Castlevania: Curse of Darkness Updated Hands-On

Konami shows off a new build of its latest Castlevania game on PS2 at G4's G-Phoria awards.

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Castlevania: Curse of Darkness
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LOS ANGELES--Tonight's G-Phoria awards show taping provided many publishers the opportunity to show off their upcoming wares, and among those wares was Konami's latest Castlevania for the PlayStation 2, Curse of Darkness. Oddly enough, the game is set after the classic NES game Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse, and will place you in the role of one of Dracula's trusted lieutenants, Hector, who has betrayed the dark lord and decided to try to make a difference against his evil tyranny.

The biggest gameplay addition since the previous PS2 Castlevania game, Lament of Innocence, is that of the innocent devils, which are creatures who act as familiars to Hector. The new build of the game we got to see had a couple of new innocent devils we got to try out. One was a large knight-like character who had a massive sword special attack and was generally quite good about helping out in situations with lots of enemies. The other companion was a dinosaur-like flying creature that had a couple of special abilities. One was a bone shot that unleashed what looks like hundreds of sharp bones at a nearby enemy, while the other allowed Hector to reach up, grab hold of the bird, and glide across a large, otherwise impassable chasm.

From what we played, the innocent devils seem easy enough to control. You can set their behavior by telling them to focus more on helping you out or saving their own necks, or you can simply put them on auto to let them make their own decisions. When you're wailing away on hordes of enemies, a "combo" marker will occasionally pop up, and if you hit the right button at the right time, you'll invoke a small combo of sorts that helps to juggle the enemy, causing more damage.

It was announced at E3 this year that Trevor Belmont will also make a playable appearance in Curse of Darkness, but we didn't get a chance during the demo to see how the legendary vampire hunter will play in the final game. Still, what we saw of the game looks like a positive direction for the series, with the variety of innocent devils providing for a good amount of variety as you try to bring Dracula's organization down from within.

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