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YMMV / Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

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  • 8.8: Lords of Shadow 2 got mixed reviews from critics, but one of the most infamous was Edge's review that'd given it the score of 4.0 / 10. And the worst part is that they scored Rambo: The Video Game with a 5.0/10.Explanation 
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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Zobek. Is he still the same self-absorbed Big Bad Wannabe or did his defeat teach him a lesson or two on humility? Is he genuine in his sympathy for Gabriel, or is it just an act? What was his true motive when he shows up in the end to fight Dracula? Did he understand he was outplayed and chose to go out in a blaze of glory or was it a last-ditch attempt to spite his old friend?
  • Awesome Music: Oscar Araujo returns for the sequel with an arguably even better score than the first game's, with amazing pieces such as Titanic Struggle, Castlevania, Chaotic Battle, and Return to the Castle.
    • He was even able to top himself with his reinterpretation of the already awesome first game's final battle music.
  • Breather Boss:
    • Whilst trying to evade him in the garden maze is incredibly frustrating, the actual boss fight against Agreus is considered to be one of the easiest battles in the game due to his predictable attack pattern.
    • Abaddon is another straightforward boss, considering that the two bosses following him, Victor Belmont and Inner Dracula, are much, much tougher.
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  • Best Boss Ever: Although most of the bosses are awesome (the bosses are a highly praised feature of the game), special mention goes to Victor Belmont, for being an epic Mirror Boss, and Inner Dracula for sheer Nightmare Fuel.
  • Catharsis Factor: After being bossed around by the “scared-witless-of-the-Acolytes” Zobek for the vast majority of the game, after running countless errands for him, and after being repetitively pressured into doing his dirty work whilst he sat on his rump in his ivory tower in the heart of the city, it was extremely gratifying to deck him into his jawless skull-face at long last.
  • Complete Monster: Satan returns. See here for details.
  • Crazy Awesome: The Chupacabra. Originally The Scrappy of the first game, it's revealed to be an all-powerful god-like trickster, that nearly drove the Prince of Darkness to madness, forcing him to lock him in the deepest, darkest dungeon in his castle.
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  • Critical Dissonance: Was panned by some critics, but it did not stop the audience from unanimously giving it above-average marks across Steam and Metacritic.
  • Crossover Ship: Folks at the Once Upon a Time fandom adore shipping Gabriel (or "Vampire Bobby" as they refer) and Belle for some unusual reason.
  • Cult Classic: Didn't do really well in sales, and got mixed reviews by critics, but got very positive user reviews, spawned a small, yet devoted fanbase, and is generally considered an improvement over the first game by Castlevania fans. Gabriel, and his portrayal of Dracula as a character, is also very endearing to people who played the game.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Dark Cultists. Cultists show up just before the game's finale for good reason; they always come in packs and all attack at once, all but one of their attacks is unblockable, they have standard health but can teleport away if they're not locked in a combo for more than three seconds in inclusion to already being able to fly, they can summon a demon portal that if you fail to close quickly will flood you with infected, and if five or more of them are present at once, they can fuse together to become a chaos demon that's hard to kill by normal means, and killing it just makes them turn back into the cultists. And during the endgame and post-game, these are just about the only enemies you'll fight in the City. Thankfully, the draw-in moves for the Void Sword and Chaos Claws (Void Kata and Fire Cover, respectively) utterly destroy them, and the Apostle they can conjure can be undone with a single Void Projectile.
    • Satan's Soldiers can become this to an unseasoned player. They're light on their feet, hit in a rapid succession, can teleport, spit blobs of slime that immobilize you on the spot, detonate upon death in a wave of green energy, normally come in packs of two-four, and can even transform into a living “turret” (with their chest-burster-esque spirit attacking anything within the vicinity). Luckily, they become more tolerable as you progress, learn their moveset, and realize that their headbutting attack can be sync blocked. They're still more annoying than their supposedly more powerful siblings, the Horned Demons, who are laughably easy to kite and stunlock with a heavy attack.
    • The Infected, of all enemies. They don't pose a threat on their own, but they do come in throngs – twenty-five and more at once as seen in one of the Kleidos Challenges – and later into the game they start getting upgrades, such as weapons and firearms. Those can vary from simple tire iron and fire-axes (which grant them the ability to perform an unblockable), to semi-automatic rifles and grenade launchers. Suffice it to say, getting multiple rounds and several grenades to the face can be... dangerous.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Marie's looks. Granted, it's most likely due to possibly having new artists and improved techniques, but compare Marie as she appears in LoS to her appearance in LoS 2.
