Reviews: Castlevania Judgment

Not as bad as people say

How much you like this game depends on how you approach it: As a Castlevania game, it's not too great. As a fighting game, it qualifies as decent. Approaching it as the latter, I'll go over the various aspects of the game:

Gameplay: The game is easy to pick up and play, with tutorials explaining everything you need. All of the characters play differently (Dracula in particular is unique), but there's a lot of Fake Balance. The monster fights are pretty boring due the small variety of enemies. The stages are all uniquely designed, but you'll probably have an easier time if you turn the hazards off. In terms of control schemes, don't use the Nunchuk, it will tire you out. 7/10

Graphics/Design: Decent for the Wii, but there is model recycling with the Time Reaper and the monsters. The character designs vary, some are good (Cornell in particular looks badass) while others... not so much (Death? Why are you naked?). 7/10

Story: This is where the game falls flat. Despite the large amount of Continuity Nods within dialogue and Golem's tearjerking story, it doesn't do much to hide the pain of terrible plotlines (particularly Maria's story and the sudden Love Triangle between Trevor, Sypha and Grant) and the Excuse Plot in general. Fighting games aren't Shakespearean, but that doesn't excuse bad characterization. 4/10

Music/Sounds: This is where the game excels. The soundtrack is excellent, and covers many of the games, even remixing some songs for the first time. The voice acting is what you would expect of an English localization of a Castlevania game, although it's better than other Castlevanias. Some of the character quips border on Most Annoying Sound, but it's tolerable. 8/10

Modes: Having to unlock the final boss in Story by playing through with most of the characters is irritating (since you have to go through it again), and to get everything, you have to do it with everyone on Brutal. Castle is a great idea in theory, but in practice you'll mostly be fighting monsters with random handicaps on. Arcade, Versus and Survival are what you would expect. The accessories, which can be put on any character for custom costumes, are a nice touch. 6/10

All in all, 7/10. If you can tolerate the story, it's worth checking out.