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CV: Lords of Shadow from a Bindys perspective.


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Chapter 1: In the beginning.


Alright as at least 5 people in Hondos know I'm a god damn CV whore. From cosplaying it to rollin' down the street smokin endo while blaring CV songs I do it all. I mean mother fucker I've got the CV tats to back up my gangsta attitude. The reason for this thread outside having a fucking thread that has my name in it is to break down the new CV game and discuss my feelings on it as I progress through it and reflect on past CV games to let you know if I feel if it holds up to the franchises name. There will be minor spoilers in here but for the most part I will try and keep things vague. I'm not putting up any spoiler tags from here on in so fucking suck it up bitches.


In the beginning:


I didn't know what to make of this game. I've given every 3-d CV a chance and while I did like LoI and CoD neither of them felt entirely like a CV game to me. Maybe I was wrapped up too much in the mythos and the fact I could not get a CV game within the Belmont continuity that I love pissed me off. I reserved and purchased the limited edition of LoS but I want you to know that going into this game I had nothing but disappointment ready.


The first thing that I had to accept before I even hit play is that Konami has told us that this exists outside the main CV continuity and or is a reboot all together. At first I was slightly offended by this but over time I came to realize that the main problem CV has is that it tried to make a continuity out of a game really didn't have one to begin with. When CV 1 was made is was not to tell some grand fucking story but to give people a genuinely fun game to play. Over time things got added and we fell in love with the stories they gave us but at some point it got so fucking convoluted that even Konami had to go back and edit the storyline. Over time technology developed and at some point Konami realized they could reboot this franchise while giving us good game play and a good story. (As an aside i'm reserving the good story part till after I finish but for now in CH1 it stands).


Now something I want to address in this before I go any further is that i've never played a God of War game. I own 1 and 2 on the PS2 but never got around to playing them and I hear they are pretty quality. I'm a HUGE DMC (not DmC) fan and I love the very styleised action that really makes you think on you feet. Also something to note going further on this is that booting this game up I started on the hardest difficulty the game would allow so my experience might not be the same as yours.


In this I accepted this as an alternate CV storytelling (come on Ultimates fans don't feed me that BS that you don't understand it) and from the get-go i found my experience playing DMC payed off in that the controls felt very fluid to me. I got kicked around some but ultimately that made me re-think my strategy and approach combat from another perspective. I got beat to shit and was made a better player for it. At one point early on I had to fight a boss and could only let him hit me twice before I died, I manned up real fast and learned his damn patterns. Which brings me to the first point of my review of this game. Did you ever play CV 1 and 3 (and 4)?


This game with the difficulty set right is exactly what the CV games of old are, brutal. You get hit a couple times, you die. You fall into pits, you lose life which doesn't doesn't sound so bad since you lost a life in the old ones till those 40 goblins waiting around the corner to anally rape you show up. On my difficulty i replayed levels searching for life parts to increase my overall life meter just so I could survive longer. All in all it could be unforgiving but in the good way, which leads me to the boss of chapter 1.


The Ice Titan.


I'll go on record and say that if you played this boss on a lower difficulty you'd have no problem. First off I have no experience with Shadow of the Colossus so this boss fight was fucking epic to me. I spent the better part of an hour climbing this titan and when the final blows were dealt I felt a hardcore sense of satisfaction. At this point I saved my game and had to rush out and talk about my impressions so far.


From the first chapter alone i'd day it's worth a rental and as I play I can tell you more about how I feel about it but for now it feels like an old school CV title and i'm eager to eat up more.


Till the next chapter this is Bindy, signing off.


(p.s I've been drinking so fuck going back and correcting errors for now, suck it up bitches.)

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For right now i'd say they are doing it right, now when it comes to big vampire stories i'm a bit biased (I own an actual Soul Reaver sword). I've had a lot of fun even just replaying the earlier stages to get the # of kills or special items I need to make myself stronger. Right now i'd say buy. I know i'm going to at least play this a couple times but if you're skeptical just wait till I get further in.

