FIRST 10 MINUTES | X360, PS3 Friday, October 22, 2010 | 10:00 PM

The first 10 minutes:
Castlevania Lords of Shadow

The first 10 minutes:<br>Castlevania Lords of Shadow

Due to a rather abject lack of free time these days I've not been able to complete and review Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, so instead I'm doing this good old "First 10 minutes" (and more!) with a few videos and my impressions of this game. More inside!

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is without a doubt one of the most polarizing games of this generation. Here is a game that can happily claim to be one of the most beautiful titles of the generation, but also one of the least smooth. It comes along with a very interesting combat system, but also a rather strangely imprecise control system during the platforming sequences, and, above all, a highly annoying fixed camera system. It seems that in every compartment of the game, there is an unfortunate "but" to contrast with what has been well-executed.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow could have been very close to being one of the best of its genre for this generation, but its numerous defects keep it from getting up there. Personally, my main motivation to keep playing is its amazing artistic direction and its interesting combat system. This is what makes me want to go on, despite the not so clear (at times) platforming system, the rather obtuse (at times, again) puzzles, and all of these little annoyances.

The first 10 minutes
After the demo gameplay
After the demo gameplay #2
First boss

All comments

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Commented on 2010-10-22 22:12:21
Yeaah, that's what I've just been thru! Gotta say that Picard's narration is kinda putting me to sleep.
Commented on 2010-10-22 22:19:58
After the first run I just skip all that narration,he seemed bored in some LOL

game is freaking awesome IMO and should be played by millions!

EDIT:

Thanks for this videos, its nice to see some gameplay stuff here at work :)

Also I do want to read that review Blim when its ready of course :)
Commented on 2010-10-22 22:23:55
Polorizing indeed. I've heard a lot of people that have the same complaints but I'm on chapter 6 and thought the platforming and puzzles have been just fine so far. Only thing that really bothers me sometimes is the issues coming from the fixed camera angles.

Graphics and art direction are fantastic. Anyone know for sure does this use a new proprietary game engine or something borrowed/licensed from somewhere else?
Commented on 2010-10-22 22:26:34 In reply to ASURAshadow
Posted by ASURAshadow
Graphics and art direction are fantastic. Anyone know for sure does this use a new proprietary game engine or something borrowed/licensed from somewhere else?
In house engine by Mercury Steam.

Framerate gets better after chapter 3 IMO.

Combat system its great too, while its not like the big boys in combat it has some great hit detection and some good strategy with the magics, plus you have the focus metter so if you kick ass galantly it rewards you.

I personally love this game and I recomend it to anyone that likes adventure games.
Commented on 2010-10-22 22:43:58
Game looks superB im playing it now. Yes first chapter looks not so good but chapter 2 looks awesome! Most players says that after chapter 2 game looks outstanding!
Commented on 2010-10-22 23:00:35
Wow, yeah, on 360 I've noticed some serious framerate craziness especially in the rainy scenes. The camera angles bother me quite a lot at times but hey I still manage to move on.

Do you guys just fly through the levels towards the end or do you go back to each level to complete the challenges and find crystals?
Commented on 2010-10-22 23:29:44
I finish went through till chapter 9 then I replayed all earlier chapters for gems I have missed,but i didn't do eny trial.

Then I finished the game and Im now going through Paladin and doing trials at the same time :D all maxed out!!

It helps that I got very good at the combat and even on Paladin Im owning pretty much everybody XD
Commented on 2010-10-22 23:37:08 In reply to IRAIPT0IR
Posted by IRAIPT0IR
I finish went through till chapter 9 then I replayed all earlier chapters for gems I have missed,but i didn't do eny trial.

Then I finished the game and Im now going through Paladin and doing trials at the same time :D all maxed out!!

It helps that I got very good at the combat and even on Paladin Im owning pretty much everybody XD
Ok, so you get to keep all your earnings, then?
Commented on 2010-10-23 00:03:20 In reply to SangHee
Posted by SangHee
Ok, so you get to keep all your earnings, then?
Yes, all your gear and stuff stays with you forever, similar to Bayonetta in that aspect!

:D
Commented on 2010-10-23 00:34:17
This game is close to being really good, but is let down by some really, really dumb design decisions.

Firstly the camera is absolutely TERRIBLE. Totally locked with no user control and always switching to ridiculous angles. The scenery is so beautiful in this game I just want to look at it, but as usual the camera will be zoomed out in space or examining the ground in close up. Worst camera this generation.

