Tag Archives: Castlevania

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 – New Pricing

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Konami Digital Entertainment has today reduced the price of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, which is available from the Xbox Games Marketplace for just 29.99 Euros.

Set in a modern-day open world, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 offers a shocking conclusion to the Gabriel Belmont story arc started in 2010’s Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. In a first, players assume the role of Dracula who has been resurrected by an old ally in exchange for help defeating a powerful threat as old as time itself: Satan. Looking to settle an old score, Satan has returned to bring about the apocalypse as an act of final revenge for his previous defeat, and Dracula must face him head on as the fight between good and evil comes to a dramatic end.

Mixing intuitive combat and stunning story-telling, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is a huge game that spans time zones and concludes the story of history’s most famous Vampire. The new price point will allow a new wave of fans to embrace the darkness and become absorbed by Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2’s dark story as they explore its visually stunning 3D realms.

ThisisXbox.com reviewed the title and scored it 90% after release this year:

Lord Of Shadows 2 has more positives then negatives. It is a big game and it feels like one, with a rich story that draws you in and gives you a great experience that encapsulates the previous game for new players and rewards players who are already fans of Castlevania. There is so much to learn and master that more then one playthrough will be required.

The Art of Castlevania Lords of Shadow Hardback Review

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Martin Robinson, an award winning journalist and features editor for Eurogamer is back with another entertaining and insightful hardback having previously published ‘Halo: The Art of Building Worlds’ and ‘The Art of Deadspace’ through Titan Books – his latest release is ‘The Art of Castlevania Lords of Shadow’, and it coincided with the retail availability of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 .

The Art of Castlevania Lords of shadow will take readers on a journey into the art production of both the original Lords of Shadow and the sequel, Lords of Shadow 2. Featuring a stunning display of concept art with detailed creator commentary through-out you will have a comprehensive insight into the fantasy world and the minds of the creators behind the popular Konami franchise. The book offers and exclusive look at Gabriel Belmont, the evolution of a legend and how Hideo Kojima helped influence the final design model during Lords of Shadow’s inception to reflect the tragedy that consumed Gabriel’s heart and the emotion that informed his story. As the main protagonist, within the art book it also details the struggles that the design team faced as they aimed to recreate one of the biggest characters for the rebooted franchise taking him from an initially planned barbarian figure to a dark and disturbing Dracula with a sombre disposition.

Further reading will inform you into the thoughts of the well-known Scottish actor, Robert Carlyle who takes on the voice acting of Gabriel and Dracula and how he even helped change the direction of the first ever trailer for Lords of Shadow. If you are a fan of the Castlevania franchise, then The Art of Castlevania will be quite an enlightening read, it may be an ‘art’ book but it’s not all just about the pictures!

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There are around thirty pages alone depicting the majority of the Belmont Family and striking art designs of Alucard, who is featured through-out Castlevania’s history, but in Lords of shadow his story was rewritten. Alucard is the inverse of Dracula, he is what becomes of Trevor Belmont and is possessed by the light within to pursue the monstrosity his father has turned into. The Belmont dynasty is shown through both images and text as well as touching on the game, Mirror of Fate, which is part of the Lords of Shadow story released on the Xbox Live Arcade. Following the details of the Belmonts, the book goes further into the imagining of the allies and antagonists within Lords of Shadows. To keep you informed if you haven’t played any of the games – the Lords of Shadows are a collection of Knights whose goal is to purge the land of evil, but eventually they end up becoming part of the evil itself.

From the re-imagining of Carmilla who appeared in the 1987 Castlevania II: Simons Quest to the lack of availability of actor Ian McKellan for Zobek’s voice which then in turn led to the casting Sir Patrick Stewart instead;  so much information is covered in the book that you’ll be a Castlevania Lords of Shadow mastermind in no time!  The later sections of The Art of Castlevania Lords of Shadow keep you up to speed on how the locations and environments were designed to be grand and part of the fairy-tale wilderness picture postcard settings the developers had in mind from the on-set.  The whole artbook depicts a mythical journey and how rich and detailed the design team had to be to re-write the Castlevania history. This book demonstrates the diversity, detail and attention paid to ensuring the spectacular sights are every bit as dark and psychological as per the momentum of Lords of Shadow, building upon the foundation set by the first title and continuing the trends in the latest release, Lords of Shadow 2.

