Castlevania: Curse of Darkness Review
A review of Castlevania: Curse of Darkness.
Castlevania: Curse of Darkness is the third 3D Castlevania released by Konami in late 2005 / early 2006.
8 / 10: Good.
The graphics are nothing to really brag about, but they are good at least. Textures and models are well- made and the game overall looks relatively great.
6 / 10: Nothing new.
This is a typical story of vengeance- bad guy kills girlfriend, guy goes out for revenge to avenge her death. As we all know, this is definitely nothing new. Your character is Hector, a Devil Forgemaster who betrayed Hector and gave up his dark powers and betrayed Dracula. Dracula’s curse still remains from Castlevania III, which does eventually play a part in the game. The story is relatively straight-forward and easy to understand.
7 / 10: Who is this Saint Germain???
Most of the characters stand out from everyone else, though Hector, for the most part, does not really show much of his personality. We again see Trevor Belmont, intent on destroying Dracula’s curse and anyone in his way… and recognizing that Hector is a Devil Forgemaster, that includes him as well. While the small cast stands out in some form or another, Saint Germain, a weird man who looks like he just left a circus, makes little to no sense at all. He simply appears, gives his two cents, and usually leaves. Characters with virtually no point to the story are pointless.
4 / 10: No furniture?
The environment generally remains dark and ominous, giving the feel of a land cursed by darkness. There is very little to look at in the surrounding area unless the current room holds some significance. Otherwise, the entire area usually consists of long, open corridors filled with enemies, making it quite bland. Even Dracula’s Castle is devoid of furniture and anything otherwise decorative. Simple trees, rocks, couches, or even rubble often works wonders to create a believable environment. Curse of Darkness is definitely lacking here.
8 / 10: Excellent, for the most part.
Sound effects are overall nice and clear. I do not recall any funky or otherwise out-of-place sound effects. The soundtrack is great for the most part, although it fails in boss themes where Lament of Innocence did not. Instead of having a unique theme for every boss as its predecessor did, Curse of Darkness typically reuses the same theme over and over, making a majority of the boss battles a little less entertaining than they could be.
7 / 10: Slight aggravation factor.
Due to the environment being bland, some of the fun is easily knocked out of the game. The game also has an oddly weak opening for whatever reason; starting the game can sometimes seem really difficult to get into. Combat is almost a central element of the entire game, with forging weapons and armor and morphing your Innocent Devils (IDs) with weapon crystals. Some of the forged weapons and armor can be silly, from frying pans to gatling guns and even an electric guitar, adding a slight comical feel to the game. Exploration still exists in the game, however, as previously stated, it is nothing spectacular.
9 / 10: Well developed.
Branching off of Lament of Innocence’s style, which appears to have stolen the combat style from Devil May Cry, combat is a hack-and-slash, which can be branched off into finishing combos. It does involve a lot of button-mashing, but is otherwise easy to learn and control.
9 / 10: Jumping could be better.
The game’s controls are great and easy to work. It can easily be learned within a few minutes of playing around with the controls. The interface is also helpful in explaining the controls as well. The only problem is the jumping, which can feel a little clunky and hard to land where you want at times.
8 / 10: Devils and weapon forging!
The ID system is unique, requiring you to kill enemies with a certain weapon, which will drop crystals. Collecting enough of these crystals will allow your Innocent Devil to evolve into a more powerful devil, depending on which crystal you use. This allows you to control what kind of devil you want, however this can become frustrating by just guessing at what might be good and what might not be, as some are significantly better than others. This may force you to perform that all-so-familiar guide search. Another key feature is forging. Forging your weapons and armor is essentially the ONLY way to get weapons and armor, which means you must obtain or steal materials from enemies. This can quickly become frustrating as well, but in the end it can become worthwhile or even fun.
8 / 10: Some unnecessary frustration.
The game’s rate of increasing difficulty is relatively steady, not giving you enemies that are too hard or too easy. You can usually take on most enemies without too much of a struggle. Obtaining Evolution Crystals and materials for forging can quickly become a chore, however, as some materials are (of course) rare, and may require over half an hour of grinding to get one item that you want.
8 / 10 —Graphics
6 / 10 —Story
4 / 10 —Environment
8 / 10 —Sound
7 / 10 —Gameplay
9 / 10 —Combat
9 / 10 —Controls
8 / 10 —Features
8 / 10 —Difficulty
The game can be fun, depending on if you like hack-and-slash games. If you enjoy God of War (which I can’t understand why), this game may be of some interest, as it has significantly better gameplay elements. It is far from the best Castlevania game, but it is indeed enjoyable.
Overall — 74 / 100