The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Fighting games should be about balance, precision, and skill. If any one of those areas falls short, the whole experience suffers. In Castlevania: Judgment, they all fall short. First of all, the Wii remote control scheme is unfathomably broken; to play this game, you should use a classic or GameCube controller. Even then, you must contend with spastic combat, a terrible camera, and unnatural button combinations you can't remap. I'd like to say there's at least some decent Castlevania fan service, but the character designs are awful -- the Simon Belmont in Captain N: The Game Master was a cooler incarnation of the legendary vampire hunter. The end product fails as a fighter, as a part of the Castlevania series, and as a video game in general.
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