@asian_pride: Castlevania really hasn't been good on consoles since PS1, which is why this game is a big deal. Castlevania used to be as popular as Gears and Halo combined as far as being must have titles for home consoles. People stood in line to buy Castlevania games, now they're nothing but handheld games you play on a trip.
As for not having played one before, they always have a new protagonist and usually change how Dracula looks every game. It's a series that basically resets every game, usually by setting it 100 years apart from the last.
So the reviews for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow are starting to come in. The two I've read from the main online outlets (IGN and Gamespot) are both ironically the same in tone and score. They rail against the fact that it's devoid of the identity the franchise has, and that it offers nothing fans of the series are expecting from a Castlevania game. One even goes so far as stating that aside from werewolves, vampires, ghosts and a spooky atmosphere, it has nothing to do with Castlevania. Then what, may I ask is left of Castlevania if you don't include those? Isn't the series all about those things? One review goes on and says that it has much more in common with God of War than Castlevania. Isn't Castlevania about traversing huge environments while using your whip to occasionally swing from place to place, then fighting an unending legion of enemies, getting new weapons and abilities, gaining health and magic from destroyed objects, and fighting the occasional boss? That sounds like God of War to me. So basically because it's not 2D it's not Castlevania.
We all would love a new 2D Castlevania done in the style of Shadow Complex and BC: Rearmed, but hating on a game that isn't it "just because" isn't very professional, or fair to the game. Leave your bias out of the review and stick to what you like and dislike about the game. Feel free to blog or tweet or whatever about how you don't think it's a "real" Castlevania game.
This game reminds me of Darksiders, a game that borrowed aspects of other successful series and combined them into a fun game with it's own identity. I just hope that people can look past the desire for a 2D game and accept it as the return of Castlevania as a modern action adventure game on current consoles.
Augmented Reality is a big deal in Japan, so including that kind of stuff with it makes sense. It's a pretty cool technology that really isn't that demanding, it's been around in some form or another for a while going back to the PS Eye games. It's something I think is going to take off in a big way once it goes portable, especially with kids.
The other side of it - this is Japan we're talking about after all - is how much has already been done with it in the adult entertainment area. Having anime girls in your room you can molest and ogle in every possible manner is a dream come true to many Japanese men.
Nintendo will have to be careful about pricing. If they lower the cost here to equal what the Japanese price is, it will be quite a bit cheaper to Japan, ending up with a bizarre reverse-importing situation where it's cheaper to import the US model because our currency is about as valuable as toilet paper.
" Actualy....never played any Half Life games. Not my cup of tea. "
I'm poking fun at the fact that you act as if Eternal Darkness is obscure. Its a pretty over hyped game. "
Actually it's not. Quite a few people had already given up on the Gamecube by the time it came out, or they were kids playing Smash Bros or Rogue Leader. It also was a game that was under the radar for most, since it was from a studio that hadn't done anything prior, it was a mature title on the Gamecube, and it was a new IP. While in hindsight it is regarded as a great game and a critical darling, if you didn't own a GC at the time or didn't follow game press, you probably never heard of it.
As for it being over hyped, it's a matter of personal opinion. For it's time it was unlike anything out there, let alone the Gamecube of all places, and it was more about the state of the characters' - and your own - sanity then the enemies killed or your score. Playing it now would probably reveal some flaws that nostalgia is known to hide, and playing for the first time now after all that's been said about it would likely not live up to some of the lofty praise it has received over the years.
I wouldn't call it among the best games ever made, but it's a unique game that's worth checking out if you like games that do something different. Just remember when and where it came out when you play it to give it some perspective.
@kevtheasian: Arguably the best game exclusively on that console. You Wii owners looking for a good game should track it down, it's still pretty unique and games are still drawing from it for ideas. It's a shame Silicon Knights didn't make a follow-up instead of that Too Human debacle.
It isn't for everybody though, I lent it to a friend and he couldn't get beyond the first story. It is a product of its time and the controls are pretty dated.
Once I played the first Devil May Cry I immediately thought, this would be a great Castlevania game if the series elements were in place. Later on they did in fact try to do that, but it always fell short of that visceral gameplay mixed with exploration and setting. The games just felt dull and repetitive, due in large part to poor level design, but also the whip never felt quite right.
Then God of War came out, while it was still very much rooted in the Ninja Gaiden/DMC style, it made a character with what were essentially whips move fluidly and attacked in a way that made it natural without the lifelessness of the prior games. Again I thought this was finally the way to make a 3D Castlevania game right, the mechanics, pacing, and now the weapon interaction were all in place. Yet nothing ever came of it. Years passed and what seemed to be the perfect storm of game features for a 3D CV game never happened.
Now, finally what started back when GoW first hit has made such a game come to fruition, all the parts are in place. The one thing that worries me is if the developer has the chops to combine these elements into a polished, tight game that won't be yet another disappointing mess of good ideas failed by poor execution.