Monday, December 1, 2008

Castlevania Judgment

For anyone still hoping that this game might be decent, I'm afraid I must disappoint.

The gameplay is painfully shallow, with or without the mindlessly exhausting waggle controls. Four-player support usually helps to mitigate the lack of depth in Wii casual fare, but this game is limited to just two-player versus. Arenas are too large, leading to a lot of chase over confrontation, except in the clock tower stage, where everything falls to pieces and you both die immediately, having wasted your short lives flailing out attacks that whiffed badly in the absence of any sort of lock-on. Whenever blows do get exchanged, the weak sound effects rob them of all impact. In fact, impact is the key element that's lacking in all aspects of the action. There's just nothing in the combat to engage the player.

It doesn't even offer good fan service, since the characters are rendered nearly unrecognizable by the new character designs, which are not bad in and of themselves, but, if the point is to assemble a cast of old favorites, then they should look as fans remember them. After all, what is the point of digging up Eric Lecarde, if he's going to be completely redesigned as some ten-year-old child? If he's going to look, sound, and act like a completely different person, then they might as well have renamed him and made him a brand new character, because the only people who will recognize the name are going to be disappointed at what's been done with it. And, of course, where the hell is Soma Cruz? Are they saving him for the sequel?

Even the music, the one area I expected to be awesome, utterly fails to impress. The Castlevania series features some of the best soundtracks in video games. All this game needed to do was take a bunch of classic tracks and maybe remix them, louder and harder to better set the mood for a fighting game. While the tracks are indeed classics, the renditions are incredibly muted, with a mildly sterile pop flavor that feels more like lounge music than something suited for battle.

Now, excuse me, while I play a few rounds of MK vs. DC to wash the bad taste out of my mouth.

1 comment:

Czardoz said...

That's sad, because those stages are plenty large enough for four-man royal rumble style play.

Let's play it a few more times, then if it doesn't get any better, I can sell it while the selling's hot.

Good post!