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I'm playing right now as well and having played all those games you mentioned, I can say familiarity is definately there but not in a bad, "done this before" way.

I'm taking it slow because I'm juggling this with helping the development in DCUO bug test.

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Chapter 2, once more into the breach a little more sober.


Today I had the chance to sit down and reflect on my earlier post as well as dive into chapter 2 from top to bottom. What I want to open with here is this.


This game is fucking huge.



See I used three text emphasizers there because I want you all to understand how fucking huge it is. I didn't think about it when I first noticed it was two god-damn DVDs but chapter 2 beat me in the face today with somewhere between 8-10 levels, arguably two of them were straight up boss fights but when you think about the stretched over something like twelve chapters then you've got something gaming ahead of you. I got the collectors edition of the game (as I see my sexy arch-nemesis has as well, you sly fucker you) and thinking about the length alone makes me feel comfortable that this was a good gaming investment. I'm hoping at this point that the game holds up for all those hours and doesn't get too repetitive. That aside lets jump into some of my observations this go around.


One of the things I was curious about that popped up a lot in chapter 1 was the lighting up of platforms to show you were to go. I was wondering if this was going to be a staple the whole way through or at some point would they take you out of your comfort zone and make you do your own god-damn platforming. Turns out it's a little of both. Often you have a hard to see ledge lit up for you so you know where to go and with as beautiful as this game is you'll need it. Everything just blends in so damn smoothly. Then there's things like the Titan you fight towards the end.


Now I was worried that titan fighting was gonna become a staple of the game when I heard there was another one in this chapter but the game assured me that this was the (spoiler) last fucking titan in existence and to show how much more badass this titan is than the last they light up less areas and make you use everything you learned from the ice titan to beat this one and that's what a lot of this game is, rewarding you for knowing how to play it.


I'm noticing a lot more stages i'm going to have to backpack through to pick up the little items here or there I can't get right now, much like any other CV game and that will lend a lot of replay-ability to the game before i'm even finished with it.


Like I said before this game is fucking beautiful. It's like if Tolkien and DelToro had wild drunken sex one night and gave birth to a fucked up flipper baby but that baby turned around and saved the universe from extinction by sheer willpower of its awesomeness. It's that good.


The music is amazing but some of the songs i've heard quite a bit in multiple stages and i'm kinda hoping for some more variation. Also I haven't heard one CV song yet but then again I haven't really seen much in relation to vampires yet. It's awesome but not quite feeling like a "Castlevania" yet. I know it's a reboot but you can't discard what made the classics so good. It feels more like a Legacy of Kain game which isn't a BAD thing, I fucking love that franchise and anyone who talks bad about it will meet the business end of my Soul Reaver replica, but i'm just kinda waiting for SOMETHING familiar to happen.


Hm, I guess i'll go for now and get on Chapter 3 plus. Thanks for putting up with my shens so far on this.

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borrow JZA's, he rarely uses it. plus, if you're importing, you're already doing something right.


I watch Blurays on it all the time!


Regarding Castlevania, the demo was actually not bad.


I just got the limited edition from Amazon. Since no one in Australia wont stock it for me. Thank god for the strong dollar at the moment :)


But now I need a PS3 :(


PS- I need you to show me your Amazon chicanery. Every time I try to purchase something there it tells me it won't mail to Oz.

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Day 3, Chapters 3-6


So far everything has managed to remain enjoyable and they do keep things fresh although in some ways they shouldn't. The Chupacabra while a really cute idea on paper gets to be really fucking annoying really fucking fast. I notice that no matter what they do in this game, if they have an idea they have to do it at least twice in the game itself. It's like once to do it and once to see if they really liked it. I hoping the Chupacabra doesn't make another appearance but I'm starting to lose hope on that front.


I've made my way into the Vampires castle and after hitting the first big story arc of the game which involves heaven and hell i'm starting to doubt this is going to end up feeling like a CV game at all. After seeing the vampires in the castle I can say they took a lot of inspiration from the Legacy series. Soundtrack is still rockin but right still no CV tracks. Taking tomorrow off from the game but will be back on it Tuesday.


