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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Video Game Cat Review

Date of Review:  September 7, 2012
Format Reviewed:  PS3
Language / Country of Origin:   English / USA
Online Capability:  None.
Prequels:  Castlevania, Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, Castlevania: The Adventure, Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge, Super Castlevania IV, Castlevania Chronicles, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, Castlevania Bloodlines, Castlevania: Dracula X, Castlevania Legends, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, Castlevania Judgment, Castlevania: Harmony of Despair
Equipment Needed: None needed.
Maintenance Required:  None required.

It is the year 1047 and a dark power is preventing the deceased from finding their way to heaven, trapping them on earth in a sort of purgatory state.  Along with the dead, demons and monsters inhabit the earth, attacking living persons.  Gabriel Belmont, our hero, is a member of the Brotherhood of Light, an elite group of holy knights sworn to protect the lives of good people from sinister or dark supernatural forces.  Gabriel has recently undergone a personal tragedy, when his beloved wife was murdered.  Guided by the love of his deceased wife and the virtues of his brotherhood, he quests to open the gates of heaven for all dearly departed souls.

Cultural / Historical Value: 
Castlevania: The Lords of Shadow is part of the popular and critically acclaimed Castlevania series.  It was intended to reboot or resurrect the series, rather than continue on in the original vein.  Most fans of the original Castlevania have raved about this title although some of the more nostalgic fans have criticized the 3D graphics, not appreciating the departure from the series’ 2D predecessors.  The game received good reviews and in particular, the voice acting was praised – highlighting the work of actors Robert Carlyle (Gabriel Belmont) and Sir Patrick Stewart (Zobek / The Narrator).

Teaching / Learning Characteristics: 
This title was designed for purely entertainment purposes and does not have any real discernable educational value, apart from the typical development of hand-eye coordination.

Replay Value:  
Players can return to previous stages of the game at any time – to look for new treasures, build their health, or acquire new abilities.  At times, it may become necessary to replay certain parts of the title in order to advance to the end.  For those who have completed the main plot of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, there are two expansion packs available called Reverie and Resurrection.  These add depth to the title.

Likely Audiences:
Obviously, fans of the original Castlevania series will want to try this title.  Action/adventure fans and those of a gothic persuasion may enjoy this game.  Although intended for mature audiences, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is not particularly explicit or gory.

Overall Score:

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About the Author:
Ben Bigalke is an avid traveler, bicycle enthusiast, lover of animals and video gamer extraordinaire.  He grew up taking the stories and virtues told by the Nintendo of his childhood to heart.  As an adult, he continues to appreciate the entertainment and learning experiences that videogames offer and studies the technological and artistic advancements they have made throughout his lifetime.  As a videogame reviewer, he enjoys both observing and experiencing the cultural impact that these games have on his generation.


Award Giver Category Verdict
Golden Joystick Awards 2011Action/Adventure Game of the Year Nominee

Additional Info

ESRB Description:
Blood and Gore, Nudity, Violence



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