Drezirale and I started our Castlevania Marathon with what may be one of the worst playing Castlevania games I have ever experienced. Our plan is to play through the main story line in story order. This will skip the lords of shadows alternate timeline and leave us playing through a good portion of the games. I imagine when we finish these we might touch on some of the alternate games I have wanted to play, such as Kid Dracula.
In Lament of Innocence, you control Leon Belmont in his search for his beloved Sara Trantoul, who had kidnapped by monsters. Leon’s search leads him through the vampire Walter Bernhard’s castle. The Journey takes us through several different areas via a teleportation hub in the main castle. Each area has a different theme that will keep you backtracking after you find certain keys/items to obtain different items. The individual areas have a variety of enemies that slowly build in strength and difficulty. When you complete each area and defeat their respective bosses, you unlock the final section of the game. By this point you should be rather powered up and be able to move through the end game enemies quickly. After you complete the last section, you face a pair of final bosses and you had better hope you stocked up on items because this battle has no break to save, heal, or restock items between the bosses.
Lament of innocence felt more like Lament of enjoyable gameplay. One of the game mechanics that is rather frustrating is the random drop system; some items have drop rates that will keep you killing the same enemies for hours to try finding items and still leave you empty handed. The game also has some rather flawed controls leading to some very frustrating platforming sections that are only challenging due to the specific timing required and sloppy controls. The battle system is rather free flowing but you can find yourself ganged up on by enemies and stun locked until almost all of your health is gone. The ability to block enemy attacks is nice but also feels like it was too strong against most enemies on their own as you can sit around and farm MP constantly without worry.
Progressing through the game had a decent difficulty curve that did not seem to leave you too overwhelmed very often. Boss battles were satisfying and left me with a feeling of accomplishment. The voice acting in the cut scenes was so bad we spent more time laughing at the dialogue than actually listening to what they were saying. The story was decent and progressed throughout the game. Music varied through each section and was high quality. The sound effects were okay but we had issues with an audio delay on my PS2 console.
Overall, I think this was an OK game but it definitely could have brought better controls to the table when compared to even the first Castlevania game on the NES. The controls and combat system were the biggest let down making the game a lot less fun than it could have been. I give this game 3.5 Rosarios out of 10
Click the image below for our complete play through on YouTube