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Castlevania: Lament of Innocence Hands-On

The Castlevania series is making the jump back into 3D.


Castlevania: Lament of Innocence marks Castlevania's first return to full 3D characters and environments since Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness for the Nintendo 64. The demo on the show floor of Konami's booth was pretty brief, but it gave a pretty good idea of what to expect from the next Castlevania game. The playable demo began with the forefather of the Belmont clan, Leon, standing in front of an angelic statue. After walking down a short hallway and entering a door, Leon entered the first room where the usual assortment of Castlevania enemies was lurking.

Combat in Lament of Innocence was pretty basic, and it took only about a minute or so to feel completely comfortable with Leon's standard abilities. He was able to swing his whip into a frenzy, hitting enemies multiple times before knocking them out and just outright defeating them. Unfortunately, there appeared to be only one basic whip combination and nothing too dramatically fancy, such as juggles where the whip could lift an enemy up into the air. Leon could also use the classic Castlevania subweapons (such as the cross and crystal) in the demo. In addition, he was able to combine his whip attack with the subweapons, resulting in even more devastating combinations. The only other attack Leon could perform in the demo was a jump-kick maneuver that was helpful against some of the stronger enemies, such as the headless armor enemy and the cerberus.

Unfortunately, Castlevania: Lament of Innocence doesn't stack up quite as well visually against games like Rygar and Devil May Cry. The character model for Leon Belmont looks solid, but the environments in the demo were a little drab and really not all that detailed. The enemies were also somewhat unimpressive, but that was to be expected considering that there are often several enemies onscreen at once. Hopefully, the later levels in the game will have a little more to offer from a visual standpoint. Castlevania: Lament of Innocence is scheduled for release in November.

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