riostarwind's Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (PlayStation 2) review

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A mix of old and new Castevania that kinda just ends with it being very mediocre

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While the layout may be simple the visual flair is still quite nice. They spent some time making these different environments.
While the layout may be simple the visual flair is still quite nice. They spent some time making these different environments.

Yes, the best way to experience the PS2 era is to play them in the reverse order. Well maybe not. I’ve already posted a review of Curse Of Darkness and thanks to Konami putting this on the PS2 Classics a while ago I bought this recently. If we were going by the official timeline this would be the first in the series, so let's see what the setup is.

Leon Belmont is a renowned knight that has led many successful campaigns in the holy war. Yet one day monsters appeared and for some strange reason his betrothed Sara gets kidnapped by the lord of this new monster domain. With the church being unwilling to let Leon sally forth he gives up all his titles and goes along to face an enemy he is not prepared to face. After meeting an old man named Rinaldo he gains access to an achemic whip that let’s him face the horrors within the castle.

Most of the boss fights in this game feel like they were based on older Castlevania boss encounters.
Most of the boss fights in this game feel like they were based on older Castlevania boss encounters.

Most of what is in the future game is present here with less options. Leon quickly learns how to dodge enemies and he can perfect block enemies to gain an advantage in battle as well. Yet he only gets one weapon the entire game with a few elemental variations on the classic vampire killer whip. It works well enough in a standard 3 hit combo system that is bolstered by a variety of sub weapons that act differently depending on which orb you equip.

All the sub weapons are what you would expect from the series. Their base form acts like every other game but once the first boss is defeated you get much more useful abilities. For example with the green orb weapons gain hp restorative properties and much longer range than most other types. I can’t say I changed them up that often other than after I beat a boss. Because sub weapons don’t drop that often so I ended up finding the one that seemed the most overpowered and just stuck with it till the end. In a lot of ways the way these work lend to how the game tries to mix the old and new.

It was very noticeable that levels weren’t a thing this time. Health/MP/heart upgrades are all scattered around the world for the player to find. Finding them will be quite easy since other than a rare platforming puzzle you’ll find your way through each zone very quickly. Every zone is themed very well and you can see how simple the layout is since other than the crazy addition of curved hallways near the end each zone feels like a bunch of basic hallways mixed with open arena fights. Really that is all 2D Castlevania is as well but it just feels more uninspired in 3D.

It's a good thing this game doesn't rely on platforming to much since it is rather meh.
It's a good thing this game doesn't rely on platforming to much since it is rather meh.

Lucky the soundtrack is still on point. Along with boss fights being unique enough that make them stand out from the sameness you’ll likely start to feel half way through the adventure. Hard to really say that the voice over held up but hey you could always just use Japanese voiceovers instead which is an unexpected addition in a game from this era.

So looking at what this game inspires to be it is adequate. A lot like the sequel while still keeping it at a much faster pace. The whole going down similar hallways thing works a bit better when the entire game is in a castle instead of a whole world to explore. Yet without the game forcing me to fight enemies anytime I went back to use a key to unlock a door I couldn’t get to earlier I just skipped most fights. No leveling meant I had no reason to engage with the combat. At the same time the combat is solid because it gives you the tools to succeed. Turning out to be a very average game that might be enjoyed by some of the users reading this review.

Other reviews for Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (PlayStation 2)

    Four years after the series' 3D jump and just as underwhelming 0

    Lament of Innocence has some things going for it. It’s got solid combat and a decent combo system, for instance. Some of the bosses are challenging and fun to fight. Using items in real-time is kind of cool. It’s got a lively soundtrack. The scenery is appropriately gothic. Ultimately though, Lament of Innocence is a watered down Castlevania experience that can be breezed through without much opposition.Set before the events of every Castlevania, Lament of Innocence is an origin stor...

    2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

    Castlevania: LoI is the first worthy 3D Castlevania. 0

    I don't know about this one. The lack of depth to the storyline was a little weak, the gameplay seemed kinda dumbed down. The game was way to easy, the graphics seemed dated. The game was just really short and the levels were really small. Outside of all of that, it was a fun game while it lasted, and if you're looking for an quick 'in and out' experience, then check this out. ----------Battle System---------- Castlevania: Lament of Innocence is an Action / RPG / Platformer hybrid. Leon doesn'...

    1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

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