Its been a while since my last blog Post, and mostly because of how busy I have been with School. And my english ****is sort of making me tired of writing long form posts as this, but today I feel like writing this.
Its been about three weeks, or close to a month since I beat Castlevania Lords of Shadow. Three weeks and the game has stuck with me, the same way that Heavy Rain has, the same way Red Dead has, the same way that Mass Effect 2 has. Yes, this game has stuck with me, and to be painfully honest its probably in my top ten, if not my top five games of the year. Crazy I know, and I will say I enjoyed this game more so then I did God of War III. Crazy I am, but thats how much I enjoyed the game and while its been near a month and a half since the game came out it still stirs discussion on two fronts.
One its ending, which I will not divulge here, but will say that it has a fantastic ending sequence but also amazing twist ending. Two, that it is a God of War Rip Off.....yep I am opening that can of worms. This can of worms that ever so divided the Castlevania Fanbase, and still divides it. The supporters say it moves the series forward, others say its not a true Castlevania game and that it does not have anything connecting to the series. (On that front, there are tons and I mean tons of Castelvania references or reboots of enemies in the series, but thats another blog for another day).
I am a Castlevania fan, I have been since I first played the original in the late eighties. I have played the games as they came out from the NES, to the 16 bit era. Hell I even imported A Copy of Rhondo of Blood in the nineties cause thats how obsessed I came with the series. Then the Series changed greatly with the release of Symphony of the Night and that forever changed how many percieved the series. Then this formula was the one that was followed for the most part, and then came Lords of Shadow, which not only rebooted the series storyline, but also did what Symphony of the Night did. It reinvented it.
So with that said, which camp am I in? Well I think it moves the series forward, infact I know many will not agree with me on this but not only does it move the series forward, it reinvents itself as Symphony of the Night did 13 years ago. Now am I saying the game is original? By No means, but I donot look for innovation in every game I play. Yes the game does play very much like God Of War, however, it does somethings better then God of War. And let me add one thing that I know some people may not like to hear, but this is me being honest again. SoTN reinvented the series in the same exact way that I feel Lords of Shadow did. How so? Well if Lords of Shadow reinvented it by taking the game play elements from God of War, then history repeats it self. Lets be honest, as good as SoTN is, its not original. SoTN stole the Metroid gameplay. Thats why I think its the second major reinvention of the series.
What I am saying is that I find it rather unfair that we can deride a game in a series for lifting gameplay mechanics but yet praise another game and hail it as one of the greatest games of all time? SoTN does exactly what LoS does, it lifts another ****of gameplay to reinvent a series. Now by no means is this a bashing session on SoTN, no, I think that game is amazing for it is excellently made(The only flaw is the way that you use healing items, its a bit clunky, but a very minor issue.).But however the truth is the truth, the game stole its mechanics from Metroid. Sure it did add a level up and equipment mechanic to the mix, but still the core gameplay is that of a Metroid game. That is why we praise it, not because it ripped off whoever but ultimatley the game is well made. And thats How I feel about Lords of Shadow. It is well made, and I think in some instances improved upon some of what God of War did. These include being a longer game and to me having more well thought out level design.
In regards to some of the reviews of the game too by critics, including Gamespots website, also mixed the mark as grading the game down for not being original. Thats simply not fair, not only because of the SoTN example I mentioned, but also that we have many other types of games that copy it. The FPS, a genre I will say I enjoy copies itself on a numerous basis but these games get more praised then the other. And heck I will say in alot of the cases they do deserve the praise, because they are well made however, if we should deride games for being copies of ecah other should we not deride say the numerous shooters for having the familiar regenerative health mechanic prevalent in them?
I think what we should do is look at how a game is made as opposed to always looking for originality. If a game is well made that should be what the game is graded upon. I feel that a game should be faulted upon having broken mechanics or things of that nature. If it grows to tedious then that should be noted. Games copy from each other all the time, and I understand this. Sure we will get original things from time to time, but even then sometimes that innovation falls short.
What we should do as gamers is enjoy a game for what it is. I enjoyed Castlevania Lords of Shadows tremendously, that it is one of my favorite games of the year. Sure its not going to be on many lists, but its on mine, and I enjoyed it. For me it was that enjoyment factor that mattered. I knew it was not the most original game out there, but in the long run I did not care. I had so much fun with it, engaged in the story of Gabriel Belmont and the tragedies that befell him, I did give a damn. I enjoyed it...thats what mattered.