Zero Punctuation: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

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So... anal bleeding...
...

...
....nice.

When are you going to review Odyssey to the West?

Wait, did I just skip a week? I mean, I can't find the Fallout: New Vegas video, and it still says it's the same week as when I went to bed. MINDFCUK?

If Yahtzee is just going to give up on real games, I am just going to have to give up on The Escapist.

Misho-:

zipzod:
Logic time:
If (a) good Castlevania games follow the "metroidvania" structure,
and (b) Metroid Prime was a good 3D adaptation of a "metroidvania" game,
Then if you wanted to design a good 3D Castlevania, isn't the obvious solution to model it like the one of the Prime games?

I don't really understand this logic, but that means a First Person Castlevania "Mirror's Edge with Whips"?

Fine. Leave out the first person part and it should work. Where does Mirror's Edge come in?

AND I couldn't help but notice the flying carpet used was an item from wow. But i still wuv you :D

The only problem I've had with it is that it corrupted a save but I was barely into chapter 3 so I didn't mind reliving it and getting extra life gems on where I'd missed them previously.

I've played about 3 other castlevania games (including SOTN) and I still found it to be an enjoyable game. The combat isn't button mashing all the time thank goodness as some tact is required to dodge, evade and counter enemy blows.
There are a few quicktime events but they don't always mean certain death and like most QTE, you'll at least remember where they were. They don't even need to be button specific, just decently fast reactions.

I've given myself a wide berth from 3rd person games as I found a lot ended too quickly but this isn't the case as it really is a mouthful and seconds too. I found myself revisiting areas with newly acquired powers and relics to smash down that extra door for the odd hidden item and so on. I'll stand by that it is quite an adventure, even if it does borrow some GOW aspects

Metalhandkerchief:
Wait, did I just skip a week? I mean, I can't find the Fallout: New Vegas video, and it still says it's the same week as when I went to bed. MINDFCUK?

If Yahtzee is just going to give up on real games, I am just going to have to give up on The Escapist.

Please define a "real" game as Castlevania might not win the original crowd over but it's no less deserving than the next game to be critiqued

It seems that I'm not alone in noticing the difference in microphones between episodes.

I hope he makes up his mind soon.

Some of them are just... awful.

Played the demo on my mate's Xbox and I can't say it felt like a true Castlevania game.

Maybe I'm too used to the retro ones. =/

Am I the only one who liked Castlevania more before it became Metroid-only-not-as-good? They've made SEVEN IDENTICAL GAMES in the Metroidvania format, and yet there are people pissed because they haven't made another in a while.

WOPR:

and their whole arguement for why SotN sucks (I LOVE IT) is "it's too haaaaaaaaaaard... waaaaaaaaaaahh it's too haaaaaaaaaaard!.. this game suuuuuuuuucks it's actually challenging! booooooo hoooooo"

Wait, there are people who thought SotN was hard? It's one of those games that you don't have to get any better at to win. Your character gets better as you play it, so play it enough, and it's a foregone conclusion that you'll beat it. Unlike the classic castlevania games where *you* had to "gain the level" so to speak.

I mean, sure, it was an awesome game, but "hard" would be the last thing I'd say about it.

What's up with his voice here?

Also, I'd like to hear his thoughts on Minecraft...

I've got to be honest with you, that ending had me laughing pretty damn hard.

Singularity also had a once off reference to something. It was a note, like many of the other thousands of notes you could find in the game, in a locker, somewhere near the final quarter of the game and all it was a reference to was the really bad neighbour joke from Borat. By that time I felt Singularity had lost all hope in me for retaining coolness and simply decided to throw itself off a bridge.

No Kirby Epic Yarn.

image

redbeta22:
Know why it doesn't feel like a Castlevania game? Because it isn't! It was originally just "Lords Of Shadow". It wasn't until the game was well under development that they changed the name to Castlevania. Does nobody remember reading the E3 interview with Mercury Steam? I need to find that article again and post it all over the internet. Every single review of LoS says the same thing, it doesn't feel like a Castlevania game. Ahhh. Maybe I'm just crazy, but I really remember reading that.

