Castlevania: Lament of Innocence

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence

Miguel Lopez

Back when the original Devil May Cry came out, everyone said it was what Castlevania in 3D should have been. But now that there’s a real 3D Castlevania (and I’m not counting those fake-ass N64 games), people must realize that it isn’t that simple.

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence is a Devil May Cry–style game, but it’s also got that one element essential to Castlevania: exploration. Thing is, all the areas consist of big rooms full of monsters, connected by long hallways full of monsters. Sure, Castlevania has those, but it also involves a bunch of crazy platforming—something that’s missing from Lament of Innocence. What does this mean? It means that once you get bored with the combat, Lament of Innocence will get pretty tedious.

But luckily, the combat is pretty cool. You get a bunch of combos that unlock on the fly as you play, and this really encourages you to try different moves. The fighting system itself is pretty deep, allowing you to do crazy stuff like pulling enemies toward you with your whip or smacking them into the air and chasing them with a flying combo. The subweapon system is pretty fresh, too—a bunch of the classic weapons are in there, like the dagger, the ax, and the holy water, and you find all these different orbs that change their effects in spectacular ways. All in all, fighting in the game is fun; it just kinda sucks that fighting is the focus of the game.

If nothing else, Lament of Innocence leaves you with the hope that the next 3D Castlevania will get the level designs right. Everything else is in place for a truly sick game. It’s just not completely right this time.

PlayStation 2

Pros:

Great combat system

Decent number of hidden items

Cons:

Boring level designs

Bottom Line: A cool game in its own right, but it’s not 100 percent faithful to the series.

Rating: B

Sweet Spot

It might not be second nature, but use the Dodge feature like crazy! You do that by holding down the Block button and pressing the Jump button in tandem with a direction. It’ll get you out of the way of most attacks (even when it seems like it won’t), and if you use it enough, it’ll unlock a bunch of cool Dodge-related combos.

Power Up

Running out of healing items? Here’s a quick rundown of creatures that drop the stuff you need: Fish Men drop sushi and Lizard Men drop big and small meat. If hearts are what you need, kill some Flea Men—they drop the heart repair. If you wanna hoard items, find an item that increases your Luck rating (like the Happiness Coin) and re-enter the rooms where these monsters live until you’re full-up.

Copyright © 2003 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Game Now.