  • Epileptic Trees: Several.
    • While it is implied to a great extent that Marie has been resurrected by God, it's never truly confirmed by Word of God, therefore this falls under the fanon category. Some even speculated that she is more than she appears given her curious speech pattern and the ability to warp between the modern city and the seemingly-abstract castle.
    • On a related note, some theorized that Alucard and the young-apparition!Trevor are the same being. Both are never seen on-screen at the same time – Alucard (in his disguise) even comes up with an excuse that “Zobek needs him” and walks off-screen... only for Trevor to appear minutes later. As further argument, Trevor's words of “use [the Wolf medallion] and I will come” make sense knowing that using the talisman spawns the White Wolf, who is Alucard (confirmed by canon material and artwork).
    • And, of course, the matter of Dracula himself. With the abundance of inexplicit proof and religious symbolism – God's continual Favor for one – it is safe to say that he is a Fallen Angel. Some even speculated that he's saint Archangel Gabriel in the flesh dispatched by the Almighty to prevent the apocalypse.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: There are some less-than-superb implications beneath the ending. On one hand, all of the central villains have been destroyed, thus ridding the world of evil and allowing mankind to rebuild. Yet, the Evil Power Vacuum and Balance Between Good and Evil motifs, motifs that were enforced since the first game, still remain. Bearing all that in mind – plus the overall setting and the storyline of the previous Lords of Shadow games – it's not hard to imagine Dracula experiencing a Heel–Face Door-Slam which would negate all of his Character Development just so he could re-fill that villainous niche.
  • Evil Is Cool: Dracula. Highly badass? Check. Highly philosophical?. Check. Highly sympathetic backstory? Check. Monster? Check. Voiced by Robert Carlyle? CHECK. It's like this trope was made for him. Then again, "evil" is not quite the right term for him.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Carmilla. Oh, Carmilla.
    • And Dracula himself has a fair share of fangirls.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • Dracula's dialog at times implies that he still thinks of himself as a sort of hero. Even when he's massacring villages, he still acts like he's doing good, saying that he's sending them all to a better place. So, if Dracula isn't a monster, then why are there all these scrolls and memorials around describing him horrifically torturing people for fun? Simple. In the case of the memorials you find around the city in the present day, those are all propaganda written by Satan's acolytes, intended to make Dracula out to be worse than he actually was. In the case of the Brotherhood's scrolls that litter the castle, almost all of them describe tortures being inflicted not by Dracula, but by his minions, who (as this game repeatedly shows) are all only barely controlled by Dracula if at all. While Dracula was definitely a villain prior to the events of this game, he was never as bad as people thought.
    • Dracula's use of the memetic "What is a man... but a miserable pile of secrets!" during the tutorial may seem like Pandering to the Base without context at first glance. However, when you look at Roland and the army of Brotherhood knights from his perspective, Dracula could be musing at how the upper echelons of the Brotherhood had most likely created a cover story for Gabriel's "death" after the defeat of the Lords of Shadow (Trevor being the exception in MoF). Even if Roland is a high-ranking commander, he might not had been privy to the truth on Dracula still being God's chosen one, given his reaction when Dracula grabs the cross with no ill-effect, or the prophecy that Gabriel becomes Dracula. Given that official chronology places the tutorial stage in the year AD 1547, 500 years after the first game, and the low life-expectancy back then, the Brotherhood would've had ample time to create and hide their new "pile of secrets" — they are mortal men.
    • On that subject, of course the giant army failed. No one present was a Belmont, the Vampire Killer was missing, and none of the other tools capable of beating Dracula were created in this timeline. The entire invasion was a doomed idea from the start!
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Expect a great deal of overlapping with the Hellsing fandom on social media. The fact that Dracula shares a visibly comparable design with Hellsing's Dracula!Alucard does not help.
    • Due to a lot of similarities between Dracula and Kain, Legacy of Kain fandom also overlaps quite a bit.
  • Foe Yay Shipping:
    • The Carmilla/Dracula ship started out strong, spawning several one-shot fanfics, but with time lost most of its influence.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The Void Sword's Whirlwind move (Block [LT/L2] + Direct Attack [X/Square] + Move [Left Stick]). Ridiculously quick, costs a pint-sized amount of magic, easy to execute, can stunlock bigger opponents, is devastating to the majority of bosses at higher mastery levels, and cheesegrates multiple foes if they're stacked into a row. Because of the latter, it is laughably easy to recover your whole health bar in one single swipe as compared to other, less-effective moves from the same repertoire. Once you discover/master this move, it is guaranteed you will not use anything else to regain health. One drawback? It is ground-based. Meaning any air (harpies, though you can force them to the ground), or otherwise armored foes (Abaddon) cannot be exploited. A must-have skill on Prince of Darkness difficulty.
