Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
Review by Dark Gaia
"If I was Dracula, I'd fire the guy who made the doors on my castle. It still closes the wrong way."
I'd also fire the guy at Konami who hype this guy so much. Ok fine so there wasn't that much hype over the game, but I was hyped when I saw and read about this new Castlevania. Sadly, this new Castlevania did not live up to all the hype. Now don't get me wrong, this ISN'T a bad game, but it's the worst(IMO) of the Metroid style Castlevanias. As most people said, this game fixes all the problems with COTM while messing up everything that was right with it. The overall package is just a mixed bag.
Graphics- 10 The minute you start the game, you'll face this GIGANTIC multi jointed boss animated smoothly. You'll have to double check to see if this is actually GBA. The cool FXs don't stop there. When you open the door, not only will you marvel at the 3D animation(it's either made of real texture mapped polygon or a really cool mode 7 FX, it's hard to tell) of the door swinging open, but you'll also be amazed that it still closes the wrong way... Seriously though there are tons of cool mode 7 and other FXs. The 3D rotating clock tower just like in SOTN, the way how some enemies fall apart piece by piece, or the way they explode apart. This game has awesome graphics. Everything is animated beautifully. The summon spells aren't too shabby either. There are tons of enemies too.
Music- 4 The minute you hear the music you'll marvel at it just like the graphics and double check to see if you're playing GBA. The music plain sucks! The NES Castlevania 3(Japanese version) sounded waaaaaay better than this crap. The quality of the composition is also very forgettable. There's not much else to say other than the fact that it sucks. The sound FXs on the other hand is really good. You can hear each bone crumble to the floor, or your chains whipping sounds. The voice acting isn't so bad either. Besides, there's only like 2 sentences(if you can even call it that) spoken. Plus, how can anyone possible mess up lines like ''EEEEEEEEEEEEK JUSTE!'' and ''Ha ha ha ha'' with Maxim's laugh sounding kinda German.
Gameplay- 4 This is where the game really flopped at. There are like about 2 hidden rooms. The others are like in your face rooms, it's just that you have to figure out how to get in. This game is also too easy. The hard mode was a bit harder, I almost had to fight the bosses with my eyes opened in hard mode... well almost. Not only that but this game had one of the lamest castle designs ever! If you were unimpressed by the upside down castle in SOTN, then this game will bring back that feeling times 2. I won't spoil it for those who don't know but it's like backtracking except it's not really backtracking, you're only going through the same place again with slight difference in color, backgrounds, and enemies. Yeah it does make the game's castle larger than COTM but I finished the Japanese version in 10 hours. COTM took me 20. The gameplay didn't offer any real innovation either. The whole combo thing just feels like a butchered DSS(although not all DSS combo were useful, at least you'll have fun messing around with them). I'm also bothered by the the fact that they reused a lot of the background graphics from SOTN making the game feel more like a SOTN wannabe not a sequal.
Control- 9 I have no real problem with the controls. Don't have anything else to say other than that. Control isn't a problem in this game.
Replay- 7 There's some stuff to try out after you beat it like hard mode, boss rush, playing as another character etc. The replay isn't bad.
Overall- 6.8(not and average) Since Gamefaqs don't allow fractions I can't put my exact score in the synopsis. The score reflects my mixed feeling about the game. It's not a bad game, but it isn't the best either. Diehard Castlevania fans will love it, but how much depends on how difficult you like your games.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 09/19/02, Updated 09/19/02
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