Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, the final Castlevania title developed by MercurySteam, was welcomed with mixed critical reception. Despite its good looks and powerful protagonist, it failed to live up to its predecessor, shoe-horning in unpleasant stealth sections and dull, modern environments. I enjoyed it despite this, as I said in our inaugural Port Inspection, but it’s taken a bit of a lashing from reviewers.
Studio boss Enric Alvarez has spoken out against reviewers and scores, showing an awkward lack of humility. The game isn’t uneven, he claims, it’s just that the reviewers who had serious problems with the game are “blind”, “stupid” and unprofessional.
In particular, Alvarez targets Edge’s 4/10 review. He said, in an interview with Eurogamer Spain, that the negative review set a trend. “There are a few media outlets that set trends and then some other that follow them don’t dare to deviate too much.”
“It’s true that Edge liked the first game but they didn’t enjoy this one as much,” he continued. “I also think that what happened is terribly unfair. One must be blind or stupid to give a 4/10 mark to a game with whis quality. With a 4/10 people think it’s a crappy game, badly done, one that’s broken with gameplay mechanics that don’t work and awful graphics. If I were a reviewer I’d know this, and I don’t think that LoS2 deserves the score of a crappy game.”
He did have some advice for reviewers, though, and he helpfully explained what a review is: “I agree that, in the end, it’s an opinion, and an opinion is totally respectable, but let’s not confuse an opinion and a review. The review is about the object and the opinion is about the subject. You can say ‘I do really rock but I hate opera’, and this is an opinion, not a review. If I had to review ‘Don Giovanni’ I wouldn’t even know how to start, and this honestly is something the gaming press lacks. A lot of people who review games do not live up to the game they’re reviewing.”
Don Giovanni, of course, is a piece of operatic perfection with music composed by Mozart. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is a game about a depressed vampire fighting giant monsters and turning into a rat.
“This is a problem because it influences people’s buying decisions, and they also influence the opportunities of the developers, because we live in a world that simplifies information and classifies developers according to their Metacritic scores,” Alvarez explained “Do not misunderstand me, though: there are very good people writing about games, whatever their opinion is.” As long as that opinion doesn’t lead to a low review score, right?