Review by idiotman7
"Dancing in the moonlight"
Before we start, I must admit, I have never played a Castlevania game. I did play the original one when I was very young, by luck I found it lying in the street in front of Toys R Us, and my Mom ran and saved it, but besides that, I have never played one before. But I was looking for a new DS game, and heard lots of good things about this one. So, I brought it, and I have to say, it's good and fun, but just failed to really grab me like other titles.
I both loved, and hated points in the game. Let's start with the good points. I thought that the way DoS used abilities and fighting forms was very balanced and well brought out. You have a standard attack button, and you have the ability to do combos and magic by equipping them after you destroy certain enemies. I also liked the wide variety of weapons and cloths and things like that. The weapons even showed up in game, and you had the option to have two different sets of equitable weapons and such. A way to explain that is, say you are fighting a monster, and you axe isn't going to get the job done, with the press of a button you can switch out the axe for a sword or something along those lines.
Some things I didn't like were that enemies traveled in large packs, and you felt yourself overwhelmed a lot. Boss battles proved to be very difficult, but that was kind of good, because it made you have to work harder to beat it. The puzzles and how to get to the next areas, sent you the entire map, and got tiring and felt dragged on a lot in the game. And sadly, the touch screen was only used a few times in game, and didn't really do much.
The game really gets you hooked fast. Being that I never played the first one, I was a little confused on what was happening at first, but the game gives you full details on past events, and who everyone is and what their missions are. DoS start with you, Soma Cruz, a year after the events of Aria of Sorrow. You are the rebirth of Dracula, and you were almost engulfed by the powers of darkness but your friends helped save you. None of your old dark powers have come back, and all is good. So you're walking down the street with a friend, Mina, and she asks you if your powers are back. You say no, but just then, a woman appears, and attacks you. Your powers return, and you learn the woman is part of a secret cult. So now you have to go find this cult, even though everyone tells you not to, and destroy it, before they can revive the dark lord. It's a very in-thrilling story, and many hard bosses to fight along the way.
The music didn't really grip me to much to tell the truth. Most of it was kind of like a creepy goth like music sounding thing. Characters didn't say anything, hence all the text, and there really wasn't any character voices for enemies either. Music was generic as said before, and just doesn't grab you that much. But it's not the worst I have ever heard. Sound wise, attacks don't sound very realistic. It's all just slashes and clanks and generic sounding moves. Enemy's sound really big and like they were from a classic horror movie.
DoS has some of the best 2-D graphics in games right now, with 3-D areas in them! The game takes from Aria of Sorrows graphical engine, and builds up on it by improving environmental features and character models. The 3-D back rounds are very noticeable in some areas, and bosses and some of the enemies really just jump out at you. Soma and other characters look very well in the game surprisingly. It's glad to see that not all 2-D games are on the way out, just look at DoS. Areas were always different when you went into different rooms, as long as it wasn't a save point or anything. The map in the game helped a lot in DoS to, I found myself using it more often than in most games. Not to say it was hard to get lost, just hard to remember where certain places are.
Castlevania DoS looks great, and the game play can get you hooked fast. The touch screen isn't used very much, which was sad, but it didn't really ruin the game that much. The game is a pretty good length for a handheld game, and replay, well its good for a first play through, but you wont be playing it five times, unless you absolutely loved it. I would say rent, if you can. If you can get the choice to rent it, I would, it's a good game, but some people weren't as gung-ho about it. It's a decent buy if you can't rent it, and would be a nice addition to your DS family. It's a nice new game for the DS line-up, and proves to be one of the best out right now.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 12/05/05, Updated 03/15/06
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