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Author Topic: Review Discussion: Van Helsing - PS2  (Read 1661 times)
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aledromo
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« on: June 07, 2004, 02:20:48 PM »

Hi everyone.  If you have any questions about this game or my review, please ask them here and I'll do my best to respond.  Warning: full disclosure may ensue.
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stiffler
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2004, 06:09:09 PM »

I think it's a fair review that gets right down to it.  I was wondering, based on the subject matter, just how it would compare to something similar like Castlevania, but I think you answered that.

The save system sounds like both a blessing (for those that are easily frustrated) and a curse.  So what happens if you miss an item?  You can't go back and get it, so hopefully you didn't really need it?

Sounds like a mediocre game at best.

I liked the review, though.  It was professional and didn't seem to hold any bias towards the product being an obvious cash-in.  It was a fair review, judging the game on it's own merits.  I like the style and look forward to more of your reviews.
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aledromo
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2004, 07:06:19 PM »

Thanks, that's kind of you to say.  The save system is a blessing and a curse, depending on what's going on in the game at the moment.  See, the inventory screen on the game is set up in such a way that you can inadvertently use all of your items at once without meaning to.  However, if you die in a room, you get them all back, so they aren't really gone until you leave the room you're in.  It's sometimes nice when one mistake fixes another.

However, if you're trying to beat the game with your hat on in all levels, I pity you if you beat a boss a second after having it knocked off.  There's no fix for that.  You just have to keep going and try again on your next time through.  

Overall, this type of save system is reminiscent of but not as well implemented as the one in Beyond Good and Evil.  It is nice if you just want to beat your way through with minimal frustration, but it needed a tweak (like separate save files) to be all good.

Oh, and I really enjoyed the most recent Castlevania.  Just for the record.
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Fellow
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2004, 08:18:33 PM »

I'm still trying to recover from seeing Van Helsing the movie...

Out of curiosity, is the latest Castlevania worth the $20 it costs? I've heard some conflicting reports on what kind of a game it is, though most say it resembles, in some ways, Devil May Cry.
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aledromo
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2004, 08:25:47 PM »

The latest Castlevania is worth $20 for the music alone.  

In all seriousness, it's a very elegant combat system set in wonderfully evocative theme settings with a good bit of nostalgia for old fans of the series.  There is a fixed camera, but it's usually not a problem as they tend to provide a pretty good angle on things.  I didn't realize I had a problem with it until I went back from playing Ninja Gaiden and kept trying to press a button to see in front of me.  This happens in many games I try to play after Ninja Gaiden, though.

The downside to the game is that there's a fair amount of backtracking to make even the baseline amount of progress (more if you want to try to unlock the few secrets).  Also the lack of a minimap means that if you're like me you'll end up constantly pausing to check and see if you're headed in the right direction, as many of the rooms are identical.

That said, I didn't regret paying full price and think it is certainly worth twenty bucks.  Some places even throw in the soundtrack for that price.  Since you asked, I'll also say that LOI was the closest thing to Devil May Cry I played for a few years until Ninja Gaiden came around.  Please believe that I followed every lead on that front.

Oh, and there are additional playable characters.  It's kind of neat.
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Fellow
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2004, 09:02:34 PM »

Thanks for the scoop, aledromo. I figure I may as well grab the game, and add it to my collection.

And I know exactly what you mean about Ninja Gaiden. Immediately after I completed the game, I moved on to play Otogi. Huge mistake. Whereas NG's controls felt fluid, and smooth, it was a struggle to control Otogi. I hope now that I've had a sufficient break from having played the game, these other action titles won't feel as sluggish.
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aledromo
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2004, 05:17:03 AM »

Otogi just bored me.  I mean, when part of your game requirement is to run around and tediously break everything in a level, that just gets old fast.  Also, having a camera centered behind the main character at all times is great for shooters, but when you need to judge distance for melee weapons it's kind of a hassle.  To say nothing of the annoying time limits in each level.  I'm far off topic here, I realize, but I take every opportunity I can to vent about Otogi.  Best thing about that game is that someone gave me Virtua Fighter 4, Hitman 2 and Panzer Dragoon Orta for it.
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