I vaguely remember something like this a while back. So if you're crazy so am I. I also vaguely remember the original title being singular "Lord of Shadow."

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=215499 - Welp, heres an article announcing Kojima working on a game called "Lord of Shadow" and no mention of Castlevania attached to it.

One of your best in recent times, had me laughing all the way ('sepcially at the end).

FieryTrainwreck:
Two things:

1. I can't fathom how anyone believes this isn't a God of War clone. That term certainly gets thrown around, but it fits this game like a fucking glove. Mythological monsters? Check. QTE finishers? Check. Chained whip weaponry? Fucking check. You'd have to be blind or stupid not to see it. If anything, this is the first time it has genuinely applied.

Presumably you have not heard of Dante's Inferno... the game, not the epic poem, of course. But to show how pointless your line of reasoning is, let's try a little reductio ad absurdum.

I can't fathom how anyone believes [Half-Life] isn't a [Duke Nukem 3D] clone. That term certainly gets thrown around, but it fits this game like a fucking glove. [Aliens]? Check. [Great big bosses]? Check. [Firearm] weaponry? Fucking check. You'd have to be blind or stupid not to see it. If anything, this is the first time it has genuinely applied.

So with very minor edits, your argument "proves" that the original Half-life is a massive rip-off of Duke Nukem 3D, which is, of course, patently absurd.

If all you do is scratch the surface with your analysis and point out a few trivial, superficial similarities, sure, Lords of Shadow looks like God of War. But that's utterly meaningless. The gameplay is extremely different.

In God of War, you slowly acquire moves that more or less replace your previous moves in usefulness until you eventually have a massive repertoire that you boil down to a couple of combos... somehow this doesn't feel repetitive, because the game is just so damn well presented. But the gameplay isn't terribly deep, unfortunately.

In Castlevania, you slowly acquire moves that enhance different playing styles, all of which are necessary to get through the game at a reasonable pace on a reasonable difficulty. Some are good against hordes of enemies, some are good for focusing on slow enemies, others are good for focusing on faster, dodging enemies, others are good for gaining life in light magic mode, others are good for heavy damage in shadow mode, others are good for building fast focus in order to regain magic. I had, at the end of the game, a few moves I wasn't using often, but there were probably 6 or 7 combos or techniques I used regularly and that's not even counting the subweapons, which also have no perfect analogy in God of War.

And that's just gameplay. You called out the "mythological monsters" as a similarity, but it's actually a vast difference. Gothic monsters like vampires and lycanthropes are inspired by a western horror tradition, while Minotaurs and Gorgons come from a more heroic mythological tradition. The literary histories of these monsters could not be more different. And besides, what *should* Gabriel Belmont fight in a Castlevania game? Aliens?

And as a protagonist, Gabriel is nothing like Kratos. He isn't out for revenge, ultimately wants to do the right thing, wrestling with what that is, and genuinely cares about the consequences of his actions.

2. To the people who think he's overusing the "Like God of War, But" stamp: is it possible to miss the point any harder? It's meant to be an indictment of "me too" game design. The more he uses it, the funnier/sadder it gets. If you don't understand this, I'm not sure you're responding to the actual content of his criticism. You're maybe just infatuated with clever imagery or his accent.

No, they think it's lazy. It was only ever really accurate with respect to Dante's Inferno, yet it was applied to a host of games (including Bayonetta of all things). It was only used in the first place as a comedy trope he could come back to repeatedly for humorous effect. For the most part, it has never been an indictment you should take seriously for any given game. It was supposed to be taken in aggregate as a number of developers saturated the action game market.... well, that's all over with now. Castlevania is not arriving in a saturated action game market that has to compete directly with God of War. So it's no longer relevant... and since it's far from fresh, it seems lazy.

Not that the comparison isn't worth making.... it is. But more so you can take the opportunity to contrast the two. They look obviously similar on the surface, so if you're going to call them similar, you're not saying anything interesting. But luckily, you can say something interesting... because under the surface, they're completely different. Even the QTEs.... they seemed more like they were inspired by Lost Odyssey than God of War.