Secondly the invisible walls are highly irritating in this game. Again the environments are beautiful, so I want to just explore them like I could in Assassin's Creed or Uncharted. Instead I'm walled in to a thin little virtual corridor by endless invisible walls.

Also the frame rate is terrible throughout the game.

But the combat is generally good (despite some savage difficulty spikes), and the art is stunning.
Commented on 2010-10-23 01:02:10
imprecise control system during the platforming sequences ???

The plataforming sequences are just perfect. Simples and spectaculars to see. Where is the problem?? That the control is diferent comparing with other games. That doenst make it imprecise.

One of my favourites games of this year.
Commented on 2010-10-23 01:12:26 In reply to moroboshi
Posted by moroboshi
This game is close to being really good, but is let down by some really, really dumb design decisions.

Firstly the camera is absolutely TERRIBLE. Totally locked with no user control and always switching to ridiculous angles. The scenery is so beautiful in this game I just want to look at it, but as usual the camera will be zoomed out in space or examining the ground in close up. Worst camera this generation.

Secondly the invisible walls are highly irritating in this game. Again the environments are beautiful, so I want to just explore them like I could in Assassin's Creed or Uncharted. Instead I'm walled in to a thin little virtual corridor by endless invisible walls.

Also the frame rate is terrible throughout the game.

But the combat is generally good (despite some savage difficulty spikes), and the art is stunning.
Clearly this is not a game for you, you should stop now and sell it.

I disagree with every point you made here.
Commented on 2010-10-23 01:17:02 In reply to IRAIPT0IR
There were a few problems in the game, but Mercury Steam created such a solid foundation that a sequel will be completely spectacular. One thing they need to fix is better integration of music. I liked the music in the game, but I found that it oftentimes didn't transition properly or lingered on for too long.

The combat was completely awesome though and is pretty much Ninja Gaiden. I have found on my second playthrough, that I like aerial combos a whole lot more now that I have made it instinct to do the sudden drop move.
Commented on 2010-10-23 01:31:42 In reply to jackdoe
yeah there are problems but not that TERRIBLE as moroboshi says, they are not game breaking at all.

Combat when you get goot at it and you utilize everything it has to offer it becomes spectacular IMO.

Some of the vistas are some of the most beautifull I have seen ever.
Commented on 2010-10-23 01:50:32
Game wins just for its ending. I thought it was mind blowing! O_O
Commented on 2010-10-23 02:06:13 In reply to KahL
Posted by KahL
Game wins just for its ending. I thought it was mind blowing! O_O
It pissed a number of people off. I loved it. It brings a new sense of irony to the Belmont vs. Dracula tale.
Commented on 2010-10-23 02:43:53
Looks really good.
Commented on 2010-10-23 03:37:34
finally, it seems like castlevania is slowly coming back to its roots. i'd like to have simon belmont back as a playable character sometimes in the future! real castlevania-heroes don't need pants!
Commented on 2010-10-23 04:10:37 In reply to IRAIPT0IR
Posted by IRAIPT0IR
Clearly this is not a game for you, you should stop now and sell it.

I disagree with every point you made here.
hes blowing them out of proportion a bit, but his complaints are all legit. I had some problems with the camera, found invisible walls kind of unnerving at times, and the framerate is wonky. I wouldnt make a rant about any of those issues but they are there. Overall its a very good game with room for improvement in the next one.
Posted by jackdoe
It pissed a number of people off. I loved it. It brings a new sense of irony to the Belmont vs. Dracula tale.
shhh! its easy to spoil that!
Commented on 2010-10-23 09:39:41 In reply to IRAIPT0IR
Posted by IRAIPT0IR
Clearly this is not a game for you, you should stop now and sell it.

I disagree with every point you made here.
No, I said I was enjoying the game, but it does have a lot of flaws which anyone can see.

Why is the camera fixed? The right analogue stick is free, so use it. There is simply no reason not to give camera control to the player. Why, for example, would I ever want to run towards the camera and so be unable to see where I am going? Why would I want to have enemies off screen attacking me, while I am unable to spin the camera round and see them? Heck if I was one of the environment artists I'd of blown a fuse over the camera, as so much of the gorgeous artwork barely gets seen due to the terrible camera.

Are you a fan of invisible walls? Did you really never want to explore the environments? Not once?

Did you also disagree with my comments about the beautiful visuals?

