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Having the main thread about this game be the IGN outlier review's thread seems wrong.
So no one is using this thread...? Or is anyone playing it still?
I've made some nice progress in the game and so far, the 4.7 score IGN gave it is totally absurd. I do not understand it one bit. The game has great combat with some very fun boss battles, an excellent soundtrack so far (okay it's not classic Castlevania but I think it's already established itself as a reboot well enough), impressive visuals and probably the best 3D the system has seen so far. Really loving the inclusion of all the characters as it's making for one interesting setup story wise and curious how LoS2 will be handled.
If I had to pick on one thing, it's that the level system feels kind of pointless. I'd prefer they used a system similar to what was in LoS instead but eh, minor problem really.
I'm playing it and I'm hoping to review it for NW, so I haven't read Colin's review because I don't want to be influenced.
So far I think it's... okay, but not great, I doubt it deserved a score in the 4 range, but I can see how it would be easy to be really critical of some of the more questionable design decisions. I'm going to give it a fair shake though and keep on trucking through.
I'm having a great time with it. Not much else to say, really. If it compels me to keep moving forward to see what happens next, be it story progression or fun battle mechanics or some alchemist version of both, then a game is a fair bit of all right in my book. Purists from both sides be damned; this game might end up being more entertaining to me than other games in the series.
I played this a lot last night and I'm well into Act II, if you guys are actually able to follow the story then I'm really impressed, I have no freaking clue what is going on and who is who, sure I recognize names from the Castlevania series, but that's it, I'm might actually run through the game from the beginning once I'm done so I can see if it's my fault for not being able to follow the story of if it truly is just a bunch of non-sequiturs and throw-away lines.
There's not much to follow really... we know it's a family affair Simon is Trevor's son who is Dracula/Gabriel's son. Alucard is also Dracula's son though who the mother is, I don't know. Trevor is assumed dead by the hand of Dracula but whatever he did, Dracula wanted revenge against his family and killed his wife. Simon wants to kill Dracula for what he did to his family and thus begins his hunt.
Dracula also seems to want revenge against the Brotherhood of Light and I assume he just hates humans in general too. I don't think whatever is left of him is very happy about what happened in the first game. Though there's apparently some speculation that Gabriel did ascend to Heaven and what was left of him is him having essentially become a Lord of Shadow himself. But he definitely seems to have a human side to him which I imagine LoS2 will explore even more.
@VofEscaflowne Well maybe why it's so incomprehensible to me is that I didn't play the Lord of Shadows game, and that game started as it's own IP and had Castelvania references ret-conned into it so it probably has it's own particular mythologies that have nothing to do with Castlevania 1986 - 2010. But even if that's the case the game could have done a better job explaining who is who and what's going on. For example what year is it supposed to be? Why does everyone have a Scottish accent? What is the castle? Who built it? How long has Dracula ruled? Why is Trevor just now invading the castle? Who is the floaty guy in the mask? What is the Mirror of Fate? What is that medallion and why is it important? Who are the dead soldiers everywhere and where did the come from?
All along I've been comparing and contrasting this game to two franchise I have familiarity with, God of War and Castlevania, in both those franchies you're able to pick up any game in the series and get a sense as to what's going on. I understand this game is really trying to be God of War much more than have any ties to the old Castlevania series, but the first God of War game I played was Chains of Olympus on the PSP and that game had a very fleshed out story that was easy to follow, you knew the setting was ancient Greece, that Kratos was a Spartan warrior who had been trick or enslaved into helping the Gods fight their wars, that he was searching for his daughter who was thought to have been killed along with the rest of the family. All that was explained with a couple of cut-scenes and comprehensible dialogue. Sure there are cut-scenes in Mirror of Fate as well, but I'll be damned if I was able to follow a single one of them.
I don't know what year the game is supposed to take place in but from what I understand, the beginning of the game (very beginning, as Gabriel) takes place a year before the events of Lords of Shadow and while Gabriel is gone, Marie has her son Trevor. This was never mentioned in the first game as her son was meant to be hidden from him as the Mirror of Fate revealed the true path of Gabriel and his transformation into Dracula.
The castle's previous owner, Carmilla, was a Lord of Shadow in the first game. It was later revealed through DLC that Carmilla's daughter, Laura' would aid Gabriel in defeating this other monster that threatened mankind but in order to enter the realm where that monster was, he needed Laura's powers but in doing so, Gabriel became Dracula.
When the game starts as Simon, I believe it says that this is 57 years later. There's probably a better sense of time placement from games that I've forgotten in tiny details but the ending to Lords of Shadow shows Dracula in present time (cars and big cities and everything). There has to have been hundred of years that passed there.
The dead soldiers are just that, dead soliders. Just think of them as previous people who tried to take on Dracula, nothing more. They provide tiny hints to what to do next (though it's not hard obviously as it's always pointing where to go next) and sometimes have humorous text to read. The first game had that too.
I still haven't beaten it so I can't answer everything but that's the simple things of it really.
@VofEscaflowne Thanks! But it's okay, the story isn't really that important anyway to this type of game, you're dudes in a castle trying to kill Dracula, that's really good enough in the end. I just thought it was funny that Deerock said he was interested in what happened next in the story progression because I was assuming everyone else would be just as lost and as numb to the story as me. Actually it seems like they're just taking for granted you played the first game because you seem to follow it no problem!
