Review by MegaBelmont

"Almost the complete opposite of CotM, both good and bad"

Back in 2000 I played one of the most breathtaking games I have ever played in my entire life. It was Castlevania SotN and it was the biggest 2d games I have ever played. Sure I played Castlevania 4 before that, but I kept wanting to play more in the series. By the time CotM came out, I had already played almost all of the games in the series. CotM followed in SotN's footsteps in gameplay but yet still took it's own fresh path. Now that HoD is out, the series doesn't feel as fresh as it once did. Many idea's are repeated in this game that were in CotM and HoD. Here is a pretty harsh breakdown of the game from one of the biggest fans of the series:

Graphics: 9.5/10
Breath taking graphics. The main character has more than 3 frames for running, and they are a lot smoother. Moving backgrounds also make this game shine along with huge enemies. However some backgrounds looks horribly bad, almost as if Konami borrowed them from a web site. Still, the game really shines hear and is very impressive.

Music: 3.5/10
The title should be Castlevania: Harmony of Hell. To put it nicely, this has got to be the worst composed music I have ever heard from a Castlevania game. And to top it off it has NES like sounds rather than the SNES quality music. Although it tops Castlevania 2 for worst music, I gave it 5 free points for having original music. (Unlike 2 new tunes in CotM) So take -1.5 and add 5 and you get 3.5.

Sound Effects: 9/10
No problem here, nice.

Game Play: 7/10
Wow, why so low? The music really made it annoying to travel around. Also, THERE ARE NO WALLS TO BREAKTHROUGH!!! NO SECRET PASSAGES! so a 5 year old can beat this game. Traveling around is the only challenging part of the game, because the boss's are very easy. Also I won't spoil the game but the warp points don't help you travel around the castle faster. A shame. But running away from the marble is very fun at one part of the game.

Controls: 8/10
What, how can you mess up with the controls!?! Simply by wasting 2 of the most important buttons by staffing left and right. It doesn't take 2 buttons to do that, overall a fast but yet wasteful way to get around the castle.

Overall: 7/10
It doesn't cut the cheese. Although I really wanted to enjoy this game, the flaws take it's toll on the game. It is still long enough, but doesn't keep you into the game as much as CotM or SotN.

Rent/Buy: Rent
Err it pains me to say rent. I really am disappointed in this game. A true Castlevania fan should buy it, but if you didn't like CotM this won't change your mind. Get this now if you never played CotM. Although it plays more like SotN than CotM, this game falls short from it.

Final thought:
I was expecting more. Although the graphics are great, the gameplay falls short of it. Konami claimed that he had to substitute the music for the graphics, but that is not true. I think he still had a meg of memory left. I feel that it was rushed, and almost as if they were trying to make an exact duplicate of SotN but failed in the process, so they scattered the levels. Overall the game doesn't have much replay value, but you will find an AWESOME time attack mode starring an old character that hasn't been seen for some 50 years!!


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 09/25/02, Updated 05/26/03


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