Castlevania Judgment (Wii) E3 Hands-On

Stormbringer

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I just came across these impressions of the game, which I already posted in an old thread, but which I thought this deserved their own thread anyway :

Before speaking to Castlevania's Daddy Koji Igarashi earlier today, I got a chance to step into the shoes of the series prettiest little thing, Maria. Okay, their prettiest little female thing, though I did get a chance to beat up Alucard, the franchises prettiest little male son of Dracula.

As Iga said, Castlevania Judgment is not your standard 3D fighting game. You move in full 3D, almost as if you were playing in a room in one of the various attempts at bringing the platformer to into the 3D arena. There are objects to smash (and in Dracula's case, possess), power ups to be gained, and spectacular special moves to master, but at its core the gameplay is a very simple, pick-up-and-play affair.

The controls are pretty basic for a Nintendo Wii 3D fighter. The X button blocks and the C button dodges. Wiggle the WiiMote to attack, holding A for certain attacks or B for super attacks. Wiggling the nunchuck has your character dodging in a character-specific fashion. Maria slides out of the way, while Alucard disappears in a puff of mist, reappearing a short distance away.

I took on Konami's Jay Boor, who turned out to be relatively good at navigating Alucard, beating me only twice during the two rounds we played. Fights are smooth, enjoyable, and filled with nifty little moments that will have you recalling Castlevania games past. Maria's spellcasting is especially entertaining, with a wiggle of the Wiimote and a press of the B button bringing down a giant heavy object on top of the unfortunately blocking Alucard's head. The final match ended with me finding the perfect combination of mashed buttons and wiggling, launching Maria into a spectacular fire attack that left Alucard in flames, just in time for the round timer to run out, causing me to lose. Damn round timer.

So far I like what I see. It really isn't just a 3D fighter. It's something else entirely. It felt a bit more like a Dragon Ball Z fighter or a Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series game than it did Tekken or Soul Calibur. The only question I was left with really was, "How many characters are going to be included in the game?"

Stay tuned tomorrow for Konami's press conference for the answer to that question and more!
http://kotaku.com/5025585/hands-on-with-castlevania-judgment

Well, at least, if the Kotaku guy is to be believed, the game could actually be fun. That's a start. Although frankly the fun of the gameplay seems like the least of GAF (and others...) worries regarding this game...
Anyway, I'm rather intrigued by this totally bizarre project, so I'm looking forward to more in-depth impressions from various sources.
 

Fun Factor

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As Iga said, Castlevania Judgment is not your standard 3D fighting game. You move in full 3D, almost as if you were playing in a room in one of the various attempts at bringing the platformer to into the 3D arena.
oh dear god...

*gets popcorn*
 

Azuran

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As long as I can use pretty boy Soma, everything will be fine.

Still want to see some footage though so i can judge it myself.
 

NeonZ

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I hope the "waggling" mentioned doesn't actually mean that moving the Wiimote in any direction results in the same generic attack.
 

Andrex

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As Iga said, Castlevania Judgment is not your standard 3D fighting game. You move in full 3D, almost as if you were playing in a room in one of the various attempts at bringing the platformer to into the 3D arena. There are objects to smash (and in Dracula's case, possess), power ups to be gained, and spectacular special moves to master, but at its core the gameplay is a very simple, pick-up-and-play affair.
...So, it's Budokai Tenkaichi?
 

TreIII

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Andrex said:
...So, it's Budokai Tenkaichi?
Kotaku said:
So far I like what I see. It really isn't just a 3D fighter. It's something else entirely. It felt a bit more like a Dragon Ball Z fighter or a Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series game than it did Tekken or Soul Calibur.
So, like I thought, it basically seems to be more along the lines of Naruto GNT with Power Stone-like aspects.

...Still waiting on vindication on the notion of it being done by possibly 8ing... :D
 

Ethereal

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I would rather have another game like Castlevania on N64 than this crap... I actually thought the N64 game had some redeeming qualities despite most people thinking that it was complete garbage
 

Toy Soldier

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Ethereal said:
I would rather have another game like Castlevania on N64 than this crap... I actually thought the N64 game had some redeeming qualities despite most people thinking that it was complete garbage
Legacy of Darkness is my favorite Castlevania game, easily. It's incredible.
 

TreIII

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Kotak said:
Why A Castlevania Fighting Game? Ask Iga!