For the sequel I'd love to see this game opened up and balanced out. The combat is very solid but the other elements, such as climbing and exploration are very basic. If it was more of an adventure game, with the ability to explore, climb anywhere, and then do the great combat stuff... it really would be special. Think Uncharted without the guns. I assume that was the intention of the team in the first place, but somewhere along the way things went rather wrong.

Now though it's just potential hidden behind dumb design. And an awful frame rate.
Commented on 2010-10-23 13:44:59
All the people are complaining about the fixed camera system, in some points i agree it is annoying But i think it gives the game a very cinematic look what is vital to its great visual impression. I wouldnt change it to a free camera system instead fixing some issiues.

the only thing thati find annoying is the framerate but i am playing heavy rain right now which is a great game also but the framerate... lol

castlevania was a great action adventure since a long time for me and it was pretty cool from the start to the end i think didnt get boring story and gamplay wise.

I hope they are making a 2nd part and then fix thouse flaws then im really satisfied!
Commented on 2010-10-23 14:13:19 In reply to FelixThaCat
Posted by FelixThaCat
All the people are complaining about the fixed camera system, in some points i agree it is annoying But i think it gives the game a very cinematic look what is vital to its great visual impression. I wouldnt change it to a free camera system instead fixing some issiues.
I disagree. I think the fixed camera was done in an attempt to give the game a cinematic look ala GoW, but it's far too mechanical and has too many quick, unnatural cuts to different angles that ends up making it feel unpolished.

Also, I agree with moroboshi about the invisible walls being pretty bad.

I disagree with him about the combat being good though. Aside from the awesome feeling of weight the whip has, I find the combat so completely boring, and things like having to repeatedly mash a button after a counter are poor design choices.

Great looking game though. The spiraly room leading up to Pan is probably one of my favourite looking areas in any game.
Commented on 2010-10-23 16:17:10 In reply to Ronsauce
Posted by Ronsauce
I disagree. I think the fixed camera was done in an attempt to give the game a cinematic look ala GoW, but it's far too mechanical and has too many quick, unnatural cuts to different angles that ends up making it feel unpolished.
IMO the only bad or not so good thing about the camera its the constant shaking of it, not that it bothers me to much but it was not necessary, as for the rest of it I find it intuitive, I was one of the ones that I was very cautious about the game based solely in the camera but after I spend time with it I guess only one time it screwed me over, pretty much 99% of it works great and it gives a cinematic look.

Also, I agree with moroboshi about the invisible walls being pretty bad.
They are not that bad, in fact some of them are nice because if there were not there it would result in a lot of deaths considering we kinda are all the time in heights, if you want to go to every place in sight yeah it could get annoying but as I do take the game as it is and not as a open world or something they dont bother me at all, after a playthrough you get what I meant, you don't need to go where invisible walls are.

I disagree with him about the combat being good though. Aside from the awesome feeling of weight the whip has, I find the combat so completely boring, and things like having to repeatedly mash a button after a counter are poor design choices.
The combat if you are countering as you said well of course you will find it boring, you are not suposed to do that, the game only tells you that to let you know there is a counter in the combat system not that you have to mash the button every time you counter, I counter different every time with diferent attacks for every enemy there is, not every enemy has the same weakness, the combat is far from boring, it has lots of moves, you can cancel all of them at every time into a combo, there is the magics that add another layer of strategy to it, you heal yourself or you deal more damage all depending on the circumstances of the battle, and there is the focus bar that "IF" you fight with style without taking damage it rewards you, it basically encourages you to learn everything about it, if you dont learn and mix and counter and do what the combat system is cappable off then well I guess thats why its boring to some, only mashing buttons and not care to learn it will get you nowhere only to frustation, but yeah I disagree combat is way far from boring and IMO its way better that the one in GoWs games, not as good as the big boys but a solid really great first attempt at it.

Great looking game though. The spiraly room leading up to Pan is probably one of my favourite looking areas in any game.
Game is beautifull I agree.
Commented on 2010-10-23 17:09:58 In reply to SangHee
Posted by SangHee
Wow, yeah, on 360 I've noticed some serious framerate craziness especially in the rainy scenes.
You could see that even in the 360 demo.

The games visuals arent bad by any means but i still find it strange when people claim it looks visually better than GOW3 - which it clearly doesnt
Commented on 2010-10-23 17:15:50 In reply to bleachedsmiles
Posted by bleachedsmiles
You could see that even in the 360 demo.

The games visuals arent bad by any means but i still find it strange when people claim it looks visually better than GOW3 - which it clearly doesnt
Artistically it does look better imo.
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