Ahead of it's time for so long ago

I've been working my way through Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, and while it's not perfect, it is exactly what I've been seeking for a long time now.

First, the game definitely is not a Castlevania game, free roam aside, there is no reference to Dracula 9/12 of the way through. I honestly don't care, since the game itself really is just playing with European mythology from the Dark Ages. I think Castlevania really got tacked on at the end to have it tied to a long running series, and since I haven't played a traditional Castlevania game in years, it doesn't affect me that much.

The game is definitely inspired by God of War though. Whips to chains and brutal kills aside, the level pacing, puzzles, landscape variety and storytelling are tell-tale of having studied that successful franchise and adopted what works and what you need. Honestly, the game is great visually, and considering it's 2 disks with great terrain, character designs and concept art that it's a plus.

The game is also long, which is a huge benefit. I wanted an action game that was longer than 8 hours (TFU2 I'm looking at you), and Castlevania is delivering. I'm sure I'm near or over 20 hours right now, and I'm still only 9/12 (75%) of the way complete. Honestly I usually don't go back to play everything again, but this game may get a second run through on a higher difficulty for both badges and fun.

Now the really wierd part for me is that I feel that the team studied some of Ninja Gaiden 2's story, because I swear I'm fighting the same master demons.

Ultimately, if you are looking for a good distraction, Castlevania will definitely fill that void. The same if you are looking for good art, decent puzzles, and a game that will take more than an afternoon to finish.

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