    • To a lesser extent, the Chaos Claws' “ultimate” – Explosive Earthquake (Chaos Bombs selected + Secondary Weapon [RT/R2] + Area Attack [Y/Triangle]). It can annihilate enemies from a safe distance as well as stunlock them. It is not as practiced because of its enormous Chaos energy cost and inefficiency against clusters of mooks, but against solitary bosses it is downright invaluable.
    • The Relics. You can carry up to five healing potions and mana potions which can be used in-battle, hourglasses which make the “do-not-break-any-shields” trials preposterously easy, and seals that temporarily increase the damage you deal. They would be a Disc-One Nuke, if not for some hefty drawbacks – for example, the aforementioned mana potion erodes all of your “reserves” when the timer runs out, and the seals disrupt your weapon mastery progression. Still, the fact you have them is a valid argument in itself. If used carefully, you can beat even the toughest of bosses with ease... with the exception of Victor, who disables your subweapons for the first part of his fight.
  • Good Bad Bugs: The oh-so-helpful “infinite Blizzard glitch” that, as its name suggests, cloaks Dracula in a continuous aura identical to his Void Sword's “ultimate” Blizzard without incurring a penalty to his energy reserves. It comes in two flavors. The gist of this glitch is that anything – and we mean anything – that enters your periphery is instantly frozen. Yes, that includes bosses, with the exception of your first encounter with Raisa. Also while frozen they'll continue to take minor (8-15 per tick, depending on your Void Sword mastery) damage until Dracula moves away. Yes, you can pummel your enemies without any retaliation, or you can just sit back and watch as everything drops dead in around twenty-thirty seconds. And how do you activate it? By triggering an “enemy's finishing move cutscene” (the one that plays at their deaths) with a Blizzard. Because of it, this glitch can only be duplicated in story mode. Freeroam won't work.
    • However, of course, there's a downside to this bug; in sequences where you should not engage the enemy (e.g. stealth missions) or where you must deal with neutral/friendly NPCs (e.g. Marie and the disguised Carmilla) this glitch can, and will, crash your game. Or at least force you to reload from a checkpoint which cancels out the bug. Ice damage to a Golgoth Guard will immediately alert it to your presence, and the game reads injuring Marie as feeding from her, causing her to become incapacitated. This is why it is recommended to replicate this glitch and then go do some side missions or grind mastery.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Dracool. Explanation 
    • His choice of garb, and in particular his frighteningly impractical belt, which normally wouldn't allow for an average person to bend forward, has been pointed out numerous times as well.
    • Shirt Allergy. Explanation 
    • The Satan Expression. Explanation 
    • The Old Gentleman. Explanation 
    • Heavyweight. Explanation 
    • "Aw, he didn't eat it."Explanation 
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The sound of transferring a skill mastery unto your weapon. It is a moist squelch.
  • Narm:
    • Dracula needs blood badly.
      Dracula: So weak now... must find blood!
    • Dracula's over the top Roaring Rampage of Revenge speech from the second trailer. Amusingly enough, none of his Large Ham moments were included into the final game.
      Dracula: They will pay... Even if it takes an eternity, they will pay!
    • The ridiculous Church Militant knights after you.
      Paladin: God is with me, monster!
    • Dracula barfing blood all over the Siege Titan's core.
    • The generic stock scream used when Dracula feeds in the modern era for the first time.
    • Marie's crying during the fight with Carmilla.
    • After Carmilla is speared through the face, it looks like she's giving the spear a blow job. This was probably intentional, if not a reference to the original Dracula.
    • Thanks to some unfortunate set design, some doors in the city look like they're either twice as big as Dracula, or that he's really short for the lord of vampires.
    • There's the cutscene where Dracula and Alucard come up with their plan to kill both Zobek and Satan, and Dracula agrees to be stabbed in the heart to put him to sleep.
      Dracula: Push... that damn sword... into my heart! Before I change my mind!
      • The hilarious part about that sentence: He's saying it as the sword is already partway through his chest!
    • The final cutscene in which Dracula destroys Satan once and for all takes place in front of that very same church where he was sleeping all that time. No, they did not choose some huge, open, grandly designed venue for either of these key moments in the game, they chose the dark street with a rundown cathedral engulfed by more modern architecture on one side and a pizza place on the other. That giant pizza sign hanging on its side is one of the last things you see following the death of Satan. Also, the fact that one of Dracula's neighbors has been a pizza place for who knows how long, and will continue to be so after Satan was destroyed right across from it.
