Another big problem with the battle system is the gross character imbalance. But maybe when I go back to Japan I might come up with some brilliant idea, and I’ll try to think of the possibilities.” ~ Koji Igarashi, Konami[2]. Controls...(C2T) ===== Classic controller: Left analog stick: Move Character Right Trigger: Jump. Most (if not all?) He’s this sort of supersized Grim Reaper-type called the “Time Reaper” — and if you discount the theory that he’s a future version of the Death that’s present as a playable character, he’s not really based off of any particular pre-existing Castlevania boss encounter… unless you account for the Kid Dracula spin-off series. If you should choose to play with something like a Classic Controller or GameCube controller, these inputs all work well enough, with dedicated buttons for each of these individual functions. It’s a cruel irony that the whole concept would go on to be so poorly-received by franchise loyalists. It also provides a novel set-up for a story mode where Dracula isn’t the final boss waiting for you at the end, as you would expect from your typical Castlevania title. But Castlevania Judgment was never given so much as the benefit of the doubt that it would turn out to be anything other than awful. It’s not even that I was dissuaded from doing so by the negative reputation surrounding it: That much should be obvious from the fact that I run a website dedicated to the very subject of maligned video games. Like, if you fancy yourself a “fighting game aficionado,” you’re more likely than not gonna get nothing out of playing Judgment: The controls are basic as can be with only a few combos to go around per character, there are some clear character imbalances across the roster, and the presence of unpredictable stage hazards and item drops is probably enough on its own for some folk to write the game off. This whole game is ridiculous, and at some point, you just need to appreciate it for what it is: Fan service of the most gratuitous degree. You see, there was this period in the mid-to-late aughts where it feels like every review for a Wii title had to get a line in about how the console had “last-gen” visuals — as if Wii owners weren’t already privy to the knowledge that their console was the graphical underperformer of the generation. Koji “Iga” Igarashi rose to the role of Lead Producer for Konami’s Castlevania franchise in 1999. Gallery mode allows players to view concept art and listen to the game's soundtrack. In particular, handheld titles he helped produce across the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS (plus The Dracula X Chronicles on PlayStation Portable) comprise some of the best entries in the series. There was a slight worry that came with it though, in that Iga didn’t seem to express a particular interest in producing a “traditional” Castlevania title for the console, as he himself had indicated in an interview two years prior: “Can you workout for an hour, and keep on whipping? Castlevania Judgment being anything less than the greatest, most unexpected, completely revolutionary fighting game of all time would be enough to spell certain doom for the release. ** And so, the public waited with bated breath for any sort of announcement — passing the time on message boards and the like by theorizing what sorts of games they would end up being. As for Carmilla… look y’all, I’m gonna be real honest with you here: I am incredibly gay for demonic-lookin’ gals. Object Action: Throws objects at the opponent with telekinesis. Aeon will be available in every mode except story. A miserable pile, indeed. Assuming your set-up for this attack lands on your opponent, you’ll promptly be transported to a surreal plane of existence where your attack animation proceeds to play out. So, I reckon I’ve kept you waiting long enough: It’s time for me to finally reveal how I feel about the character designs, and the choice of playable characters. Why you gotta be so mean, ma’am? As you progress through the castle you gain unlockable bonus content like concept art, which you view in gallery mode. These super moves include Simon just doing’ a shit-ton of whippin’ on an opponent, Grant tossing a thousand knives in a matter of a second, and Carmilla just… teasing these poor, sweet girls with the promise a kiss and “the greatest of pleasures,” before slapping them in the face and crushing them inside an iron maiden. Block: Hold the Z button to block your opponent's attacks. To be totally truthful, the fact that I was able to commission art of her – and I must say, it is some awesome art – was a major motivating factor in me even writing this article. Yes, there was the natural curiosity / concern that comes with a long-running franchise branching off in a new direction, but there was more to it than that. Anyway, Judgment isn't a traditional adventure game, so maybe someone figured that waggling would work in small doses. Super Finishing Move: "Group Cooperation". From what I can gather [not being able to test the online for myself], it seemed to be a bit more stable than the likes of a Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but almost assuredly lacking the sort of dedicated playerbase that such a game would have. I know it’s become something like the major sticking point that most critics single out, with some going as far as to say it makes the game “unplayable” or what have you. And then there’s the matter of what I’ll call “The Death Note Lookalikes,” where I am lead to believe that Mr. Obata only has so many character types he is able to realize and draw from. Castlevania Judgment really isn't half as bad as everyone says it is. However, unlike most fighters, it allows players to freely explore a small 3D environment, with interactive dangers that vary depending the level. Cassidy is the curator of a bad video game hall of fame. Castlevania does not translate well to the 3D fighting genre, the motion controls are horrible, the camera is too erratic, and the character design lies … If you want to deliberately test the camera, or if your playstyle centers around running around the perimeter of the map and letting your opponent chase you, of course you’ll end up with some frustrating angles on the action. Yeah, that definitely works well enough for me. All that being said, her Circle of the Moon appearance** with the pink and red dress (and even her “monster” form in that game) still stand out to me as being total perfection. Brief in-game cut-scenes will take place before and after every fight. In the “Story” mode, he is the one to greet all characters to the time rift, and who convinces both heroes and villains to take part in this so-called farce. Not only that, but several of these unlockable characters further require finishing a True Story playthrough in order to actually make them available in any other game modes! Additionally, each stage has objects that can be destroyed which drop a small variety of items: Subweapons, hearts to power them, double and triple shot upgrades, and life-restoring meat products. Granted, I’m also not generally big into fighting games to begin with, and tend towards titles that offer more a more “party style” approach to gameplay rather than competitive. Charged Attack: Hold Z and waggle the Wii Remote to perform a unblockable Charged Attack. Trevor Belmont, who is written to be one of the “three legendary warriors” (along with Sypha and Grant, all originating from Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse), has an appropriate warrior aura and fits well enough with how you might interpret a 15th century anime warrior to look like. The controls were ridiculously imprecise, the graphics were … Maybe that won’t be to everyone’s taste, but hey, I really dig what they do with it here. And if you can look past its flaws – myriad as they may be – there’s still something endearing about it that saves it from being a complete disaster. And with the added elements of mid-match healing items, the variety of alternate weapons, and arenas laden with traps, there’s always gonna be more to a match than just mashing. Arcade consists of eight stages & opponents selected in a random order, with objective beating the the mode quickly to gain a high score. Which brings us back to Judgment, and the handling of some female characters in the Story mode. That said, it’s still hard for me to describe exactly how the camera is supposedly supposed to fail you as the player? Castlevania Judgment being anything less than the greatest, most unexpected, completely revolutionary fighting game of all time would be enough to spell certain doom for the release. You know, there’s probably one thing the game could’ve done that might have justified the overly-simple combat mechanics and the often oversized arenas: It could’ve gone full-on Power Stone and included some four-player battle modes. The first thing to do is to throw out the Wiimote waggle controls (which just don't feel naturally accessible at all) and just use the Classic or Gamecube controller You could make arguments for Bloodlines’ Eric Lecarde being based on Mello’s design, Aeon taking cues from Near and L, and even Simon being a bit samefacey with Light “Kira” Yagami. In designing a fighting game almost explicitly for folk not accustomed to the genre, they neglected to include many of the sort of nuances and complexities that give a fighting game any real sense of depth. TGS 2008: Castlevania Judgment Updated Hands-On Another few rounds of Konami's new Castlevania fighting game leave us broken and bruised, but not without information on a few new characters. And so, I reckon your mileage with Castlevania is going to vary based on what you go into it expecting. Now, bear in mind that I’ve been a fan of the franchise for the majority of my life, and that I do have a sort of attachment to the world and the characters that Castlevania has spawned. It’s doubtful that anyone had been hoping for a fighting game, of all things. Nam dignissim nisi in tortor dictum, ac tempus neque ultricies. Sure, the game's got its flaws, but every game has. After you collect all thirteen Soul Keys you unlock True Story mode. It’s shit like this that makes me understand why Super Smash Bros. players often insist on “no items” matches, and it’s actually sort of incredible that there’s no option to toggle such a feature in Judgment. We should also discuss the roster of characters in terms of variety and the source material they were pulled from. In what may seem like a strange decision, the States would receive the game two months in advance of Japan (who would see the game come out in January of next year), indicating North America as the target market for the title. In 1796, Richter vanished under the light of a full moon. And with the stroke of a key, the damage was done: Easton’s review reverberated through time much like the meddling of one Aeon, and retroactively caused the game to become a financial flop. I like to consider Castlevania Judgment as something of a love letter to the franchise. Speaking of characters I might kind of sort of have the hots for, how about those Alucard and Carmilla designs? You better get ready to waggle. If a DS with Order of Ecclesia is connected to the Wii via Wi-Fi, Aeon and Shanoa will unlocked as playable characters. The game lacks anything like a lock-on function where your character will track and consistently face toward your opponent, requiring you to try and line yourself up manually before launching into any attack. We’ll discuss the reasons for this in just a minute, but let’s address the third concern for now: Was anyone asking for a game like this? Now, I know I already briefly talked about this WiiWare release in our previous article covering the original Adventure on Game Boy, and how it practically has nothing to do with its namesake. Perhaps the most curious pick for the roster is a character known only as “Golem” — who seems to combine elements from Castlevania’s various golem-type enemies as well as Frankenstein’s Monster. In actual execution, you’re more left feeling like you’re wildly shaking the controller and forcing yourself to a sudden halt if you want to try and do much of anything else. These little bits of flair and fashion might give you a bit of additional incentive to play through the different game modes as the different characters, or to task yourself with accomplishing some of the more difficult missions the game has to offer. Judgment goes the “Power Stone” route instead, where you’re given a full range of movement in all directions. To its credit, Castlevania Judgment has high ambitions. In a closing statement, the reviewer notes “I’d say Konami have a job on their hands trying to get this one fixed in time for release, but with the game due out in the US next month, things aren’t looking good.”. Controls : Despite the fact the game can be played using 3 control … Hey, speaking of paying homage to the history of Castlevania: I promised earlier I’d reveal who the final boss is, didn’t I? 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