Ever since it was revealed that the new Castlevania game for the Nintendo Wii, Castlevania Judgment, would be a fighting game, one question has been on fans' minds. Is that really Fahey standing next to Castlevania creator Koji Igarashi, and why does he look so rough? I am hunching down to try not to tower over Iga out of respect, as he just spent several minutes answering my questions via translator. Questions like, "Why a fighting game?"

Igarashi's answer? It's not a fighting game. See? Simple.

To Koji Igarashi, Castlevania Judgment is so much more than a fighting game. It's a 3D action adventure title that just happens to feature one on one fighting. "I understand that it looks like a 3D fighting game, but calling it that isn't doing it service."

Okay, so why a timed, one on one action adventure game? As with all things Iga-related, it really comes down to the whip.

"When I decided to make a Wii game, it was natural to use the controller as a whip, but I realized that after two hours of constant whipping players arms would get tired." The answer to the problem was time limits, and 3D action adventure with time limits needs quick fights, and that calls for competitors.

"Castlevania has a rich history spanning 22 years, and I thought it would be a great idea to bring together the different characters from the series, and this sort of game was the perfect way."

Igarashi is watching. He's seen your mixed comments and wants you all to know that this isn't a fighting game...it's a celebration of Castlevania's history in a game that is quick to pick up and play and a real treat for fans of the series.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to order a whip and a rakish hat.
- http://kotaku.com/5025584/why-a-castlevania-fighting-game-ask-iga

Igarashi is watching your comments! :lol :lol
 

Azuran

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Ethereal said:
I would rather have another game like Castlevania on N64 than this crap... I actually thought the N64 game had some redeeming qualities despite most people thinking that it was complete garbage
I agree. Castlevania 64 was my first CV games so that game has a special spot in my heart. I never really though it was a bad game until I saw people bashing it. They're all wrong.
 

blu

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Soul4ger said:
Mangod's comments on 1UP aren't nearly as positive... He loved Order of Eccelsia, but think Judgment is d00med.
well, technically, we all are doomed, so that's not such a big deal breaker : )
 

Ethereal

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Azuran said:
I agree. Castlevania 64 was my first CV games so that game has a special spot in my heart. I never really though it was a bad game until I saw people bashing it. They're all wrong.
I had played some other CV games, and considering that this was the first foray into full 3d it was a pretty ambitious game. Sure the controls weren't perfect but from a level design standpoint I thought that the game nailed Castlevania to a T. Sure there isn't a Belmont in the lead, but it certainly could have been worse. Everyone worships the Symphony of the Night as though it can never be bested. I would like to see a new 3d CV on current gen hardware.
 

TreIII

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I don't think Man God liked the Naruto GNT/Clash of Ninja games either (correct me if I'm wrong, MG).

That being said, it may go a lot to explain why he has no love for this particular game either, especially if it does more to mirror the aforementioned games' style and takes its own twist on it.

Plus, he put TMNT: Tourney Fighters on blast (indirectly)! For shame, sir! :lol

But thanks for leaking the roster of characters any way.
 

Stormbringer

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Soul4ger said:
Mangod's comments on 1UP aren't nearly as positive...
Seems so ->

What's the game about? Wii-bound rumors have haunted this venerable whip-swinging franchise for months, but few fans expected their source to be something as left field as Castlevania Judgment. It's a fairly straightforward 3D fighting game that utilizes the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to pit heroes and villains from the Castlevania canon against one another.

What's new for E3? Judgment's debut demo seems remarkably full-featured. Having the entire roster of selectable characters open for perusal instantly ignites my inner Castlevania fanboy, beckoning me to choose between delightfully obscure favorites such as Carmilla (the sultry seductress from Rondo of Blood) and Cornell (Legacy of Darkness' heroic werewolf). More predictable participants include Simon Belmont, Dracula, fan favorite Maria Renard, and Shanoa, the heroine of the upcoming DS offering Order of Ecclesia. The entire cast of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse is also available, although you may not recognize anybody thanks to fanciful redesigns courtesy of manga artist Takeshi Obata (Death Note).

What's our take? After having barely recovered from the atrocity that was Soul Calibur Legends, I'm disheartened to see another beloved franchise suffer an unwarranted genre migration on Wii. Rather than answering fans' pleas for a new Castlevania with 2D gameplay or churning out a Wii Remote-enhanced port of Curse of Darkness, Konami has shockingly chosen to dabble in a field they have little expertise in. That said, this is clearly their best fighting effort since 1993's TMNT: Tournament Fighters on the Super NES and Genesis... but again, that's not necessarily saying much.

