Nov 18 2008, USStory
Galamoth plots to send the Time Reaper from 10,000 years in the future into the past to destroy his rival Dracula, and change history. Aeon discovers this and pulls together champions from different eras of history into a time rift, in order to find a chosen one capable of destroying the Time Reaper. Like most traditional fighting games, each character has their own obstacles and opponents to overcome based on their own strengths.
The story is so vague, I didn't even know exactly what it was while playing through the game.Sound
Castlevania Judgment has some of the best music for video games out there. The Castlevania series in general has had some great music, and Judgment isn't an exception to that. Themes during battles will grab your attention, as well as on the menus. The only annoying things though, are that some of the themes replay a lot throughout the game, and the loud "Castlevania... JUDGMENT" voice over that plays when you select the Disc Channel from the Wii Menu. Voice acting is also kind of cheesy. Other than that, it has some great music and sound effects.Graphics
The graphics in Castlevania Judgment aren't anything eye-popping, and could have easily been done on the Gamecube. There are some really neat effects though, and the backgrounds look really good. There aren't any framerate issues that I could tell, and animations look smooth. When characters are talking however (for voice overs), it doesn't really look like they're synced with the sound well. Character models look pretty choppy too, and could have definitely been made better. Once again, backgrounds and animations look nice.Appeal
There's actually quite a lot to do in Judgment. There's the main modes every fighting game has: tutorial, arcade play, and story. Also in Judgment, there's Wi-Fi play, Castle Mode, and Character Customization. Wi-Fi play allows players to play against each other randomly or by exchanging Friend Codes. There's also a Rival Roster, sort of like in Metroid Prime: Hunters, where you can add players to a list that's sort of like your Friend Roster. Leaderboards are included, so stats are all tracked. Castle Mode is like the story mode of Soul Calibur 2, where you select a character and go through stages, but you can also select a certain path you want to take. Character Customization is a relatively big part of Judgment. You can get accessories, items, and sub weapons in the game and equip them to your characters. Bonus content can also be received by connecting Judgment with Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. Speaking of characters, there are 14 you can unlock in the game, and that is done so by progressing through the Story mode.Gameplay
Castlevania Judgment is a lot different from previous entries in the Castlevania franchise. As you've already probably found out from this review, it's a 2.5D fighter and not an Adventure-Platformer like the early Metroid games. You select the fighter you want (from the list of 14 unlockable), and... Fight. All the basics are there, your jumping, regular attack, and special attack. There are also sub-weapons that are usable in battles but are not infinite in usage. Different sub-weapons can be picked up in battle, and crates can even be thrown at opponents. Every character has his/her own strengths and weaknesses. For example, Dracula is very strong with magic attacks but is slow and weak in melee attacks. One big downfall for the gameplay though, is the camera. Oftentimes the camera will appear in an awkward position, or won't zoom in when you feel it should. Another drawback, is that some of the characters are overpowered compared to others. For instance, Grant (a very fast fighter) has a large advantage over slower enemies. Controls aren't bad, and there's Gamecube and Classic Controller support if you don't like the Wiimote-Nunchuck.Overall
Castlevania Judgment is a decent fighter, but should be avoided if you're not really a huge fan of the series. There are a lot of better fighters out there such as Smash Bros and Soul Calibur. Worth at least a rent.Review by Zephyr