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REVIEW: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 - An unfinished finale

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 comes hot on the heels of LoS: Mirror of Fate and its HD counterparts. Since its inception, the Lords of Shadow series has met with mixed reception from both long time Castlevania fans and video game critics alike. Each entry in the series has ultimately found itself in meeting equal parts praise for every detraction.

For those unfamiliar with the series, LoS explores an alternate Castlevania universe where the Belmont bloodline is sired by Dracula himself, prior to his vampiric transformation.

If you play games with kids in the room, you might want to wait till they go to bed to play LoS2. This is actually a low amount of blood compared to other scenes in the game.

As someone who actually enjoys the Lords of Shadow universe, I felt slightly let down by its supposed conclusion. While the ending was satisfying enough, it felt a bit abrupt and unexpected. The story also pays almost no attention to the events of Lords of Shadow, only vaguely referring to the game�s events. Instead, the game focuses more on events from Mirror of Fate. This combined with the sudden demise of some key characters and a lack of explanation regarding how the player comes to arrive at Dracula�s castle, make the story feel unrealized at times. This is further compounded by an ending that doesn�t necessarily feel appropriate for the series, especially given the general direction of the entire game�s story and portrayal of Dracula throughout.

As the player progresses through Lords of Shadow 2, they see Dracula coming to terms with the monster that he has become - how becoming Dracula has affected him, his family, and the world around him. Unfortunately, that character progression just doesn�t live up to the ultimate ending, leaving loose ends right at the moment that it seemed everything was going to be tied up.

Overall, Lords of Shadow 2 was an enjoyable experience despite some questionable gameplay additions and a lackluster ending. There�s a lot of content to Lords of Shadow 2 and a lot of fun to be had, including a New Game+ mode. Hopefully the upcoming Alucard DLC just ties up some of the loose ends that LoS2 left unraveled.

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About GRiVENone of us since 1:09 AM on 03.12.2010

About me:
I'm in my mid-twenties. Which I say, because I don't particularly feel like having to update my age every birthday.

About video games:
I grew up loving video games. I've been playing games since Windows 3.1 and NES. I used to have a love for all gaming systems and all video game companies. I now find myself frequently annoyed with modern publisher policies.

I would describe myself as a PC gamer. Even though there was probably close to a ten year gap where I didn't play games on my PC. I think that anybody that had to use DOS for gaming, has a different kind of appreciation for video games than other gamers might have.

Some of my favorite games include: Earthworm Jim, The Longest Journey, Shenmue, Divinity 2, Beyond Good & Evil, MGS 3, Majora's Mask, Metroid Fusion, Rogue Galaxy, Jet Force Gemini, and 999.

About the bio:
I always feel like an exhausted cosmonaut trying to write an essay proving he wasn't replaced by a space-alien-vampire-clone whenever I write my own bio. It never comes out quite right... But then I remember that I am a space-alien-vampire-clone, and the stiffness of my writing does not trouble me as much.

Anyway, I hope you don't find me too obnoxious, but then I'm getting a little bit too old to give a shit anymore.


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