Although Judgment's graphics look sweet in still screenshots (assuming you can stomach the, to put it kindly, "highly stylized" character designs), in motion, they're not so hot. A sluggish framerate and preponderance of jaggy edges spoil the game's impressive-for-Wii lighting and shadow effects. Perhaps a few more months in development can solve these issues.

I'm less hopeful for Judgment's gameplay, which inelegantly combines gesture-driven melee attacks, projectiles, and one-button supermoves. Occasionally, the long-distance tossing and dodging clicks, feeling a bit like Power Stone, but more often than not, the action's eerily reminiscent of Soul Calibur Legends. Most characters appear to have limited move sets and nearly identical combos, and the depth and complexity of Virtua Fighter or Tekken is nowhere to be found.
http://www.1up.com/do/previewPage?cId=3168685&p=44&sec=PREVIEWS
 

Andrex

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TreIII said:
So, like I thought, it basically seems to be more along the lines of Naruto GNT with Power Stone-like aspects.

...Still waiting on vindication on the notion of it being done by possibly 8ing... :D
Really? I love Tenkaichi, in fact it's the only series of fighters I can actually stand. So I'll wait on reviews and videos, but I'm actually much more interested than I was before.

Hrm... *Goes to play BT3*
 

ShadowgeistX

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It's kind of a shame that Konami will find out the hard way that a Power Stone like game is much, much better with 4 players.

Just like Capcom did. Power Stone 2 was so much more amazing than the first.
 

Terrell

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Soul4ger said:
Mangod's comments on 1UP aren't nearly as positive... He loved Order of Eccelsia, but think Judgment is d00med.
Yes, well, as Kotaku said...

IGA is watching. And I'm sure he is not amused at this "Castlevania fan".

Where's your Man-God now?
 
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Soul4ger said:
Mangod's comments on 1UP aren't nearly as positive... He loved Order of Eccelsia, but think Judgment is d00med.
Not that I disagree with him, but he is probably the last person you should listen to when it comes to Wii games, unless you subscribe to his bias in the first place.
 

Meesh

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I'll admit, I was a little aprehensive when I first heard about Castlevania fighter...but damn! The hands on impression makes it sound quite enjoyable.

A fighter on Wii, Castlevania no less, and it's really good...with good controls. I'm in awe.
 

davepoobond

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i played this game. it sucks, and the graphics are balls.

why do you have to swing your arm around for the same 3 attacks? it doesn't even do different attacks for different movements
 

TreIII

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ShadowgeistX said:
It's kind of a shame that Konami will find out the hard way that a Power Stone like game is much, much better with 4 players.

Just like Capcom did. Power Stone 2 was so much more amazing than the first.
I disagree.

Power Stone 2 was a good game, but it had some flaws. Like a super pulled-out camera that basically made it so you had to strain your eyes to see anything, much less your own damn character.

And if I recall correctly, PS2 basically tanked, in comparison to the first game.


Any way, I wouldn't count 4P out just yet. IGA said in the Nintendo Power article that he had plans to put in "extra modes for more than 2 players offline". I would think that would do more to cast the notion that 4P is in, it just wasn't in this preview build for E3 consumption.
 

Meesh

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ivysaur12 said:
Gestures + Fighting Games = Bad. This is a terrible idea.

Until MotionPlus?
That was my initial reaction...but I'm still open to this new and largely undiscovered "fighter with motion controls" game paradise that isn't yet.
 

Andrex

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Evilink said:
That was my initial reaction...but I'm still open to this new and largely undiscovered "fighter with motion controls" game paradise that isn't yet.
I thought BT2 was good and did it well. BT3 went overboard with the waggle though. :/
 

ShadowgeistX

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TreIII said:
I disagree.

Power Stone 2 was a good game, but it had some flaws. Like a super pulled-out camera that basically made it so you had to strain your eyes to see anything, much less your own damn character.

And if I recall correctly, PS2 basically tanked, in comparison to the first game.


Any way, I wouldn't count 4P out just yet. IGA said in the Nintendo Power article that he had plans to put in "extra modes for more than 2 players offline". I would think that would do more to cast the notion that 4P is in, it just wasn't in this preview build for E3 consumption.
Hm, perhaps.

I suppose PS2 had some flaws, but some of the stages went well with the camera. Not only that, but once you have 3 other people familiarized with the game, everyone's having too much fun to mind the camera that much.