Lissa-QUON:

redbeta22:
Know why it doesn't feel like a Castlevania game? Because it isn't! It was originally just "Lords Of Shadow". It wasn't until the game was well under development that they changed the name to Castlevania. Does nobody remember reading the E3 interview with Mercury Steam? I need to find that article again and post it all over the internet. Every single review of LoS says the same thing, it doesn't feel like a Castlevania game. Ahhh. Maybe I'm just crazy, but I really remember reading that.

I vaguely remember something like this a while back. So if you're crazy so am I. I also vaguely remember the original title being singular "Lord of Shadow."

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=215499 - Welp, heres an article announcing Kojima working on a game called "Lord of Shadow" and no mention of Castlevania attached to it.

Well there we go. I wasn't crazy after all. Thanks for finding that.

zipzod:

Misho-:

zipzod:
Logic time:
If (a) good Castlevania games follow the "metroidvania" structure,
and (b) Metroid Prime was a good 3D adaptation of a "metroidvania" game,
Then if you wanted to design a good 3D Castlevania, isn't the obvious solution to model it like the one of the Prime games?

I don't really understand this logic, but that means a First Person Castlevania "Mirror's Edge with Whips"?

Fine. Leave out the first person part and it should work. Where does Mirror's Edge come in?

Hmmm Castlevania is/was (after Symphony it becamed a JRPG of sorts) a platformer and Mirror's Edge in a way was a platformer... A first person platformer... Therefore Mirror's Edge with Whips Lol but if that's confusing then yeah lets leave it at Metroid Prime with whips (Also had platforming sections)

Also if you leave out the First Person view, then what it's the relation with the Prime series?

Azure Knight-Zeo:
Well Yahtzee hates it, off the Christmas list you go.

that doesnt mean you shouldnt get it. One mans opinion shouldnt be a huge deciding factor. And I do like yahtzee, I agree with him like 90 oercent of the time.

Outside of SOTN, I find all the 2D castlevanias after it boring and just trying to be another SOTN and they are not.

Yeah Lords of Shadow is a God of War knock off but it was a fun one unlike Dante's Inferno.The reference to the war between heaven and hell was around before Dante's Inferno, Castlevania had it in previous games as well but did think the Devil as the last boss was pretty lame myself.It was suppose to be a reboot for the series cause it grew stale and was telling of the coming of Dracula

I am shocked though you didn't bring up how Patrick Stewart's character looked like a young Sean Connery or maybe that is just me.

ranyilliams:
i think you should stop using the whole "like god of war...but" joke...its getting old.

This is like a real comment...but...

Having finished and really enjoyed the game (finally a kind of QTE that doesn't make me set the controller on fire), I can't really see where all the hate is supposed to come from.
Maybe those people that complain are too young to realize that Castlevania is, at its roots an homage to the classic universal horror films.

Keeping that in mind, compare Lords of Shadow with another more recent movie that taps into the same kind of nostalgic remake: Van Helsing.

Especially the God of War comparison does not fit at all. As pointed out prior, GoW is referring to mythological stories, while Castlevania is referring movies that refer to books that loosely based their stories on local myths (emphasize "loosely").
Actually the creative direction to deliver an action game in the sense of the big Hollywood action flicks is the only thing that GoW and Castlevania share in common.
Now, before everybody jumps at me with SotN etc., please also keep in mind that it was said very clearly that Lords of Shadow is a complete reboot that goes back to the spirit of the Castlevania series.

If you take the time to go back and look at the first titles, you will even see the film reel at the side of the screen and might realize that later titles actually departed heavily from the original.
I will exaggerate a bit and go as far as saying that comparing LoS to SotN and later titles is like comparing a hypothetical Warcraft: Orcs & Humans reboot with World of Warcraft.
Maybe not the best example, but I think it'll get my point across.

