Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 review

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  • Tyrlanae - February 25, 2014 12:49 a.m.

    Well, shit. I didn't see that coming. I was seriously excited for this. Especially coming off of the original LoS, which was phenomenal. I also greatly enjoyed the demo, and felt it ran very nicely and that the free-camera was a welcome addition to the combat. Unfortunately, I can see how it would cause an issue in narrow areas or against ranged opponents. I'm still going to give this a go, however. I'm invested in the lore and I continue to believe that it has potential. Part of me wants to hope that because LoS was so good this game was over hyped and has thus failed to live up to its expectations. Hopefully it isn't as awful as all that and is more of a disappointment against the hype than a truly bad game. The reviews are discouraging (I expected to open this to at least 4 stars), but like all things it's a matter of taste. I might still think this game is amazing. Still, what a sour note to start the year on. Lightning Returns, Thief and LoS2 all seemed to underwhelm. Are we getting overly critical of games or are they really just that bad? =/
  • gilgamesh310 - February 25, 2014 11:27 a.m.

    Well, Strider was at least very good. It was a pleasant surprise for me.
  • BladedFalcon - February 26, 2014 12:20 a.m.

    Agreed, even in my highest of hopes, I didn't expect Strider to be as good as it turned out. I'm specially blown away by how despite being structured like a metroidvania in it's exploration, the actual gameplay, pace and combat feels completely fresh and different from other arguably "similar" games out there. Specially the speed, Man does this game make a great job in making you feel like you are a true agile ninja death machine zipping all over the damn place.
  • gilgamesh310 - February 26, 2014 1:12 a.m.

    I felt the metroidvania aspect could have been handled a little better. It was very hand holdy in that regard. But then I discovered that the previous games in the series didn't even have metroidvania, so the fact that it has it as well as very good combat with satisfying and responsive controls is still an accomplishment. I must play Shadow Complex some time soon. I hear that's meant to do metroidvania very well. It's probably better than most big budget games around now as well.
  • BladedFalcon - February 26, 2014 5:31 a.m.

    Eeeeeeh... I am going to make assumptions here, but I could bet that you won't be very impressed by shadow complex all that much. Graphically, it's kinda bland, and gameplay-wise... Let's say your main combat tactic in that game is to take cover and pop out and shut at enemies even though it's in a 2D plane. There's no agility, skill or planning involved, just pop out and shoot like you would in a gears of war or uncharted game. Oh, and the story isn't anything remotely special either, I think it's a solid, but rather bland game, with not a lot of personality of it's own. As for Strider, I agree that it's a little handholdy with always letting you know where you should go next... But then again it never actually FORCES you to go that way if you want to. You're always free to go and explore whatever you want as long as you have the items necessary to proceed. I do agree that at LEAST there should have been an option to turn the objective marker off, but hey, there's been worse implementations out there, methinks.
  • gilgamesh310 - February 26, 2014 2:45 p.m.

    I'm surprised to hear that. It got great reviews everywhere. I don't expect the story to be good and I don't think I'd like the main character at all, but I expected the gameplay to be decent. Strider barely had a story at all but strong gameplay mechanics.
  • BladedFalcon - February 26, 2014 6:17 p.m.

    Well... The Uncharted, gears of War and Bioshock series have all gotten great reviews across the board everywhere, yet if I remember correctly, you don't think either of those franchises deserve as much praise as they've gotten... What's different here? :P And yeah, I agree the story isn't the draw in these games... Thing is, Strider NEVER had any kind of pretense about having a deep story or character, but instead focused on style, Strider may not have had much of a personality, but he looks iconic, and spoke with his actions, and the world and the enemies he faced had a very defined, vibrant style. Shadow Complex on the other hand, actually DID initially tout having a great story back before it was released, claiming the story and universe had been penned by Orson Scott Card and shit... And it has way more cutscenes and dialog than strider, but none of it is remotely interesting. And again, my problem is that it was just.... So damn forgettable, honestly, right now i can't even tell you more specifics because I simply don't remember them XD That's how little of an impression it made on me. Honestly, I'd recommend you checked out Guacamelee instead, if you haven't already. Unlike Shadow Complex, that game oozes style and personality, and while the first hours may seem easy and a bit funnel-y, it exponentially picks up in challenge and complexity, to the point that many of the secret challenges required to get the true ending are arguably harder than anything you found even in strider
  • gilgamesh310 - February 26, 2014 6:30 p.m.

    Those are all big budget and very commercially successful games that have lots of sequels and will always have people highly anticipating them. Shadow Complex is not a very well known game at all and I don't think it was all that successful. That is true about Strider. It really had no qualms about what it was. It didn't even have much of an ending cutscene after you beat the final boss. I didn't realize Shadow Complex was touted as having a great story. I haven't even heard of Guacamelee. I will look into it.
  • BladedFalcon - February 26, 2014 6:47 p.m.

    Er... it may not have been very well known to you, but it sure made a shitload of noise back when it came out, being published by epic and all. And unless I remember it wrong, the game DID do well, and there WAS rumblings of a sequel, but then, the same studio made Infinity blade, came out the same year and made much more money, so they focused on that instead. And yeah, again, why would they made a huge deal about the story being handled by a best selling book author otherwise? Anyway, yeah, Guacamelee, you should definitely at least check out videos of it, though do keep in mind is a PS3/Vita exclusive.
  • Vonter - February 25, 2014 12:20 a.m.

