Nov 3rd, 2003, 11:15 AM
Alright, here it goes:
First, the good news: There's plenty of beautiful music to go along with the game. I'd expect no less from the SotN team. The action is pretty solid; you obtain different whip moves and combos by defeating enemies, but there is no actual level up system, and the sub weapons can be made to produce different effects based on which "orb" you have equiped. There are even a few elemental whips around, if you can find them. The animation looks good, and the different characters and bosses look great as well. Even better, when you beat the game, you have the opporunity to go back through it again with a different character.
Now, the bad news: As with many 3D games, the greatest foe is the camera. Most of the time, you'll only see half of the room you're in because the camera is always a few feet off the ground looking down at you. Hell, most of the secrets are secret because they're hidden from your view by the poor camera positioning. Moreover, you may find yourself running down a hallway, only to hear the sound of an incoming attack from an enemy that you can't get into the camera's view, and your only recourse will be to block and hope the attack isn't big enough to break through.
Speaking of hallways, there are plenty of rooms in LoI, but the problem is that most of them are the same. It's as if the programmers were given a few unique rooms and a hundred hallway connector pieces and told to put them together like some gothic lego project.
Then there's equipment. There's only three different kinds of armor and a handful of accessories (rings, a cape, a gauntlet, etc).
Plus, while there are equipment and item screens in the pause menu, you can't use them. Instead, you have to use a real-time window to equip everything, and hope that you aren't thrashed while you run around trying to squeeze into your new armor. It's not the biggest hassle, but the fact that they had a useless equipment and item screen bothered me.
Then, there were the jumping puzzles. For the most part, they were just bothersome, but there were a couple, known as "dark rooms", that were downright insidious. Then again, a big part of the difficulty of the jumping puzzle goes back to the camera positioning problem.
Edit: Almost forgot the acting. The actors generally do good job, unless called upon to display strong emotions like anger or sadness. Then, it's ham ahoy. Also, next time, they should hire an actual voice actress to do the succubus. That was irritating as hell.
Still, in the end, not a bad game. The storyline starts to get a little convoluted near the end, when they try to tie the end of LoI into the rest of the Belmont storyline. If you can find the game somewhere cheap, around $30 maybe, I say buy it. Otherwise, just rent it.