By the way I hate, HATE in games when you have an NPC with you and they repeat the same 5 fucking lines over and over. You'd think we'd have evolved past that by now.


...itchy, tasty.

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Day 4, Chapters 6-8


I promise I have not abandon my thread, I recently upgraded my computer rig so it could actually play Final Fantasy 14 and ended getting sucked into that. In the meantime another reason I haven't posted yet is because I came to a bit of a personal wall in the game. I promised myself once I got the double jump ability I would backtrack through the game and get relic and gems I had missed previously as well as finish off any trials I could do. Some of these trials are pretty simple and some are just retarded (scale the ice titan and beat him in 1 minute 30 seconds or some shit). So as it stands right now most of my time with CV is being spent just going through all the old shit I have already done. I have had a couple problems with shitty camera (unacceptable to not show me the ledge I need to jump to seriously) but am still on the fence if this game needs a static camera or not.


For now, I backtrack and power up. Once i'm done there I will gladly press forward.

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we need an FF XIV thread; reviews are shitting all over it but some fans i know give it such a pass, it's interesting.


i'm on stage 2 of this one, fighting spiders. i went in really not liking it - just kinda tired of the God of War formula, don't feel its very CV either...but as it's going, im getting a bit more interested. story's alright so far, fuck me though - its like i forgot how good Konami is at presentation when they're trying, this thing looks great. sucks that i had the ending ruined :sad:

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Chapters I and II, a Maldron Bitchfest.



Bindy - Remember, we need two more crystals!


So, from a story perspective, I hate this guy. Not only is he an indiscriminate murderer, but there is NO actual time spent explaining why this might be so. Which is my major problem with the story, it's making no efforts.


You come at the end of the first chapter to a walking goat god named Pan, who appears to be entirely the fault of Guillermo Del Toro, that guards a lake where you can talk with the dead. He decides to test you to see if you're worthy, which means you need to solve a puzzle to walk to a pedestal where your dead wife lies on a slab. You solve the puzzle, you walk up to her, and you stab her in the heart. Then you turn to the screen, and your face is covered with a deathmask. Then you wake up from the test, and the weird goat god placates your hysteric cries about what the fuck just happened by saying "You passed, go on through."


The hell? I just stabbed my wife and my face was covered in some malicious bilogical growth, and I proved myself worthy? The game deals with this by never mentioning it again.


That is, until chapter two. You meet a nice mute girl who conveniently has telepathy, and after bonding over the death of many evil creatures, you stab her in the heart. Wait, you wake up with a start - it was a dream! Oh wait, no it wasn't. Goat man comes by to tell you to kill her protector, you tell him to shut up because you don't want to hurt them, and he points out that the girl really is stabbed with one of your daggers just like you dreamt seconds ago. The game then decides that the natural thing to do is to kill her enraged protector and move on to the next stage of your noble quest, which might involve killing a fetus, or something.


And that's just my problems with the main character. It says nothing of random ghost horse, The Old Dude who will CLEARLY either betray you, be behind everything, or subtly urge you to do some act of evil that, once you find out how evil the thing was you did, decide to murder.


The Titan fights are clear rips from Shadow of the Colossus. They're just ten times more linear. When listening to the music, I clearly heard familiar violin strains that permeated Shadow of the Colossus, in a nice wink and nod to the fact that this was clearly not their idea. Considering I'm also aware of a Zelda reference and two Portal references to come later in the game, I'm already pissed at them for thinking that it's so cute to make reference to other things rather than spend time, I don't know, showing the main character be distraught and plagued by the fact that he murders the hell out of women. I'd probably be better with it if he did something other than just move on to the next thing and showed some goddamn emotion.


The second titan fight is preceded by a section where mute girl tells you to go collect four shards to make a crystal so you can move forward. Only, when you get to the next stage and fight the titan and get to the top, she suddenly has a completed crystal she throws to you that she didn't mention all along. Oh, and this also happens to be the location of the game's first cutscene quicktime event, which I was totally unprepared for. It went to cutscene and I moved my hands away from the controls, only to see a familiar circle come and go and to fall down to the floor off the titan completely. I then had to reclimb the entire goddamn creature to the head again, and this time I passed the event easily because I knew it'd be there, but that's a bitch of a place to introduce the player to in-cutscene quick time events.