    • It's pretty hard to take Satan seriously when his choice of pants is armored chicken legs.
  • Narm Charm/So Bad, It's Good: Well, they're certainly upholding this series tradition. See above.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has a page.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Chupacabras was widely hated in the first game thanks to his tendency to steal your items and force you to play an annoying game of hide and seek to get them back, all the while being taunted by his annoying voice. His appearance in this game starts out with a nice bit of catharsis when you find him locked in a magical cage and you get to listen to him grovel and beg for his freedom. After he's released, he opens a shop selling a variety of useful items. He also has a new voice which is far less obnoxious than it was in the first game.
  • Ron the Death Eater: The Brotherhood of Light – the Light Grey to Dracula's Dark Grey and Satan's Black – gets the short end of the stick. Amidst so many fans, the Brotherhood's nothing more but a throng of scheming zealots and indoctrinated henchmen, who abuse the Because Destiny Says So trope to justify their morally ambiguous actions.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • If you try to avoid encounters with enemies by finding a ledge to parkour to, the enemies (every enemy in the game) has some form of ranged attack that's super fast, incredibly accurate, and always knocks you down. This mechanic stays even well past the point in the game where the only reason you'd be going through there in the first place is backtracking for collectables, when you can easily stomp flat every enemy that tries.
    • The stealth gameplay is near unanimously panned for being out of place, frustrating, and just not fun or what people really want to do in a Castlevania game.
  • Signature Scene: The reunion between Alucard and Dracula is fondly remembered by being a Heartwarming Moment and being a great case of I Love You, Vampire Son.
  • Tear Jerker: Has a page.
  • That One Boss:
    • The Hooded Man, a.k.a. Victor Belmont. He frequently parries your attacks, throws a flurry of projectiles that inflict a lot of damage if you get caught in the barrage, and rarely stays still long enough to hit him with a combo. If you try to jump up to evade his attacks, he will leap up and continue to strike you in mid-air, where you cannot escape his blows. However, parrying his blows and counterattacking makes him considerably easier.
    • The Riders of the Storm are three separate opponents who aren't too challenging to deal with one on one. However, they will not hesitate to strike from behind whilst you are attacking one of the three warriors and they will constantly bombard you with projectiles if you try to create some distance between them. You will be slaughtered if you allow all three statues to mob you at the same time.
    • Satan had clearly done some homework, as here he can be unbelievably challenging, particularly on higher difficulty settings. He's swift, leaps all over the arena, nearly all of his attacks cover a sizable area and are twofold, only one of his swings can be parried, and oftentimes he will retreat to bombard you with globs of black goo that hurts if you walk over it. And the fact it takes nearly double the time and effort for Dracula to concentrate and refill his magic gauges only makes things more tangled.
  • That One Level: The Greenhouse maze has infuriated many a gamer with Agreus' aggressive moves, how easy it is to get his attention, and how quickly he can zero in on you. Using the mist ability is a must for getting through the section without tearing your hair out.
    • The truth of the matter is, the maze is actually pretty easy when one uses the mist ability... but the game never tells you it's an option and instead tries to encourage you to take the million times harder ledge-jumping, bell-distracting route...
      • This has been patched. Now the game warns you about the usefulness of the Mist Form right off the bat.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Ultimately, Victor Belmont, a.k.a. the Hooded Man has a very minor appearance in the game, despite his legacy, advertisement, and one hell of an awesome boss fight. He's alluded to quite a while into the game and once caught up to and fought, he's expelled from the plot barely fifteen-to-thirteen minutes afterwards.
  • Ugly Cute: The Chupacabra.
  • The Un-Twist: A lot of players figured out that Zobek's bodyguard was Alucard long before the reveal.
  • The Woobie:
    • The Toy Maker. In his backstory, he was offered a home by the owner of Bernhard Castle, Walter, who ended up summoning a demon to curse him, forcing him to make deathtraps and such until the curse is broken by a child. Once he's reawakened, he suffers from temporary memory loss, and the blood of the castle transforms him into a demon, attacking Dracula. After he turns back to normal, he seems genuinely confused and concerned, and once he remembers who Dracula is (and presumably, what he's done), he breaks down crying.
    • Dracula himself. It's quite clear poor Gabriel still retains what makes him human, even if his humanity is long gone. And he's so utterly miserable whenever he tries to enjoy being evil.

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