YMMV / Castlevania: Judgment

  • Broken Base: This game is probably one of the most controversial out of the Castlevania series. Flawed, horribly designed, wannabe-SoulCalibur reject that ruined the franchise? Or a severely underrated classic that, though flawed, is still quite fun to play with, and people are just being too picky?
    • The designs of the characters used to gain really negative reception, but some (particularly Cornell and Aeon) are notable for being good. However, nowadays though most still complain about the designs, there are a good number who feel that the designs are actually alright and not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. The latter party also raise up the good point that the designs are that way due to Aeon pulling all of the characters from different eras in time.
      • Of all the designs that are quite Base Breaking, Grant's design is this the most. Though initially highly disliked for looking like a Voldo ripoff and less like a pirate - particularly citing he looks like a mummy ninja. However, some fans have gotten used to and even warmed up to Grant's new design - citing that Grant's old design was generic, and this new one looked badass and made him far more distinguishable as a character. They also point out two factors which explain why Grant looks the way he is: that being he was pulled from after his debut, so he could've either gone through a lot of hardships after the events of Dracula's Curse; or just get beaten badly by Dracula himself during said game he debuted in. Another argument defenders use (though rare) is that in the original Japanese, Grant was classed as a former pirate captain, but was now currently a rebel, a noble thief and an acrobat, so it's fair game for the character designer to do what they wanted with his design.
    • Gameplay-wise, Maria is this. Is she seriously OP and easy to use? Or is she far too clunky and difficult to utilize?
  • Character Tiers - Ever-present in a fighting game.
    • Top Tier: Aeon, Alucard & Shanoa
    • High Tier: Death, Eric & Simon
    • Mid Tier: Carmilla, Cornell, Golem, Sypha & Trevor
    • Low Tier: Grant & Maria
    • Bottom Tier: Dracula
  • Critical Dissonance: Critics ABSOLUTELY hated the game. Fans, on the other hand? They generally feel like it's underrated.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Probably the only thing every fan can agree on is that it has a damn good soundtrack.
    • Particular examples:
      • Darkness of Fear. The overall theme of the game, as well as Aeon's theme that is the perfect tune to describe an unknown yet dire situation.
      • This game's version of Clockwork is also a really great revamp of the original tune. More orchestral sounding, however with the fast tempo and soaring crescendo, it truly describes Grant in a nutshell. A flashy Fragile Speedster who, though a Deadpan Snarker, can be deadly when serious.
      • Though Maria is more on the dislike side of the scale, her theme, Slash, is quite well done, too. Particularly the electric guitar that blasts after the initial orchestra sound, yet blending and fitting in quite well. Though it probably added more salt to those who disliked Maria as they felt that such a great rendition of the theme suited Richter who should've been in the game instead of her.
      • Despite being The Scrappy to most people, Eric's theme, Iron Blue Intention, is also well-received. With the heavy sound of the trumpet, and the slower tempo, it gives off a regal and grand sound - particularly when the music picks up. The sound of the guitar strumming in the back is also a good nod to Eric's Spanish origins. Most thought that the theme would suit Eric if he were an adult or at least a teenager rather than a child.
  • Designated Villain: Characters who battle Golem open the battle with their quote reserved for villains and during its Story Mode, the BGM for the villains' story plays.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Cornell and especially Golem. Anyone find it ironic as the one character whose mere existence was overlooked turned out to be the one part most fans thought the game got right?
    • Though his redesign is quite divisive, Grant was still positively received and considered one of the better characters in the cast with the best treatment. This is due to his personality (despite looking like that, he still acts like a laid-back and flippant swashbuckler) and his story being the least ridiculous, as well as being distinct.
    • The new character that was introduced in this game, Aeon, was also well-received. Part of it is because his design is probably one of the best ones in the game, and his cryptic yet straightforward personality being intriguing. Being The Chessmaster and the Big Good also helps.
  • First Installment Wins - Aside from Shanoa and the newcomer Aeon, all of the characters in this game were introduced to the series before 2000, prior to when IGA became producer. References to the handheld Metroidvanias and the non-Nintendo 64 3D games are sparse: Death's music comes from Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, Trevor's ending foreshadows Castlevania: Curse of Darkness and most of the enemy models are taken from that game, Alucard's ending foreshadows Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, and Eric's ending hints at a plot point introduced in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.
  • Fridge Brilliance: One of the biggest complaints from fans was that Soma Cruz wasn't part of the roster. However, if one plays through the game, they'd realize why that can't be possible. Soma is the reincarnation of Dracula, and Dracula is already part of the roster. Aeon decreed that no two of the same being can be in the Time Rift or else something bad will happen.