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The Art of Castlevania Lords of Shadow is a stunning collection of the art featured in the hit Konami Lords of Shadow franchise and is well presented, documented and a fantastic insight into how everything shapes together to become the dark, horror theme setting that you play in the videogame. The book would make an ideal gift for any Castlevania gaming fan or a superb purchase if you’re looking to expand your collection of gaming memorabilia.

You can search to buy this book online or visit Titan Books website directly via this link.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 – Mastery System Video

Konami has dropped upon us a gameplay video showcasing the new adaptive combat elements of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2.

The conclusion to the ‘Lords of Shadow’ series is available now and the new footage highlights how users can create modified combat elements within the game. The new system is integral for combat, as Dracula awakens in a weakened state and must gradually extend his abilities. Gamers can gather experience points by killing foes and solving puzzles, and then use them to enhance the abilities of the game’s three main weapons: the Void Sword, Chaos Claws and Shadow Whip. Each weapon is governed by a ‘skill tree’ system, wherein players cleverly level up their weapons.

The more the player uses a specific weapon to execute key combination attacks, the more their power grows. Experimentation is rewarded with increased power as challenging attacks are perfectly implemented. The new trailer highlights how these attacks reward the player, devastating those that dare defy Dracula.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 scored 90% in our review which you can peruse through clicking this direct link!

Iconic Weaponry for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

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With the conclusion to the Lords of Shadow series releasing on February 25th, the publisher has issued the first video detailing key armaments within the new game. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 introduces an improved combat system, with Dracula earning a series of powerful weapons and abilities as he progresses through the game.

Central to this new format is the Void Sword, a mystical weapon with incredible restorative properties. The Void Sword is the focus of this first trailer, and the weapon itself is found early on in the game. Once obtained, the Void Sword allows Dracula to add his enemies’ health to his own with every strike. It is a hugely effective weapon, and becomes a focal point of the vampire’s arsenal.

The new 50-second trailer shows the sword in full flow, against multiple foes and the game’s larger adversaries. Stay tuned for more gameplay updates in the lead up to Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2’s release.

Konami Release Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Community Q&A Video

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Today at the busy Konami studios, a Q&A video filled with Q’s from the consumer community was met with A’s from the people responsible for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. The Game’s Producer and Konami Studio Head, Dave Cox bring a lot to light in this informative video. Such as the game’s setting and information about the narrative.

Check out the video down below:

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 whips its way onto an Xbox 360 near you (if you’re in North America) on February 25th, and (for the European crowd) February 28th.

 

Final Exam Review

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Final Exam is a 2D/3D (2.5D?) side-scrolling beat ‘em up much like the classic Streets of Rage developed by Mighty Rocket Studio. I don’t really have much to say about this release. It’s kind of barebones. I mean, reviews are usually supposed to be a cavalcade of humorous anecdotes about the writer’s experience, but my experience with this game was far from noteworthy. It wasn’t even bad, I happen to think that the game is fun. It’s just not very memorable or all that interesting.

Final exam is a game with very little plot. It starts with four friends on their way to their old high-school’s alumni ball, when all of a sudden *BLAMMO*, their car crashes when they avoid the silhouette of a giant beast. The game quickly throws you into a tutorial where you learn to battle aliens with a plank of wood, a gun, and some grenades. The plot is presented in true comic-book style. As you can see, the story isn’t very engaging. Nor is it meant to be. The game is simply supposed to be a fun romp you can play with your friends.

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The combat in the game is quite well done, linear as it may be. Mashing X will initiate 3 hit combos, holding up and X will launch aliens in the air for bigger combos a la Devil May Cry, and holding down and X will smash them into the floor. There are guns in the game, you aim with the right stick and press the right trigger to fire. This is how aiming works in all side-scrollers like Serious Sam Double D XXL and Contra. This is of course before you consider upgrades that are unlockable in the game.