So you got a hero with a whip, pretty much all kinds of horror creatures (you may even count the collosi as a kind of golem), beautiful medieval vistas and a lot of action interspersed with platforming. Only the riddles seem a bit out of place there, but all in all, how does this not sound like Castlevania?
The better stamp would have been "It's like Castlevania, but not like Metroid".

Having said that, Yathzee pretty much hits all the flaws the game has, except maybe the camera and the loading issues (I got the PS3 version). Never had a problem with the camera and only once missed an area that was sort-of hidden on purpose just before Pan's temple.

Then again, anything I missed gave me enough reason to start again on Paladin and get the 110% completion while being forced to a bit more tactical combat (not too hard though).

Crono Maniac:
Am I the only one who liked Castlevania more before it became Metroid-only-not-as-good? They've made SEVEN IDENTICAL GAMES in the Metroidvania format, and yet there are people pissed because they haven't made another in a while.

Goddess no.I loved Symphony but the rest of these metroidvania games suck.I miss the old days and do like some of the console games like Curse of Darkness and Lament of Innocence

Wow, Yahtzee was in rare form on this one. I could have done without the fart bit at the end, but he really was on.

Not all that funny. Look forward to the SWTFU2 one if and when it comes out.

Personally, this game is a great example of how dangerous it can be to get overhyped about a game. I have been following this game eagerly ever since it was first announced about two years ago, but after having played it for a few hours it just doesn't live up to the hype. Its probably a great game though. I dont mind the quick time events or that exploration seems to take somewhat of a backseat. Also, calling this a God Of War clone, just because the main character uses a chain based weapon is just pure bullshit. I mean chain based weapons have pretty much been a trademark of the series ever since it started. But like i said the problem i have is that i got too excited about it. I think Yahtzee himself said it best. That its better to except something to be shit, so that if it turns out not to be shit or not as shitty as you expected it makes it all the more sweeter.

Oh god, I laughed my ass off at the Stamp section:

"So where would you like your stamp?"

"On the face please."

ok, love the review, but i had to pause it for about 5 minutes cos i laughing so much at Teerts Emases Morf Tnouc Eth!!!

blueshark217:

Azure Knight-Zeo:
Well Yahtzee hates it, off the Christmas list you go.

that doesnt mean you shouldnt get it. One mans opinion shouldnt be a huge deciding factor. And I do like yahtzee, I agree with him like 90 oercent of the time.

I find that Yahtzee almost always has something perceptive or interesting to say about the games he reviews (as well as usually getting a few good laughs out of me), so I find myself reliably coming back... He also takes a lot of cheap shots that are utterly unfair and throwaway, and I commonly find that I disagree with his final conclusion.

So I never really get people who base a purchasing decision purely on a ZP review. Hell, even Yahtzee doesn't mean everything in his review 100% seriously. Much of it is played up for comedic effect, and his shtick is to be exaggeratedly critical. If you only bought stuff that Yahtzee obviously liked, you'd own like 7 games....

And God of War is like Rygar: The Legendary Adventure.

Do you know the irony? In 2005 when I played GOW for the first time, what came to mind was: "Like Rygar but..." with monstrous budget. And before that, in 2003, when I laid hands on Rygar I thought, "like Castlevania but ..." cool and 3D simultaneously.

No need internet cat fight here. Just saying what I thought in the time.

AC10:
And God of War is like Rygar: The Legendary Adventure.

No they copied GOW. Yes even though it came out before GOW, GOW is so epic it surpasses time and space and all that encompasses it.

Haha, ouch, good funny though! I don't care what the fucker says, I actually like the game! =P

altough its tottaly differnet then the metroidvania games, its one of the best game games i've played this year so far. the moments when the camera sucks are rare and its a game that know what 'difficulty' means. yeah you can dodge everything you want, but if you don't time it right you are fucked. i'm playing only normal now and still there are moment i have to try hard to beat the enemies. the game is one of the most beautifull game i've ever seen en i love the style they used for the game.

on the review, great as always but i did expected a patrick stewart joke in it. adn you must give the creators credit that they tried in making a good 3D game and that hey succeeded.

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