  • Harsher and Hilarious in Hindsight: With Castlevania's current direction, Maria's plotline being centered on comparing her bust to every other girls' is scarily prophetic.
    • One more Harsher in Hindsight - when you use Aeon's Hyper Attack against Grant, he will end his trek through the glass with this: "Your tale will be passed down for eternity." Considering what's happening to the franchise now...
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • A small example. Since Aeon has unique comments for the cast when hit by his Super, fans have tried their hands at making lines for Aeon to use against characters from non-Castlevania properties.
    • As a result of Maria's story mode, referring to large breasts as a "sacred gift".
  • Most Annoying Sound: Maria's constant high-pitched namedropping of The Four Gods quickly grows tiresome.
    • Eric's smug, arrogant quips can get really grating.
    • Playing through the various modes introduces the player to Dracula's teleport-happy AI, complete with repetitive taunts. "Where are you looking? Your tricks are useless!" Alucard has to fight him for his finale in Story Mode, but everyone can get a turn against him in Castle Mode.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Though not hugely grossed out or highly exaggerated compared to other characters (thankfully due to other games featuring him not being like this), Trevor gets a lot of flak and is accused of being a self-righteous asshole for what he says to Grant in Grant's story mode. Players felt that Trevor wasn't being fair to Grant by accusing him of feeling himself worthier for Sypha...despite the fact that considering Grant's tone and posture (he sounded sad, tired and his head is bowed down), that might not have even been the case, and instead of challenging him to a fight, players felt that Trevor should've just talked to Grant to sort things out. Especially jarring since they're supposed to be best friends (though some can justify it's because back in the era where Trevor and Grant lived in, this was probably one way to settle things out). Players also felt that by the end of Grant's story, it's not Grant who broke apart their friendship, but Trevor himself, and that it was better that Grant distance himself away from the two things that made him miserable (even though Grant did skip out from their wedding of his own free will due to his own jealousy and resentment that he Did Not Get the Girl).
  • The Scrappy: This incarnation of Eric is really hated due to him being a smug and arrogant child who thinks he's superior to others. A lot of fans were also angry at this incarnation due to questioning why Eric Lecarde should even be a child in the first place. However, it seems that even the characters in-game disapprove of Eric and his arrogance, as Alucard firmly tells him off that the lance was only meant to accompany the whip, not be superior to it. Even Aeon takes a jab at Eric in his Hyper Attack against him.
    Aeon (using his Hyper Attack against Eric): Jealousy of the whip does not excuse your arrogance with the lance.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Eric looks even more like a girl than he did in Bloodlines!
  • The Woobie: Golem's own "Mama" finds the concept of it thinking for itself to be absurd. And even after Death affirms its sapience as close to achieving humanity, he tells it that it should be mindless. Given his strength, he potentially reaches Iron Woobie levels.
    • Cornell can be seen as one. He hates his beast form yet he ends up stuck in it in the Time Rift. There, he tries to find a cure for his curse. Along the way, he not only tells Carmilla to get lost when she tries to convince him to join their forces since he is also a child of the night, but when he goes to Sypha who is part of the church, she nastily rebukes him and tells him she has no cure along with telling him to go to death. Though Cornell interprets it as actually going to Death rather than taking Sypha's obvious notion of telling him to go die. However, Cornell would most likely be an Iron Woobie as well, since when he finally finds Death, Death offers him the cure in exchange of his allegiance to Dracula. Cornell refuses and declares that he'll find a cure himself.
    • Grant as well can count. Considering the amount of crap he went through in Dracula's Curse (i.e. his whole family, which could possibly be or include his crew, getting killed off; and getting cursed to be a rampaging demon that was locked in a clocktower); and how different he looks now (which could actually border onto Fridge Horror if you think about it), he also Did Not Get the Girl. And who did he lose the girl to? His best friend. He was so jealous and heartbroken, he didn't even attend their wedding. However, unlike most Romantic Runner-Up characters with Grant's personality in mind, instead of wishing ill, siding with the bad guys, or try to steal the girl, he instead tries to repair his homeland from all the crap that got from Dracula and his posse. In fact, we're unaware of Grant's heart being broken until his fated fights where he lets loose, but even then he seems more melancholic and tired than full out angsting, which made him easier to sympathize with. This is very noticeable when he fights Trevor, to which he doesn't even seem angry or upset at him for being able to win Sypha's affections (in fact, most players found themselves hating Sypha and Trevor instead). But after beating Trevor, Grant finally wishes good tidings to the couple and moves on. Adding that to how he's usually quite chipper, this would probably also make him an Iron Woobie.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/CastlevaniaJudgment