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Chapters III-XII


Nothing happens, and then suddenly, everything does, then some time passes wherein many things happen that we do not get to know about.


It feels like this whole game suffers from the fact that somebody had a realllly good story idea and then decided to make a goddamn prequel.

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First off @ my arch nemesis: that blows.


Chapter 8-11:


I hate to say it, but this is where the game started falling apart for me. Not so much in terms of story but moreso in terms of glitches, bad camera angles etc. It's almost like their whole QA dept gave up 3/4 of the way through it. I had grey boxes show up, camera angles that I had no idea where the fuck I was going and in one level it saved my progress post an important ledge falling to pieces so I had to restart the whole level. Some of this kind of shit is just unacceptable. I mean I know we are in the age of internet patches but that should not allow companies to make shoddy products.


Ok I honestly have more to say on the last bit of this in my closing review. I'm on stage 12 but my eyes were burning and I just wanted sleep so i'll wrap it up this weekend. That being said, FUCK that stage 11 bullshit. One of the most miserable levels in my own personal gaming history. I'm glad it's the entrance to hell because that level IS hell. Fuck it in the ass.

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Finished the game about an hour ago, still have trials etc to do but for now the main story is finished.


Aside: Having the 20k XP special moves break the last boss fight (I only had the light one but still). I was undefeatable walking into it, even when I replayed it for fun on Paladin setting right after I watched the credits.


Final thoughts: This game was either too long or too short. It could have had a little chopped off and felt more compact but would have lost even MORE of the plot which by the final exposition feels really forced and crammed down your throat. I know I keep going back to Legacy of Kain but that's a series who did a long ass complicated plot twist story and really made it work. There were so many times during the exposition that I was just like "if they had alluded to more of this in the game i'd feel like a 'WOAH' twist".


Is it a bad game? Hell no it isn't. I had a blast playing it and even look forward to finishing the challenges in the game. The epilogue make me kinda "huh" because I thought it would feel more of a sequel lead in and less of a...wrap up? I don't know I'm on the fence about the epilogue. If this is to be the new feel and direction of Castlevania I think it's going to do well but for now I'm kinda an old man sitting on my lawn waving a shotgun at these new kids and their re-directional ways.


Well played, and fuck you Kojima for sticking that eye patch and bandanna in there. Now I have to use it.

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this one's going back in the "maybe" end of my backlog...never got past the later bits of the 2nd stage, but it feels more like a run through mythological troupes than Castlevania, and though it's not a bad game, im still quietly holding that against it. another time, perhaps.


how much more to go, bindy? im told it's not a short adventure.

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@NZA Honestly it's gonna feel like that for a while. The only CV music is in the music box and the big CV reveals only happen post finishing the game. This is a brand new start so enjoy the game for it's awesome action and realize that until the very end of the game a lot of it won't be like our old CV adventures.

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We finished this a few days ago.... it's alot of love hate, the game does alot of things right, The art is amazing, the graphics might be the best this gen so far, and I think alot of the enemies are really neat. That said, the combat isn't very deep past the first little bit, the cupacabaras might be the most annoying thing ever, fuck light puzzles, and the story both felt too long and too short.


The story had some cool parts to it and I felt had a nice foundation to really build on it, plus I enjoyed parts of the ending

because it never went on the anti god rant I was waiting on but rather was more pro god didn't see that coming, I thought we'd get the normal why did god do this, fuck him I'm evil now. But I do wish we knew more about why he became drac.



@nick It's very much worth playing through once and money well spent as far as I'm concerned, games about 20 hours or so and it'll keep you entertained for that time, Not alot in terms of re playability but meh most games are like that. Best 3-D Castlevaina by far. but you can really tell this wasn't ment to be a CV title at first and I wonder if we don't judge the game a bit more harshly for that, I don't blame MercurySteam for that so overall nice little game.

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