Maybe it was a bad turn of phrase on my part, but 'Bad-Asses in a Castle Trying to Kill Dracula' is about all the story I need. The fact that there are some really nicely put together story segments that appear about EXACTLY the same art-style for the pre-rendered segments in Fire Emblem is mere icing on the cake to me. If they weren't in the game at all, I'd still be compelled to play. Since I'm not a purist of any particular style, I think that this is only benefitting me as I play through it.
Maybe THAT should have been the title: Castlevania: Bad-Asses in a Castle: Trying to Kill Dracula.
I actually enjoy the story even though it isn't incredibly deep. I don't know why but I've always found Dracula as a villain, even if most of the time it's been a "badass in a castle trying to kill Dracula," to be a really good one. It just felt so iconic to me and always made for entertaining final boss battles. And now that I played through Lord of Shadow and to me major surprise had Gabriel BE Dracula, it was just mind blowing and I really wanted to know what happened next. It seems that Dracula will also be the main character in the next game too! Pretty crazy and I wonder how they'll handle it. Definitely gives a new point of view on Dracula as a whole.
@VofEscaflowne But for me, not playing the first game, I don't even know who Gabriel is, you told me he's Trevor's father so that sort of makes more sense, but I have no idea why that is supposed to be significant, I think the game does mention Gabriel in some cut-scenes (maybe the Rams-head guy?) but the dialogue is super cryptic and I really have no idea who most of the characters are to begin with and the game just simply doesn't explain. Like the Ram looking dude, he's probably in the first game, and probably significant, but they don't explain who is he is, where he is, or who he's talking to in that scene with the woman in bed (assuming that must have been Trevor's mom?).
I mean, literally, if you told me Simon is Gabriel's father who actually turned out to be Trevor's father who was Simon's son but went back in time and met a chick named Isabel who had a daughter named Lisa who grew up to be Dracula after a sex change operation, that would make the same amount of sense to me!
The idea that Gabriel was a good guy in the first game who someone was tempted and became Dracula is pretty cool, if that was the beginning of the game, like if you were playing as Gabriel's son and had to go into the castle and kill your own father, that would have been a cool set-up, nice and clear. The way it is now, I guess you're playing as Simon who essentially has to kill his own grandfather, which is cool too, but I honestly had no idea that was happening until you told me, either because the game never told me or because it was told in such a convoluted way I didn't get it.
@VofEscaflowne It's okay I can look it up, once I'm done with the game I'm going to see how I feel about where the story stands and then probably do some research the first game or maybe even just play some of it, it's probably like $10 at Gamestop now. I also want to replay at least part of one of the PSP God of War games just to compare and contrast. It's going to take me forever to write my review but it will be well researched!
Though it's obviously long... over 2 hours total. Only watched a bit and seems well edited together. Though if you plan on playing it, do that. I did enjoy it a lot and the game is absolutely beautiful at times. I liked it enough to beat it 3 times in a row to platinum it. It would have required less but after beating it once, I was hit by that save glitch (fixed now) and had to restart everything.
Also it seems that the year is 1047 in this game. So some of the events in Mirror of Fate take place as far as the year 1104 then.
Well I actually watched the entire thing. I think it works well but I've also played the game so the jumping around from one scene to another makes more sense to me maybe. It was a good recap though and I also remembered a few details I had forgotten which explains Gabriel's hate even more. But there are things that don't make sense to me. At the beginning of Mirror of Fate which is before Lords of Shadow even happened, his wife is aware of Gabriel's fate because of the Mirror of Fate. She knows he will become Dracula... so why did they not stop him? Or did they figure that his sacrifice would be worth it to rid the world of these Lords of Shadow? Dracula is definitely a big threat to humans too. I guess either way they were screwed... I just wish it would have been explained better. Though I guess it also makes Gabriel's tale an even more tragic one considering how he's been living a bunch of lies, used and then has to suffer for eternity.
So a few hours into this, I'm thinking this is a thoroughly average game.
It looks fine generally, but the framerate is kind of assy. Probably as a result of this, the enemy attack wind up animations take FOREVER. So it's pretty easy to parry/counter or dodge just about everything. Between that and the fact that you're on a 2D plane and there are rarely more than 3 enemies harassing you at any given time, the combat is incredibly easy. The only time I take damage is when I get bored and just want to get to the next area.
So you end up with a game that has the combat mechanics of Lords of Shadow, but on a plane and a scale that removes most of the challenge. And because the platforming and traversal isn't really challenging, navigating the castle isn't always a blast, either.
There's not much here that's straight up BAD and I think that there's potential in what they're trying to execute. But the actual execution we got here leaves something to be desired. I had eShop credit burning a hole in my pocket but the quality of the game doesn't justify a $40 purchase, especially on the heels of something like Fire Emblem. Alas.
I kinda agree about the combat. It's generally easy but I guess I still enjoyed it for what it is. Playing on hard does keep you on your toes somewhat but dying is never a big issue in this game as it's really forgiving with where you restart.
Having beaten it, I'd probably score it an 8. Overall I thought the story was disappointing even if it did introduce some new characters we all know and love and put a twist on it but the build up to the end was just a big let down. I'm not sure I really enjoyed the way the story was presented by having different time periods either.