The characters have the same four stats. The stats are HP, Grenade Damage, Melee Damage, and Firearm Damage. Again, much like Streets of Rage, each character has different statistics for each one. Three of the characters each have a defining statistic that makes them prolific in one area, this leaves only one character being completely well-rounded. You can increase these stats by finding collectibles hidden around the levels. This means that playing for the stats is eventually useless, as you can max out each character.

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The combat in the game is quite well done, linear as it may be. Mashing X will initiate 3 hit combos, holding up and X will launch aliens in the air for bigger combos a la Devil May Cry, and holding down and X will smash them into the floor. There are guns in the game, you aim with the right stick and press the right trigger to fire. This is how aiming works in all side-scrollers like Serious Sam Double D XXL and Contra. This is of course before you consider upgrades that are unlockable in the game.

The characters have the same four stats. The stats are HP, Grenade Damage, Melee Damage, and Firearm Damage. Again, much like Streets of Rage, each character has different statistics for each one. Three of the characters each have a defining statistic that makes them prolific in one area, this leaves only one character being completely well-rounded. You can increase these stats by finding collectibles hidden around the levels. This means that playing for the stats is eventually useless, as you can max out each character.

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The skill tree is upgraded by using SP. You earn one SP by clearing a level. For the third time, very much like Streets of Rage, each character has a special move that deals great damage. You use the SP you unlock to upgrade these abilities. You can unlock other abilities such as air-dodges and better air-combos.

The levels are massive and have different tiers. The design is a lot like Castlevania, nowhere near as complicated, mind. Just like Castlevania in the way that you can move up or down different planes of the level. They throw a catch-22 into the game mechanics. You earn more CP by exploring the level and finding more pickups. However, you lose CP for taking too long on a mission. This is a mechanic that I assume is supposed to make the game replayable. Each level has different objectives to complete, such as finding a pickup or escorting missions. These aren’t intrusive or boring or anything, but I don’t really feel that they add anything to the game whatsoever.

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The game has online and local co-op. These aren’t different modes, just the campaign with your friends thrown in. I only had the opportunity to do this once for a half hour or so, but I could feel that this was how the game was supposed to be played. A half hour in co-op and I had ten times more fun than I did playing any other part of the game.  I call it co-op, but it is definitely more of a competitive game. The person with the most points at the end of each round is rewarded much more than anyone else. You also cannot see your friends’ health bars. It’s a shame that I didn’t get to play this part of the game as much before writing this review. As once again, this is what the game was made for.screenlg5

To sum up, Final Exam was a good little bit of fun. It’s not excellent by any stretch of the imagination, but it is certainly adequate. The comic-book style has been done before, but there’s a reason for that. It works, fantastically. Level design is multi-tiered but there’s really nothing to that whatsoever. It seems to be in for the sake of being in. Combat is simple but very well-done, and the game will take you a good 5-8 hours to finish. Do not buy this game if you don’t think you’ll get a chance to play the online cooperative mode, as that alone is where all the fun is.

Final Exam is a game that tries to fool you into thinking it’s more than it is. It’s a bog standard side-scrolling beat ‘em up with the illusion of mass exploration and created combos. It’s like they do these extra things, but with the bare minimum. It’s isn’t bad by any stretch of the animation, it can definitely be a spot of fun. But it most definitely isn’t all that great. For fun with friends, turn to Final Exam. If you’re an introvert, just lie down and cry instead.

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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Collection Dated

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Konami Digital Entertainment BV has announced it will release its Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Collection on November 8th, for Xbox 360 for £29.99.

Set to end with the release of the final chapter of the heroic Dracula trilogy in February 2014, the compilation will  immerses gamers in Lords of Shadow lore and boasts over 40 hours of award-winning gameplay.

This collection will include:

  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Users guide Gabriel Belmont, a holy knight charged with protecting innocents from the malevolent Lords of Shadow, as his murdered wife’s spirit guides him to his ultimate destiny. Included with the first chapter are the ‘Reverie’ and ‘Resurrection’ DLC chapters.
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate HD – The second chapter of the series continues the story 26 years after the events of the original Lords of Shadow, as Gabriel’s descendants confront their destiny.
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Demo – Whetting appetites for February’s epic conclusion, players also have their first chance to play as Dracula in the epic Lords of Shadow finale, via this exclusive demo.