous visuals and polish that the series was known for. Lament of Innocence looks terrific, but there are more fundamental issues with this long-anticipated game.