Review by OmegaDL50
"A Fine Addition to the Castevania series."
Castlevania : Aria of Sorrow is the newest installment of the Castlevania series. It is also the 3rd Castlevania game to be released for the Gameboy Advance.
Soma Cruz, a transfer student studying in Japan, is going to a meet Mina Hakuba, A daughter of the Hakuba Shine's keeper, and Soma's childhood friend to witness the first solar eclipse of the 21st century when he suddenly blacks out only to awaken inside a mysterious castle. Now Soma and Mina's lives are in potential danger when a mysterious man named Genya Arikado, explains that somehow they have been transported to the evil castle of Dracula himself. Now it's up to Soma to try and fight the impending evils of Dracula's Castle and to find a means for him and Mina to escape.
Surprising of the 3 Gameboy Advance Castlevania games. Aria of Sorrow is a far cry ahead of the others with vibrant colors, and intricately detailed backgrounds. Soma has very good animation and moves fluidly. Also the spell effects and enemy animations are surprising done extremely well. Unlike the dark color scheme of Circle of the Moon, Aria of Sorrow is bright. All of the details of the on the Gameboy Advance's tiny screen are easy to make out and distinguish without difficulty.
The Gameplay of Aria of Sorrow is very good and is polished. As you progress through the Castle. Soma collects Souls. With these Souls, Soma acquires a large amount of different abilities. Such as the ability to throw Electricity from his finger tips, or walk on top of water, or even transform into some kind of Demon that charges at enemies.
Soma also gets a large collection of weapons and equipment, each with different looks and attack attributes. The Controller set up is rather simple and very easy to use. One button to attack, one to Jump. R button lets you use a Soul Power Transformation, and L button lets you do a simple back dash to avoid enemy attacks.
If one aspect of Aria of Sorrow should shine the most, it is most definitely the music and sound effects. Soma and the Cast of the game have small voice samples for means of voice acting, and sound effects such as opening doors or cracking rocks sound rather good. The music is outstanding, Each melody fits each particular scene or location in the game. The compositions sound very good and is among the highest of quality ever done on the Gameboy Advance's synth. Also each individual piece of music was composed extremely well, as I would expect no less from Michiru Yamane, The composer of Castlevania : Symphony of the Night and Aria of Sorrow.
Replay Value: 9/10
This game plenty of replay value. From collecting all of the items and souls in the game, and playing the game on 2 different difficulty settings also the option to play the game as a hidden character, plus a mode in which you fight every boss in the game in a time trial to see if you can get a fast time to get special items. I would say this game has a lot to offer. To do everything and collect all the items and souls, I'm estimating a total of at least 30 hours to gameplay time total.
This game is definitely worthy of any Castlevania fans purchase. It should be added to any Gameboy Advance owners library. This game is one the best games ever made for the Gameboy Advance and One the best games made period. Go out and buy it now!!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/08/03, Updated 05/08/03
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