Castlevania: Lament of Innocence


Review by Val Morris



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

As one of gaming’s most beloved families, the Belmont’s have carved out a niche in vampire slaying history that we alone rule.  I am Leon Belmont, and I would like to take you on a journey through Castlevania: Lament of Innocence.


The journey through Dracula’s castle is an exciting one and one that’s filled with many secrets, but you won’t get any of that from me.  You’ll have to discover them for yourself.  What I can tell you is about the journey itself.  I lost my fiancÚ, Sara, to the darkness of the castle and it is my sole purpose now to find her.  There are so many different enemies to fight along the way.  They range from familiar zombies to all new creatures.


I know that my tale and its 3D experience are likely different than the others you have played, but do not fret.  Koji Igarashi, who is also the director of Symphony of the Night, did for Castlevania what Retro Studios did for Metroid with Metroid Prime.  He put his heart into Lament of Innocence.  As you traverse through the main six levels of the castle, you will feel as though you are a Belmont vampire hunter, fighting bosses and bonus bosses along the way.


The first five levels contain mini-bosses that you must defeat in order to break the seal to level six, which leads to the boss.  Those six levels include several staple areas to the Castlevania series that I’m sure any fan will appreciate, but it’s the graphical upgrade that will truly make these areas come to life.  Some of the areas that I wondered through include a Garden, a Lab, and a beautifully haunting Theater.


Speaking of beauty, the castle and all its rooms are so elaborately decorated, you will wonder just how bad of a person this guy is whom you are tracking.  But we know he’s bad, because he is holding my girl captive.  From the carpet in the long hallways, to the fabric on a chair, to the beautifully painted portraits hanging in the hallways, there is not a dull spot in any area.  Fortunately, it’s not overdone.  You’ll never get the notion of being crowded.  In fact, you will really feel as though you are walking in a huge castle.


Another familiar addition you may notice is the sound.  From the occasional fast paced techno to the haunting sounds of the hallowed halls, you will recognize the similar tunes from past Castlevania games.  As an added bonus, the music is also from the same composer who scored Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Michiru Yamane.


I must also mention that the character designer from Symphony of the Night, Ayami Kojima, also designed me.  My attire is exquisite.  My motions are fluid.  I can move in virtually every direction, which comes in handy when I need to snap my whip to slay a monster anywhere within reach.


In closing, I really hope you take my word for it and try this game.  Its only drawback is how quickly it is over, but that’s not really a complaint.  A veteran gamer will likely finish the game in 8 to 12 hours.  It ultimately depends on how many secrets you wish to discover along the way.  Whips, armor, and relics are scattered throughout secret areas of the castle. 


With the same three people from Symphony of the Night, director Koji “Iga” Igarashi, composer Michiru Yamane, and character designer Ayami Kojima, at the helm of Lament of Innocence you simply cannot go wrong with the Belmont’s first experience with Dracula.


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Last updated: Sunday, April 22, 2007 08:46 PM