    ... Well at least Tropical Freeze made me happy. Time to get the hands dirty... I'll have to prepare some countermeasures to not break like with RE 6.
  • BladedFalcon - February 25, 2014 12:25 a.m.

    Yeeeah... this makes me fucking sad, specially because you of all people saw how frigging hyped I was for this game. Still gonna play it, but man has all of these reviews dampened my spirits quite a bit >>;
  • universaltofu - February 25, 2014 12:27 a.m.

    They liked the soundtrack though :p
  • Vonter - February 25, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    I'm actually dissapointed to be right. But I still judge first hand. The only thing that I feel its that the experience is gonna be exhausting. But yeah better not be the train wreck that was RE 6. Which also got solid reviews.
  • BladedFalcon - February 25, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    Yeah, one can hope. Mainly, the sore points seem to come from the stealth and modern setting, at least everyone agrees that combat is still pretty damn good.
  • Vonter - February 25, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    Yeah at least they got that right. But I'll leave the discussion there, taking Reggie's own advice and playing the [damn] game before making further judgment. At least like everyone has said the game is gorgeous to look, so there's that.
  • Jackonomics2.0 - February 25, 2014 12:06 p.m.

    Hehe, I still remember back at E3 where people were balls up in arms about 3D World and Geoff as usual sticks it to Reggie only to slap his hands like a bongo drum and say "PLAY. THE. GAME" Ah that rivalry will never get old, even in VGX "You see before I came here, if I knew you would do this to me I should've brought my cane with me so I can whack you with it"
  • Vonter - February 25, 2014 12:49 p.m.

    Well I liked that quote. Because most people will just complain instead of actually experience a game. I mean DKC:TF was freakin' awesome, way way better than I expected. It was one of the most fulfilling platformers I've played and I had my doubts after seeing the tendency of "making it more accesible".
  • Jackonomics2.0 - February 25, 2014 1 p.m.

    You bet your ass DK is great, it's just too bad I don't own a Wii U and don't plan on unless things go to shit. Nintendo's seems to be doing that a lot, especially since people give massive doubts to their games every time, it's nice to see they actually destroy people's expectations. Reggie is probably gonna bring a chainsaw the next time he see's Geoff.
  • Vonter - February 25, 2014 1:16 p.m.

    Yes it really is. It's just that people want new stuff but IMO they haven't disappointed with their franchises. YOu can mainly argue is franchise fatigue rather than being bad. I were Reggie I'll have replied with the Dorito Pope meme, or the "I can't Dew this anymore".
  • Jackonomics2.0 - February 25, 2014 1:31 p.m.

    They don't disappoint mainly because they tend to make it worth it. As I discussed earlier, Nintendo doesn't have the luxury of sticking a story so their gameplay needs to be varied or else it will be called for the generic rehash it is, except most places point out works extremely well in the variation, most specifically 3D World and even Zelda. Reggie and Geoff have been constantly playing with each other, even back in 2008, its like a love/hate relationship.
  • shawksta - February 25, 2014 10 a.m.

    There there buddy. Hey who knows, you'll probably like the game better than how bad you initially thought it would be. Others are going to do the same and others including me are still gonna be playing Theif because we want a stealth game. While its a minority, there are places that gave the game an 8 and even a 9, sometimes you just have to go with it and maybe itll shine for you. If i last recall a lot of people seemed to dislike Lords of Shadows despite all the average reviews but later down the line loved it. We can only hope things can get better and with varying opinions sometimes you'll find that one game you'll never understand why people hate, like how ill never understand the grudge GR has for DK64.
  • BladedFalcon - February 25, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    ...Because DK64 sucks? seriously, it has none of the charm the DKC games had in the SNES, and the gameplay is essentially Banjo Kazooie, only more bloated and with characters that aren't as fun to play as. Also you should be thankful that it hasn't gotten more flak actually, considering how everyone gave Sonic shit for introducing so goddamn many annoying and lame "friends" DK did the same thing, reaching it's pinnacle with DK64. Anyway, like I said, I plan to play the game and see for myself regardless, and I'm pretty sure I'm still going to enjoy parts of it. I just thought it would be all around better than the first one based on the demo, and even if I like it more than I expect, I know some things will just plain suck, like the stealth sections, without playing the game, a glimpse from the videos can tell you that they are horrid.
  • shawksta - February 25, 2014 11:05 a.m.

    I hear some people say the stealth sections arent even stealth and are more puzzles, but your right. But still, you'll never know, its like the lottery. Im only putting this assumptions because you can make a video about the bad parts of a game and make it look bad too easy. Not saying anyone here did that, especially not David, but just an assumption.
  • Vonter - February 25, 2014 12:46 p.m.

    DK 64 is like GTA: San Andreas just an example of excess. Too much of a good thing can also be very bad for you.

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More Info

Release date: Feb 25 2014 - Xbox 360, PS3 (US)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3
Genre: Action
Published by: Konami
Developed by: MercurySteam
Franchise: Castlevania
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language, Nudity