There are a few drawbacks keeping it from being a classic.
First off, the platforming sections, while good, can be incredibly wonky at times. Sometimes you will miss a ledge that you are sure you should of been able to grab or you will tap forward and Gabriel will take a huge man like leap off the ledge sending you to your doom. One time, I climbed up a ledge and when I climbed back down to the handhold I was just on, my guy went into the falling animation.
Also, the music, while well composed, is nowhere near Castlevania's usual quality. And, there are a couple they play way too often. I love the main theme and all, but does that song really need to be played at nearly ever cutscene and boss battle in the first half of the game. A little more variety would of been nice.
The fixed camera can also sometimes let the enemies get in a few cheap shots during combat. Especially in certain boss battles. There was one boss fight where the boss kept summoning enemies that would dive bomb you and would do a lot of damage. Yet the camera was constantly locked on the boss flying circles around the arena.
And when mashing a button in QTE moments, there is no real "oomph" like you feel in Bayonetta, God Hand or God of War.
Everything else about the game is great though
Amazingly varied level design. You go from forest, bogs, and ruins, to castles, monasteries, and the land of the dead. Every level is different and are all gorgeous to look at.
Combat is strategic and fun. Epic Boss battles Voice acting is top notch Game is actually quite long(About 15-20 hours) Enemy design is top notch Good use of light/dark magic Interesting puzzles Gorgeous vistas
Occasional off camera hits from enemies because of fixed camera Platforming can be very wonky Music could be more varied Life does not regenerate at the end of each stage/level CURSE YOU CHUPACABRA!
Overall, the game is great and FEELS like how Castlevania should play in 3D. Highly recommended.
First of all, let me say that anyone giving this game a bad review is either:
A.) Not a fan of Castlevania to begin with
B.) Someone who is biased against "sandbox" type games to begin with and has no business writing a review.
C.) Not a fan of "hack and slash" games. Or
D.) Competely and utterly incompetent and a borderline invalid to start with.
It's very hard for me to give any game a 10. So, by default, most games I play start off with a rating of 9 and move downward from there based on certain things I myself like in a game.
I'd start off with everything I "like" about this game but I would seriously not have enough room to do so. I love almost everything about this game and it really did do the Castlevania franchise justice. Of course, how could it NOT be awesome with Mr. Kojima on board with the project?
So, I'll just get right down to it and list everything I DIDNT like about this game, and why it received an 8 instead of a 9. First of all, and most importantly, there is absolutely ZERO replay value. Once you play through the game, that's it. Unless of course you're a trophy junkie and into that kind of thing and want to go back to previous chapters to unlock them.
And the other thing that kind of left me scratching my head was the story. Now dont get me wrong, I "liked" the story once I saw how everything came together during the 5 minute "movie" at the end after the credits have rolled (wont spoil it for anyone but it's pretty awesome) But it was the "getting" to that point that I didnt enjoy so much. It could have been "executed", I guess for a lack of a better word, more cleanly but beyond that, was pretty decent.
Long story short, this game is definately worth the rent, but not a buy IMO. Basically, save your money for Fallout: New Vegas or Fable III (if you own an xbox) because those two are guaranteed to have TONS more replay value than this title. Again, however, best Castlevania I've played in years, period.
First, I'll brief on the cons since that wont take long. The semi-fixed camera angle and zoom needed to be corrected in development. You get zoomed way out in some areas and cant tell what you doing. Also, having beasts attack you from an unseen angle because the camera doesn't want to pan there for that shot gets rather annoying. In reading some other reviews I actually am looking forward to later chapters, however the game starts off pretty limited in that you don't get to unlock spells or other weapons for a while. Granted I just started on chapter two and am hopeful I will get spells soon. Number one pro I would say are the graphics and scenes, they are stellar. Number two, its a hack and slash that requires strategy in that you cant just go into each fight doing the same thing and your upgrades will determine your strengths within those fights. Number three, the story is engaging and having Patrick Stewart as the narrator/ally is a nice touch. Number four, going back to pro two, each boss is much different than the previous and requires a different strategy (you will learn counter-attacking very well after one lol). Overall a pretty high rank but not sure about replay ability, though going back to previous levels to get accomplishments is a nice touch.