I wouldn't know about the sales figures either...all I know is that nobody I knew owned a dreamcast =(
 

Stormbringer

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titiklabingapat said:
Not that I disagree with him, but he is probably the last person you should listen to when it comes to Wii games, unless you subscribe to his bias in the first place.
Well in this particular preview, he sounds, at some point, more like a genuinely bitter Castlevania fan than an basic anti-Wii to me...I personally think he is being honest here, but I guess one could always ask if his bitterness as a series fan doesn't introduce some bias in his opinion. Which, again, doesn't seem to be the case to me, given his definitely credible arguments.
 

TreIII

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Stormbringer said:
Well, in this particular preview, he sounds more like a genuinely bitter Castlevania fan than an basic anti-Wii to me...I personally think he is being honest here, but I guess one could always ask if his bitterness as a series fan doesn't introduce some bias in his opinion. Which, again, doesn't seem to be the case to me, given his definitely credible arguments.
The only thing that I think is really credible is the notion about the controls (which is natch, at this point) and the possible thing about clones (which would certainly be the case, if Simon, Trevor and a whole bunch of other whip users were here).

Otherwise, there's plenty more that could stand to be questioned. Namely, if he just doesn't like this style of game; which is perfectly viable, but doesn't do much to give an "unbiased" review.

I mean, if you play "anime fighters" like DBZ, Naruto and such, single-button supers and rather simplistic gameplay are rather rudimentary and expected. Then he goes on to talk about it doesn't have the "depth" of Soul Calibur and Virtua Fighter 4, as if this game was even actively striving towards something of that nature. :lol

He's attaching too many biases (as well as seemingly lingering butt-hurt from SC:Legends) for his own good. It's fine to rant about on a forum like GAF for things like this, but that doesn't exactly make a good preview impression. Just my $.02.
 

Stormbringer

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TreIII said:
The only thing that I think is really credible is the notion about the controls (which is natch, at this point) and the possible thing about clones (which would certainly be the case, if Simon, Trevor and a whole bunch of other whip users were here).

Otherwise, there's plenty more that could stand to be questioned. Namely, if he just doesn't like this style of game; which is perfectly viable, but doesn't do much to give an "unbiased" review.

I mean, if you play "anime fighters" like DBZ, Naruto and such, single-button supers and rather simplistic gameplay are rather rudimentary and expected. Then he goes on to talk about it doesn't have the "depth" of Soul Calibur and Virtua Fighter 4, as if this game was even actively striving towards something of that nature. :lol

He's attaching too many biases (as well as seemingly lingering butt-hurt from SC:Legends) for his own good. It's fine to rant about on a forum like GAF for things like this, but that doesn't exactly make a good preview impression. Just my $.02.
You certainly make some good points here. Frankly, for some reason, I was actually a bit skeptical when I first read some of the points he brought up. However, by reading some bits of the preview again I got convinced that there was no sign of bias in his words, probably because I was too busy looking for signs of actual "anti-Wii" bias (as I was in the process of responding to titiklabingapat about this) than I was looking for some actual bias against this game itself. The fact that I could miss that is even more silly given how vocal he was about his bitterness as a CV fan (but I guess the fact that I spent all night surfing the web didn't help either :p )...
 

drohne

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to paraphrase, 'it isn't just a 3d fighter; it's more like a bad anime-licensed 3d fighter'
 

NeonZ

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Occasionally, the long-distance tossing and dodging clicks, feeling a bit like Power Stone, but more often than not, the action's eerily reminiscent of Soul Calibur Legends. Most characters appear to have limited move sets and nearly identical combos, and the depth and complexity of Virtua Fighter or Tekken is nowhere to be found.
Eh... SCL was a bad repetitive game, but it did have Soul Calibur's usual combo system. In fact, the motion controller basically made it a 5 button fighter(Downwards Vertical, Upwards Vertical, Thrust, Left Horizontal, Right Horizontal), rather than a 3 button one (Vertical, Horizontal, Kick). The main broken part of the fighting system was the lack of a throw button.

Of course, he could be just comparing the overall quality of the game. But, if he's really making a direct comparison, he's completely wrong about SCL, at least.
 

Blacktin0

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pakkit said:
WHERE IS THE X BUTTON GAIS!?!?!
:lol co-sign i was like wtf? there is a X button on the wii controller?!

Musta meant the Z button, game sounds cool should really be four player though.
 

Stormbringer

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Dascu said:
Looks alright, actually.
Pretty much, yes. From this footage, not only does it looks like a genuinely fun game, but the visuals appear pretty solid too...So far, I'm pleasantly surprised.
 

pewye

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RagnarokX said:
SWAG: "Order of Ecclesia is the first Castlevania where your main character is a female"

Sonia Belmont would beg to differ.
she was eliminated from the timeline.