Review: Castlevania Judgment

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Finally, I am proud to present my review for the last official title in the original Castlevania timeline; Castlevania Judgment. This game is a radical departure from the previous entries. What we have here, is a 3D fighter using traditional Castlevania characters.

The storyline for this title is pretty weak. It seems that an evil being known as the Time Reaper has been sent thru time by a being known as Galamoth  to destroy Dracula. The intention is to take over his power and with it, destroy all of existence. To avoid this tragedy, a mysterious time traveler known only as Aeon  (although the dialogue in the game hints greatly that Aeon may be the same person as St. Germain from CoD) has wandered through time to assemble the greatest vampire hunters in history to thwart this evil plan. I suppose if you’re willing to really stretch the imagination, this whole time rift concept could somehow explain the transition between this classic CV timeline and new world presented in Lord of Shadow? Perhaps that’s just wishful thinking by a desperate fanboy…

What this really does is provide an excuse to have various characters from the Castlevania timeline defeat each other in battle. And let’s be honest, that’s kind of cool. During the course of the game, you can choose from the following characters:

Simon, Dracula, Death, Golem, Carmilla, Grant, Trevor, Sypha, Maria, Alucard. Eric LeCarde, Cornell, Shanoa, and Aeon.

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Each character has a very loose storyline associated with them. When the game starts, only Simon and Alucard are playable. As you complete each character’s storyline, new characters and accessories are unlocked. I should note here, that if you own Order of Ecclesia for the DS, you can link your Wii and DS together for earn some unlockable items and an early unlock of Shanoa as a playable character. This type of inter-connectivity is something that Nintendo really shines at. It’s great to see this.

Several modes of gameplay exist for both single player and multiplayer. Admittedly, I had a lot of fun with the game. It’s certainly not the best fighting title I’ve ever played, but it does have its moments.

Overall, this is a fun title, but one that’s largely forgettable. As long as you don’t take this game too seriously, it’s well worth the price. In my opinion, it’s best experienced with a friend.

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Difficulty: Adaptable – Single player mode offers various difficulty settings. It should go without mention that when playing against others, the difficulty will vary depending on their skill.

Story: The background for the game is nothing more than a weak excuse to throw all the characters together. Normally unforgivable, I can turn a blind eye. This game is really nothing more than a fan service.

Originality: While there’s certainly nothing original about a brawl-style multiplayer fighting game at this point, it’s certainly a first for the series. Sadly, I don’t think the mass public was too impressed with the attempt.

Soundtrack: Probably the best thing about this game. The soundtrack features classic CV music completely redone and in CD quality. Probably one of my most played CV soundtrack albums.

Fun: Despite my many eye rolls and complaints, I found the game to very fun. Completing storylines, unlocks new content. This continues all the way to the end of the game. The unlockable accessories are cute, but only really serve a purpose when playing against other (to customize the look of your character).

Graphics: Surprisingly, pretty good. Lots of interesting visuals and effect. I have to give the game praise in this department.

Playcontrol: This varies A LOT depending on the control scheme you go with. You can play with the classic remote and nunchuck if you’re feeling adventurous. Personally, I find the best experience to lie with a classic controller pro. I feel like the title was really designed with this controller in mind.

Overall rating (out of four stars): 3 – While there’s certainly a lot about this game to be grumpy about. It is pretty fun multiplayer title. My son and I had a lot of fun. If you don’t take it too seriously, this is quite an enjoyable game. The Castlevania characters and settings set it apart from other games of it’s type.

Currently available on: Nintendo Wii

Other Reviews In This Series:

CVCV II – CV IIICVACVA II – Super CVDracula X BloodlinesSotNCV64 – CotM ChroniclesHoDAoSLoIDoSCoDPoROoECVA RebirthJudgment 

LoS Los: Mirror of FateLoS II

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